Some of you may already know Harper's true birth story, some of you may know the birth story without details. Nevertheless, here is it. From the dramatics of her 20 week ultrasound to today...Harper's story.
Tuesday, August 30th at 11:54 am we welcomed our little bundle of joy, Harper Alice. She was born at 36 weeks 5 days and decided that she wanted to join us in the world early at 4 lbs 9 oz and 17 inches long. Her delivery was a quickly scheduled c-section. We had an ultrasound scheduled at 8:15 am and by 9:30 am I was in triage getting prepped for a c-section. The reason? Little H had stopped growing due to the placenta that had stopped giving her the nutrients she needed. The blood moving from the placenta to the baby was moving forward but it wasn't as great as it should have been. Therefore, it was time to take her out and to see what she could do on her own. The plan: c-section for me and NICU for the baby. Obviously, it was a whirlwind of a morning but my pregnancy after the 20 week mark was equally as dramatic.
Yep, I must still be on the pain meds for posting this picture!
Friday, May 6th was the day we found out that our daughter, most likely, had Down syndrome but definitely had an AV Canal heart defect (more on this later). We decided to have an amniocentesis done to confirm Down syndrome but the heart defect was immediately evident on the ultrasound. The official confirmation of Down syndrome came the Tuesday after but, call it mother's intuition, I knew that our daughter was going to have Down syndrome.
The diagnosis of Down syndrome was something I could handle. I knew, first hand, how normal life can be for people with Ds but my major concern was, and still is, her heart defect. I thought about it every day I was pregnant with her and think about it more that I am able to hold her and watch how strong she is. But with constant doctor appointments she is closely monitored for any signs of her heart weakening. In the 10 days of her life, she has proven everyone wrong! She did not spend one minute in the NICU despite being 3 1/2 weeks early, under 5 lbs, had a heart defect, and thought she was going to have feeding issues. She keeps gaining weight, at least one ounce a day, she eats from any bottle we give her, and her heart isn't giving us any surprises.
I am keeping this blog not for sympathy...I don't want it. If you feel sorry for me, my husband, or my daughter then this blog is not the blog you need to be reading. We have to come to realize that she chose us for a reason. She is amazing and I couldn't imagine my pregnancy or my daughter her any other way.
Not the best I've ever looked!
After that 20 week ultrasound I took to the blog world and found some fantastic blogs of other mother's who have children with Ds and/or a heart defect. These women (although we've never met) have helped me through a difficult diagnosis for my (then) unborn daughter. My goal is for this blog to be as supportive as all the blogs that helped me... a special shout out to Patti at A Perfect Lily and Kelle Hampton at Enjoying the Small Things for having 2 of the best blogs around for showcasing that children with Ds can have a normal life.
Please follow this blog and pass it along....all with a smile on your face!