So it’s been awhile since I updated things hey? 2 months to be exact! Things with 2 little boys have been … well .. busy. I finally have enough free time to sit down and blog a bit so it’s about time to share what has been an adventurous journey with our new little man. Fair warning – this may be a multi post kind of story depending on how long I have before one of them wakes up from this blissful quiet time that both of them happen to be sleeping!
Mr. Logan Patrick and he came flying into our lives at 8:06 am on March 22, 2012.
He has an extra 21st chromosome, a few extra holes in his heart and he is absolutely wonderful and perfect.
Part of the reason I’ve been gone so long is that I wasn’t quite ready to share with the world the whole story. When life gives you something other than what you expect you put on a happy face and push through, but as I am going through this journey I am finding strength in the words of others. Strength in the truth. I just finished reading Bloom, a story by Kelle Hampton that is similar to my own, and it makes my heart break to hear someone else utter the words that went through my head that at the time I never wanted to admit. It is helping me to hear that I am not alone in thinking all of the crazy things that go through your head the minute someone mentions Down Syndrome to you.
What I really want is to let everyone know that it’s OK. We are OK. You can ask us questions and we really do want you to ask us questions. A lot of the fear we initially had was because we didn’t know a lot about Trisomy 21. We don’t want pity. We don’t want the quiet “oh did you hear …” whispers. We went people to ask us how he’s doing and what his life is like. Does he have limitations? What will his life look like? Can he still be an active kid? We want to educate those around us so that one day if they are sitting alone in the hospital without their new baby and their teary pediatrician starts talking and the only words you hear are “heart defect” and “Down Syndrome” you can be a little less scared.
So back up the truck, what happened exactly??
Everything moved into motion on Wednesday March 21, 2012. I was just over 38 weeks pregnant and going in for my usual weekly appointment. Thus far I had a rather uneventful pregnancy. There was morning sickness for months on end, crazy heartburn, more than one emotional breakdown, and one obnoxious bout with the stomach flu that I wouldn’t have wished even on my worst enemy. The norm. My first ultrasound back in October showed a happy, healthy little boy. Logan. He was much spunkier than his older brother Jacob had been. He like to hide out in my ribs and kick the same one over and over again. By 38 weeks I was ready to get this show on the road.
I am a rather tall and slender woman, so it didn’t worry anyone that my belly was also rather small. I had gained 37 pounds by this point so we were obviously growing. At this appointment though my OB decided to send me in for a growth ultrasound since my belly was measuring particularly small. It didn’t really phase me. The same thing happened with Jake. He liked to stay curled up in a little ball. He came out at 38 weeks at 6 lb 13 oz. A bit small, but still within a healthy range.
My OB thought that after the ultrasound we would either induce me the next morning if it looked like he was small and not getting the right nutrients from me or we we would try some other options for naturally inducing labor. I was already over 3 cm dilated at that point and had been having contractions off and on for months so the time was near anyway. What I didn’t expect was to be set for an induction for other reasons.
She sat us down and told us that there were some abnormalities to my ultrasound that had her concerned. She said they saw bright spots on his bowel – an echogenic bowl. A what? She said it wasn’t anything to be too worried about. Most likely it either was a blip in the ultrasound or meconium (poop) in his bowels. On the off chance that it was neither of those scenarios it could also mean that he either had markers for cystic fibrosis or down syndrome. We had a family history of neither of those things and our first ultrasound was crystal clear so we were going with the poop option.
Regardless of what it was she wanted to go ahead an induce me the following morning, just to be safe. His size looked great and I was only 10 days away from my due date so we had nothing to lose. She said she would let our pediatrician know what was going on but it wasn’t something that even needed to be looked at immediately. She would come see him sooner rather than later, but it would be when she had a break.
We were nervous, but excited! I got all sorts of crazy emotional. Suddenly it was the last time I would cuddle with Jake and watch Sesame Street, just the two of us. It was the last time we would go for a walk together. Never again would I hang out with just my #1 little man, there would soon be two #1 little men. I wanted time to stop just to cherish the snuggles as just a mommy to one. Poor little guy had no idea what was going to be coming home in a few days time!
Knowing you are going to have a baby the next day is intense. You go through weeks of “Is it today?”, “Was that a contraction?” and all of a sudden you are just watching the clock, knowing that at 5 am you’ll be in the hospital and your OB thinks your baby will be here by noon. Noon, it had to be early in the day. You see, Logan and I had a little chat and he knew that Marquette was playing in the Sweet 16 that night so Mommy and Daddy needed to be back into our room and coherent enough to watch basketball by 9 pm. We even had his Marquette hat ready for game time.
We went about our day and finished last minute preparations. We called family and friends to tell them the news, packed up the last of our things and got Jake ready to spend a few days with his grandparents. We dropped him off for his slumber party and even had a quiet last night out together, just the two of us. We had a wonderful dinner and even made it out for frozen custard with a friend. We finally made it home and to bed by about 11 pm. Time to get a good few hours of uninterrupted sleep that we knew would be our last for awhile – assuming we could fall asleep anyway!
Turns out I couldn’t. I had been having contractions off and on all day, but what else was new? This had been going on for weeks and I had just had an exam so of course that irritated things. By the time I finally sat still to go to bed I started to notice that those contractions seemed to be lasting longer than usual, and wait … were they coming and going with regularity? Sure enough. When I stopped to try out my contraction timer app (yes there really is an app for everything!) they were about 8-10 minutes apart and lasting for a minute each.
I spent the night on the couch at least resting and watching the clock tick closer to 5 am. You see, my OB wasn’t on call and wouldn’t be in until 5 and I really wanted her to be there to deliver him. My first experience in labor and delivery told me that once my water broke and my body got going it was going to happen, and it was going to happen fast. 4 am came around and I had all intentions of getting a shower in before we left for the hospital. My contractions were still about 8-10 minutes apart, but were getting stronger … until I got off of the couch. All of a sudden they were 3-5 minutes apart.
Yep, that’s me at about 4:30 am. Ready to rock and roll!
In a bit of a flustered rush we made it to the hospital at 5 and they were still 3-5 minutes apart. Our friendly nurse was expecting a slow morning with an induction that would take hours … little did she know she had a girl in active labor who was already 5 cm dilated. We got me all settled in and by 6:30 I had an epidural in place. It didn’t knock out total feeling, but at least got rid of most of the contraction discomfort. I have really low blood pressure in my natural state (at or below the 100/60 range) so the anesthesiologist thought it would be best to start me on a low dose and ramp up from there.
Bad plan my friend. See what she didn’t know is that by 7 am I would be at 7 cm and my OB would break my water and that by 8:06 am Logan would be here! There was no time to ramp. It all happened in such a blur. My husband tells me that I was a bit hysterical at one point. I’m pretty sure I was. When they tell you that you’ll feel the urge to push, what the really mean is that your body will start pushing and you are completely powerless to stop it. I could still feel quite a bit of what was going on down there and really thought I was going to rip in half and it freaks you out a bit. I remember my OB literally running through the door, sliding onto a chair and a push and a half later Logan Patrick came out screaming!
Everything was perfect in the world. I remember holding him in my arms and crying because it was so perfect. He looked so similar to Jake, but so very different. They were nearly identical in size. 6 lb 14 oz, 20 1/4 in. We cuddled and cuddled until they took him away to wrap him up. He had great Apgar scores and life was just golden. They said that our pediatrician would be in over her lunch break to check him out and make sure those pesky bowel spots were nothing to worry about.
We cuddled for over an hour, until my mother in law came over with Jacob. He wasn’t too interested in meeting his little brother and he was a bit scared of me still hooked up to all of the monitors, but it was so fabulous to see him. My parents were due to be there around 10:30. They happened to get there right as I was going to be transferred to my regular room. They placed Logan in my arms and off we went with a small stop to drop him off at the nursery. I love that walk through the halls. They play a lullaby for the entire hospital to hear and everyone stops what they are doing to congratulate you and smile. The nurse assured me that they would have him back to me within an hour, they just wanted to give him his first bath and give him a closer check to make sure everything was OK.
I got all settled into my room and enjoyed my first presents and hugs from my family. Little did we know what was happening in the nursery at that point. You see, 30 minutes turned into an hour … and one hour turned into two and we still had no idea where our baby was.
I hate to leave you hanging, but there will be more coming and I’ll tell you right now that as of today there is a happy ending coming. Logan is 2 months old today! Stay tuned!!