Many people have emailed/written/called telling me what strength I have from all I have been through the last two years. Do I agree with them? Absolutely. Recurring Pregnancy Loss is a tough battle to endure. It has made me strong, for sure.
But because of all this, I have "reconnected" with a friend from high school...who is on a TOTALLY different path than I...but has shown me what strength really is. We weren't even very close in high school, not the bestest of friends...but she has impacted my life far more than she will ever know.
Let me back up my story a bit...
When Nora was born I was blessed with that happy blissful "everything turned out okay and I have a healthy baby in my arms" that everyone imagines when they think of getting pregnant and having a baby.
But 24 hours after my c section that was taken from me.
The nurse came in...my husband wasn't even in the room. I was alone when she said to me, "We have to test your baby for Down's Sydrome". I can't even type it without the tears flowing from my eyes. Remembering that moment is horrifying.
At this point my husband entered the room and I lost it. I mean LOST IT. How could this be? She looked fine to me. Was it a Mother's blind eye to something that was wrong? The doctor said she was healthy. I just couldn't believe it. I didn't want to believe it.
You see, Nora was born with a Simian Crease (now called Single Palmar Crease) on one hand. Its a marker for Down's Syndrome. Usually on two hands for people with Down's, but combined with other features the nurses called my pediatrician and a chromosome analysis was warrented.
"Its a simple blood test...chromosome count...and we would know the results in 10 days". 10 days.
I shut down. I hid. I analyzed her. We told each other we love her no matter what, but I shunned away all visitors. For ten days I avoided all contact from everyone texting for pictures, face.booking me for details, wanting to stop by for visits. I cried so much I didn't think I would ever pick up the pieces.
While in the doctors appt. for her regular checkup ten days after she was born, I sat and waited for the results. They weren't in. As if it were a scene from a movie, there was a knock at the door and the nurse just picked up the results off the fax machine.
She was healthy. I thanked God and I cried a hell of a lot more right there in the office.
Fast forward to about two years later when I saw this friend from high school, Kerry, announce her pregnancy on facebook. I was pregnant at about at about the same time. I was nervous after my 14 week loss and after I miscarried that pregnancy too I was bitter and angry and I logged off fbook for awhile in order two avoid seeing those pregnant around me continue their happiness without me. When I returned I saw Kerry was close to having the baby. It was hard going back on and seeing it, but I thank God I did.
The day she had her baby is the day she began to touch the lives of so many. You see, that feeling I had for those ten days was her immediate reality moments after her c section. Her beautiful girl was born with Aperts Syndrome, a craniofacial condition affecting the head, feet, and hands. It is rare, affecting about 1 in 160,000 - 200,000 births in the U.S. After a blissful pregnancy the operating room turned quiet and she knew something was wrong. She tells her story of that day so beautifully, I simply cannot put it to words. Her honesty about that day hit home with me....for such a short moment in my life, I knew how she felt. I had her thoughts and knowing that her daughter Mary Cate's diagnosis was forever...not just for ten days... it hung heavy in my heart.
What Kerry did next after such a short time is amazing. She didn't hide. She didn't shun people away or keep her daughter from the world. She rallied her closest family and friends and began educating others on Apert's Syndrome. She has now become a resource for other families with babies having the same diagnosis. She started her beautiful blog and website, My Mary Cate to keep everyone informed and to keep everyone aware of the struggles...and sweet rewards of raising a child with Apert's. Her family and friends had a benefit, where literally thousands came to celebrate the life of her sweet baby girl. It stopped me in my tracks at how so much love and support was in one building.
She literally has taken the entire South Side of Chicago and has brought Mary Cate into our lives. She has educated grammar school students to be accepting of people's differences. She is honest and doesn't sweet talk what it is like dealing with an unknown future of surgeries, doctors appointments and the serious medical issues that come with a diagnosis of Apert's Syndrome. She shows us a true Mother's love for all to aspire to.
She is the major reason I started this blog. I saw how she could open up and knew I needed to do the same about my losses.
To me, she has a strength like no other. Her daughter is a such a blessing to us all, and continues to prevail through her surgeries and with meeting milestones. I am so grateful she started her blog. Grateful that she has opened the eyes of so many and that she shares both the happy and hard times she has....so I can try and pick her up during those tough moments and carry her in my thoughts and prayers like she does for me.
Your path is so different than mine, but I thank you, Kerry for showing me what strength really is.
|Happy 1st Birthday, sweet Mary Cate|