“It’s a Baby!” I cried out in relief and joy when our first son made his appearance into the world almost 11 years ago. We had decided not to find out his sex until birth, so I didn’t immediately know that tidbit, but I did know he was a baby and I was in absolute awe that one had just come out of me.
Maybe I’m dense, but on this my sixth birth I still couldn’t wrap my brain around how a new life could come from inside me and out into world. ~G’s birth was fairly quick like it was for four of his older brothers (about 3 hours of active labor). This time I opted for an epidural as a treat for the last last hour and a half of labor as well as the final push. I was really tired all month and wanted to be a little less exhausted when I greeted this new little guy. Without too much fuss he arrived, Kevin cut his umbilical cord, and there was ~G warm and new in my arms.
When we first found out about ~G’s Down syndrome I did intensive research for two weeks to find out what it all meant. What I found was that Ds could mean many things, from heart defects and other health issues to a wide range of intellectual abilities. All that information really didn’t tell me much till we met OUR little guy and I knew I would love him (like all of our sons) for whomever he would be, so I stacked that info. away and went on with life.
I did however have a thirst to tell most everyone who commented on my pregnancy or asked if I knew the sex of the new baby that he was a boy and that he had Down syndrome. I felt that by being upfront about it, the power it had to form his identity was taken away.
Kevin on the other hand hardly told anyone in the months before ~G was born. He explained to me this past week that he didn’t want preconceived ideas of who our son was to skew his heart before he was able to meet him.
Really we were both preparing open hearts for our boy, though we went about it in very different ways.
On this the two week anniversary of ~G’s birth I thought I would write about him so far, now that he is here with us.
Here is our baby:
~G has sleepy faces, “I’m having a bad dream faces”, smiles, budda/drunk with milk faces, and yawns that look almost exactly like those of his brothers when they were infants (who themselves looked very similar to one another). He has dark hair too like his brothers all did when they were born.
He is also distinctly himself: he is a fantastic eater (by far the best of all the boys who were good eaters as infants), he has a big button “outie” which we discovered yesterday when his umbilical cord fell off, he sleeps lots, and when he cries he lets out one big siren like cry then is silent for 30-40 seconds and then lets out another piercing cry instead of steady wails, when he is hungry or needs changing. ~G has a dimple on his left cheek, you see it especially when he eats.
When ~G is asleep he looks more or less just like his five older brothers did as infants. When he is awake I see his almond shaped eyes with the nuchal fold I read about months ago. His blue eyes appear quite dark (darker than his brothers were as infants and they all now have a shade of blue except 17 mo old ~O who has a sort of hazel eye color) and we wonder what color his will end up being. He has wonderful quiet alert times where he looks around interested in the world.
We all love him.
Everyone enjoys holding him, except 6 year old ~C who is happy to sit beside me as I hold ~G and he looks on. ~O at 17 months loves to take off ~G’s hat so he can snuggle his head and get warm soft baby cheek contact with his own, slightly older, warm baby cheek.
Two weeks into knowing him, ~G is not scary or other, and I don’t care if those I meet see his Down syndrome in him or not and I no longer feel the need to tell them. He just is and it is beautiful and exciting.
I am thankful for his apparent health (his heart is looking good, etc.), though I realize nothing is certain in this world and I am enjoying each new and special day with our family.
My favorite moments with him so far are late at night when our busy house is drowsy and quiet and ~G, tummy full, stares sleepily into my eyes and we see nothing but -each other.
Love, Love, Love,