The 1st of December 2014 was the most amazing day, the day that changed my life really (yes I know it is dramatic, but really it did).
I adore my brother, he is the kindest most loyal person you will meet, he is a fair few years younger than me and whilst initially having a baby brother was quite frankly the worst thing in the world (to a 7 year old) it wasn’t long before this overwhelming want to protect him took over and this pretty much lasted until 1st December 2014!
In June I received the phone call to say that he was going to be a daddy and I was so happy for him and his lovely girl friend, he adored her and son from a previous relationship and already felt like a father figure but this was the real deal and whilst I couldn’t believe that my baby brother was going to be a daddy – it was just perfect.
The 12 week scan came back as all normal and low risk, but the 20 week scan was different. They were sent to Guys and St Thomas because of possible heart issues, my brother rang with a quiver in his voice saying that if this ‘thing’ is not there then the baby will not be compatible with life…. If I could have just wrapped them up in cotton wool and taken away the pain I would have but there was nothing I could do to help. A few days later and the scan was ok but the pregnancy remained difficult.
So roll on a few months and the waters break, I am on tender hooks and cannot wait to hear if I have a new niece or nephew and that my baby bro is a daddy.
I get the call in the small hours of 1st December, you have a beautiful baby niece and I am a daddy. She is very quiet but beautiful – I just knew that something wasn’t quite right, his voice while filled with elation had an edge. Not long after, another call, Abigail is not responding and they think she may have Downs Syndrome. Can you call Mum, Dad and Lisa and tell them.
I cannot even put into words how I wanted to change everything in that moment, I didn’t know what to do, I think I said something like, well I adore her already because she is part of you but my heart was breaking.
Then came all the other tests to confirm, is she deaf, does she have sight, will she be able to move – this wonderful little family had everything ripped apart, I could see they were trying to be brave, trying to put on a positive front but I knew they were breaking inside. It was such a shock, we knew nothing about Downs Syndrome we didn’t have a prognosis and every step of the way seemed to be worst case scenario. I cannot imagine how they coped, I cannot imagine how they must of felt, and I cannot put into words how helpless we all felt.
Fast forward a few months and whilst my little Miss Sunshine does have many hurdles to overcome and my brothers house is becoming more full of contraptions by the day to help little Miss, this little Lady has astounded me (us) with her determination and as with my other Nieces and Nephews I simply adore her, I am the proudest Auntie in the world.
Abigail Grace is pure to her very core. She is Happiness. Always smilin, her smile is contagious and she just makes me realise how lucky we are to have her in our lives.
A few months ago, honestly, I would have whipped that extra chromosome away and, I asked my brother if he could would he too? His answer was yes, absolutely, he wanted the easiest path for his beautiful daughter and in those first few months of accepting, it was a quick and totally understandable answer.
Nearly 9 months on and I asked the same question again, if you could would you take that extra chromosome away and the answer was very different.
“If taking the extra chromosome away from Abigail would stop a premature death and give her better health then yes I would, but if it would change her, her personality, her ways or her amazing soul in any way then I absolutely would not”.
Bro, I have gone from wanting to protect you, to putting you on the highest pedestal. I always thought I would be the one to advise you but it is you I look up to now. I cannot tell you how proud I am of you. I could spend hours writing this but it wouldn’t say eloquently enough what I actually feel.
I love you and your little family so much, your first born is my light when things get a little murky between my ears, she makes me happy just thinking about her and seeing you with your daughter makes me melt. Love you Bro x 50,000,001 x + 31 add another 30 (something I have said to my brother from childhood x)