After watching my wife go through what seemed to be the longest 9 months of her life, a pregnancy that never gave up punishing her. Watching as she endure a 36+ hour labor, being sent home only to come back to hospital 4 hours later to be told, “you are faking it, just go home”, and being wheeled into surgery less than 30 minutes later too, “Oh so you weren’t lying, Mrs Usher!!” we welcomed our Eden Rose into the world, 3 weeks early and full of life. (short version from a husband who really has no idea!!)
Being 3 weeks early Eden was taken into the Special Care Nursery for observation due to a myriad of “complications” (including but not limited to multiple holes in her heart, but that’s another story), it was here that my Journey unfolds.
I remember being called into the “Private room” (otherwise known as the Doctors torture chamber) 3 hours after Eden was born. The Doctor (Lurch), a life sapping shell of a man advised us in his morbid, lifeless, unattached, emotionless, uncaring and hopeless manner that they expected our little girl had Down Syndrome.
As he looked up at me, with what seemed to be a certain expectation of response, all I can recall coming out of my mouth was “What’s the problem, She is Perfect By Design.” A statement that I stand by to this day and that I will speak over her life every day. After taking a step back and what seemed like a few minutes to gather his thoughts, he spluttered on about support systems, groups and leaflets (oh the leaflets) available if we should need them.
To be honest, I knew he was talking but it sounded like the teacher from a Charlie Brown cartoon, “waah, wah wah, wahrt wahrt, blah blah!!!” all I wanted to do was be next to my little princess (who had tightly grabbed and never let go of my heart at 9 weeks old, when I heard her heart beating for the very first time) and support my wife and son (Israel, 4yrs old).
That day 19th April, 2013.
A day that forever changed our lives.
A day and now a year that was filled with doubt, confusion, misunderstandings, fear, guilt and shame. (I’m not sure if those feelings are usual or allowed but the truth is they were there along with many others.)
A day and a year filled with so much more pride, inspiration, joy, faith, hope, LOVE, courage, endurance, growth, LOVE, worth, value, belief, strength, grace, LOVE, vision, expectation, support, family, friends, LOVE, anticipation, and LOVE. (Did I mention Love!!)
A day that I am thankful to God for every moment of my life since.
Eden Rose, you have captured and captivated the hearts and lives of more people in 1 year than I have in my entire life, you are born with a purpose, greatness and appointment. You bring people together regardless of age, ethnicity, wealth, health, culture or status. You teach them how to love and how to be loved, completely & unconditionally.
I can only begin to imagine what you can teach the world, what you can teach me!
When I look at you words fail me, when you catch my eye the world fades away!