Thursday, July 29, 2010

Andres' Birth Story

Andres just turned four months old and I feel it is time to tell his birth story. I have been wanting to write this for a while now but every time I started I began to cry and I started to feel the pain. It is time. So here it goes friends.

Somewhere around 21 weeks pregnant I went for a Genetic consultation.  It is advised that women over 35 do this. I was 38 at the time. I went not thinking anything was wrong with my baby, I just wanted the 2D sonogram. The genetic doctor asked if I wanted THIS test and THAT test and the other and I said "no, just the sonogram please".  I felt and still feel there is no point in doing all of those test. If something was wrong, I would worry the entire pregnancy.  So, I had the sonogram and everything looked great.  The doctor said I was having a healthy baby boy.  I went home happy.

The next time I went to see my OBGYN, the nurse asked if I wanted to have the quad screening test. This is a blood test that will test for a genetic disorder. Many women who experience an abnormal test result go on to deliver healthy babies. I had this test with my other two kids and so I did it with this one again feeling 100% sure that nothing could be wrong with my baby. Thinking this is just procedure.

Less than a week later I got a voice mail from the Nurse at my OB’s office that the Doctor needed to talk to me about my quad test. I called back but the Doctor was busy, it would be a few hours before she could call me back. NO, I thought, there is something wrong and I need to know now. I asked the nurse to please tell me what was going on. I could not wait for the Doctor to call me back, I was anxious. She told me my quad screening came back positive for Down syndrome. She kept talking but I heard nothing. I hung up the phone and called my husband at work scared. He said not to worry, everything would be OK. Later that day the Doctor called and said she had talked to the Doctor who did my 2D sonogram and that he had not seen anything wrong with the baby. She said I could go on to have an amniothentisis. My husband and I had already discussed this and without a hesitation had declined the test. We wanted this baby no matter what. We did not need any more tests. So with that, I put it out of my mind and did not think about it again. Not for ONE minute did I think about it again.  Everyone finds it hard to believe but I just though the blood test was a false positive.  So I went on to have the most WONDERFUL pregnancy.

Sunday, March 28th, two weeks before my due date, I just knew the baby was going to get here early.
You just know these things. I went into panic mode to get everything done that needed to get done. We cleaned the house and got everything ready for the baby to come home.

At 3:30am on Monday March 29th I started to experience labor pains.
Since this was baby number three, I knew the drill. The contractions came every 20 to 30 minutes. I was so excited. I had everything ready for my perfect little boy. I could hardly wait to meet him. I remember the joy I felt when I heard my two other children cry when they were born. Such joy! I was ready to meet him and hear him.

That morning I decided to just wait at home until the contractions came closer.  
Even though I was having a c-section, I did not want to be sent home once I got to the hospital. I wanted to make sure I went in and stayed in! My husband went to work (he only works 5 min away) so he could get things ready for his substitute teacher. 

I called my Mom that morning and we all went into exciting, “OH baby is coming mode!” I asked Mom to pick up a few things I needed before she came to pick up the kids and I packed for the kids to stay with Mom. A friend of mine in the neighborhood just happened to stop by and she stayed with me and the kids until Mom got there. We all had a great time getting through my contractions!

Once the contractions got a little closer I called my husband at work and said it was time to go! The baby was coming! We took our time getting to the hospital. No rush, things were progressing very slowly. As we were walking into the observation area I heard a woman screaming through a contraction. I thought, “Wow, I don’t feel THAT bad”. When we opened the doors the woman looks up at me in tears, it was a neighbor of mine! She also had gone into labor!

Quickly I got hooked up to the observation machines and within an hour they told me the baby was coming today! My c-section was scheduled for 6pm that evening. (There was a lady before me delivering triplets!).

As my husband and I waited for the c-section we texted all of our friends that the baby was arriving today! We laughed and goofed around and were anxious to meet our little man! We were just two happy parents with no worries.

The triples took longer so my sweet Andres came at 7:07pm. It was a sweet birth, same as the others. The doctor filled us in play-by-play and within a few minutes I heard his cry. SO SWEET!

When I saw Andres I thought “Wow, he is more beautiful than my other two children” I suspected nothing. He was beautiful.

We were taken into recovery were I got to nurse the baby and my family and children came in to see us. Excitement and joy was all we experienced.

I went to sleep happy that I had a healthy, beautiful baby boy.

The next day the nurse takes Andres away to the nursery for the doctor to check him. The normal check-up. My husband and I are happy, talking on the phone and texting everyone about Andres’ birth. A few hours later the Doctor came into our room, introduced herself and asked a question that I can’t remember but something to the effect “if there had been any problems during my pregnancy or if we knew if there was anything wrong with the baby or maybe it was did I see anything wrong with the baby”. I did not think anything of this question and said “No, everything was fine”. Then she said “We think your baby has a Chromosomal condition.” I just starred at her unsure of what she meant. “We think he has Trisomy 21”, continued the Doctor. “What is that?”, I asked. “Downs Syndrome”, she said. And my world stopped.
My eyes watered but I held back. In my mind I made the decision to not feel. I needed to remember this conversation. My husband was behind me so I could not see his face. I did not turn to look at him. I couldn’t let myself cry, I needed to talk to the Doctor. Nothing existed in that room except the Doctor and I. I kept eye contact with her. She kept talking saying that they had sent a test to a special lab but the result would not return for a week. A WEEK? I exhaled as I thought, “I can’t wait a WEEK to know”. I proceeded to ask her why she thought he had Down Syndrome. She told me the signs that she had seen and so after telling me everything she had seen my heart felt heavy and I then knew there was no point on waiting for the test. She knew and now I knew. The minute she left our room, I broke down crying in my husbands arms. I could hardly breath. It felt like a bad dream.

I cried every time I thought about it. My husband was so sweet and positive. But no matter what he said it did not make it better. I just wanted to hold my son and protect him. Those 4 days in the hospital and weeks after were very difficult for me. Finally, the test results came back and even though I did not need to see them I got them and as I read them all of the pain came back. My father was with me. He said nothing, just sat with me in silence.

As the days, weeks and months passed, I slowly started healing.  I saw my son grow healthy and acting just like any other baby. Andres is very healthy. The only physical problem he was born with was three small VSD's which the Cardiologist says will close within a year.

We started calling Andres our Angel. We felt we had been blessed with an Angel.

God trusted us with such a special person.
We knew our world had changed never to go back to the way it was.

Our children will also be changed.

When I look into these Angels eyes, I know he knows who I am.
I feel the connection between us. I feel his love.

I miss him when he sleeps.
I love him so much.

Our family is now complete.


Los Chicos y Mamá said...

Que precioso tu bebe! Recuerda que Dios no nos da cargas que no podamos llevar. Asi que tu familia es bendecida por tener ese regalito de amor al que llamaste Andres, Dios les dará todas las bendiciones del mundo por cuidarle a ese angelito tan hermoso que envió a la Tierra para que tuviera unos padres y unos hermanitos amorosos con quienes compartir su vida. Muchas Felicidades por tu familia! Que Dios los bendiga!!!

Mada said...

Gigi, estoy segurísima de que tu y tu familia van a seguir adelante y muy felices con Andres. Porque con mucho estímulo, paciencia y con todo el amor que ustedes le brindan el logrará desarrollar al máximo sus capacidades. Como familia, van a compartir una serie de experiencias nuevas pero muy lindas y buenas con Andrés. Muchas Felicidades

jojoebi said...

Wow Gigi, that must have been so hard to write, he is a beautiful little baby and your family looks so happy together, he certinly looks like an angel and what a fine mop of hair he has too :o)

Montessori en el hogar said...

Hola Gigi,

Gracias por compartir tus sentimentos. Las cosas en la vida suceden por alguna razón que aunque no entendemos al principio quizas se convierten en nuestro proposito de vida. Sigue adelante tienes una familia preciosa.

My Boys' Teacher said...

Gigi, congratulations again, he is a beautiful little boy.

I am pretty sure you already know about the blog "Mommy Life" ? It is a favorite of mine.

Barbara, the author, has NINE children. Her son Jonny was born with Downs. They went on to adopt three more children who have downs syndrome. She has ALSO homeschooled her children using the Montessori method and has written several books about it. She writes often about celebrating these special children.

This also brings to mind the blog Montessori confessions.

It is not one I read often, but she also homeschooled a downs child.

I thought you might enjoy some reading written by people who understand what a gift these children are. It also might be fun to look ahead and see how they will fit right in to your Montessori lifestyle.


medina family said...

You have a beautiful family and your new baby boy is absolutely precious and a true blessing. I've been reading your blog for awhile to get ideas to do with my own children, but I think this is my first comment.
Just wanted to let you know about a very inspiring blog you might have already found. It's called Enjoying the Small Things...and it's by a mom with two girls, the second of which was born with Downs, and they didn't know until the day she was born.
Here's her birth'll definitely want to read this.


Gaby said...

Thanks for sharing your story Gigi, congrats, your family is beautiful :)

N from the Learning Ark said...

Your family is beautiful :). BTW I have left you some blog awards on my blog.

Evenspor said...


Your little angel is blessed to have such a wonderful mommy.

Olives and Pickles said...

You are blessed my friend!!Precious Child!!

Nicole said...

I finally had the chance to read this - what a beautiful story. Your baby was definately born into the *right* family. *hugs*

Susana of Montessori Candy said...

Hola Gigi!
I just read your incredible birth story and it brought tears to my eyes. I think every birth story is so unique and special, thank you for sharing it with us. Andres (on my list of names should we be blessed), is such a cutie angelito! I have twin nephews with DS. They are going to be 3 years old this April and are such a wonderful blessing to everyone. I would love to hear more about the activities you do with Andres and the things you are learning to best help him. Let me know if you would ever like to be a guest blogger at Montessori Candy. I would love to have you!
Abrazos Gigi!

Mara said...

Tu bebe se ve hermoso y por como tu compartes tu experiencia se ve que realmente fuiste escogida para tener ese angelito en tu casa! Felicidades