Saturday, April 25, 2009

How it began

This is Eon's birth story: (He was born 1/29/09)

All day Wednesday I felt crampy and crabby. I spent much of the day putting snow gear on little people and then removing it, and then putting it back get the picture. We'd received a foot of snow and Shawn and Michaela worked all day out removing it leaving me with the littles. About eleven p.m., I started having contractions that actually hurt, but were 10minutes apart. After about 5 minutes, I'd convince myself it was nothing, only to have one come back. We have a friend who thought she was constipated all night while in labor, and I was sure that I would be the one who thought I was in labor, only to find out I was just constipated.

My friend Jeanne was to come over if I needed to go to the hospital in the middle of the night. I knew that Thursday was her birthday and prayed that God would let me hold out until morning because I wanted her to be able to sleep in on her special day. After a shower around 3a.m., they slowed in frequency and I was able to get some sleep (with weird dreams about the bad guy that was coming to squeeze my intestines. I kept thinking, "Here he comes!" when a contraction would start, yet I was cognizant enough to time them. Bizarre!).

In the morning, I told Shawn to call his parents to pick up the kids. Then I called my midwife who told me she'd meet me at the hospital. I posted my status on Facebook, too. Only to immediately freak out that I'd made a big deal out of nothing and call my midwife back to ask her just to check me at the office. She refused and told me to go to the hospital. I argued that it was too early because I was still nice. I cried and called my friend Peg to tell her I'd mistakenly gotten the ball rolling and now I couldn't make it stop. I just knew I was going to get sent home and, once again, face the walk of shame back to the car with my huge belly and overnight bag. Sigh. Then everyone was going to think I was a freak because, "this is her sixth child, for crying out loud! You'd think she'd know when she was actually in labor!"

Anyway, I told Shawn that if I were only 2-3cm, I was leaving and he could take me out to breakfast. I love to eat breakfast out! I told the receptionist to put me in as an outpatient as I would be leaving after getting checked. The nurse checked me and I was at 2cm. I started to get up to leave but she convinced me to let the mw check me, too. I was worried that the mw would make me stay and I really wanted breakfast so I mulled that over. Then it was too late, because she walked in, checked me, and announced that I was 3-4 (liar). By then the contractions were picking up (at 10:45) and she convinced me to stay and "monitor them for awhile". The nurse asked me about an epidural and I started to refuse. Shawn (who could barely move from shoveling us out of the driveway) jumped in and said, "Honey, we've done this with one and without one. Get the epidural!" So, I submitted to my husband. :) That was finally put in around 12:30 when I was 5cm and finally realizing that I wasn't going to go out for breakfast. Sigh.

The whole time I was there the nurse and mw kept telling me and each other how fast I was going to go. I wasn't too convinced (I'd heard that speech before from said mw and it was the longest labor EVER!). After the epi kicked in, my nurse went to lunch. I called about 20 minutes later to report my bag of waters was leaking. She came, checked me and stated I was about 8cm. and she'd call the mw, then she disappeared. About 10 minutes later, I called to tell them I felt like pushing. They came in and slooooowly started to get stuff ready. I told them I needed to bear down. The mw finally looked and said, "OH BOY!" Nothing was ready besides the baby. The nurse didn't even have gloves on when she helped catch him. Remember they were telling me I was going to go fast. Unbelievable.

After he was here and more nurses poured in to help, they were checking him and suctioning and my mw turns around and drops the bomb. "Tara, the reason we're looking him over so good is that he has some features consistant with Down syndrome." I said something like, "I wondered about that." I'm still not sure why I said that. I did wonder, but that was around my 20wk u/s. I really hadn't given it much thought in the last few months. Apparently, it was the right thing to say, because later the baby nurse told me that she knew then that we were going to be ok.
Shawn was shell-shocked. He just sat there and stared for a really long time. The nurse kept asking him if he was ok, and he barely responded. Finally, they left us alone and I asked him to hold Eon. He did and continued to stare into space. I just prayed. Soon, he looked at the little guy and started whispering to him. After a few minutes he looked at me and said, "Ok. What are we looking at, here?" I knew then that we would be just fine. I filled him in on what I knew and he responded, "So, one day at a time?" Exactly.

Back when we were told that he had a 5% chance of having DS, I prayed for 3 things: that he would be able to nurse (due to low tone, DS babies have a lot of feeding issues), that his heart would be ok (cardiac issues are almost always an issue), and that his bowels would function normally (another problem specific to DS kids). I am so blessed to report that, while we are working on some latch issues, he is a good little nurser and is gaining weight. His cardiac issues are not major and could resolve on their own, and he's a great pooper! :)

I think you go through stages. The shock was over quickly for me (within seconds). I'd expressed the desire many years ago to adopt a baby with Down's and I'm an occupational therapist, so his needs are not foreign to me. God has been preparing us for this for a long time. Now, I'm a little startled when people respond to the news by trying to encourage me. They mean well, but I want to tell them that I could never be disappointed in my son. He's my son. I know God has a plan for Simeon and for us. I know his days were planned before there were even one of them. I know that he was knit together in my womb by an Almighty God who knows exactly what He's doing. I am incredibly blessed to be this amazing little boy's mom and I am so very proud of him. We know there will be challenges ahead, but we plan to tackle them one day at a time.


  1. Hi, Tara!!! Thank you for sharing your story. In hearing about Eon, getting occasional updates, etc., I realize how quickly people react to news of a "special" baby with "ohhh.. I'm so sorry" or something. As if God is surprised!!! Your precious gift is exactly where he belongs! I praise God for the gift of your baby Eon.

  2. What a beautiful story, thanks for sharing! I, too, worry more about the health issues related to DS much more than the diagnosis itself. My twins were unable to breastfeed because they were two months premature (I pumped for a few months until the milk dried up, little did I know it dried up because I was pregnant with their brother! lol). Anyhow, I was really hoping to breastfeed this one ::fingers crossed::

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I love the description of your husband's reaction. Of him staring, then suddenly talking to his baby son. Beautiful. Just lovely.