A Father’s Love – LB Post 6

All the anticipation for LB couldn't have prepared her family for the reality of loving a child with down syndrome.

I started documenting LB’s Journey two months ago and, as always, the time has flown by quickly. I repeatedly said how time was dragging, I couldn’t wait for her to be here, and how it was taking forever…

But, like I knew would happen, the time came and went.

We went from not having her to having her in an instant.

The day was chaotic, emotional, and a complete whirlwind….

But that’s for a different post

I am eager to share her birth story with you, but I am more eager to spill out my heart for a minute.

This is a story that I didn’t think I would ever write, but it’s one I cannot get off my mind.

I want to tell you about my husband, how LB has changed him so much already, and the love they have for each other.

For a solid week, I was able to sit back and notice things I had never noticed before. I watched him grow, struggle, and conquer — all in a week … that’s a lot of emotions wrapped up in a week, but it definitely happened.

And it’s still happening.

I have seen him care for a child before; we have two other children. I have seen him gently calm a fussing child with his giant hands. I watched as he melted in the hands of a child and was scared at the reality of fatherhood.

But this time is different.

Knowing everything that lies ahead of her, is scary. It changes your perspective on life, on parenting– even if you don’t mean for it to.

From the moment she was born, he fell in love.

I saw it in his eyes. I saw it all over his face when he brought her over to me. She captured him from the second she took her first breath. Just like with our other two children, he became putty in her hands (;

But something else was different too.

He was more attentive to her.

Suddenly, when she woke at night, I wasn’t the first one to jump out of bed. I wasn’t the one watching the clock to keep track of her feedings or writing down each time she used the bathroom.

He was using his time being home not to distract the other kids so I could take care of her, but to be there for her (& all of us really).

Don’t get me wrong, with my other pregnancies, he helped out- a lot. He’s great like that, but there was just something different about this time.

It was like he was trying to make up for something.

But for what? I couldn’t figure it out. He’s an amazing dad; there is nothing he should feel the need to make up for… then it hit me.

This is his baby. He is the father, the protector. It’s his “job” to keep all of his children safe. And that’s a nice fantasy that most dads have in their minds.

They’re not delusional- they know that they won’t be able to keep them safe forever, but they also don’t know what will end up causing their children pain.

But he does.

He knows that she will have pain in her life- both physical and emotional. He knows that she will have many struggles growing up. He knows that his baby has a major surgery waiting for her in her future.

And there’s nothing he can do to change that.

And that’s scary for him; it’s scary for me.

I see the way he looks at her. It’s the same way I look at her.

His eyes contain a sea of emotions. They are overwhelmed with love, fear, and anger. It is amazing the amount of love God puts in our hearts for our children. However, with that love (and knowing about LB’s down syndrome and heart condition) comes so much fear and anger. Fear for the unknown and anger for the fact that there is nothing we can do to change her circumstances.

Would we change her having down syndrome? No, I don’t think we would, because then it wouldn’t be her. That would be a completely different baby and we don’t want a different baby: we want her. Would we change her heart condition? Absolutely– But that’s in God’s hands, not ours.

With all these emotions, all these thoughts, comes a whole new way of parenting. And I didn’t realize that until I watched him. I watched every emotion run over his face day-after-day. But more importantly, I watched him love her- unconditionally.

He melted at every cry. He fell in love with every face. And he was there for every moment.

He was doing everything he could to be there for her, because he knows that the day will come when he can’t comfort her. There will be times when there is nothing he can do to soothe her pain. He will have to sit back and feel helpless while his child suffers- and that scares him. As it would any parent. 

Not only did her birth bring him so much joy — it also brought him so much fear.

And I see it in his eyes every time he holds her. His heart beats with so much love, but also aches with so much sorrow.

It’s an awful, bittersweet feeling that is so hard to describe. And I know, because my heart feels the same way.

Now that we have headed back to reality– And by reality, I mean he’s gone back to work and I am no longer getting spoiled everyday– I can already see the bond the two of them share.

There is no one like her daddy.

I cannot instantly rock her to sleep like he does. He simply picks her up with his bear paws and, like magic, she is lulled into a restful sleep. When he talks she turns her head searching for him (and probably wondering why he’s not holding her). And when he gets home, he immediately takes her from my arms and covers her in kisses.

He looks at her in complete awe, and it melts my heart every time.

I love the love they have for each other already.

Within only a few weeks, LB has changed her daddy so much. She’s made our giant hulk even softer than he was before (; She’s given him a new outlook on life. And I think she will continue to impact her daddy for the rest of her life. She will teach him (and the rest of us) so many new things about life. Opening our eyes to sights we would’ve never seen before.

At only three weeks old, she has stolen the hearts of every single person who has met her.

But it was her daddy who stole her heart first.

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