“Mr. and Mrs. Deutsch, here is your daughter!”
The moment we've been waiting for, over roughly nine months. (And years before that, trying to conceive.)
As they clean her off, I get my Droid Pro out and ready. Sorry, no cigars—tobacco products of all sorts have long since been banned from the hospital. On the bright side, the father is now allowed in the room itself ... and so here I am. No pacing though.
I hold my breath.
Right before I turn blue, a piercing cry from the corner where the nurses are working on her.
My darling little K.D. (Kid Deutsch) is healthy!
I head for the corner, and pick a good spot out of the nurses' way (something I, as an Aspie, have to stop and think about). I aim my phone, hit the camera app, and snap off shot after shot.
And yes, it's a girl. We weren't sure whether we were having a son or daughter, though Emily had a sense it was a girl.
Then after she's all dried off and diapered, they wheel her over to Emily—who of course coos and fusses over her.
Afterwards, they show me to the recovery room, and wheel K.D. up there. I get to pick her up and rock her. This is the first step to showing her that I'm her daddy.
Soon, they wheel Emily up here, and I hand K.D. to her for some skin-to-skin contact. Emily holds her close and talks to her gently. Obviously, they're bonding. I take a video clip and then email it to both my family and hers.
To make a long story short, we're all home now and Emily and I are getting used to being K.D.'s parents, and she's getting used to being our baby.
Michael John Carley, an Aspie and founder and executive director of GRASP (Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership), has said that maybe we have more Aspies these days because given more social acceptance, more of us are reproducing. Which he's done—and he has an Aspie son. (In fact, that's how he found out about himself.)
So I'm starting to watch for signs in my new daughter. So far so good. She engages people with her eyes and looks around in response to noises. She doesn't seem to be fixated on any particular object. She also sometimes coos and makes other noises besides crying.
I'm hopeful—though right now, of course, it's too early to tell. Unlike, say, Down Syndrome, there's no specific genetic test for AS, nor does AS have symptoms quite as clear or obvious. It's much more of a judgment call, especially since different Aspies experience very different issues ... not to mention that the signs of AS may be much more subtle in girls.
Like most parents, we're hoping for the best ... and we'll deal with whatever comes. Best, worst and everything in between.