Honest Reflections of a Dad

I am going to be real honest in this post. Some of this may be hard to read but it was how I was feeling at the time, and I was always told that your feelings can never be bad it is how you express your feelings that is bad or not. So that being said, here we go.
My wife, Liz, and I wanted to try and start a family shortly after we were married. She always wanted to be a mom and I have always wanted to be a dad. So needless to say we were ecstatic when we found out that she was pregnant, I am not going to say we were pregnant because let’s face it being pregnant affects the woman more than the man, but I digress. I was on cloud nine; I was going to be a dad. Then the day of our first ultrasound came and everything changed forever. Looking back I should have picked up that something was wrong when the ultrasound tech left at the end of the ultrasound to “consult” with the doctor. After what seemed to be an eternity the doctor came in and told us that our baby had what is called a Cystic Hygroma, which is basically a sack of fluid that builds up around the back of the neck of the fetus. He then went on to explain that it could be a sign of the baby having Down Syndrome,DSCN0669 but that further tests would be needed to be determined, and a lot of fetuses that have this Hygroma don’t survive for long. So we were then referred to a Geneticist. HOLY crap that is a lot to drop on new expecting parents at one time. Not only were we not sure that the baby would make it but if it did there might be something wrong with it. That is so not what I wanted to hear. I remember going to work after that ultrasound and being sent home because I couldn’t keep my shit together, all I did was cry in the back room. So after we got over the initial shock we ended up going to see the Geneticist so that we could learn what a diagnosis of Trisomy 21, Down Syndrome, meant. I remember thinking I was going to be the parent of child that was the “R” word, that word has been removed from my vocabulary that is why I didn’t actually spell it out. What are people going to think about me, they are going to pick on my child, you know things like that. Yes, I know I was being selfish at this point. I have to say, during the early stages of the pregnancy a lot of the different health professionals kept asking if we were thinking about abortion. I then found out that roughly 90% of pregnancies that have a Down Syndrome  diagnosis are aborted. Even though I was not thrilled about our situation, abortion was not even an option in my book. I was not raised that way. We would face whatever came together. For the sake of space I will skip towards the end of the pregnancy  . Besides a heart problem that we knew that would need to be fixed after Maddi was born the rest of the pregnancy was fairly uneventful. I do have to admit that during the pregnancy I kept my “distance”, I didn’t really develop that bond that a lot of parents do. Then Maddi’s birthday happened. The minute I saw her, everything inside of me changed.DSCN0676 I often refer to it as a light switch being flipped. I knew that this precious PERFECT little girl was meant to teach me so very much. To this day I believe that she has taught me way more than what I will teach her. This is why I am sharing, so that she can teach the world. She is one of the most pure, loving, and happy people I have ever had the pleasure to know. I thank GOD that he gave me the privilege of being her father.

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