Tuesday, July 15, 2008

1. Tiny Moments

Our lives are filled with tiny moments. Graduations, marriages, deaths, all burned forever into our brains. But yesterday, I experienced a tiny moment so large it eclipsed every other in my memory. And it began with a nurse's words:

"I want to point out some interesting features on your baby."

Spoken as calmly as you please. No sign of worry, no exclamation point.
The eyelid creases. The palm prints. The unmistakable face of a baby with Down syndrome.

"Do you see what I'm seeing?"

"Do you understand?"

I did. Yes, yes, I nodded. And now I had to walk across the room and take a seat beside my wife, smiling through the rest of her c-section (the smiling part is a lie, but I'm trying to give her some credit). I looked into the eyes of a woman whose world was about to turn upside down. A woman who was pleading to see her baby for the very first time. And I had no words to offer. No words would come.

"Can I see him?"

"Bring him over, please."

And so the nurse came...

She began with the good points, just like a realtor. Strong heartbeat. Good color. Waterfront view. And then she showed my wife the signs. The structural problems. And I watched the woman I love break like a piece of glass hit by a stone.

Such a tiny moment...

I have no doubt that this change will be a blessing. I know it, my wife knows it, our families know it. But that doesn't make it easy. I don't think the word "easy" will be in our vocabulary for awhile.


Lisa Campbell said...

Hi Daniel!! It's been a long time! I ran into your mom at the Health Department yesterday and she announced the new arrival of Ozzie. He is incredibly gorgeous! She shared with me the blog address and I have sat at my desk and cried big tears reading your heartfelt words. It was as if you were right in front of me. I am a parent educator/social worker for Iredell Co. Partnership for Young Children and guess who we have in common? Silvia Plaza works with me as well. About 4 of years ago when she came to work here we tried to figure out how we were acquainted. Yes, you were the connection. Do you mind if I share this with her? I have worked with 2 families whose children have been diagnosed with DS. One family in fact who had twins. One of the twins had DS. That is very unusual.
I think that God has given you a gift and I have confidence that Ozzie was dropped into the right family. Your experience and your sincere story has really touched my heart. You guys are in my thoughts! Lisa Campbell Maynard

The Wizard said...

Hi Lisa,

Glad you like the blog. Please share it with Silvia - I'm sure she would love to read it. Tell her I said hi.

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

This post is ever so touching. Oh my gosh, thank you for sharing that heartbreaking tiny moment.

sheree said...

I agree...SO touching!

Amazing post. Thank you for sharing, Dan.

Tricia said...

I just went back to read the beginning of your journey and I am quite touched by your words. I am, honestly, also floored. They delivered this news to you while you were still in the OR? This astounds me and I don't know how I would have handled such news in either yours or your wife's position. No matter how gently the words are spoken...couldn't they have given you a few minutes to relish in the joy of the birth of your child before pointing out these "characteristics"?

I guess this is all water under the dam to an extent, you obviously know what a wonder Ozzie is at this point.

Love your blog. Thanks for sharing.


The Snyder Family said...

I am going back to the beginning. Again, I'm just so thankful for your eloquent words. I am not so eloquent but experienced similar thoughts/emotions when my son was born in March 2007. The doctors would not let me hold him for what seemed like hours. And then he said your son may have some "chromosomal abnormalities". We had no idea what he was talking about. Then he finally said Down Syndrome. I still think back to the day of his birth so pissed that they kept him away from me for so long. He was healthy, no heart issues, doing just fine, but kept from his mama. UGH! I just get so mad. I better go cool off:) I'll keep reading. Thanks again.