Listening and smiling


So to the moment, the wonderful moment, when I met Coraline's Consultant Paediatrician together with Kevin (who had already met him). It was a Wednesday in the ICU. His first name is Dieudonné (given by God). He is from Burundi. He smiles when he talks, so you smile when you listen. I told him, "I could listen to you all day". Any concerns I had about how she was, e.g. her eyes rolling around a little, were allayed, "all babies' eyes roll". Or for her thyroid, "it's easy to manage with medication if required". He came to see us personally on the Friday to say Coraline's genetic tests had come back and confirmed Trisomy 21. He talked to us about feeding and about skin-to-skin and eye-to-eye.


He then said to us in a beautiful, gentle, positive, prescient way that we would need to support each other and handle reactions in the world. He said this was very important. "We all have challenges," he said, "but sometimes nobody knows". He gave us his personal email address and smiled, "when you give people access they take less. When you hide, they want more". We will see Dieudonné again in two months. I told a friend about Dieudonné and she said, "it sounds like you have two Dieudonnés", and I said, "ah in fact three with Kevin".