Saturday, November 7, 2015

When the Rug is Pulled Out From Under You

Friday with Eliza was a whirlwind of activity. Introducing her to the world via social media, texts, emails, etc. Lots of checking and monitoring by hospital staff throughout the day. Visits from family and meeting big sister.

Visits from the lactation consultants since Eliza wasn't really eating. We had a few precious, quiet moments throughout the day to just get to know and love her. But it was a busy day.

As things were winding down Friday night, our world was turned upside down. The pediatrician on duty came in to do a routine check on Eliza. I watched the doctor check her over and my heart started to beat a little faster when I noticed she was spending extra time listening to Eliza's heart. I relaxed a little when she moved on and didn't say anything. She finished her exam and asked if we had done any of the prenatal testing for genetic conditions. I told her that we had chosen not to do any of the testing. She said she noticed a couple of subtle characteristics of Down syndrome in Eliza's features, namely her eye shape and the creases on her right hand. My heart stopped. She said we would need to do a blood test to get a diagnosis and asked if we wanted to do that. We said we would like to and she said they would do the test in the morning and it would take 1-2 weeks to get the results. She also ordered an EKG since heart defects are very common with Down syndrome.

Having delivered that news, the doctor quickly made her exit and we were left alone with our thoughts. Mr. Frisby and I looked at each other, but didn't say much. All of sudden things were very uncertain.

After a sleepless night, I "woke up" Saturday morning feeling great, physically. I seriously did not at all feel like I had just given birth the day before. But, my mind was heavy. Aside from the news of Eliza's possible Down syndrome, she wasn't eating. It wasn't a huge concern yet, since babies are often not that hungry the first day or so after birth. Plus she had vomited a few times, so was still clearing out stuff she had swallowed during delivery. But, I was anxious to get home and get settled so we could focus on taking care of our baby and get her eating. Because she wasn't really eating, they wanted us to see the lactation consultant first. It took forever, but finally they discharged us and we were headed home.

In the hospital, Stella had refused to hold or touch Eliza. She looked at her, but I think she was quite overwhelmed. Once we got home, she got a little more comfortable with the baby and it was so fun to watch them get to know each other a little.

Saturday was another whirlwind with Eliza. We were getting settled in at home and had more visitors and were updating people on Eliza. We hadn't said anything to anyone about the fact the Eliza may have Down syndrome. We didn't want to until we had the test results. But, it was at the forefront of my mind every time we introduced her to anyone. I wondered if their reaction would be different if they knew. I wondered if they could see those same subtle characteristics the doctor had seen. I wondered if they would feel differently about her. I just wanted to be home, enjoying our new baby, getting to know her, and adjusting to our now larger family. I didn't want to worry about any possible health problems or genetic conditions. But, with one quick exam the rug had been pulled out from under us.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Krista had epicanthal folds when she was born and our pediatrician had to rule out a couple of things, then as a toddler she had symptoms for several neurological conditions and we had to go to Primary Childrens to rule all those out. Every time it was hard to learn she might be facing huge challenges and I so get that "rug pulled out" feeling. Sending you and yours lots of love.