Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Eyes Have it

Yesterday's post got me thinking. This may sound extremely shallow, but I'm going to put it out here anyway. I created this blog to express the feelings I have and have had about Ds. I love Emmie's eyes. I love the color , I love the shape, and I really love her Brushfield spots.

But there was a time in the not so distant past that her eyes haunted me. It was the time between her diagnosis and her birth. A time that was frightening and uncertain.

When I first heard the words Ds, I was beyond devastated. My mind was spinning in a hundred different directions. All of which were out of control.

After the dust had settled, sort of... I began to think about life with a child who had Ds. And I admit, I painted a pretty grim picture.

One of the things that bothered me was that this child I was carrying wouldn't have pretty eyes. I warned you, here comes the shallow part. I was devastated that no one would ever compliment my baby on her beautiful eyes. All my other children would get remarks about their big beautiful eyes. But, alas, this one would not. I mean seriously would someone dare to compliment the one thing that (in my mind) screamed Ds?

In my mind everyone who I had ever seen with Ds all had "the eyes". The eyes that told the world they had Ds. The eyes that said they were different. The eyes that saw people staring at them. The eyes that I thought were not happy.

This really bothered me, but I never spoke of it to anyone... EVER! Until today.

Then Miss Em was born. And I looked into those eyes! I had to be the first to see them. Those eyes that would solidify our future, those eyes that would give us our final answer. Those eyes that would tell us under no uncertain circumstances if our daughter had Ds or not.

So I looked.



Because in that second that our eyes met, she cured me. I was blind when it came to understanding Ds. Everything was gray and dark.

But looking into those eyes, I saw colors that I've never seen before. Not only the blue of her eyes, but every color of the rainbow... and then some.

I saw the purest soul I will ever see, and I saw the goodness of God in those eyes.

I saw the blessing not the curse of Ds in those eyes.

I saw hope and not despair in those eyes.

And every day I look into those eyes, and I smile. My Daily Smile!

And since her birth, I have looked into many eyes. Many beautiful eyes that make me smile. Eyes of all colors that shine and sparkle like a prism.

The beautiful blue is just a perk from God, a kind gesture to a mom who always wanted a blond haired blue eyed baby, and had all but given up on that.

The beauty of her eyes comes from within, and radiates outward.

She lights the way...


The VW's said...

I love that you shared this with us, because we have all had those negative thoughts about our kiddos who were born with DS....whether it was before they were born or right after they were born. I think it's the fear of the unknown and fear of being different than others.

I, for one, actually feel a little more blessed than others because I've been given this AWESOME child and some people aren't quite as blessed! Sure, there is a lot of heartache involved, but looking at the big picture.....I and you are SO BLESSED!

They say the "eyes are the windows to our soul." I think this is why those with DS have different looking eyes. Their eyes may look different, but it's only because their souls are better than most people's! At least, that's my opinion! We can learn a lot from our special children!

I love all the colors in your post! Great job! You got me thinking, crying and happy.....all at the same time! Love and Hugs!!!

my family said...

love your post. I love the realness(is that a word?) of it. we have all had some feelings like that at some time, maybe longer than others but it is a real feeling we share.

Beautiful eyes

Chris said...


Feel the tears welling in my eyes.

Becca said...

We got Sammi's diagnosis at birth, and frankly, we barely saw her eyes since she was sleeping all the time! But I felt the exact same way. I felt that her eyes were a major identifying factor for Ds, and no one would ever call her pretty. But I LOVE Sammi's eyes, too. Along with the eyes of every person with Ds I've met to date. Biased? Perhaps, but I wonder if others have ever *really* looked...

Great post!

Rochelle said...

You SO could have warned me that this was a tear jerker...I have mascara running and have to head out to PT thanks=)

Seriously, love your words and love that God specifically reassured you with her amazingly beautiful eyes. Isn't it cool how he knows just what we need to settle our hearts.
Love you guys!

scrappy quilter said...

Okay now you have me in tears. What a beautiful post where you've been so incredibly vulnerable and honest. I said from the very beginning of your blog (if you remember) that your words encouraged me and would encourage others. You continue to do so has does your sweet little Miss Em. I'll say it again, those eyes touch the deepest part of me. She is such a blessing to you and all of us. Hugs and love

Emily said...

Alrighty... you got me crying. I know it's kind of hard for us to share the "shallow" things we used to feel. Isn't it amazing how quickly our feelings turn around. Oh her eyes are beautiful... her spirit is beautiful. Love our angels!

Carrie said...

What a beautiful post! You made me cry (in a good way!) What a blessing that one of the things you worried about actually turned out to be a source of comfort. Love this!

Anonymous said...

I was scared, too. I remember lamenting to friends before Gabe was born that he would look different. That was definitely my shallow part.

When he was born, and looked at me with his hazel eyes, he had me, hook, line and sinker. Even today, as we splashed in the pool, I found myself marveling over his beauty. And the beauty he brings out in me.

Emilia lights up my path when I am visiting blog after blog. I still remember your story about the woman holding Em and sobbing in the hospital. I don't think I'll ever forget those images created for me from that post. And the thing is, is that Emilia is SO beautiful. Everyone falls in love with those big blue ponds of sweetness!♥

Bulldogma said...

This blog was beautiful - much like one set of the most astounding blue eyes!
I too worried about how my daughter would look. I had met very few people with Down syndrome prior to The Skink's birth. I used to wonder how parents felt about kids that "looked like that." I think many of us have been subject to shallow feelings before... before we understand. Yet, a person can NOT understand before they themselves have been touched by the purity and innocence in those eyes.
Once upon a time I worried I might never be able to leave her side because of Down syndrome. Now, I am afraid someday my precious, precocious girl will choose to get married, have a full-time job and move into her own place... and I won't get to be as much of a part of her life.
It's something only WE can truly understand... and it's a pretty wonderful thing, isn't it?

Kelly said...

TEARS!! This is such a beautiful post! Although I had a risk factor for Ds of 1:3, when Landon was born, the first thing I said was, " He has the most beautiful eyes, just like his brothers"!! Imagine that, when Landon was first born and I looked at him, I had NO IDEA, that he had Ds. He was just beautiful. And when our eyes locked, I WAS looking at his soul!!

This is so beautiful Stephanie, thanks so much for sharing this!! And for allowing me to remember back to that day when my FIRST feelings for Landon were those of love (before the fear of his said diagnosis set in)!!!!

Lacey said...

that is so true! I saw the eyes as the Down syndrome "marker" as well! And look how beautiful hers are!!

Michelle said...

Sounds like you've come full circle! I think its hard at the beginning when you first get that dx and just don't know what to expect, especially if you don't have this little human being in your arms to make you see that its just a dx and doesn't define all of who they are.

We suspected Kayla might have Ds when I was pg due to the triple screen marker coming back higher risk for my age, but decided to wait till birth to confirm it. When they placed her on my lap that was the first thing I noticed - 'those eyes' and knew instantly she had Ds. I asked the midwife but she was pretty noncommittal, I kept saying, 'but look at her eyes.' And like you, I think Kayla's eyes are a gorgeous blue and sometimes it blows me away how beautiful they (she) is!

Sasha said...

I love this post. So true about all the things that our little ones eyes give and share with us. My little one has eyes that are so beautiful. They smile. Others may see that his eyes cross and shake and do a lot of things that others don't but they also go deep into your heart and melt it over and over.

Denise said... its my turn to say "Why am I crying"? All of these long comments and I am practically speechless except to say that I LOVE HER SO MUCH!!!

Tina said...

Thanks for being so honest, it's so wonderful to read that one is not alone when it comes to the negative thoughts, we are always writing about how great our kids are and how much they mean to us and how they have changed our lives, all of which is true but so rarely write about what we might have gone through at one point and that things were not always so positive, maybe the fear of sounding shallow makes us mostly leave out those bits, but I think it's what each parent goes through at some point. Will our child look different, will people stare at her, how will life be with a child with DS? How will we cope, it's a very confusing and traumatic period, but very easily forgotten once we set eyes on our child.

It's so funny how people comment on Saira's eyes as well saying they are so big and expressive but at the same time as you said, it's the eyes that actually make our kiddos look different and shout out DS to the world, but do we really care anymore? No! Emmie has with no doubt the most beautiful blue eyes and she's going to be mesmerising alot of people with them throughout her life! Hugs to her

stephanie said...

I knew that Emilia would look beautiful.


Beth said...

Love this post. Brushfield spots are one of my favorite traits. We didn't have a prenatal dx, but were enthralled with Hannah's eyes from the very beginning.
It's amazing how our children lead the way and teach us that everything is really better than fine.