Thursday, November 14, 2013
When I found out I was pregnant for the second time I was excited and relieved, as well as being completely freaked out. I knew what my body was going to go through and that before the year was out we'd have a baby to look after.
My thoughts were consumed by how to deal with morning sickness, whether the baby would be a boy or a girl, what names I liked and whether or not we should splurge on new and fancy baby goods.
We had an eight week scan to check the heart beat and the due date, everything was fine. When my Doctor asked if we wanted a 12 week scan to check for Down Syndrome we said no. Partly because we would have the baby regardless, and partly because I took for granted that our baby would be fine.
As I lay looking at the monitor during my 18 week scan I asked the Sonographer if everything looked normal. She said yes. She also told us we were having a girl and a wave of excitement rushed over me. At that moment I felt ecstatic. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.
As I paid and waited for our photos, the Doctor who checks the scans asked if she could talk to us for a moment. A wave of dread rushed over me. She explained that our baby had short long bones, and that it could be a sign the baby had Down Syndrome, she also looked my five foot nothing frame up and down and said it could just be genetics. It was comforting to know that it could just be the fact I come from a long line of shorties, but we couldn't rule out the possibility of Down Syndrome.
We had the last appointment on a Friday afternoon, so we couldn't even call our trusted Doctor to discuss what we'd been told. I cried on the way home.
That Sunday after a long phone conversation with my Mum about how helpless I felt, out of the blue, my Doctor called. Yes on a Sunday. He said he was in the office doing some paper work when he saw my ultrasound results. He talked me through the options we had and told me about the risks of having an amniocentesis. I ruled that out then and there. He told me not to stress and that we would just have to play the waiting game.
Over the next few weeks I tried not to think about it. Then one night as I was reading my favourite blogs I stumbled across Natalie Falls and her story about her second son Elias who was born with Down Syndrome. I cried as I read through her inspirational blog. It prompted me to do some research about Down Syndrome to get a better idea of what it actually is. I was also ready to have a proper conversation about it with my Husband. I filled him in on what I had learnt and we started to make some plans. After that I felt a lot calmer about things and new that we would be ok no matter what happened.
After 22 weeks of waiting, wondering and planning our perfect and healthy daughter arrived. Short long bones and all.
Would it have been better to be blissfully ignorant of our baby's short long bones or was it better to know there could be a chance she had Down Syndrome?
Friday, November 8, 2013
Forget the terrible twos, four is hideous. We have coined it the f*@!ing fours. In a way I'm comforted by the fact I'm not alone and my child is not unique. The other four year old boys I know seem to be the same and apparently testosterone is to blame. Who knew that at four boys had a surge of testosterone? Marry that with the arrival of a new sibling and no wonder our house is all kinds of crazy. I hope my sweet, thoughtful boy will come back to me soon, sans attitude.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Four weeks ago our lives changed again with the arrival of our baby girl, Elke Scout. She was born on a mild Tuesday night without too much drama. I have been lucky with my births, both labours have been about 8 hours and the births have been straight forward.
I must admit that after my first birth I felt empowered and excited by what had happened, whereas the second time around I just felt thankful that it was all over and vowed I wouldn't be repeating the experience.
Being a parent of a newborn for a second time is much easier. Rather than stressing and obsessing, this time I'm enjoying my tiny human. Breathing her in and savouring this brief time.