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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?