April 6, 2011

Here goes nothin' !

So I have been yippin' to the hubby about starting this blog, not because I think I have anything too terribly important to put out there, but I find my family extremely inspiring and hilarious, my favorite past time is chatting about them to anyone who will listen...so here goes nothin'!

First a lil' background on my "Sweet Littles"....

 I always had pets and could not imagine loving anything more than my first pooch Baker. I think a few of my friends thought me getting a dog would be a bit disaterous, but the love I felt was infectious, and from that moment I knew I wanted kiddos of the two legged variety someday.  I was addicted to the unconditional love I felt from  her and could not wait to start a family and hopefully give that same feeling to another lil' person!  Enter....hubby.  Well, at the time we met I had no idea we would be where we are today.  He was a punk surfer kid, friends with my neighbor, who loved to ruffle my feathers and attempt to beat me at various games...pinball, horseshoes, slip n' slide wiffle ball.  Little did I know that summer in San Diego would change my heart and my life so dramatically.

We married a few years later and not too long after that found out we had a bun in the oven.  Such exciting times!  Of course we have no self control and shouted it to the rooftops..only to miscarry at 11weeks.  It was a devistating feeling because until then I had felt pretty invinsible.  People always say things happen for a reason, although I hate it when people say it to you when the "thing" is happening, I do believe it and feel these life experiences make us better human beings, better friends, wives, mothers.  I will talk alot about taking things for granted, and I think this was my first glimpse of trying not to do so.  You never think these types of things will happen to you...and then they do..do they ever!

My pregnancy with my first daughter Ella Mae, was wonderful...no morning sickness, not too much back pain. My only complaints were heartburn and my feet gained a full size!  What's up with that??  I didn't have a huge shoe collection to begin with, and then all of the sudden none of them fit.  I felt kinda like Fred Flintstone...but I am not complaining, it could have been worse.  Anywho..she was a full two weeks late, we had a beautiful birth at a birthing center, they plopped her on my chest and she never left my side. (could be why she still doesnt sleep through the night and we here the pitter pats to our room in the darkness.  Ha!!)  She is this crazy athletic, energetic two year old with these big blue eyes that are engrained in my heart.  I thought I knew what love was when I first looked into Baker's lil' eyes and felt that wet nose on my cheek....but I had NO idea.  Not that my love for her was not real, but the intense connection I felt with my daughter the moment I held her in my arms was no comparison.

After Ella's birth I knew I wanted another one.  It is true what they say...you forget the pains of child birth the instant they place that" little" in your arms.  My hubby laughs cuz I always say that her birth "wasn't that bad" and he certainly remembers a different oppinion I may have given midway through labor.  But nonetheless..I was ready for another.  Little did I know how much our next pipsqueak would rock our world!

This is where the whole "taking things for granted" thing comes into play again.  My pregnancy with Ella Mae went smooth with no major issues as I said, so I just assumed that's how this pregnancy would go.  Everything seemed to be going beautifully..we did the 20 week ultrasound in 3D and she looked just like her big sis in the pictures.  It was un-canny!  It was only until I was getting further along that I noticed differences.  I never really felt like I was getting bigger and she didn't move quite as much as I had remembered Ella Mae moving around.  I would mention it to people and they would say "everything is fine..all pregnancies are different" or " maybe she is balled up tight".  My mid-wife at 34 weeks said I measured small, but didnt' seem too concerned until at my 36 week appt I had not gotten any bigger.  You can imagine the horror I felt as she said I needed to go to their neo-natel specailist Dr right away.  I just kept thinking "she's OK...everything will be OK..It just has to be."  The Dr. confirmed she was an itty-bitty and wasn't growing in my belly, and from his office I was to go home and pack my bags and we were gonna have this lil' lady today or tomorrow.  He was so calm and matter-of-fact about everything, reassuring me that she was fine, just small, my body wasn't giving her the nutrients she needed to grow so we had to get her out so she could grow outside my belly.  I could not believe this was happening!  How could my body have failed her?  As a mother, you put all the blame on yourself.  It is a horrible feeling and it is hard not to, as you are the one and only person (minus the one swimmer from the hubby) this baby has relied on since conception. Ruby was born the next day via C-section.  Her birth was the complete oppostite of anything I had known with Ella Mae, but still just as beautiful because what I got out of it was my sweet lil' Ruby Doobs (there are many nicknames to come)!

I had only seen my sweet Ruby's face for 5 seconds and kiss her tiny cheek once before the neo-natel team wisked her away, and my hubby to follow.  I lay there in the cold room just thinking..."What the heck is taking so long??  Just stuff everything back in and sew me up so I can get to my baby!!"  It seemed like an eternity, but finally they wheeled me into a recovery room where my body was shaking and teeth were chattering so loud I could barely concentrate on what my hubby was saying.  "She's doing good..She squeezed my finger...breathing on her own.."  Dangit!!  My body is failing me again and not allowing me to get up and run down the hall to hold her!!  I can barely even hear above the chattering of my own teeth!  And then the moment that rocked our world...In ones lifetime I think every experience brings you to where you are today, but certain ones define who you are as a human being. For me, I think all my life-learning experiences were preparing me for this one moment...luckily I have had lots of them, so I think I was ready...

Ruby's Doctor, one we had not met yet, comes into the recovery room and is telling us the details of her medical needs..she will more than likely be in the NICU for a few weeks...she is on oxygen to help her, altthough her lungs are good..yada yada yada.  At this point I am physically holding my jaw closed to stop the chattering so I can try and hear what he is saying.  And then he says without warning, "She has several soft signs of Down Syndrome"  and proceeds to go over them...large gap between big toe, space between thumb and index finger, low muscle tone, ears slightly low.  He goes on to say they are pretty sure but are going to send off the chromosome testing and we will know in about a week.  "OK" he says.. and just walks off.  WOW!!  My hubby looks down at me and says "did that conversation just happen?"  I wonder now through this experience if Doctors become numb to the fact that they are "rocking your world"..but I guess there may not be a "right way" as everyone is different and what might be the "right way" for one is not for the next guy. 

I am lucky in the fact that my hubby and I are one in the same, for the most part, when it comes to dealing with life situations.  To us, there is one way to go...forward.  We both process for a few minutes...and then all I can think about is holding my sweet baby girl and kissing those tiny cheeks again!  As soon as I can feel my legs move I insist that the nurse put me in a wheel chair and roll me down to the NICU.  On my way there I have a looming fear...am I going to be able to give her everything she needs to grow and be all she can be?  Can I rise to the challenge of loving her in the way she deserves?  I had been around only a few children with disabilities before,so was unsure of the road ahead and what it meant to have a child with special needs.  When I got to the NICU and saw my new beauty..she had an oxygen mask on, tubes everywhere, so it was quite the ordeal to get her in my arms..I knew. 

I knew she was strong. I knew she would teach me and guide us, give us the strength we needed to be the parents she needed.  I knew that extra chromosome was no mistake..she was perfect in every way.  She was special, not because she had Down Syndrome, but because she was our wonderful lil' lady that posessed the best parts of both me and my hubby in that extra chromosome.  I knew then our journey ahead might be different then we had planned, but life is beautiful..and at the end of the day I get to kiss the sweet cheeks of my wonderful ladies, not to mention my hubby.  So if you feel like your world has been rocked...I say "Rock on Peeps!"


  1. you wonderful woman, mom, and writer! I am enjoying this so much. I look forward to reading further adventures of this sweet lil family.

  2. I love this! You made me cry!! Ahh... Pearl and Erik and I are glad to know you guys.

  3. You really are incredibly inspiring... Hearing your story yesterday and reading it now, I am overwhelmed with the love these children bring into our lives. I am so glad I finally reached out to find other moms, and I hope Ruby and Dorothy will be great friends... born only 4 days apart! So amazing. Thank you so much, Liz!!