Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day, 2009

My husband Justin and I found out we were pregnant on Thanksgiving weekend. We were so excited to have a baby. I took 5 pregnancy tests just to make sure. We had done everything "right"....we were married, we had jobs, we had a home, we wanted a family....
The pregnancy was going well. Luckily morning sickness ended by week 10. We found out that we were having a boy. I had to have frequent ultrasounds because the sonographer always had difficulty seeing the chambers of the heart because the baby was moving so much. We were referred to a perinatologist to have a 4D ultrasound. On April 24th, Justin and I learned that our baby has a complete atrio-ventricular septal defect (AV canal). We met with a Cardiologist from Children’s and found out that luckily, this is repairable. He said survival rate is 90-95% and sounded very confident that this can be fixed. Surgery is anticipated to take place 4-6 months after birth and will most likely require a 7-14 day hospital stay. AV canals are most commonly seen in babies with Down Syndrome. I had an amnio and discovered that our baby will be a baby with Down Syndrome. Risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome is about 1 in 750. The perinatologist said that someone my age who also has a normal Quad screen has a 1 in 2,000 chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome. We were stunned. I just remember crying and thinking why am I the one? Out of all the irresponsible parents and unplanned pregnancies, why me? I was crushed and then angry and then sorry for myself all over the course of a 3 day period. I then came to realize...of course I am the one. We can handle this. We'll be okay. We're going to be good parents. Justin and I are very committed in helping our child reach his full potential and love him more than anything. We’ve been doing lots of research on schools, therapies, support groups, etc. to try to get a handle on everything. The heart surgery will be difficult to get through, but we can do it. Over the course of the past 3 weeks, we've gotten an enormous amount of support from family, friends, and co-workers. People seem moved by our story. I've been lucky enough to speak to parents of children with Down Syndrome and to speak to adults and parents of children who have gone through AV Canal repairs. It's comforting to hear their experience and how they wouldn't trade it for the world. I'm so excited to meet this baby. I want to know what he looks like. I want to hold him. As of now, it’s just a waiting game till delivery. Thinking positive can do wonders. The video below helped me alot.
The Journey Ahead

~Michelle

PS: A girl I work with sent me the following story. I thought it was fitting for Mother's Day.

A newborns conversation with God:
A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"
God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."
The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."
God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."
Again the child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"
God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."
"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"
God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."
"Who will protect me?"
God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life."
"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."
God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you."
At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name."
God said, "You will simply call her, "Mom."