The doctor delivered the news just five minutes after we had delivered and fallen in love with the first superhero to ever join our family.
Super-Spouse and I had just completed the feat of all feats — staying awake for 24 hours without anything but a sneaked-in Handisnack to keep us energized, cheering one another on in our tiny post hospital room as we prepared to change our official titles.
From young, naïve IDIOTS to young, naïve, idiotic PARENTS.
We were holding sweaty hands, smiling from ear to ear and just in total awe and amazement at the little boy we had somehow created, now being observed and examined in the careful hands of his doctor.
We were mesmerized.
We were in love.
And after spending nine long months dreaming about and imagining what this baby and this moment would feel like, we didn’t think anything could possibly bring us down.
Until the pediatrician our delivery doctor had summoned spoke.
“The bridge of your baby’s nose is wide, his ears aren’t aligned and frankly, he’s just what we call an FLK,” the pediatrician told us. “A funny-looking kid.”
Super-Spouse and I looked at each other, and after 24 hours with no sleep and more than an hour trying to push out a baby, I was delirious, in pain and almost couldn’t process what the doctor said.
Our baby, our beautiful, flawless baby, minus the bruises and the head malformation that came from hours of pushing, looked perfect to us.
“I’m going to order a full chromosomal karyotype,” he told us. “Since you two aren’t FLPs — funny-looking parents — I’m concerned about your son’s health. If he doesn’t have Down syndrome, I’m 99 percent sure he has something. This chromosomal analysis will tell us what it is.”
And then, as quickly as he entered our life, he left it … in complete and utter upheaval.