He did it. Tonight at just a little past 11:00pm, I got what I have been praying for (in fact, just less than an hour after one of my prayers): Elijah smiled at me. ...On Purpose. Then he did it again and again. Four big, beautiful smiles while looking right at me. Tears sprung from my eyes. I mean, the tears literally sprung and flowed down my face. I've been trying hard not to be bummed that Elijah doesn't really look at me, and because he doesn't really look at me, it's tough to get that first intended smile. But, tonight, I decided to try again with him. I rested him against my pulled up knees and kept trying to get his focus...he bobbed and weaved for a bit, but eventually settled and looked right at me. I was thrilled and ready to call today a success, when he responded to my ear to ear grin, with a cock-eyed grin of his own. Oh happy day! After the third smile, (where I half wondered if it was all some kind of mirage) I challenged him and said, "Come on, give me one more just so I know it's real", and...ask and ye shall receive! Since he seemed to be in a pretty smiley mood, I tried to capture in a photo, what that beautiful smile looked like. This was the best I could get, but it still makes me happy:
It was a full week for us, and yesterday was my first OB appointment since Elijah was born. I wrote a Thank you note to my doctor, Dr. Kim, but the words just seem so insignificant compared to what I really feel. This is a doctor who brings new meaning to the words "bedside manner"- she supported, encouraged and shared her faith with me throughout my pregnancy. When Elijah was born, she asked if I would like her to pray with us (!!!) I said, of course, yes. She grabbed my hand and prayed for my baby's health and for him to be a blessing to our whole family. I can't imagine that there are a lot of doctors in L.A. who offer to pray with their patients. Speaking from experience though, it would be nice if there were more who did. Despite feeling like my words were incomparable to my feelings, I managed to put together a short Thank you note and printed a picture of Elijah with his name and birth date. Dr. Kim really loved the photo and welled up a few times as we talked about how we are all doing. I left thinking about how blessed I am to have her caring for me, and incredibly touched that she felt blessed to care for me too.
Today was my 4th visit to Club 21, which is a resource program for families and children with Down syndrome. I met two more Mom's with young babies. Apparently there are 7 of us who have had babies with Ds since the end of March. It's a good amount, but also a very, very small amount when you think about the population from which we're pulled. So...there are seven of us. It kinda makes me feel like I'm part of a Superhero team. Our individual superhero powers to be determined...The playgroup today was really great. There was a Speech Therapist there to talk with us, offer advice, answer questions, etc. It was extremely helpful. It's surprising how many things set a child up for successful language skills starting at such a young age. I got a few more suggestions of things I can do with Elijah to encourage his development, and it feels really good to have something I can Do...
Well, my baby smiling high is wearing off and in it's place is pure exhaustion, so it is time to say night-night. Sweet dreams. (I know they will be for me tonight.)