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After a full night of labour we decided to go to the hospital in the morning. So we took Merel to her sitter and away we went.

After a quick check up by the gynecologist, they decided that a c-section had to be performed. The baby wouldn't go down. We ware happy about that because the delivery of Merel , that eventually ended in an c-section, was hell.

So on to the OR and waiting for the 'big bang'. But that was the start of disaster. Because the IV was entered to late, bloodpressure and heart rate dropped and Arenka passed out. After a slight panic and the giving of some medication, she came back. And Summer was born at 9.28 AM.

While they showed Summer to me, I instantly saw something wasn't right. After the usual ride to the delivery room with my child, while Arenka was sleeping her aneasthesia off, the pediatrician came and took a look at Summer.

He turned around and gave me a hammerblow. "she looks healthy but I think she's a mongool." (thats dutch for mongol, a word that unfortunately still is used here for Down's). At that moment the lights went out and I passed out.

Summer an hour old

And there you are with a baby in your hands, en you look at her and ask yourself:' what now?'. The most horrific things run through your mind...
Even the wish that it would be better if she could pass away because we got nothing to offer to each other.
When Arenka, not knowing anything, enters the room, it's even harder. The pediatrician should be present to help me tell her......but he wasn't. A mistake in a long line of mistakes.
So you ask her yourself if she has seen Summer. And you tell her ,while turning the crib around and you see her world falling apart too.

And so mother and daughter are taken to a room and I, the desperate dad, leave the hospital to tell the news to family and friends.
I decide to tell everyone right away. 
As a machine I call up everyone and repeat this sentence: 'we got a daughter, but..........she's got Down Syndrome'.
Every reaction imaginable passes me, some don't say anything anymore, some cry and some tell you the normal cliches ("there so sweet")......but everybody is lost for a while.
After 10 phonecalls I stop. The most severe reaction comes from grandad.
Grandad is totally lost and, when I hear that big man break up, I have to cry so terribly that I stop the call.


Copyright 2001 Rob Breedeveld