I remember driving to the hospital thinking to myself “In a day, or two I’ll be home with our new baby, and Amari will finally be a big sister.” Little did I know that life had a completely different plan for all of us. I like to think that everything happens for a reason. This had to happen, but now I look back at it all, and I get it. We’re all in a great place right now in our life’s, we’re all together.
Ariana’s birth experience was nothing like I planned. It was the hardest moment in my life.. When she was finally with us, I only had her a minute.. Or Maybe two before she was whisked away, and taken to the NICU. I’m still working my feelings around the two months.. Two very long, hard, never ending months that Ariana was in the NICU for. I’m thankful for everything her doctors, and nurses did. I’m just still coping with the time loss with my newborn. All that skin to skin I had planned, the way she was suppose to meet her big sister, or the alone time mike, and I had planned for her very first day with us… We’ll never get that back… And I’m just trying to be okay with that….
Ariana finally came home on July 26/2014, she was almost two months old, about a week from being. Her homecoming is somewhat a big blur in my mind. It’s one of the best days of my entire life, but details leave my mind. I guess maybe because it all felt so unreal. Many, many times before that day, doctors would tell us “okay, today is the day!” And it would never happen. I didn’t believe she was coming home until we took our first steps out of the hospital. In my mind we couldn’t leave that place any faster! When we finally did, my first thought was “she’s finally mine.”
As soon as Ariana got home we were bombarded with doctors appointments, therapy evaluations, and then Therapies. At one point Ariana had a doctors appointment everyday for two weeks straight. I thought I was going to lose it. Not because it was hard.. Because it was as if the hospital still had her, she wasn’t completely mine, yet. But, she was home so I was extremely happy. I love waking up to my girls in the morning. Hearing Amaris little voice say to Ariana “good morning ari” brings this amazing, unrealistic, unbelievable happiness to my heart.
Ariana finally started her regularly scheduled therapies, and life seems so much easier, and smoother. We have a schedule now, and I got me an awesome mom planner that keeps my head on straight. *thank you mom planner creator!* besides getting used to Ariana’s schedule, I had to learn how to take care of her.. It was a little hard, only because she was on a hospital schedule, and she thought night was day, and day was night.. I had to meet my newborn at three months old, I could finally stare at her for hours, and learn her dislikes, and what she loves. I could finally, at three months old give my newborn all the love I had planned to give her.
At 4 months this little princess of mine gave us her first smile, and her first giggle. Which was amazing! I feel like the information that you get about your child that is born with Down syndrome at the hospital needs some serious changes. When Ariana was diagnosed all I really wanted was someone that has been where I am now to tell me “it’s all going to be okay” someone to tell me that “your baby will smile, and giggle.” Not a pamphlet that says “some babies with Down syndrome tend to not smile, or show any interaction, or social skills until a later age”… Really? Last possible thing a new parent wants to hear. I promise.
At 5 amazing months Ariana discovered her feet, can roll over, and almost sit on her own! She lifts her head with no support from us, and follows you with her eyes.. Sometimes, if you call her name she’ll respond. I know some of these things might seem like no big deal… And I know I use to think that also. But, trust me.. All these things she’s doing are a HUGE deal! Babies with Down syndrome do have different obstacles to overcome, some obstacles are as “simple” as trying to keep your head up steadily. Everything Ariana does from discovering, and grabbing her feet, to just following us with her eyes is a big celebration in this Bautista household! When Amari sees that Ariana lifts her head up, or rolls over on her own, she yells out “you did it ari!!” And we have a little celebration dance party in our living room.
Now, looking back I can’t even begin to describe how fast these 6 months flew by. My newborn turned into this amazing, chubby, full of personality little person. She tells me when she likes something, and when she’s not a huge fan about it. I know her like the palm of my hand.. Maybe even better. I don’t stare at the palm of my hand like I stare at her, how I study her, how I love her. She’s learned so much, she’s progressed so much in these short couple of months that she’s been home, that I can’t wait to see what else she will accomplish, what else she will learn.