Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

A Facebook Memory

I haven’t written in ages, yes I know. Let’s get that out of the way first. Hi, I’m here.

I’m here because Facebook reminded me that six years ago, this little girl got very very sick.

My memory of that day is vivid, far more so than the day she was born, or any other day for that matter. It’s funny how the mind works like that – like how some really big scary days get blocked out, and some others are hazy, but some are clear as day.

Sitting on the couch with her, watching her gray little face trying to gather any energy to take a bottle.

The nurse insisting that the pulse ox machine probably was broken because 77 doesn’t seem believable and rushing to get another. And Dr. Nash coming in to tell us that he had called 911.

The paramedics loading her and I onto the stretcher, holding a little oxygen mask to her face, while Ellie danced and sang and played with the firemen in the hallway.

People watching as we were wheeled out of the office and out the door. It was a beautiful, sunny day. The grass was really green.

In the emergency room, when John and Ellie arrived, and Ellie looked up at me and Tessa in the bed, and suddenly it struck me – Ellie had pink eye.

When they transferred us to our preferred hospital, I rode in the front of the ambulance, and sat in awe watching the cars that completely ignored the lights and sirens blaring, not moving out of the way for my little baby.

The respiratory specialists who met us at the ambulance and hooked her up to the little isolette. The woman had gone to church with me when I was younger. I don’t think she recognized me.

I remember walking through the underbelly of the hospital – gray concrete walls, bland beige hallways, and then to the PICU.

The smell…. does anyone who has ever spent time in a NICU or PICU ever not have a visceral reaction to that smell? The soap, the cleaners…

The constant beeping.

These things haven’t left my mind.

The common cold had caused a pneumonia so severe, a lung so saturated, that the doctors couldn’t hear it on their stethoscopes. Seven days later, we brought her home. We don’t talk about what could have happened if we didn’t have an appointment that day. There are some places that the mind just shouldn’t go. Instead, we count our blessing every day with this little girl. God let us keep her. Six years later, we are so grateful for that.


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