I wish I could say that I am always this happy, but I still do have rare moments where I am taken back to a sad place. Just a few minutes ago I was downstairs. The three of us were hanging around watching tv, and I was happy. Joe flipped the channel and an old episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians was on (..no judging!). Kourtney was pregnant with Mason and she was on her way to the hospital. Her delivery was filmed. I watched as the camera man panned the hospital room... all of Kourtney's family waited in anticipation of the arrival of the new baby. They all were smiling and happy as the new mommy pushed out her son. I started to choke up and had to walk out of the room.
It seems horrible that I can't watch something so joyous. I couldn't bring myself to watch how happy everyone was, and how everything had gone according to plan for her. It made me sick, and a little jealous. But it wasn't my fault. It only took a split second of seeing her in the hospital bed to make my mind flash back to my own experience. More than anything in the world I wish I could have that day back, I wish I could relive it and love him as much as I do now. I wish the nurses didn't make it seem like a death sentence when they told me my son had down syndrome. I wish, instead, they had a little understanding that I was a brand new mom and just wanted to breathe my son in. I wanted to hold him and see the little face I had been growing inside for eight and a half months. It was if they took my son away and slapped a label on his head that read "hi my name is down syndrome." They listed off everything medically that could be wrong with my baby and kept saying "im sorry." When they finally handed me my son, all I could see was down syndrome. I didn't see Anthony. I was looking for the markers they described instead of enjoying Anthony's birthday. I don't have happy videos of my son being born with everyone smiling around me. They robbed me of that.
I want to be the change.
Maybe it's time for me to stop living in the past and start making a difference. I need to be the change in order for it to happen. I can't re-write my story, but maybe I can help by preventing another family from going through the same hell. I can picture it in my head.. how my day should have went.
Anthony's "fantasy" birth story
push, breathe, push breathe...
okay Kelsey, your son is almost here, one last push!
The doctors put Anthony on my chest and I hear that wonderful cry that every mother waits for. I take a moment to look in to his beautiful eyes, and they take my breath away. Joe films as I have my first moments with my son. He wraps his little fingers around mine. We are one. I wisper happy birthday and that I love him more than anything else in this world. Joe kisses me and then the baby. The world has stopped and we become lost in one another.
They take Anthony away to clean him up and Joe goes out to let our family in. Everyone is welcomed into the room and there is warmth. Anthony is passed around and showered with kisses and love. Pictures are taken, and this happy moment is recorded.
Once everyone has left and we are taken to our new room, the doctor comes in to congratulate us on the birth of our new son. He tells us how healthy Anthony is and then tells us that he noticed some traits that Anthony has that may mean that he has Down Syndrome. We are shocked and upset, but he tells us that everything is going to be okay, because we have a son that needs our love. He is still our son, and no diagnosis will change that. He will tell us that Anthony will grow up to run and play, he will bring joy and happiness to our family in ways we could never have imagined. He will tell us that our journey may not be as we had planned, but it doesn't mean that it is a bad one. It is just different. We are lucky. Then he will ask us if we would like to be put in contact with a family that delivered a baby with down syndrome at this same hospital. He would even tell us that this family is willing to come in and bring their child to meet us. We agree.
This is where I want to come in. This is my chance to be the change. I think I want to contact my hospital and talk with them about how to deliver a diagnosis like down syndrome. I want other mothers to experience my "fantasy birth story." I want to be the family that comes in to talk to others about their newborn. I want to let them know that although some days may be hard... there is so much to be excited for. I want to introduce them to Anthony so they can see just how normal we are, and how amazing he is. I want to give them hope for their future, instead of fear. Maybe even give my information to the companies that do first-trimester testing to determine a down syndrome diagnosis. I have heard many horror stories that women were pressured to abort after receiving the positive results for down syndrome. It scares me that many couples may make the decision to abort because they are only told how difficult their lives will be. I want to change the horrible statistic that 90% of babies diagnosed with down syndrome during pregnancy are aborted. Families should know that there is an UPSIDE.
As of now, this is just a thought... a dream. I hope someday in the near future I will actually put this plan into action because I want to be the change.
Getting to know youGrowing up, I have always loved musicals and their songs always seem to pop in my head at random moments in my life. Yesterday I was laying with Anthony, and I started singing a song from The King and I.
"Getting to know you
Getting to feel free and easy
When I am with you,
Getting to know what to say
Haven't you noticed
Suddenly I'm bright and breezy?
Because of all the beautiful and new
Things I'm learning about you
Day by Day. "
It made me realize just how much I love being Anthony's mom. He is growing bigger and stronger every day and keeps accomplishing different milestones. Recently he has been a lot more aware of things around him. He responds to voice, and has been making a lot of really adorable baby noises. I think, my favorite new thing that Anthony does is smile and laugh. I just cant get enough of his contagious giggle. Check out some of the new videos I posted from this past week.