Monday, October 21, 2013

October, 2011 Down Syndrome Awareness Month... Day 9


It's pretty straight forward... someone has a baby and you say CONGRATULATIONS! A new life. So innocent and pure. So full of potential.

Unless there is something wrong. Then what do you say? What if the baby is not healthy? Or less than perfect by the world's standards?

When Josh was born, the doctors and nurses were simply amazing. They were kind and compassionate, sympathetic and concerned. They hugged me, held my hand and wiped my tears. They catered to my every need and even needs that I didn't know I had.

But, not one of them said "CONGRATULATIONS".

Instead they said "I'm sorry".

Sorry? Why? I was so confused. I knew he was sick, perhaps they knew more than I did? Perhaps he was going to die? Surely they weren't sorry because he had Down Syndrome?

I remember one young nurse, sweet as pie and cute as a button, hugging me so tightly and crying with me. You know... when you're crying and people are sympathetic, it makes you cry more? Well, we were probably quite a sight there in the hallway. Perhaps we were her first family with complications. I remember being really touched that she would show her feelings like that. I remember hoping that she would never become hard-hearted with all that she sees. She wasn't MY nurse and I don't know who she was or where she is now, but I hope her heart is still soft.

But, not one of them said "CONGRATULATIONS".

Josh soon left in an ambulance, surrounded by a team of doctors and nurses from Children's Hospital in Boston. We stayed to try to rest (hahahahaha!!!). A couple of hours later, as we walked into the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Children's, a tall, very handsome, young doctor approached us with the biggest smile I have ever seen... he took my hand in both of his, shook it gently, put his arm around my shoulders and began to walk with me.

"CONGRATULATIONS", he said "he's absolutely beautiful"!!

I cried! What wonderful, calming and assuring words. He probably thought I was out of my mind (and I probably was!).

So the moral of this story is... no matter the issue, no matter the diagnosis or prognosis, no matter how sad or concerned YOU are... remember, that new mommy just had a baby and she needs to hear it... CONGRATULATIONS, your baby is beautiful!

(None of this is to say we did not have the absolute best care at the hospital where he was born. That's a whole 'nother post. Just sayin'... before some of you nurses get all ruffled... you are absolutely amazing and you know it!!)

This picture was taken just moments after we arrived in Boston. He WAS beautiful, wasn't he??

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