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Precious Moment

There is a photo taken the morning after I had given birth to my second daughter. This photo represents everything that is important in my life. This photo is important to me because it is the first family picture that was taking after our second daughter was born. I am hunched over in agony as my daughter Ella tries ever so gently to climb on my lap. She looks at me with such concern and smiles as she settles her little bottom next to me. I feel like a total mess my hair is all over the place. I have the sagging eyes of an old woman. I basically look like hell. After all I had just given birth. On my right side is my husband Ray sitting next to me with this quirky smile on his loving face. The look of a man who just became a dad is all over his face. He looks amazing as he always does. There is not a sight of the exhaustion that I know he feels anywhere on his face. My husband is very caring and considerate. He is funny, thoughtful, respectful, and so focused on providing for his family. He is the most charming man that I have met I guess that could be why I married him. Ray is educated and always trying to teach me something about what he is working on. Ray owns his own construction business and is always working on some new project and I think that he wants me to feel involved in our business so he tries to explain what he is working on. I appreciate the effort but I really don't understand what he is talking about half the time. Ella, our adventurous little five year old obviously got a restful night of sleep we could hear her bouncing all the way down the hall not five minutes before. She is expressive, and says exactly what she is thinking all the time. She is creative and adventurous and always so full of energy. She is always coming up with new ideas or games that she can play. Her curly blond hair is all combed in tight little braids thanks to grandma. Her bright blue eyes are just sparkling with excitement that her little sister is finally here.
In my husband’s arms is our precious buddle of joy that only 12 hours ago made her appearance into this world. Maleiyah is our new baby. She has big brown eyes and the longest eyelashes that I have ever seen. She has the cutest smile that lights up her entire face. She watches everyone with such interest. I think that everything that she sees is just soaking in to that little brain and making her the smartest little girl. She watches every little thing that her big sister does and just smiles when Ella enters a room.
I remember the day that I told my husband that we were having another baby. He was at work and I called him to ask what he wanted for dinner. He said that he was going to be working late and to just make whatever. I remember saying that we needed to talk when he got home and immediately he got all concerned. I could hear the panic in his voice and I knew he thought something was wrong. I am not able to keep secrets very well so when he asked what we needed to talk about, I just blurted out that I was pregnant. I am not sure if there was relief in his voice or just more panic but he said something like I’ll be home in an hour. That was the last normal day that I can remember. Pregnancy usually goes hand to hand with happiness, but some times that delightful moment can turn into pain. When I look at Maleiyah playing actively, I remember what my husband and I went through. I will never forget the third visit to the doctor. It was supposed to be a regular visit. I had my blood drawn for some tests; the one we were most concerned about was Down syndrome because my husband’s sister has a child with Downs’s syndrome. We left with the nurse telling us they would call with the results. A few days later I got that phone call and was asked to come in to the office, which we did the next day. We were sat down with the doctor and she informed us the test was positive and there was a 25% chance that the baby would have Down’s syndrome. We were both devastated. After consulting with specialists and seeing counselors, we learned more about our situation; we learned that a human body needs 46 chromosomes in order to be born without Down’s syndrome. The next test that I had was horrible. They did an amniocentesis which is used in prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities. They took a small amount of amniotic fluid, which contains fetal tissues to test. We were told the test may take two weeks. They also gave us options to think about if this test came back positive. For those days we prepared ourselves for the worst. Almost two weeks later we got another phone call from our doctor, she went straight to the point saying "your baby is normal", we cried, we jumped, we kissed each other, now it was time to start enjoying this moment.
Two months later at our sonogram; we were happy talking to the nurse while she was performing the sonogram, kindly she was showing us on the screen the baby’s feet, the arms, the heart beating and the head. I could tell something was wrong the moment she focused on the head but she did not say a word. She excused herself and left the room. A few minutes later our doctor came in and they began to tell us that something did not look right. There she told us that they had detected something in its brain, I can’t explain the level of pain that we felt at the moment. After about a week of thinking and debating what we were going to do we decided to let nature take its course. We decided to keep the baby despite everything that people told us about raising a developmentally delayed baby. We are so happy we did. On December 9th 2011 I had a planned c section and gave birth to a beautiful and healthy 8 lbs. 12 oz. girl. I feel no anger towards the doctors even they can make mistakes. I am happy I listened to my heart, our family is complete.

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