I'm watching Jackson head-butt his daddy. Yep, that's one of his favorite things to do. He does it to his crib, his family members, and even the furniture, if he ends up sitting against something. He thinks it's hilarious. His daddy thinks Jack will need a helmet soon!
I wanted to start this blog to write how we felt and what happened when we found our baby would have Down Syndrome. That seems like an overwhelming job now. Maybe I'll just do it in bits.
Installment #1 - How we found out
At about 12 weeks pregnant (right after we found out we were pregnant), I decided to do that nuchal fold test, where they measure the back of the baby's neck (via ultrasound). There's some magic number that is a marker for ds. With every pregnancy, I took pretty much all the tests because I like to be prepared. This sounded like an easy one, so I took it. They couldn't get our little one to be in the exact right position, so it didn't work. That was on a Fri. We tried again on Mon., still with no results. I don't really remember what made me decide to have the amnio; I just remember having the appointment and my friend Sherry telling me she would come with me because she didn't want me to go alone. This was really a big deal 'cause she lived a couple of hours away. We found out Jack was a boy while getting prepped, and the actual amnio really wasn't bad. That was on a Wed. On Fri., while I was home, my ob called. "I really hate to tell you this, but your test shows Down Syndrome." I know he said more stuff but I sure don't know what it was. I called my husband at work and told him to come home. He did, and we cried together. We had plans that week-end but cancelled everything. We didn't tell anyone for almost 2 months. I just needed that time to be okay. It was really hard. People kept calling to ask if we heard anything yet and I lied. I said "no news must be good news, ha ha" knowing the whole time I would have to tell them at some point. It's an emotional thing. I honestly wasn't worried that anyone would be mean or anything, I just needed to get to the point where I was emotionally okay telling people because I knew I would be the one reassuring others. I thought no way can I start talking to people about this if I'm breaking down every time. Even my closest friends and our parents. For some reason, I needed to be strong. My dr. was great. He said, at the first visit after we found out, that we wouldn't dwell on the ds unless I had questions or concerns. He wanted me to feel like this was a regular, fun, miraculous pregnancy, just like it was. We finally told our other kids. They decided at once no one would ever make fun of their baby brother and were protective right away. They made me cry in a good way. We then told my parents; I kind of chickened out and told them when I was literally on my way out the door to go 3 hrs. home from a visit with them. After a quick hug, I ran away quick so they could be upset and cry. Then I wrote a big long e-mail to all the friends and family I had an e-mail address for and even asked them to forward it to others. The response was really positive. Sounds anti-climactic, but that was it. I have one friend that I'm really close to and everyone was saying to her "wow, you sure kept that quiet" and she has to say "yeah, cause she didn't tell me" which I feel a little bad about but I just couldn't yet. The rest of the pregnancy was okay; I had gestational diabetes (special diet, blood checks, and even shots in my tummy!) and lots of ultrasounds and non-stress tests and an echocardiogram for Jack and everything came back great. Everyone acted very excited to see our new guy. We had the BEST baby shower. (That'll be another story!)
What am I grateful for today?
1. I went to the most wonderful conference. More on that later.
2. Andrew was acolyte at church today - Palm Sunday! My favorite Sunday!
3. The kids actually got along for awhile today.
4. Of course, my Jackson. What a sweetie.