36 hours. That’s how long we had to celebrate our son without the debilitating shock of the possibility of Down Syndrome looming over us. Just 36 hours.
Look at us. We are so happy. The photograph was taken prior to the nurse practitioner asking to see us alone and saying “I need to talk to you both.”
It was an awesome day and a half. We had so many friends and family members come and meet our new baby. The recovery room was filled with flowers, stuffed animals and balloons. Our visitors made sure they had pictures of the first time they met Nicholas. After each picture was taken, I said what I am sure everyone says: “send that to me.” My phone was filled with pictures of Nicholas at all angles.
We even had our first family dinner that night. Take out from Vona’s (extra cheese please). I was so happy to have my new little family together.
As I was looking through pictures for this blog, I noticed a gap. There are a lot of pictures from the first 36 hours, and then the next pictures on my phone were of the baby in our living room. This one, to be exact:
There’s my little peanut.
I hadn’t noticed the gap before. I mean, I remember everything really clearly, but I didn’t realize that I had stopped taking pictures for the remainder of my hospital stay. We had to stay in the hospital for an extra two days because Nicholas needed treatments for Jaundice. But, there were no pictures on my phone documenting those days.
As I have said in previous posts, I was’t able to touch my phone when we got the news. I couldn’t respond to peoples text messages and phone calls and fake it. I couldn’t pretend to be happy when I wasn’t even able to identify the feelings I was having. I was being pulled between being overjoyed with my new baby and mourning the loss of a baby that never existed.
Even though I have overcome those feelings, and my post partum depression is long gone, the gap in pictures that exists on my phone still fills me with guilt. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that the best thing that could have ever happened to me happened in that hospital, and to never stop snapping photos!
The mom that is in that first picture, the one who is smiling ear to ear, that is the mom that I am now. One who is overjoyed with her son in every way she can be. The one that sees that her son is not “broken”, but exists as an element of diversity in our community. He has come to us to help us be better people, and he is crushing it so far if I do say so myself! He is sort of famous in our little town!
These days, anyone who knows me can tell you, all I do is take pictures of Nicholas. Sometimes, I’m almost embarrassed to take out my phone to show someone a picture and have them see that I have 27 pictures of Nicholas in the same exact position.
Sorry, Nicholas. I won’t be stopping our daily photoshoots any time soon. I am just too proud of you to keep you a secret. Oh, and your dad is just as bad. See?