If only kids came with a manual on how to deal with them, I’d say the luckiest were Moms. With all my three kids, I was asked if I wanted to have an Ultra sound for Down Syndrome – I was handed down a paper to sign. The first time I just asked one question, is it curable? The nurse replied no – but you will know ahead of time. I said, “No, I don’t want it”. In my heart, “I trust in Allah, where ever He takes me, I go”.
I am not going to go into Eman’s post delivery complications, but it is suffice to say they were already enough – I had to go early into labor. When they put her on my chest, she had bruises on her face due to the complications and swelling. My heart said something was odd. They took her away for bath and checkups.
One hour passed by, my curiosity began to rise. I asked the nurse if she slept. She said the doctor is coming to see me. My gynae came and asked me if anyone in my family had Down Syndrome? I gulped my spit and replied no. There was nothing in my mind except that paper, her face, my trust in Allah, and my heartbeat! My hands were shivering and they still do like now when I am typing this story. She held my hands and said, “Don’t worry the pediatrician will be here and she will talk to you”.
The nurse gave me a glass of water, and waited for the pediatrician. She came in and told me that Eman had all the symptoms of a Down Syndrome. The most prominent feature was the lines of the hands. She checked my hands too, if I was a Down Syndrome and never knew. And then followed a list of medical conditions consisting of astigmatism (vision problem), hypothyroidism, weak immune system, heart defects – hole in heart and heart murmur, hypotonia (poor muscle tone and duck feet), atlantoxial (upper spine risk), and sleep disorders.
I met with the Cardio surgeon, Social worker, her care taker nurse, for the next one hour, while for the next three hours she was still undergoing heart scans and sleep study. My eyes were dry, there was no emotion that I could feel except for COLD. All I wanted was to somehow see Allah and ask, “What do I do now?” The whole body was numb, there was no pain or feeling.
My husband called, he was with my other two kids 3 yrs old Fajar and 11 months old Ayan at home. I told him about what was happening. He came with the kids, Eman had come to the room by then. She was all cuddled up and smiling looking at us. The kids were delighted to see her, the first time I felt tears in my eyes. And I knew what I was supposed to do, I just hadn’t figured it out yet!
We stayed 5 days in the hospital – and then we welcomed Eman at home – the best thing that ever happened to us!