...And in the air, the fireflies, our only light in paradise. We'll show the world that they were wrong, and teach them all to sing along; singing Amen I, I'm alive. Amen I, I'm alive...

- Nickelback, If Everyone Cared

For All The Right Reasons Album

And I'm singing Aaa-ayyy-men, I'm alive!

William Leonidas November 12th, 2009
My only regret is that I cried so many tears while I waited for you.

"...I'll try ~ but it's so hard to believe. I'll try ~ but I can't see what you see. I'll try and try to understand the distance between the love I feel ~ the thing I fear ~ and every single dream. I can finally see it. Now I have to believe all those precious stories. All the world is made of faith ~ and trust ~ and pixie dust. So I'll try ~ because I finally believe. I'll try ~ because I can see what you see. I'll try, I'll try ~ to fly..."

Jonatha Brooke "I'll try"

Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you..." Jeremiah 1:4-5

For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to Thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:13-14

Monday March 5th, 2010

So Why Stinkerie?

It's simple, really. It's the first thing I whispered against my newborn little Dumpling's temple as I held him alone for that very first time. "There's my Little Stinkerie." And all was right with the world as I brushed my lips across his delicate dewy soft newborn-pink skin and sniffed at his sparse smattering of downy soft hair. Corny and sappy, huh? I can't help it when describing my new Little Puppy. But don't get used to it - I have been told I am "irreverent."

Anyway, it just came out and he's been Stinkerie ever since. As well as Stink Pie, Stink Pot, Stinkey Pete, Little Stinks, Stinks, Puppy, Ducky, Baby, Baby Head, Baby Head Jenkins, Jack, Jack-Jack, Jackie Boy, Jax, Snork, Snorkis, Snorkle, Billy Boy, Billy Bob, Bobby Sue, Billy-Joe-Jim-Bob, Will, Willie, Willister, and the name given by my mentor turned friend Beth - Snake. When I write to her I call him either The Snakester or Slither! And of course, Dumpling, because he is my Little Dumpling - warm and soft and comforting. It's alright to combine comfort food with baby names, right? Have you ever watched the movie Where the Heart Is? If you have, you'll know why I mention this in my defense!

Long story short, you're likely to encounter any one or more of these names in a single post. Because I can. It's my blog!

Something to Consider

Bad decisions make good stories.

Something to Think About

With any pregnancy, there are concerns. With any child, there are worries. When you have a diagnosis of Down syndrome, you know what to worry about. You know what to look for. You have a plan of action. With your typical child, there is no limit to the things that can 'go wrong' or 'happen.' There's no place to focus your worry and concerns. 'IT' will always be out there, waiting. You'll always be on guard. Even when the child is 55 and has grandchildren. With Down syndrome we have a battle plan. With Down syndrome, there is a finite number of things that can go awry. With a typical child, there's isn't. It's a crap shoot. I'm sticking with the Ds and taking the other two back to the hospital for a refund.

Head Above Water

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Monday, April 20, 2009

The Beloved Dr S

My beloved Dr S followed me through my pregnancy with my Youngest, Soon-To-Be-Middle. He also very tenderly broke the news to me when we lost a baby. I expect similar news today. I find, despite my reservations, that I am hoping the news is good, but trying not to be too hopeful.

Backtrack to that last time...
I'd gotten a new Nickelback album and I was 30 minutes early for my appointment, so I popped it in the CD player for a listen. I'd spotted just a little bright red at work the night before so Dr S agreed to see me right away. I'd downright hemorrhaged with the both the Oldest and the Youngest, so I wasn't alarmed. While the ultra sound tech did her thing I was hearing the Nickelback song in my head, "Now I know whyyyyy-yyy I felt like s*** when I woke up this morning." The tech leaves to go get Dr S. Just like during my whole pregnancy with the Youngest. But then Dr S came into the room and as he walked past me, he ever so gently stroked his finger across my left cheek. And I knew. He'd never done that before. I was very quiet while he repeated the ultra sound, just like he always had before. But this wasn't before and he was about to say things he'd never said before. "I'm so sorry," he says. "There is no baby now." Pause. He takes my hands in his. "I cannot tell you why. It was fine and healthy the last time we looked." He's gentle and tender but I can't stop sobbing. I get dressed. I leave. I sit in the van to call The Dear Daddy. I call The Other Mommy and she insists on keeping the kids over night. I drive home. Walking up the driveway, I wonder how I'm going to go on...we hadn't talked about names yet, but I'd wanted to name her Hannah. When The Dear Daddy gets home we stand in the kitchen holding each other. We're both grateful that we hadn't told the kids about this pregnancy yet. We've been through many hard and painful things in our long relationship. The losses of parents, jobs, friends, siblings, a few dreams we'd had to discard, some terrors we'd had to face. This new pain proved to be the single most awful thing we'd experienced. It also turned out to be in the long run, the thing, the tie, the glue, that would hold us together forever.

But that was before. To this day I cannot hear that song without remembering Hannah, but it's still a favorite all the same.  So today on my way to see Dr S, I pulled over to the side of the road to dig that CD out. It just felt right as I slipped it into the player.

During the appointment there's a nurse on my left taking a health history and the ultrasound tech on my right, busily sliding a goo covered wand over my abdomen. What's different this time is that good ol' Dr S is standing over the tech watching. Different than before of course because this is today. While the nurse on my left continues asking questions I am vaguely aware of the big LCD screen mounted on the wall above the exam table. I see a jumping yellow line across the bottom and assume it's uterine thrill. I also see hazy black-white-grey images and assume it's my uterus. I must have really been counting on bad news because I've seen a ton of ultrasounds in my private life and in my career, but I had no clue until Dr S said, "Let Mom hear." Then it clicked. It was the heartbeat. My baby's heartbeat. The tech ran the cursor over the baby. My baby.

Dr S says the baby looks great and it's heartbeat is just fine. He cannot find a source of the bleeding I've been having and sees none now. He wants me to take a baby aspirin every day and to stop working to be on bed rest. He said the baby's size is consistent with a seven week intra uterine pregnancy and gives me an estimated due date of December 6th. Just like before. Hannah's EDD was December 6th. But this is today and I have two pictures of the tiny little baby growing inside me today.

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