I knew the minute I saw her that she had Down Syndrome and nobody else did. I held her and cried. Cried and panned the room to meet eyes with anyone that would tell me she didn't have it. I held her and looked at her like she wasn't my baby and tried to take it in. And all I can remember of these moments is her face. I will never forget my daughter in my arms, opening her eyes over and over...she locked eyes with mine and stared...bore holes into my soul.
Love me. Love me. I'm not what you expected, but oh, please love me.
That was the most defining moment of my life. That was the beginning of my story.
I don't remember a lot here. My friends have filled me in, but I feel like I was in a black hole. I know I held her. I know I kissed her. I know I begged every power in the world that this wasn't happening...that she was normal, but I knew in my soul exactly what this was.
My pediatrician snuggled Nella up in a blanket and handed her to me...and she knelt down next to my bed so that she could look up at me...not down. She smiled so warmly and held my hand so tight. And she never took her eyes off mine. We had been through a lot together with Lainey's jaundice and I have spent many tearful conversations with her over the course of these two and a half years. She is an amazing pediatrician. But at this moment, she became more than that. She was our friend as she beautifully shared the news.
I need to tell you something.
...and I cried hard... "I know what you're going to say."
She smiled again and squeezed my hand a little tighter.
The first thing I'm going to tell you is that your daughter is beautiful and perfect.
...and I cried harder.
...but there are some features that lead me to believe she may have Down Syndrome.
Finally, someone said it.
I felt hot tears stream down and fall on my baby's face. My beautiful, perfect daughter. I was scared to look up at Brett, so I didn't. I just kissed her.
And then, Dr. Foley added...
...but, Kelle....she is beautiful. and perfect.
I can't explain that evening. And I suppose it's horrible to say you spent the first night your daughter was born in that state of agony, but I know it was necessary for me to move on to where I am today. And, knowing where I am today and how much I love this soul, how much I know she was meant for me and I am meant for her, knowing the crazy way our souls have intertwined and grown into each other, I can say all this now. It's hard, but it's real, and we all have feelings. We live them, we breathe them, we go through them and soon they dissolve into new feelings.