Hello all! My name is Kat, I got thrown head first into the world of special needs a little over two years ago and have been charging forward ever since! I have two amazing little girls, Taylor who is 4 (and a half!) and Madison who just turned 2 in July. Madison was born with Down syndrome. Here's my story...
I was 22 when my husband and I found out we were pregnant for the second time! We had just barely decided we we're ready to start trying for number 2. It was 2 months before our first daughter's 2nd birthday and it didn't take long, one try and I was pregnant! Everything seemed pretty normal. We were in the process of buying our first home and I was training at my new "big girl" job.
During my pregnancy I took the AFP test which is supposed to check for any genetic "malfunctions." I wasn't at all worried about the test and just took it simply because my doctor told me to. In fact at my next visit my doctor told me that my test results came back normal and I had completely forgotten I had even done any tests (that's pregnancy brain for you!). During my 5th month I got the flu really bad and dropped 14 pounds fast so my doctor wanted me to visit a high risk pregnancy doctor to keep an eye on our girl. Everything there was completely normal, she measured two weeks bigger than she should but my doctor said not to worry she'd just be a little big, possibly 8 pounds but no bigger.
Fast forward to 2 weeks before my due date, my contractions start! We jump in the car and drive to the hospital and 3 hours later, after the wonderful anesthesiologist messed up during my epidermal and did a spinal tap on me by mistake,our baby girl is born. She weighed in at 9 pounds, 2 ounces! When the doctor put her on my belly I noticed something was different but I didn't know what, mind you my head is spinning still from the spinal tap. The nurses take her over to clean her up and they had worried faces. I told my husband something was wrong but he kept assuring me she was beautiful and perfect. I asked him to go over to her because I just knew something wasn't right. My doctor could tell I was getting panicked so he came over to me and told me the news that changed me forever.
"I think she has Down syndrome."
There it was.The phrase I never imagined I would hear. I'm 23. Who thinks they will have a child with Down syndrome at 23?
"Are you sure?"
"I can't say it matter of fact but based on what I see I'd say she does"
I cried. A lot. I didn't know anything about Down syndrome. I knew some basic characteristics but that's it. My doctor called our pediatrician, our angel with a stethoscope, and she was there within the half hour. She held my hand while I cried and she confirmed what we already knew, our baby had Down syndrome. She told me we could do this. She told me that things may be tough but we were strong and so was our baby and together we would do this.
After she left I locked myself in the bathroom to cry. I left myself have that moment. At times I regretted that, questioning myself "how could you cry in despair the day your daughter was born?" but now I know I needed that. After I cleaned myself up I asked to hold my baby. I held my baby and looked in her eyes and knew I could do this. With her in my arms, I can do this. And I have.
She is two years old now. She is a healthy little girl. We've had our bouts, a couple E/R trips, pneumonia twice, and some minor delays but we get through them and come out stronger. I know two years doesn't seem like long but I have grown so much in those two years, right alongside my husband and our girls. Our girls are both very smart and oh so entertaining! I can watch them for hours. My job was very understanding and now they let me work as extra help so I get to pick my schedule and the rest of the time I get to be home with my girls. It's not always easy, but its always worth it!
I look forward to getting to know all of you as we share our journeys! I also have lots of family updates here! Our local foundation, Central California Down Syndrome Foundation also has a website, CCDSF, if you're interested in looking.