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This is Nella's Story
March 10, 2010 5:49 PM   Subscribe


 
"I often hear from women "you don't know my situation", and I wonder what that means."

It means you don't know their situation. It does not invite simplified speculation.
posted by vapidave at 6:53 PM on March 10, 2010 [7 favorites]


warning: tears.
posted by emjaybee at 7:15 PM on March 10, 2010


Beautiful story, beautiful pictures. You got me boo-hooing.
posted by ColdChef at 7:18 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Awww...
posted by Mister_A at 7:41 PM on March 10, 2010


That was gutwrenching, and beautiful, and beautifully written, and made me sob. It takes a lot of courage, I think, to be that honest.

(And both Nella and Lainey are so cute they make my teeth ache. SO cute!)
posted by sarcasticah at 7:49 PM on March 10, 2010


I was okay until the pictures of big sister meeting Nella for the first time. Ohhh, how beautiful. Humanity makes my heart just fill to bursting sometimes.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 7:50 PM on March 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


So unbelievably beautiful. What love, what joy out of what many could view as a terrible thing. There is magic in that extra chromosome.
posted by Leezie at 7:51 PM on March 10, 2010


That was lovely. Special props to the pediatrician for handling that so well.
posted by serazin at 8:05 PM on March 10, 2010


I'm not what you expected, but oh, please love me.

Quit hogging the Kleenex, ColdChef.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:11 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Really good piece. No pretence, just feelings. She's lucky she got so many good pictures to go with it - the one with the champagne glasses in the foreground and her looking so.. can't describe that look... in the background was just stunning. And then after, with her other daughter...

Just lovely, really.
posted by h00py at 8:18 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I need more tissues, what a touching story.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 8:33 PM on March 10, 2010


I read this a few weeks ago- what an incredible story. Thanks for posting.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:46 PM on March 10, 2010


This kind of made me wish that I'd had champagne and a tiara when I had my baby. The photos are gorgeous, and the story is so honest and beautiful.
posted by lexicakes at 9:16 PM on March 10, 2010


Ones that spoke volumes...arms pulled tightly around my neck, lips pressed against my forehead and bodies that shook with sobs...sobs that told me they felt it too...they felt my pain and they wanted to take it away.

DS isn't going to be a walk in the park, but it sure as heck isn't a life that is so bad that it should break the hearts of others. Sobbing while hugging the new mother seems very wrong to me. Grossly inappropriate, IMO.

Great photos. Candid snaps of close people having a moment of pure love and joy are always happy-inducing, especially when interspersed with well-composed "set" shots to draw us into the scene. I love this part of the web, the intersection of blog, amateur photo geek, and real-life human interest story, with no motivation or compensation other than to share.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:02 PM on March 10, 2010


All siblings should get tiaras when a baby is born.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:03 PM on March 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Just beautiful. Thanks for the post.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:28 AM on March 11, 2010


DS isn't going to be a walk in the park, but it sure as heck isn't a life that is so bad that it should break the hearts of others. Sobbing while hugging the new mother seems very wrong to me. Grossly inappropriate, IMO

Oh, I don't think they were sobbing about the DS, they were sobbing at the mom's pain. Bit of difference there, I think. And mom was transitioning to her new reality, along with all those hormonal drops (which are quite interesting enough period) so...yeah, not inappropriate in my book. It's what SHE needed at that point.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:11 AM on March 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


DS isn't going to be a walk in the park, but it sure as heck isn't a life that is so bad that it should break the hearts of others. Sobbing while hugging the new mother seems very wrong to me. Grossly inappropriate, IMO.

I have a family member with Down's, and she's a happy, funny, capable, loving person with lots of people who love her.

That said, I think that finding out, at birth, after hours of labor, that your child will suffer chronic health problems leading to a low life expectancy, mental retardation, and a difficult social life would be quite an emotional blow. It doesn't mean she won't love and care for her daughter. I'd be crying if I were Kelle, and I'm not sure I'd bounce back quite so quickly as she seems to have.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:17 AM on March 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


Thank you for the beautiful link.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:49 AM on March 11, 2010


I think it was appropriate for the mother to have tears. But for others to be "shaking with sobs"? That's a bit too much "omg, how horrible, it is a disaster, omg, the pain, the pain!" for me.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:59 AM on March 11, 2010


God, crying at work now. Thanks a lot.

It takes me back when I was pregnant. I didn't 'get' it when it came to development. But as the weeks went on and I checked BabyCenter with pictures of development, etc. it slowly came. My husband was a big proponent of amnio. At the time I was indifferent. I didn't get it. I understood in clinical terms what it was and what it meant but I didn't correlate that it gives women options if the results come back not so favorable.

Then the weeks went on. Then the day before and I freaked. I thought "OMG, you mean if these results come back unfavorable, you're in favor of aborting it? 16 weeks?" It killed me. I immediatley became protective, scared, bonded, and angry at my husband. He and his doctor friends (all male) were the ones who pushed his thinking of "it's too hard to have a baby who isn't normal" (their words).

I never thought I would get pregnant. I did (with help). And you say I would have to get rid of it if it wasnt in your sense of what is normal (and yes, he was talking about a baby with Downs).

Our son came out fine. But while I may or may not ever get another amnio to prepare, there is no f'in way I could ever terminate. Nella is beautiful and to say she's not perfect in her own right is disgusting.

(and not getting into prolife/choice issues or feelings. To each is own. I'm open minded for everyone else's rights/choice. It's just not something I could do anymore.)
posted by stormpooper at 10:20 AM on March 11, 2010


I think it was appropriate for the mother to have tears. But for others to be "shaking with sobs"? That's a bit too much "omg, how horrible, it is a disaster, omg, the pain, the pain!" for me.

I came pretty close to "shaking with sobs" just reading this from a safe distance. If I had been there with someone I loved who was dealing with a blow like this, it's a pretty good bet that tears would have been flowing. All of my babies were perfectly healthy and fine, but some of my family members cried when they were born too. The birth of a child can be a very powerful emotional and overwhelming experience for all involved even when there isn't a problem. No shock that emotions were running high in this case.
posted by Dojie at 1:36 PM on March 11, 2010


Yah, I suppose. And at any rate, the family is undoubtedly going to fall completely in love with their child, as they are supposed to.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:52 PM on March 11, 2010


Wow. Just. Wow.

What a lucky little girl to be born into so much love.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:18 AM on March 12, 2010


I'd be crying if I were Kelle, and I'm not sure I'd bounce back quite so quickly as she seems to have.

I don't mean this to be cruel, and I certainly haven't raised any children, much less ones with Downs, but.

I wonder if part of the "bounceback" is her telling herself stories about how it's going to be okay. But in many ways it isn't. She hasn't yet faced the heartbreak of developmental delays or stops. And there's nothing to indicate (from a quick glance) whether Nella is mildly or severely affected, or if there's even a way to know that yet, but if she's severely affected they haven't yet faced watching their first daughter grow up in ways that Nella won't, and they haven't yet faced the other health problems that are associated with Downs, and they haven't yet faced the prospect that they might need to institutionalize Nella for her sake or the sake of the rest of their family, and they haven't faced the mix of an adult's body with a non-fully-adult mind in it, and they haven't faced watching their daughter lapse into dementia in her 30s or 40s. Or she might be relatively mildly affected and have a life similar to Andrea Friedman's.

I'm sure they'll manage. People manage through this or other things that outsiders would call catastrophes all the time, and pretty commonly manage them to the point that it feels normal to them. But the blog post read to me like someone putting on a brave face.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:27 AM on March 12, 2010


Well, the baby did roll over at 6 weeks. Which is pretty darned early even for a "normal" baby.

Besides, none of us are handed guarantees with any of our children. To have children in the first place is to risk your heart being broken in a million little pieces, and that can happen even when they reach adulthood.

It's still worth it, to be called Mom.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:34 PM on March 12, 2010


I'd like to apologize (somewhat) for my comment. I quoted from the same page as the the single link above and I think that is reasonable. I debated whether or not to comment for about 10 minutes and revised it several times. I'm happy for children and kindness and love though I remain estranged from people that think that those thoughts do not enter into the decision of whether or not to have an abortion. I stand by what I said.
And a little background if I may. I've defended SAotB and her right to say what she wishes, and I always will. Full Stop. I did however find her post to be typically and unproductively anecdotal and agenda driven. But she and I communicate and understand in different ways. I'm certain I am as welcome in her house as she is in mine.
So it goes.
posted by vapidave at 7:36 PM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


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