Tuesday, February 09, 2010

changing lanes

It's been over a year since my last update on this blog. A lot has changed already. We are now a family of four.

After the break of dawn on the 11th day of August, I gave birth to our second baby – our son, Liam. We have all waited for Liam’s arrival. Everyone was excited to see Caitlyn’s baby brother – the one everyone said would complete the family. Carlo and I have prepared well for the coming of Liam – bought all the baby stuff that we need, saved enough money for my delivery, renovated the 3rd room in the house for the nursery. We were ready for Liam – and so we thought. Liam caught everyone by surprise – he was born with Down Syndrome.

While parents would normally celebrate the arrival of their babies, it was different with me and the rest of the family at that time. I didn’t even know how to respond to “Congratulations” text messages. It felt like I have lost somebody. It was one of the most difficult time in my life. I wasn’t prepared for this. This was not the baby we were expecting. We have great expectations and big dreams for Liam. All of these seem to have shattered. They were all replaced by fear and uncertainties. How are we going to raise a child with Down Syndrome? Is he going to learn how to talk? Will Caitlyn be able to play with him? Will we be able to send him to school? Will he be able to feed and bathe himself? What will happen to Liam when Carlo and I are gone? Can Caitlyn take care of him? How will Caitlyn be able to accept this? There were just so many questions but couldn’t find a single answer. That didn’t seem real. I only read it from the internet. I only hear this happening to other people. Why us? Why Liam?

The first two weeks was the most difficult. There wasn’t a single day that I would not cry. I prayed everyday asking the Lord to help find the answer to my questions, to help me understand HIS purpose of giving us Liam, to help me become a stronger person for Liam and the rest of the family. During these times, I only hold on to two things: my faith and my family.

Liam will be celebrating his 6th month in 2 days. It’s been 6 months of countless trip to his doctors, consultation with a Cardiologist, Gastroenterologist, Orthopedics, Surgeon, Developmental Pedia – Liam has probably met more doctors than I did in my 33 years of existence, two long vacations at Makati Med, two pending surgeries, and a handful of maintenance medicines. We’re not out of the tunnel yet, but I can say that I’m far better now. Yes, I still cry, but for different reasons now – more often because of the overwhelming joy seeing Liam smiles.

The past six months have given me a lot of lessons in life. It made me realized my priorities. It taught me how to appreciate life. It has forced me to slow down and in the process, made me understand what is most important. It has drawn families closer to each other, and more importantly made my faith strongest. I have learned to live one day at a time and thank the Lord for each day spent with Liam. I would be honest to say that there are times when I will be all stressed and freaked out that I will end up having fights with Carlo – but these had just made us realized how much we love each other and how important our marriage and our family is to us.

It’s still a long road ahead of us, and slowly we’re gonna get there. For now, I just needed to shift gear and change lanes…

Our Liam - Jan2010

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