To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Nzingha has had her fifth and, she says, last baby. She did not, as she had earlier threatened, name him "Shock", "Surprise", or "You have to be kidding me". I think it's a good thing that human pregnancies last long enough for those of us who did not plan the offspring that we get, to reconcile us to what is coming. Even those of us who meant to get pregnant have a little reconciliation to do as we begin to realize how the path we've embarked on will change us forever.

He is a beautiful child. But they did have a bit of a surprise even at the end: Umar has Down syndrome. Fortunately, he seems to have skipped the heart defects and other problems that sometimes come with. Still, it's something for Nzingha to come to terms with, as well as getting over her emergency C-section and dealing with her other children and, as she says, PPA (post-partum aggression). Nzingha lost her mother to cancer not too long back and I'm sure part of her distress is due to still missing her and not having her mama to help her through all of this. And Saudi doesn't have much to offer by way of services for kids with Down's and so forth, so that's another hurdle. As a newborn he won't need more than the TLC any newborn needs, but I know in the States they start early intervention no later than the toddler years.

Nzingha is a strong woman, she loves her family and faces the slings and arrows of life with humor and determination, and I'm sure she and her family will be fine. Right now, I ask my readers to join me in praying for all of them: that Umar's doctors have skill and wisdom so that he will get all appropriate medical care, that Nzingha's other children will continue to support and help her by behaving well and loving their brother, that she will have calm and serenity in her home, and that she finds a way to get some rest so she can heal physically and feel at peace.

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