The day after Pearlsky was born was devastating. Period. She was born around four in the afternoon, in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) by six, but no panic buttons were yet pushed. That was the next day.
The week is a blur. We were told Pearlsky would never leave the NICU. I did what I had to do, supported Pearlsky’s mom, dealt with other side issues (Dad’s five bypasses the same day), and made it home with my daughter. I spent a week or two mourning, yes mourning, the daughter that I did not get, a week or two to get over the shock, the loss, the confusion. And then I rallied, got my shit together, and never looked back.
When David was born, and when we discovered he had the same issues, it was, in comparison, easy. I knew nothing else. I did not know what a normal kid was all about. I got what I knew, and heck, that’s always easier to deal with, no?
Do you remember the shock? Either around the birth, or later in the emergency room after the stroke, or the week of the first infintile spasms, that first seizure (or, more ominously, the second)? Remember that doctor, the look in her eyes, knowing that he or she is holding back tears telling you that she has no clue what you can expect?
How did you act? How did you deal?
I am tempted to say we all deal differently, but I suspect there are more similarities than differences.
Some deal with it with tremendous grace. I don’t know about you, but I want whatever it is he or she is smoking.
(I am not sure “grace” is the right word, but then, I am not sure what is.)