When Bridgie was born there was for me a very real and transforming moment.
In the middle of the night, in a dark hospital room, my husband asleep on the pull out sofa thing, my newborn daughter asleep in the bassinet.
It had been a long day that culminated with a beautiful baby girl with sparkling blue eyes and the cockeyed glance.
The big girl version of the cockeyed glance
Baby Bridgie brought something extra with her. No not a chromosome or a medical issue.
Bridgie brought peace.
Bridgie brought a long overdue peace to my hardened, burdened, confused heart.
It was instant that feeling of peace.
I saw her little face all swaddled up as they brought her to my side after the c-section.
I knew two things in that instant.
Down syndrome and peace.
They took her away and I marveled at what had just happened as I lay under layer upon layer of warmed blankets feeling the warmth of the morphine deep in my veins.
My human brain tried with all it's might to tell me to scream out, what's wrong with my baby!!!????
Over and over this scenario played out within me.
And each time, my heart answered with peace.
Late that night in the dark of the room. I tried to play devil's advocate with my heart.
Down syndrome, what will it mean. Will she live? Will Erin and Eoin accept her? Will she burden them?
I tried with all my might in my post-morphine mind to make myself think logically.
Down syndrome is bad, right?
We don't want this, we can't do this, right?
I tried to push past the lucidity of the peace that enveloped me.
I tried to analyze this with my hardened, burdened, confused heart.
I succeeded in working myself up.
I mean, sweaty palms, mind racing, heart palpitating, legs shaking, cold nervousness in my veins, the taste of bile in my throat.
And as fast as I brought it on, it was gone.
The peace, the peace I could not fight.
What I knew was that I loved this little girl ferociously and nothing else mattered.
In this day there were many defining moments.
The loudest, most clarifying, and pervasive moments were the unspoken.
The nurses who said nothing about our baby girl who obviously had Down syndrome. They knew it we knew it and we said nothing.
Looking back, I was selfishly keeping her and her potential diagnosis to myself because I did not care or want to hear what they thought or had to say.
I already knew what I needed to know.
There was the unspoken by my husband reeling in his own way.
Not a word of negativity, not a word of nonacceptance.
Somehow, we mangled through that first night each in our own cocoon.
Feeling alone, feeling scared, feeling what we did not exactly know.
What we do know is that we were not alone.
About the author: Cindy Bryl, a mother to three perfectly crazy kids, tries to lead a simple Christian life in the suburbs of Maryland. Teaching her kids to have great manners, to be kind, and walk in the steps of the Lord while maintaining her sanity by continuing her own walk with the Lord through triathlon training. For more rantings and ravings about her 'five family' please check out her blog: Life is simple, it's just not easy.