Sunday, May 31, 2009

NOW WHAT?

With the whirlwind of nurses, doctors, phone calls, text messages, friends & family, our stay at the hospital was like a blur. There are several things that are etched in my mind forever. I clearly remember when Emily's pediatrician came into our room to talk to us. He pointed out Emily's physical traits that were characteristic of Down Syndrome: the extra skin folds in her neck, her small & slanted eyes, small ears, the large space between her 1st & 2nd toes, her small mouth, etc. He basically diagnosed her with Down Syndrome, however, we had to wait for a blood test to get final confirmation. The blood test was sent away to New Mexico & it could take up to 2 weeks to get results...lovely. At this point, the blood test really didn't matter because we trusted the doctors & they were confident of the diagnosis.

The doctor then told us that a baby with Down Syndrome has a 50% chance of having a heart defect. I was floored!! At that point, I froze & panic set in. What were we going to do if there was something wrong with Emily's heart? What if she needed heart surgery? What if she died? This was all too much to bear. The doctor also told us about the possibility of Emily having hypothyroidism, cataracts, hearing & respiratory problems. This was supposed to be the happiest day of my life. My heart was now shattered & my dreams were crushed.

Emily's doctor is a wonderful man!! He held Emily in his arms & rocked her. He looked at her & told her how beautiful & special she was. He also told us that our lives are not going to be as we had planned. It will be different. In some strange way, that gave me comfort, but but it also scared the shit out of me! Will Emily be able to live on her own? Will we have to take care of her forever? Will she be a dancer like her mother? Will she have a boyfriend? A career? Go to prom? College? Have a job? All the perfect plans I had in my head for my precious little girl went out the god damn window. Now what?!?!?!

When the doctor left the room, I felt empty. Eric sat on one side of the room & I sat on the bed. My whole body felt numb. All I could do was cry & I honestly felt like I was going to crumble in a million pieces. Physically, I could feel it. Eric had no emotion. I wept uncontrollably & kept saying, "What are we going to do?" There were no answers. Our plans, our hopes, our dreams were all gone. Eric & I were so numb we could barely speak. We didn't hold each other. We could barely look at each other. This was all too much. Now what????

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