Spreading the News

**To catch up on this Flashback Series, click on the page at the top!**

They didn’t really remember how They got home from the hospital that day. They were definitely in shock to say the least. She didn’t think she stopped crying for the rest of the day. She was beside herself; she didn’t even know what to think about Baby Girl’s diagnosis. How had this happened? She was so angry because She couldn’t even pronounce the name of the syndrome. She kept thinking “How can I possibly be the parent of a child with this syndrome when I can’t even f***ing pronounce it??” She was sad, She was angry, She was devastated.

He was quiet.

They got home and changed Baby Girl and fed her and They went upstairs with the phone. They figured They had to call and tell their parents. How do you tell them this news? How would They get the words out? How could They crush their parents’ world with the news?

They called Her Mom first. Mom was, as she always is, very matter-of-fact. Mom was sad, of course, and worried about Baby Girl and her health; but most of all, Mom was worried about Her. “I’m ok if you’re ok” Mom said. She didn’t “get it” at that moment; She had only been a Mom for 4 days…She didn’t understand a mother’s love yet. Later, that sentence would make so much sense to Her and She would treasure it like the gem that it was.

Mom came right over to their house, hugged Her and Him with tears in her eyes and took care of Baby Girl while They called His parents. Mom took care of calling Her sister and Her Dad. This would be the first of many times that She would realize what an amazing and effortless mother She had.

He was the one to call his parents. She had only seen Him cry once before during their time together…and She hated it. Before She saw Him cry on his grandmother’s deathbed, She would always tease Him that he was a robot because he never cried. She wanted to see that; She wanted to see him express his emotions that way because She was a major crier and She just didn’t understand not crying. After this day, She prayed to whomever was listening that She never had to see Him cry again.

He dialed his parents’ number; they answered. And He broke. He absolutely broke. He couldn’t get the words out through the sob that was escaping. “We took Baby Girl for her check-up today. She has Cri du Chat syndrome.” He went on to explain, through tears, what this meant for their family. His Dad went into research mode and asked how to spell it and for more details. His Mom didn’t say much at all; She just cried. They asked them to call His sister because they just didn’t think they had anything left.

After the call to His parents, She realized that wanting to see him cry was ridiculous. She wanted to see him cry at a movie or a TV commercial, not this kind of cry. Not a cry from complete and utter devastation. How stupid was she?

The rest of the day and the next were a blur. A total and complete blur. They took care of Baby Girl, of course, tried to take care of each other and just kept trying to make sense of it all. Their sisters called to offer their support even though at this point everyone was in a state of shock after being thrust into this world that no one wanted to be a part of.

Sunday night She lost it when She realized that He had to leave her in the morning. He was student teaching at the time and had to complete his hours or he wouldn’t graduate. He had already missed 4 days due to Baby Girl’s birth. He only had a few weeks left so he had to go. This meant not only would this be the first day She was alone as a new mother, but it would be the first day She would be alone as a new mother of a daughter who had this rare, unpronounceable syndrome.

How would She survive on her own?


11 responses to “Spreading the News

  1. A scary time that is, when a family first learns of a diagnosis. The questions always out weigh the answers. The processing of such news feels impossible.

    I love reading this from the side of things you ones are on now.

  2. There is something about a guy crying that breaks my heart.

  3. Reading these the last few weeks is heartbreaking. While news like this is always scary it doesn’t have to be as bad as that horrible Dr made it for you guys. Which in the end is why know you write this blog… parents that recieve this same news will find you and know that it will really be ok. I think the part I like the best is knowing that while you are flashing back to a painful time you did comeout on the other side stronger. Just take a peak at posts earlier this week and the amazing mom you are comes thru strong. I am so proud of you that you didn’t get stuck in that moment 9 yrs ago. You gathered the strength and kept truckin. I love that you let this experience help to form you but not define you!

  4. I am so glad that you have amazing family.

  5. Thanks for continuing to share you story. It is beautiful in so many ways, so real and authentic.

  6. *sigh*

    We forget that although this is our child, such a diagnosis affects the entire family. My dad still cannot look at my son without tears in his eyes. Mostly, they are happy tears – tears of pride and joy when he accomplishes something new. But, my dad truly hasn’t stopped crying a day since the diagnosis. I sometimes think it hit him the hardest, and WE are the parents!

    It affects the parents, the grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends… That is when we realize that we are not going to be alone in this – ever. If there hearts were broken the day they got the news, they are also going to be there to hold us up when we are breaking into pieces ourselves.

  7. I owe you so many hugs when I see you again. I am proud to call you my friend now but only knew you as a professional in your life not long after all of this devastation that you were going through. I am amazed by the way you and Matt have rebounded from this to become the amazing parents of Olivia that you are. She is an amazing little girl because of the way you were able to pick up and move forward. Thank you so much for sharing this heartfelt story.

  8. As always thank you for sharing – it is so important.

  9. Thanks for making me cry twice this week! 🙂


  10. “I’m okay if you’re okay…”

    How lucky are we that we get to join this amazing band of mothers?

  11. I felt the same way when my husband cried upon learning his mother had lung cancer. Like everything was a little more out of control because he was crying. We do rely on them to be strong don’t we? I have tears from your post. So moving. Such great family support. Your mom… They are always there for us aren’t they?

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