As the RN searched for a vein in my uncooperative arm, my eyes roved over the boards of newborn pictures that lined the wall. A brag board of sorts, showing off all the clients they helped deliver babies at the perinatal office. Happy, tiny, twins, triplets, and quadruplets posed in their matching crochet and knit outfits. Reminders of the many happy families that had come and gone in the doctor’s office. And then, finally, my eyes settled on what I had been searching for in the faces of all those sweet babies; the almond shaped eyes and sweet little nose of a baby that has Down Syndrome. Tears poured down my cheeks, and as I tried to explain my sudden outburst of emotion to the nurse, I realized I wasn’t even sure why I was crying. Was it because I had found a child who shared Everly’s diagnosis? Or because out of all the boards and the hundred or more pictures that I had been looking at for the past 5 appointments, this little girl was the first baby I’d seen on them that had DS?Was it the reality of the number of babies with DS that are terminated, miscarried or born still?
After a couple additional 2-D ultrasounds since the diagnosis, they have seen that Everly had duodenal atresia. This basically means that she has a block between her bowel and her small intestine and isn’t able to digest anything. Immediately following birth she will have to have surgery to remove the block, which will be followed by a 2-3 week stay in the NICU as she recovers from the surgery and is able to eat on her own.
I think finding out she would need surgery has been just as hard as the DS diagnosis. We will only get to see her for a short period of time before she is taken away for surgery. I won’t get to nurse her as soon as she’s born, or spend time bonding with her; and that has been a hard pill to swallow.
As her due date gets closer I do know one thing for sure, I can’t wait to send her picture in to the perinatal office at Sacred Heart.