Alyssa's birthday

On September 29, 2010, my marginal placenta previa finally gave up, and my water broke at 5am. I have been bed rest since the beginning of August, so I really thought "great finally", but deep inside I was already worried since my baby would be born as of 35 weeks. I called out to my husband and he got up right away. He seemed scared this time. We had many scares before, I was in the hospital 4 times due to bleeding and low AF, but the bleeding was never so severe as this time was. On a rainy road, we headed to the hospital where our baby was going to be born. I had already called the doctor on my way in( I was popular in the doctor's office, go figure!). Scared out of my mind, I remember everything was so fast afterwards. We arrived at the hospital at 545am and by 722am, Alyssa Emily Rodriguez was born via C-section, she weighted 5lbs 2oz and she was 17in in lenght. I remember my husband trying to take a picture of the baby and the nurses asking him to cut the cord.The nurse showed me the baby, but it was so fast I couldnt really see her. I asked my husband: is everything ok?. He said: yes. Then, they injected something in my IV line and saw hubby and baby leaving the OR. Suddenly, I was out.
I woke up in the recovery room. I was numb due to the epidural and a little drowsy due to the pain meds. I saw two buckets on my side (my tubes were snipped as per request and bigger bucket contained the placenta). Next to the buckets, my husband was awaiting for me to woke up. Once again, I asked: how is the baby?. He hesitated this time. Then he said, the baby was taken to be cleaned up and they are waiting to give us a room so they could bring her in. He said people said something about baby, but he will wait for the doctor who is supposed to speak with us in the room. I felt numb again, but this time it was due to the unknown. I felt sleep.
Back I was in the room, baby was in the crib. My loving husband looking at her, so I asked once againL is the baby ok? Then he said: "the doctor said the baby is ok, but they (nurses and doctor) said the baby has some specific signs of down syndrome, but I dont think so". My heart sank, and Freddy brought her to me in my arms, I didnt see it either, I only saw a precious little girl silently sleeping. She was a doll.
The neonatologist came in later and spoke to us. He was very upfront. "Didnt you know?". I started to cry, my husband told him no. Then I remember, my markings did indicate a chance of 1 into 209 to have a baby with DS, the specialist had offered us to do an Amnio, but I refused. "What for" I said to my husband, "we can lose the baby and it does not mean I would abort the baby if it comes with DS". I said it, but never really tought about it. The neonatologist told us everything you can expect: these babies can come with heart problems, feeding issues, learning problems, etc. Too much information for me to be processed.He also ordered a consult with a cardiologist and GI. I couldnt stop crying, my husband was brave but he was taking it up (at least I thought he was). We asked the doctor if he was sure, he had already sent the cord for testing and it will take up to 10 days to get the results, but he was mostly sure.He asked if we were going to have more kids, to speak with a Genetics specialist, but we told him we already have a 10 year boy and we decided to get fixed. He pointed out the clasic markings: her little ears are tucked in on the top, her big toe has a gap in between others, her neck has the extra flesh, and her eyes are almond shapped. Once he left, instead of being a great day, a day of joy, a celebration; our day has turned into a day of worries.
I started breastfeeding the baby guided by the nurse. It was not easy, Alyssa has a longer tongue (which she shows a lot) and kept pushing out while I was trying to breastfeed. The first day, the nurse referred me to the lactation specialist since baby was not latching correctly and due to her DS (down syndrome). It was not confirmed by test, but Alyssa didnt seem to have a name between the nurses in the floor, they all referred her as the DS baby in room 2207. I hated this nickname, but I was in no mood to fight anymore. I tried to breastfeed with the lactation specialist, but she suggested to use a pump until the colostrum is finished and give her my milk via spoon, so I did, but Alyssa was born premature so her sugar was being checked and it was low a couple of times. she started to get check every 6 hours, so my poor baby was being pricked every 6 hours until 3 readings went higher than 70. Of course, she failed and the doctor was called and he ordered to give my baby supplement with formula and to encouraged breast milk. Second day of breastfeeding attempt was much better, she was a pro and latched on. Everyone was cheering her up, I was in pain as everytime I breastfed her as my uterus contracted, but I couldnt bare to think about me when my milk will make her much stronger. By complementing my breast feeding with formula, her sugar went back up.
Later that day, Alyssa was two days old, the cardiologist came to see her. Once again heard the same cold phrase, "didnt you know about her Down syndrome?". Tears started to come out again, I have always been very strong, but everything was fear now. He checked her and ordered the baby to be checked every two hours for her blood pressure as he heard a murmur in her heart and her leg pulses were not so strong and he mentioned " coartation of aorta". I am a nurse, and I remember from school about it. I was numb again, speechless, and crying like a baby. He also took sometime to speak directly at me, telling me no to take a blame, to look for help, to say I was not alone. He encouraged us and said kids with DS can learn and they are a blessing for most of the families. I was given hope, but later, seconds later, the nurses took Alyssa to the NICU.
People wanted to come to visit. It is normal. A new baby, people wanted to congratulate us, but I had loss interest. My friends wanted to speak to me, but I felt no desire. I just want to say "I'm sorry". I was depressed, numb, in shock for everything that was happening. I hope time heals this pain.


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