...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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Friday, November 13, 2009

Love at First Sight

Sometime around two am The Other Mommy went home. She'd had a full eventful day to say the least, and we both knew The Middle would be up before the chickens.

It was about four in the morning when a nurse came in wheeling "A visitor" for me. When I finally got to hold my little William the first time with just the two of us, all of my fears and worries fell away. I held him to me and pressed my lips to his temple. "There's my little Stinkerie," I whispered, "I missed you baby." Over the next little while we made another attempt at nursing and I got to know my newborn. I say 'another' because I have the proof of pictures that The Other Mommy took in recovery that we did try to nurse then.

It seemed like I'd had only minutes with him then, and I have only the vaguest memory of holding him to my breast and helping him to latch on, and wondering if I could indeed live through the pain in my body.

And now here he was in my arms to savor. His little face was pink and rather round, puffy. He did look quite a bit like The Middle, but rounder, in a "same but different" kind of way. His head was shaped perfectly. His little eyes were puffy and shut tightly, with little lines across the lids. His little mouth was pursed tightly into a rose bud. I could see his eyes moving under the lids. I wondered if he was dreaming or trying to figure out how to open his eyes. He had a smattering of delicate light brown hair. I first checked to see that all three sections were present in both pinkie fingers. They were. He had one straight simian line along both palms. I pressed my lips to his miniature hands, kissing them both. His eyes may be a little tilted, but it was hard to tell with him so puffy. His nose was perfectly shaped, tiny little bridge and all. And weren't his ears supposed to be very small and set too low? They weren't. His ears looked like any other newborns ears and they were set the perfect distance between the corner of his mouth and the corner of his eye.

I laid him in the bed in front of me and rolled up the sleeves of his shirt. His arms were just the right amount of fleshy. His elbows pointy. I counted his fingers as they gripped mine. I lifted his shirt to see his belly and chest, noted the clamp around his now purple inked umbilicus. Remembered how broad and robust The Middles' chest was at birth, noted how small and narrow Jack's was. Smiled at how huge the newborn diaper was on him. His back was smooth and soft under my lips. His little legs were kicking out in rhythm. He was small. 5 pounds, 15 ounces, 18 1/2 inches long. But he was perfect. And he was mine all mine! As I watched him draw up into a little ball, legs tucking up, arms drawing in, I wondered where the soft floppy baby was? Wasn't he supposed to be soft and floppy? He wasn't. He was just like both of The Newborn Littles. I lifted both tiny feet to my lips. So sweet. Where was that sandal-toed gap? Wasn't he supposed to have that? He didn't. He had charming sweet feet. And the second toe on the right foot was a little larger than all the rest. It overlapped a tiny bit. My thumbs on his soles felt just right. I kissed them again and then fished out some tiny little white socks for his feet. Even with the cuffs folded down they went almost to his knees. Sweet little round baby knees.

The nurse brought me another magical dose of pain relieving potion. When I could finally ward off fatigue no longer, I wrapped William up tight and settled him in next to me for a nice sleep. No longer under my heart, but right next to it. Right by my side, held in the circle of my arm, my lips on his forehead for easy access to kissing. My last thoughts were of how I'd first slept with both of The Littles this way. And now it was William in our newborn bed. Just where he should be.

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