It was hard to believe a little over a week ago that things could get better. At the time of Rachel's diagnosis and her complicated birth, I was stretched thin. I didn't think things could be worse. I didn't know how I was going to be able to handle everything. But now, a week after her birth, I find myself realizing how lucky we really are. Sure Rachel has Down syndrome, but I don't see that now that she is here. All I see is her cute little face and fingers and toes. All I see are her eyes looking for me when she hears my voice. Down syndrome isn't her, it's just a small part, something in the background. For how little and premature she is, she is also pretty healthy. Yes, she has the abdominal issue and surgery ahead of her, but her heart is strong and her lungs are strong. Every nurse at the NICU tells me about how "active" she is...and by that they mean she screams her lungs off at night! This makes me laugh because nighttime was always her most active time in my stomach. Our little girl is a fighter!
Anytime I start to feel less than fortunate, just one visit to the NICU puts everything back into perspective. A couple of days ago one baby died. The whole family was there and they saw THEIR baby die. I had a very hard time taking their cries of sadness. I don't even want to imagine what losing a baby would be like. The little girl next to Rachel is also fighting for her life. She swallowed merconium when she was born which has also given her a heart condition. This baby's mother can't talk to her daughter, hold or touch her because when she does it sends the baby's heart into overdrive. Yesterday while I was visiting Rachel, that little girl stopped breathing 3 times. I was holding Rachel at the time and I could feel her little breaths on my chest and I cried. How lucky am I?