Wednesday, October 8, 2008

31 for 21 (#8) Dreams and reality

Get It Down; 31 for 21

My mother was the first person to hear of Elliot’s diagnosis. As I gave birth at 32-weeks gestation at a hospital without a NICU, Elliot was transferred immediately to our local facility specializing in premature infants. Mind you, I arrived at said facility with no idea that I was even in labor. Turns out I was SIX CENTIMETERS “in labor.” I delivered sans any medication and, even considering Elliot’s infinitesimal body, it was excruciating.

I waited all day for an ambulance transfer. Not one person at the hospital where I delivered mentioned Down syndrome to me. They didn’t “see” it, they all said – nurses, my OB and his staff, pediatricians, everyone. For Elliot was premature, and looked like a diminutive little bird anyway. And, as I knew nothing of Down syndrome and not anything during my pregnancy suggested that he’d be diagnosed with said condition, I certainly did not suspect that anything was wrong from a genetic standpoint. I was focused on his lungs!

My mother and father rushed to the NICU where Elliot had been transferred. They sat in the room with him until I arrived, watching all of the nurses and specialists scatter around, so focused on my 4-pound baby boy.

I remember the call quite clearly. A neonatologist grabbed my father’s mobile phone (so personal) and indicated to me that he highly suspected that Elliot had Down syndrome. I thought that I was merely going to receive a breathing status update.

I arrived at the hospital at about 5 p.m. on Elliot’s birthday; I delivered him at just after 7 a.m. I quizzed the neonatologist and asked him to simply describe to me just why he suspected Down syndrome. I received the spiel--the oh so unenthusiastic spiel. I block that all out now.

Mom pulled me aside. Again, she was the first to hear of the neonatologist’s suspicions. She stated that she had a very explicit dream when I was pregnant that Elliot would have Down syndrome. She told me that she knew I could handle it. She said that she was not at all surprised with the neonatologist’s words. She knew that it would happen.

At the time, my dreams were shattered. I was in a state of shock. But my mother knew that I would be okay.

And, I am so much more than a stark “okay.”

I’m the luckiest mother on earth.


Cute n Trendy Baby Clothes said...

So glad I came by your blog today. You are lucky. He is gorgeous and so lucky to have you as well. Looking forward to hearing more about him. :)

Melissa @ Banana Migraine said...

Such a journey you've been on! I am loving the pictures of wee E - he's so adorable!

Shannon @ Gabi's World said...

What a whirlwind of emotions that must have been! And look at how absolutely gorgeous he is! You ARE a blessed momma!