Wednesday, May 05, 2004

I'm back!

Well, it's been a hectic past 2 weeks since little Sarah Grace Wilson came into the world. I know everyone's been wondering why I haven't been writing in this blog, and frankly, it's because I don't have the time. Also, because the previous 2 times I tried to write, I was interrupted in the middle & Jeff accidently erased all I had written. So, I kinda got dejected at the idea of starting over again, thus is why it's taken me this long.
Just to me sure we're all on the same page, let me give you some of the details surrounding Sarah's birth.
She was born at 1:02am on April 20th. She was 8 lbs. 15 oz., and 21 inches long. I was actually only in labor for about 4-9 hours, depending on who you talk to. At 4pm on the 19th, I had a doctor's appt., and we determined at that time that I hadn't progressed any further than I had been in the previous 3-4 weeks. Which was kinda upsetting, because that probably meant I would have to be induced. I didn't relish that idea at all. So, we went home, I made Jeff his favorite dinner (Hamburger Helper Stroganoff, yuck) and then afterwards, around 6:30pm, we decided to go to Dairy Queen. We came home & I started to feel some stronger contractions, stronger than the Braxton Hicks contractions I'd been feeling for months. Nothing to feel too concerned about, but they were definitely changing. We went about our business, got Emma into bed around 8:30pm, and then I started playing on the computer. At around 10pm, I told Jeff we should probably start timing my contractions, because they were getting stronger and more painful. At that time, they were about 5-8 minutes apart, but they weren't consistent and we had been told that we should really stay home until I couldn't talk during a contraction. I wasn't at that point yet. But, about 11pm, we decided to put our babysitter on call, and let our families know that it might happen sometime tonight. So, we tried to go to bed, but by 11:30pm, the contractions were to the point that I couldn't relax during them. So we called the hospital & they said to come on it. We dropped Emma off at our neighbors house, and we drove to the hospital (thankfully it's only 4 blocks away). We got up into the room at around 12:15am. At this point, I was asking for an epidural, thinking I wasn't very far along & the pain was too great to try & make it through completely natural. We told the nurse, after I'd changed into a hospital gown, that we had just been checked about 8 hours previous & didn't think that much had changed since then. The nurse checked me and said that I was 8cm, which for those of you who don't have children is only 2cm away from being ready to push. Jeff & I were completely shocked. There was no time for an epidural, and they needed to call my doctor right away. Thank goodness HE only lives 1 block away from the hospital. By this time, the contractions were practically on top of each other & they were extremely painful. Jeff was my hero though, he was right there, helping me through each one, breathing with me, and allowing me to dig my nails into his hand & arm. A half hour later, I was ready to push & Sarah was born 15 minutes later. She was born face up (the same as Emma), which isn't the way they're supposed to come out, but oh well. Apparently that's just how my body does things. The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck once very loosly, but that wasn't a problem. She had swallowed some amniotic fluid so the nurses had to clear that out & give her some oxygen. She also had a huge bruise on her forehead from coming out face up. But other than that, she was healthy.
After about 2 hours, we were put into another room, where I would stay for a couple days. We made a few calls to family to let them know that she had been born, and then we tried to get some sleep.
My hospital stay was uneventful, and both Sarah & I were allowed to go home the next afternoon. She had a bit of jaundice so the pediatrician wanted us to come back the next day & get her bilirubin level tested. It was still pretty high, so he prescribed a bilibed for her. It's basically a plastic hospital bassinette with an ultraviolet light underneath that shines up under the baby. You put the baby in there with just a diaper on and the light helps get rid of the excess bilirubin in their bodies. That wasn't so bad, the worst part about jaundice is having to go get the poor kid's heal pricked every morning to have their bilirubin level checked. Apparently my kids have elephant feet & they can't get blood out of them very easily. So, the poor nurse is having to squeeze very hard to get enough blood out of Sarah's foot in order to run the test. It's not very pleasant, for her or us. Jeff & I had to tag-team during it in order to give the other person a rest. No one likes to see & hear their child screaming in pain. But, after about 4 days, her bilirubin levels came down & she was fine.
My mom had come into town the Friday after she was born, and Emma was loving it. She ran my poor mom ragged. Emma has been very loving & protective of Sarah. Whenever Sarah would start moving, sqeaking or crying, she'd come running into wherever we were & tell us, the baby's crying, she's cranky!She's very helpful and very gentle with Sarah. If Sarah's on the floor, or somewhere where Emma can reach her, she's always kissing her & tickling her and playing with her hair. It's very cute.
I know most of you have probably already heard this news, but for those of you who haven't, we found out last Friday that Sarah has Down Syndrome. She was tested for it while she was in the hospital & the results had just come back last week. Jeff & I were called into her pediatrician's office and told the news. It was very devastating to us to hear that our perfect baby had something wrong with her. We were pretty much in mourning for about the first 24 hours. Jeff, fortunately, was able to snap out of the funk that had consumed our whole house, and helped me to, as well. He has been the epitome of optimism, and a great source of strength for me. We have gotten such wonderful support from our family & friends and we can't thank each of you enough for all your kind words & love. Even though this diagnosis was shocking, there are many things that we can do for Sarah to ensure that she has the best life possible. There is an Early Intervention program that we're going to be starting soon that will help her with her fine & gross motor skills, her speech & language, and her mental capacity. Studies have shown that the earlier you start these programs, the better chance a child with Down Syndrome has of being closer to "normal". And there are varying degrees of severity. She doesn't have very many outward physical signs, and so far is behaving like any normal baby would at 2 weeks of age. There are some medical things that we have to be on the lookout for, and we have to be a little more diligent with her health, because she's at a greater risk for upper respiratory illnesses, which could lead to ear infections & hearing loss. But, we're going to be very proactive about her health & make sure that nothing (if possible) affects her therapy. I know that she's going to grow up with all the love & support as any other child, and we certainly aren't going to impede her by treating her any differently. I know this will help Emma with tolerance and understanding that not all children are the same. And Michigan is apparently a wonderful state to be in for this because they have a huge assortment of programs & support groups. I know it will be a rough road, but we're strong & we have a great family to support us.
I better end this for now. If you want, you can go to to find out more. That's the National Down Syndrome Society's website. This will be a learning process for all concerned, but I know that things happen for a reason. She's still our perfect little girl & we love her with all our hearts.

No comments: