This morning, we packed up Izzy, my parents and mother in law, and we all headed out to Izzy’s school, where she will be starting in August. We did this to give the grandparents a better understanding of the school and why we’ve decided to have Izzy go there. While at the school, we were able to see the classrooms, ranging for infant classrooms, to 5 year old classrooms, in action. We saw kiddos on the playground, at music therapy, sensory stations, father days activities, having snacks…we got to see many beautiful children, being children. Happy children.
ECI-early childhood intervention, has been a big help. We have two therapist who come out twice month to work with Izzy. They are great. They connect with not only Izzy, but with me. I am grateful.
However, there are times, like today, where I can’t help but feel overwhelmed. Yes, Izzy is doing great. She’s rolling, sitting on her own, likes to stand, wants to crawl, has taken to solids, she’s energetic, she’s teething, she’s cooing and “talking”. Basically she’s on track. Which is wonderful. But there’s a but. I hate that there’s a but. At least in my head. BUT, is it enough? I pray it is.
More than anything in this world I want my daughter to be successful. I want her to have every opportunity out there. So I ask myself, are we ding enough? Yes, we are hands on, but could we be doing more? Frankly, I often forget she has DS, until it’s time for therapy. Am I doing her a disservice by “forgetting”? I hope not.
I have high expectations for Izzy. Even before she was born and we were told all this, I had, and still do have, high expectations for her. DS isn’t who she is. It’s what she has. It makes things challenging. It requires us to be positive. It requires us to go that extra step. It requires us to leave our comfort zone behind. We read to her. We sing. We play. We talk all time. We hold her. We let her problem solve. We pray. We ask questions. Lots of them. Are we doing everything we can to assure our daughter is successful. I pray so.
What I know is that with God’s grace and guidance, we will do everything we can to assure that our Izzy is successful.
I’ve realized that with all that took place on Izzy’s birth and the weeks following, I never shared my birth story.
Late September 2012, we were told our daughter would require open heart surgery within minutes or hours of her birth. With this news, our birth plan completely changed. I was no longer to deliver at The Women’s Hospital, my OB wasn’t going to deliver my child, all we had planned was thrown out the window. We were now delivering at the Pavilion at TCH. Some new guy, I wasn’t all that comfortable with was going to deliver my child, instead of going into labor naturally, I was to be induced, and instead of holding and loving my newborn, she was to be taken away across the street to be cared for.
We went to the hospital Thursday, October 4th, to be induced. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep a wink that night. Yes, I had discomfort. Yes, I had pain. I spent the night watching reruns of the Golden Girls. I’m not sure when, but sometime the morning of the 5th, I finally gave in and said yes to getting an epidural. Later that morning, perhaps around noon-ish, I was told it was time to get ready. The resident and a couple nurses came in, and ‘got me ready’, they had me practice pushing. I’ll be honest and say this is when I really started to get scared. I remember having what I can only describe as a panic attack. It hit me then, that as soon as I gave birth, as soon as I stopped practicing and pushed for real, that my child would enter this world and have to endure God knows what. I remember becoming angry and annoyed at the stupid nurses who not only wanted me to push, breathe, but also expected me to count. How the hell was I suppose to do all that?
My husband was a God send. I do not know how he managed, but he got me through it.
At 2:07PM on Friday, October 5th, Izzy was born. I remember hearing her cry. And cry. And cry. I wasn’t allowed to hold her. There were a whole bunch Neonatologists in the room, they took her and worked on her. I remember hearing her cry and cry. Finally, after it seem like hours, they did bring her to me. I got to hold my Izzy, briefly before they once again took her to the West Tower. Her papi went with her. I stayed.
The next time I got to see my Izzy, was later that same evening, maybe around 7PM? I was wheeled to the West Tower, to the 17th floor, where the CVICU was located. There I saw my sweet, beautiful baby girl. I wasn’t allowed to hold her, all I could do was stare at her, and stroke her leg, her arm, her check. To plant kisses on her little toes.
I was then wheeled back to my room. I didn’t sleep that night. I looked at pictures my husband had taken. I prayed. I prayed hard. Frankly, I don’t think I’ve stopped praying. Oh, and I watched the Golden Girls.
Two things which got me through those first 24 hours….my husband and the Golden Girls.
This was by far the best Christmas ever… Izzy’s first.