Nickelpicklemama's Blog

October 3, 2009

More of Our Story

Filed under: Uncategorized — by nickelpicklemama @ 12:07 pm

And now, a continuation of our story.

My brother and his wife were on cloud nine, experiencing the the joyous adrenaline rush brought on by the birth of their first child, an absolutely adorable baby boy. In their mind, everything was perfect. They had no idea of what was about to transpire.

Baby Peter was brought to the nursery to be examined. My parents and I stayed close, waiting to hear further information. When the neonatologist finally emerged, the news was not good. Peter Jr.’s condition had taken a turn for the worse, and he was now requiring oxygen to help him breathe. The doctor’s were concerned about his heart, and confirmed that there were many signs that he did in fact have Down syndrome. It was time to talk to Pete and Julie.

Since Julie had delivered via c-section, she and Pete were still in the recovery room. Everyone but my parents and me had already left the hospital, believing Peter Jr. was healthy and stable. As my parents and I followed the doctor and nurse down to the recovery room, he explained that for the sake of privacy, he wished to speak to the parents alone. We nodded. Of course.

Pete saw us coming. He smiled wide, gestured us in. We could only shake our heads. Pete then noticed that we were not alone, and his smile fell. The doctor and nurse entered the recovery room, shutting the door behind them. I lost it then. My heart was broken; my brother and sister-in-law were about to get the most difficult news of their lives, and I couldn’t do a damn thing to help. I wanted to punch the wall. I wanted to scream, to curse God and ask Him why He would do this. My brother was a good man, one of the best I’d ever known. He and Julie were such amazing and wonderful people, why were they being punished?

These feelings make me so ashamed now, but I wish to be honest. I was angry. Very angry. I wished my brother could have the child he had always dreamed of. I wished Julie could have the healthy “normal” baby I felt she deserved.

But wishes are just that. They weren’t going to change reality. We stood waiting outside those closed doors. My dad was trying to convince us, and himself, that they were mistaken; everything was fine. My mom was silently weeping, wanting nothing more than to break down the doors so that she could hold my brother, HER baby boy. She wanted to shield him from the words she knew he was hearing, and from the pain she knew they would cause. Standing there in that hallway, I experienced some of the longest and darkest moments of my life.

After what seemed like a lifetime, the doors finally opened, and we were allowed inside. Where just a short time before had been two of the happiest people on earth, were two of the saddest. My heart aches at the memory. Pete and Julie were both crying, and in shock. We held them both, and I cringe now, because we said what we believed at the time to be the right words; we said we were sorry. So very very sorry.

More later. This is a tough story to write, and it’s likely not easy to read. I’ll end this post with the assurance that although the beginning of our story is filled with pain and despair, it does get better. Peter Jr. has brought incredible amounts of joy into our lives. My initial anger with God has transformed into immense thanksgiving. I thank God every day for bringing Peter Jr. into our lives.



  1. Thanks for sharing this. It’s nice to get a family member’s perspective.

    Comment by Stephanie @ Ralphcrew — October 3, 2009 @ 7:31 pm |Reply

  2. You tell a very honest and beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

    Comment by Mary — October 4, 2009 @ 11:33 am |Reply

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