I know that I am so fortunate to be married to Mike. He is the rock that sometimes even a strong, control freak, type A personality like me needs. I think I held his hand for 2 days straight while we were in the hospital. He never left my side. He also has an ability to cut through emotions and just get to the root of a "problem" and talk so sensibly that it allows me to "see the light" and move on. We spent so much time talking about our new life and Ella and he allowed me to say everything I felt multiple times over and never once did he tell me I was silly or to stop talking. He did though just make it all seem like it was going to be OK. He was calm and collected and everything I wasn't. He was pretty much amazing and he has been amazing through everyday of this journey. Just a few weeks ago I don't think I could have loved him any more than I already did, but I was wrong. He is the strongest, most kind hearted husband and father and loves Ella so much and is so accepting of our new life. I am one lucky girl.
But I digress.. this is about Ella, not my perfect husband... :)
That next morning I felt like a new person. It's amazing what sleep will do for a person! I just wanted to be with Ella. I wanted to hold her, study her, let her know that mommy and daddy are here and will always be here for her. I didn't feel so sorry for myself. I felt sorry for her and the challenges that will come her way but I wanted to be with her to protect her.
We met with the Dr. for the first time and it was so helpful. She was great (as was all the hospital staff) and took the time to talk with us about Down syndrome, next steps, worries and anything else I asked her about. She said that we did need to worry about 3 things at that moment: her heart (she would need an echocardiogram to rule out heart issues), her hearing and her intestines. Ella was not yet sucking so eating was quite a challenge. I equated that to Down syndrome. She put that fear to rest and reminded me that a lot of babies don't eat right away. I then remembered that one of my other kids (bad mom, I can't remember which) had the same problems. That was so helpful. We made plans to get the testing done for the 3 issues we could have at hand right now and she then just told us to love Ella and do nothing else but that!
We spent that day reading about down syndrome, crying a little and just being new parents. I had asked our family not to tell anyone about her diagnosis yet as we wanted the message to come from Mike and I first. We composed an email and sent it out to our family and friends. This was a huge relief as now the "secret" was out and we could go about talking about Ella to everyone without having to go through the "she has down syndrome" speech 50 times.