Friday, 5 October 2012

A Defining Moment

I have been wracking my brain for the past four days trying to think of one defining moment in this new journey that our family is on .    Many moments have popped into my head, but two seem to stand out for me.

The first moment.

Stella was 1 day old.  She had been breathing funny pretty much all day. Her nose sounded stuffy and I had informed a nurse in the morning.  She checked her oxygen levels and they were fine.  As the day progressed I was getting a little more concerned as her breathing still seemed very stuffy and "off".  So when the evening nurse came in I told her my concern.  She looked at Stella and wanted to take her to get her oxygen levels checked.  

"Ok, let me just change her shirt".  

She looked at me and said "don't worry about changing her, we'll take her".

Her body language, her facial expression..... something was wrong.  And off they whisked her.

I sat down, my dinner was in front of me. Macaroni and cheese.  I had a few bites.  The food went down in lumps.  Tears streamed down my face.  

I truly thought that Stella was dying!

I sobbed on the phone to my dad.  I so badly wanted my mommy.

A little bit later the nurse came back.  She told me Stella was in the NICU.

I lost it again.  I wailed, sobbed, cried "why me? why does my baby have to have Down Syndrome? It's not fair! She's dying! She's dying!"

The nurse (Nancy, is her name but I honestly can't remember for certain.  And I wish I did because she was my rock at that moment.  She helped me more than she will ever know).  The nurse just hugged me and told me that Stella wasn't dying.  Her oxygen levels were very, very low and she just needed some extra oxygen. They needed to find out if it was because of her heart.

Damn those "I just had a baby hormones!" I know they weren't helping!

So eventually I did calm down and I got to go see Stella and instantly could see how much pinker she looked. She was all swaddled up and was on oxygen and looked just down right comfy.  Almost like "Ahhhhh, that's better!"

A little later Mickey was able to come to the hospital.  Poor guy had to listen to me sob on the phone as I incoherently explained how Stella was dying (or so I thought).  All the while he's trying to deal with our bigger McG girls!  But once the girls were in bed and the sitter was there he was able to come to the hospital and see his baby girl, and see she was in fact very much alive and OK.


Her low oxygen levels had nothing to do with her heart!

Thank you GOD! Seriously, THANK YOU!!!!

They believed that her teeny tiny little sinus tubes were swollen and that was making it hard for her to get in oxygen.

Once things had settled down and I had fed Stella, Mickey and I went outside of the hospital for some fresh air.

As we sat outside, I ate a really yummy chocolate cookie (from Timmy's) and just exhaled for a moment.  As we chatted, my first defining moment hit me.

We may never have all of our children leave home.  Stella my never leave home.  Stella may always need us.  Our retirement may be not as we had originally envisioned.

And my heart hurt.

For Mickey.

For me.

For Stella.

Of course life went on and I decided to just enjoy my baby, my family and our life day by day.  Which was easier to do on some days then others.

The second moment.

I was sitting on my couch watching and filming Stella play.  She was on her belly trying to pull herself forward to reach a toy.  Just doing the typical stuff that babies do. 

It hit me.

She was doing EVERYTHING my other two McG girls did.  Just on her own time... and I was truly cherishing the slower pace!!!

Her future is bright and is full of potential just like her big sisters!  There is no limit to what she can do!

Of course along the way there have been many more moments but those two stand out to me.  Those two are the big AH HA moments on my journey to acceptance. 

A journey I am still on.


  1. That second moment... ah yes! I love that pic of you two :-)

    1. Yes, the second moment a much happier feeling for sure! Thanks for reading! :)