Around noon today our front door opened. Wayne walked in from work and he looked terrible. He has been stuffy for a few days but he must have gone downhill during the morning. I’m sure the string of sleepless nights didn’t help his immune system either. He looked exhausted and miserable. He went straight to bed. The last thing we needed was for him to be sick. I needed him to take care of himself so he can walk with me through this misery.

Madeline and Wayne were asleep while I was in the living room. It was around 3:30pm or 4pm. I don’t remember what I was doing when my phone rang. I recognized the number. It was someone from the hospital calling. I felt sick. I knew this was the preliminary results phone call. I answered the phone. It was the genetic counselor with the results. She seemed perky, but I wasn’t willing to believe she had good news. I asked her to hold on a moment so I could wake up Wayne. Wayne jumped up as soon as I said, “The genetic counselor is on the phone.” He took the phone because I started to tear up at the thought of our baby’s fate being shared with us in the next few seconds. Wayne is our spokesperson because once I start crying, I can’t speak a coherent sentence. God Bless him for being so strong.

It felt like she was taking forever to get to the diagnosis… or no diagnosis. I began to shake. Finally she said it.

We have confirmed your baby has a trisomy 18 diagnosis. Your baby has an extra chromosome 18.

All I could do was cry.

Wayne asked what the sex of our baby is. A little girl. Madeline has a sister. A sister she will not get to grow old with. I have two sisters. I did not care if we were having a boy or a girl. But since I have experience with sisters, I was crushed to know my little girls aren’t going to be able to borrow clothes from each other, giggle together, and become best friends. I have cried a great deal over the last two weeks, but knowing that Madeline has a sister, a sister who has so many complications, made me inconsolable.

The counselor could hear my sobs. She asked if we had any questions. We didn’t. We knew what this diagnosis meant given the number of significant complications our baby had. We were crushed. We just needed time to be sad before we could really process what this meant for us. The counselor offered her condolences and we hung up.

We hugged and cried. Our worst nightmare had come true. Why was this happening to us?

Eventually, Wayne started making the calls to family and a few friends. He asked these folks to spread the word. We were just too emotionally exhausted to make another round of sad phone calls.

Madeline woke up from her nap. Oh, how I held her tight. Some day we will have to tell her about her little sister. What a great BIG sister Madeline will make… even if it is a long distance relationship.

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