While logically I knew the baby's condition was out of my control, being the ableist that I was, I would have done anything for this baby to not have Down syndrome. Even though I am more spiritual than religious, I spent the day praying, reasoning and trying to make deals with God. I was desperate.
Although Delaney was Andrea's biological child, we had purposely not fallen in love with her because she was not supposed to be ours. In my desperation I told Andrea that needed to change. "This baby is sick and needs to feel love." I told her, "You have to love this baby." I knew I was grasping at straws, but in my mind I thought, Maybe love will make it not have Down syndrome. Andrea reluctantly agreed. She opened her heart to the baby.
I decided to let the baby know it was not alone. I picked the red teddy bear up, placed it on Andrea's stomach and made it sing to the baby. "I am going to do this every day and some day I am going to give this bear to the baby," I told Andrea while crying. Andrea was crying too.
The day the test results came back positive for Trisomy 21, all hope was lost and a lot of decisions had to be made. The intended parents backed out, everyone wanted us to terminate and Andrea, who was semi-catatonic, left the baby's fate entirely in my hands. At the time, I thought this was the worst day, but little did I know it was the best day.
Andrea just sat and watched video after video of kids with Down syndrome then called me to watch with her. I sat and educated myself about what Down syndrome really meant, not the medical and genetic explanations, but what it really was like. I had thought people with Down syndrome were real life monsters, but I found out I was wrong. I discovered the monster was in my mirror.
I learned a lot about myself that day, but what I realized most was that while I told Andrea to love the baby, I too had fallen in love.
As you know, we decided to keep the baby and named her Delaney Skye. I continued to make the little red teddy bear sing to Delaney every day until it finally didn't work anymore, so then I continued singing the song myself.
When Delaney was born everyone tried to get our beautiful daughter to open her eyes, but she wouldn't budge. Eventually everyone left and Andrea and I sat alone mesmerized by our new daughter, the warrior. I started to sing the song to her, "Let me call you sweetheart, I'm in love with you..." Delaney opened her eyes for the first time and looked right at me. She knew my voice and knew the song. Tears began pouring down our faces and Andrea urged me to finish singing the song which I barely managed to choke out "Let me hear you whisper that you love me too. Let me call you sweetheart I'm in love with Delaney Skye".