This blog post marks a new direction for my page, for we have started a new adventure in our lives. I am hoping that by writing about this it helps me to get my emotions out and maybe just one other person with a similar situation will be able to relate and find encouragement.
I found out I was pregnant for the third time with our son at a friends Epicure party, I snuck the test into the bathroom half way through the party, knowing what the outcome was going to be because in my mind I knew that I was pregnant, so when it was positive it did not shock me. I finished my wine, bought some spices and went home to cry. I know, not your typical lovey dovey story, in fact it is pretty sad but it is the truth. All three of our kids were unplanned and all three with in 3 years and 3 months, (apparently we like threes!)
It was a very normal, healthy pregnancy. I did all the normal tests, everything seemed great! However now I have learned that even these tests can not completely prepare you for what could come. Once Maxwell was born so many came to me to tell me their story about how they were told their child was going to be down syndrome and actually was not. I also learned that 80% of down syndromes are born to people under 40! Also that it has nothing to do with genetics or anything you do, it’s just chance, a 1 in 700 chance!
It was at my 38 week check up that things changed. It was the perfect day! My husband happened to have the day off, so he took me to my midwife appointment. I was so ready to get this baby out! I wanted a sweep, to go home, take a walk, eat some pineapple, a spicy dinner and watch some movies. Instead we find out that our little man had gone breach. So we got booked in to get him flipped in the hospital with a doctor that had an 80% success rate for flipping the baby, however there was a small chance the baby could go into distress when flipped and I would need a C section, so when we went to get our hospital bags and drop the girls off at grandmas I felt we were being over prepared.
When we get there I was hooked up to a stress test and an IV. While we are sitting there contractions started, I was convinced they were nothing, because seriously I had like 4 of them and they were not THAT bad, however my husband was nervous! Suddenly my water broke before anything could happen! So Max was still breach and things really started to move quick! It was 6:18pm when my water broke and after a lot of fighting to hold him in and a very rushed C section our little Maxwell was born at 7:18pm. Now I was put under because it was an emergency C section so it was a couple hours until I got to see him and when I did I was still a bit loopy so to me everything was all happy and great! My son was here, healthy and safe! Little did I know my whole world had changed.
During the night I would wake up every couple hours and notice my husband, who can sleep through ANYTHING, was awake on his phone in the middle of the night! I knew something was up but I was still too tired to ask. Finally in the morning I was awake, thinking straight, and holding Maxwell. I was looking at him and I asked my husband, “is it mean of me to ask if he looks down syndrome?” His response was “yeah…. I wanted to talk to you about that.” He then went on to tell me why he thinks Maxwell is in fact down syndrome and gave me all the physical signs for it that he has self diagnosed. I was immediately scared. I remember not believing him as he spoke, I thought all of this was a joke. It took awhile to set in and once it did, I cried. I was never sad that he was down syndrome, I was sad thinking of his future. All the questions going through my head, how was his health? Will he be picked on? What do I do now!!??
While I was pregnant, the number one thing that would keep me up at night was thinking about how I was going to juggle all three of them properly. Emily, my eldest, is strong, independent and very loving. Yet I didn’t want her to feel like she had to be strong and hold feelings in. Zoey is the complete opposite. She is a mommies girl. Very emotional and vocal! How would she handle mom having to give so much attention to a new baby. Now my third child has down syndrome!? How am I going to juggle all of that!?
If all that was not enough, no one told us! We had to ask the question when they asked if we had any questions….. convenient! I mean we could see it with our own eyes, my husband diagnosed it through the internet and the professionals could not take a minute to tell us? It broke my heart thinking of my husband discovering this on his own in the middle of the night as I slept off the drugs. It was one shock after another, first a breach baby, then an emergency C section, which he could not be there for, then our perfect son born with down syndrome, then learning all the side effects that come with it. All this within one night and no one to talk to about it. However, I think it might have been for the best. For that one night he was just Maxwell our beautiful plump little boy! For that one night the happiness he brought us was not followed constantly by a little bit of sadness or fear. For that one night he was just Maxwell.
I admit I really knew nothing about down syndrome. I knew I love ones that have down syndrome, honestly they bring sunshine into this world! However this is a whole new world and I had zero time to over research it! Heart problems, developmental problems, hearing and sight problems, speech problems, LEUKAEMIA!!!! We have a long journey ahead of us, lots to learn and I am excited to share it! I am excited to watch my little man grow, and to meet new ones with similar stories to help and encourage each other! I am excited for what the future brings, not sad.