Welcome!

This blog was inspired by 31 for 21 & is about my wonderful family.

"As a mother, my job is to take care of what is possible & trust God with the impossible." ~Ruth Bell Graham

"Never look down on someone, unless you're helping them up!"

Monday, October 4, 2010

10/4/10

I intended to blog about my entire family everyday of this 31 for 21 blog challenge, but after watching last night's 'Extreme Makeover Home Edition', I had to dedicated today's blog about Down Syndrome.
There are a lot of people out there that really do not know exactly what Down Syndrome is.  Sadly, I know I didn't until it affected me & my family.  Luckily I found out very early in my pregnancy that my son had DS.  As soon as the perinatalogist mentioned that he could have DS I began researching it.  I found out that 1 in 733 pregnancies are affected by DS, so I thought that it was a common occurrence.  But as I kept on reading it said that 90% of the pregnancies are terminated.  Then I read about all of the medical problems that are more common in people with DS & then I saw the "R" word...I began to cry.  Just the thought that my son would be considered 'retarded' & would be called that all of his life just broke my heart.  My husband, Mack, & I talked about the possibility of our child having DS & he told me that it was just that, a possibility because nothing had been determined...we hadn't received the CVS results yet.  I was hopeful, yet upset that my child could be different from other children.  I kept on researching & praying.  Then I received the news.  My child was a boy & he DID have Trisomy 21 or Down Syndrome.  The doctor told me that I needed to make a decision on whether or not I wanted to terminate soon because we couldn't terminate after a certain date, which was fast approaching.  My husband & I talked again because I wasn't sure he wanted this.  See, I have Chronic Pancreatitis & at the time I couldn't even take care of myself on most days, much less a child with special needs.  We discussed it & both agreed that God gave us this special child for a reason.  We had tried for 9 years to have another baby but weren't successful.  I began to think positive, after all God wouldn't give us more than we could handle.  Then we learned that our son had a heart defect that would require surgery before he was 6 months old.  That little set back didn't affect me as bad as I thought it would.  I think it's because I had done the research & knew that over 1/2 the babies with DS have heart defects.  We met with a Pediatric Cardiologist & she chased away all of our doubts & fears.  I began to get stronger & feel much better of the next few months.  Things were looking up!  We were prepared the best we could be for our son.  We wouldn't know the level of his functionality (the severeness of his DS) or the exact condition of his heart until he was born.  But I just couldn't wait to meet this little miracle & hear his cry.  I was admitted to the hospital on the evening of January 12, 2009 to be induced.  The next morning, Dr. Lake tried to break my water around 8 a.m. with no success.  So he began the Pitocin & said he'd come back around lunchtime to try to break my water again.  He explained that since my son has DS that he didn't want to drop down & that the Pitocin should help him do that.  He came back & was able to break my water around 12 p.m.  My labor produced QUICK!  Troy Jason Forrester was born at 2:16 p.m. on January 13, 2009!  He was 20" long & weighed 7 lbs 7 oz & was screaming at the top of his lungs...HOORAY!  We were able to hold him for a little while before they took him to the NICU.  He was just beautiful & perfect in my eyes!  The first thing Mack looked for was the Simian crease (which is where the hands have one single crease in the palms) & he didn't have it.  He did have the beautiful almond shaped eyes & the flat bridge across his nose, but other than that, he looked just like his daddy to me!  He didn't have the thick neck either, but if he did have all of the characteristics we'd love him just the same.  He didn't look any different to any of us than any other child without DS, but he did have one thing that a lot of children are born without...unconditional love.  His brother was awe struck.  He had waited for Troy for so long & he couldn't see him because he couldn't go to the NICU.  We had temperatures in the teens for the high & my son stood outside the window of the NICU (OUTSIDE) just to see his brother...now that's love!  Troy had to stay in the NICU for 2 days to monitor his heart & he had some trouble eating.  But he was able to leave the NICU around 11 a.m. on 1/15/10.  Mack rushed to check Chancey out of school so he could see Troy.  It just warmed my heart to see the love between them.  Troy had to be circumcised & an hour after that he could go home.  We made it home around 9 p.m. that night.  So life began with a family of 4!

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