Thursday, November 4, 2010

We can hardly wait

Well, it is almost time for us to meet Olivia. After talking to her nearly every day and feeling her kick and squirm as I pressed my hand against my wife's belly, I feel like I already know her. The original due date was November 26, but we now have a C-section scheduled for Nov. 19 because Olivia is in a frank breach position. I am really looking forward to meeting her.

Unfortunately, we do have the possibility of heart surgery immediately after birth hanging over our heads. She was diagnosed with a septal canal defect, but the doctor's are not really sure when they will need to operate on her. This is something they will be better able to determine when they see how well she transitions after she is born. The thought of her going almost immediately into intensive care is at times very depressing.

We will continue to pray and whatever happens we will be there to give her our love.

Friday, June 25, 2010

What it's all about.

The last couple months have been so busy after learning we were expecting a child with Down syndrome. We have been reading everything we could find, talking to parents and doctors, and perusing blogs to learn whatever we could about Down syndrome. Despite our efforts to just relax and go with the flow, it is easy to get caught up in this mentality.

Then just the other morning, my wife woke me up excitedly telling me she thinks she was feeling the baby move for the first time. Tiny little flutters that she had begun to notice the night before were now definitely something she had never experienced. We aren't having a syndrome. We are having a baby. Since then we are having so much fun sharing whenever she feels the baby move. We are also getting seriously underway with decorating the nursery. Now it is less scary and more exciting. We really can't wait to see our little baby. But first, Monday we will go to the OB for a detailed anatomical ultrasound checkup. I am looking forward to seeing her there.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Already a fiesty little girl

We had our scheduled office visit today and the nurse at first was unable to find Olivia's heartbeat. When the nurse left the room to get the doctor my wife and I became more than a little worried. In the first trimester the doctor had found a cystic hygroma behind Olivia's neck, and my wife and I still worry (mostly me) that it can still progress to hydrops. When the nurse could not find the baby's heartbeat, I worried that the hydrops had become a problem. The nurse came back into the room for a successful second attempt after an anxious five or ten minutes.

The doctor was then kind enough to show us the baby on the ultrasound monitor and she looked good as ever. In fact, I did not see the cystic hygroma as prominently. Could it be resolving itself? I was still not mentally composed enough at that point to think to ask the doctor. We do have another appt. for a fetal echocardiogram on the 22nd. I will ask them. As far as not being able to hear the baby's heartbeat at first, it was apparently the position the baby was in. Fiesty already- just like her mama :D

Monday, June 14, 2010

A little overwhelming

I am a perpetual student always reading and educating myself on a wide variety of topics. My wife is a lifetime overachiever. So, as soon as we found out we were expecting a girl with Down syndrome, we voraciously began digesting all the books our genetic counselor gave us and everything we could find on the internet. We have very quickly come to the point of information overload.

The baby isn't even due until late Nov. and we don't even know what if any specific problems she may have. I think it is time for us to put the books away for the time being and just focus on the arrival of a new baby. It is our first, so we need a crib and everything else. That should keep us busy enough.

We are still planning on participating in our areas Buddy Walk in Oct., but the books can wait till later.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

About my wife

As my blog is just beginning, I thought it might be informative to mention my other half (pretty much my left brain, really). My wife is a very strong competent woman, a CPA, and she is the one keeping the household organized and heading in the right direction.

She also is very much a black/white no shades in between kind of person. There is no gray area- maybe it's a CPA thing. I have tremendous respect for her, but sometimes it makes me a little nuts.

I love my wife.

Reaching Out

We have told our family the news and some of our closest friends. It was very difficult because I was beginning to become very used to hearing the words "oh, I'm sorry" every time I told someone about our baby. I think I was sick of that line after maybe the first time I heard it. I'm not sorry. We didn't do anything wrong. No one did. The baby definitely didn't. This is just part of God's plan for us. Everything will be fine.

With that in mind, we thought it would be helpful to start reaching out to others who would understand- parents of children with Down syndrome. We are in the process of joining Down Syndrome Association of the Lowcountry (DSAL) right here in the Charleston area. I think this will help us more than anything as the months and years progress.

Our next doctor's appt is on June 17. Just a routine office visit. On an unrelated note our baby will be 16 weeks tomorrow!

Monday, June 7, 2010

We're expecting!

My wife and I just found out that the baby we are expecting in November is definitely a girl and definitely has Down syndrome. Maybe we were a little shocked and disappointed, but mostly we were glad that all the other scary scenarios presented to us were no longer on the table. We had been so worried about a chromosomal abnormality that would have a higher chance of being fatal to the baby during pregnancy.

We immediately told our immediate families and a couple of our closest friends and have since then been reading the materials the hospital has given us on Down syndrome, including my favorite- a book called Gifts, that I find very uplifting. With every passing day, I become more excited about the arrival of our baby girl.
Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives