Friday, April 20, 2012

This week...

Gianni had his breakfast while we quietly celebrated his 1 week birthday this morning. It's amazing to me that this little man has graced our family for that long. While I can't say we've gotten any type of routine established (although last night was acceptable) we are all so happy to have our #5 at home.

Some random thoughts about the week.

1. Mercy Hospital

We were forced to leave our favorite local hospital (where #1, #2 and #3 were born) to head to one of the "city" hospitals for #4 because my OB relocated there. I had hope, because it is a Catholic hospital, that somehow things would be better. My experience did not live up to my expectations. That, and my ever-present panic attack related to the spinal made it a terrible experience last time around.

Wow, what a difference this time around. Granted, I arranged to have a friend bring Communion this time (although someone did show up before we were discharged Sunday as well, which was wonderful). I also have a wonderful friend "in the business" who arranged to have someone she knew do the anesthesia. The nurse anesthetist and the anesthesiologist were amazing. I can't say I wasn't panicky but their caring and attention kept it short-lived. What a wonderful experience this time. So, if there were to be another (don't ask - you know it's not up to me!) I would feel better about returning at least.

Oh, and they have a new program at the hospital. The night before you leave, they wheel in a beautiful table with china, crystal and yummy food (including sparkling grape juice and complementary wine glasses to take home) to share with your husband before you leave with your baby. How cool is that? What a nice touch ;)
Sorry, I forgot to take the picture until we were almost done. Ooops, starving, sleep-deprived parents.

2. Down Syndrome

If you've been following along, you know that this baby was at a much higher risk of Down Syndrome (1 in 13 when the usual at my age is something like 1 in 100). We chose not to have amniocentesis so we went into delivery not knowing. I continued to pray that I would have the grace to accept God's will and I felt pretty at peace about the whole thing. So, where are we now?

I'm not entirely sure, actually. They had the NICU pediatrician attending the birth and he drew cord blood to run a genetic profile. After he looked at baby boy, he decided it wasn't necessary because "there are no indications that the baby has Down Syndrome" meaning there are no obvious traits that would be seen in a child with DS (hand crease, eye shape, etc.). Every other doctor that has seen G has said the same thing. I guess that means he doesn't have it but, I have to admit, I don't really feel like we received a definitive diagnosis. Or, perhaps, after all the build-up during the pregnancy, I suppose "oops, never mind" leaves me a bit wanting.

I'm happy that our little boy is healthy. I don't really feel one way or another about the DS, although I am probably relieved that I don't have to deal with the outside world regarding their opinion/advice/commentary about my special needs child. This, of course, is kind of a fib since I just got off the phone with the school secretary who was consoling #1 who forgot her book bag and was reduced to a pile of tears. We have unique challenges with each of our children, even if they "look" like everyone else.

Ultimately, I am annoyed at the medical community. Going through this pregnancy, it was a continual assault of reminders that "your child is at a very heightened risk" and every sonogram, blood test, etc., seemed to be a search for things to convince me that this was true (remember "sandal gap toe?). I look back and think about the anxiety I had. Then I consider a woman going through the same thing that I did but who doesn't have the insurance for an amnio and thus had to make her best guess. I'm thinking, since abortion rates are about 90% for identified babies with DS, she may have made a different decision about the outcome. How tragic would that be, considering the beautiful little man I'm holding in my arms.

Why is our society all about avoiding (at all costs, even death in this case) any type of anxiety or uncertainty or struggle? Why all the drama up front just to say "never mind" when it doesn't turn out to be as bad as they predicted? Why can't we struggle and grow from that? Who promised an easy life? (sorry, didn't really know that would turn into a rant. stopping now)

3. Our new addition

The last week has been stressful and long but, wow, how 'chock full of blessings as well! The kids are as much in love with Gianni as we and what a blessing that is right now. Pray for us so that we can continue to heal and grow and face the challenges we are presented. Here are some sibling pictures from this week.

Have a blessed weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures. I'm happy to hear that the hospital experience was a good one this time.
    As for Gianni and down syndrome - how awful to think of those who don't have your faith and a husband's support, the love and light that is prevented from entering the world because of fear and selfishness. This little man has already taught many, including me, about walking in faith and trust. It is not wrong or not pro-life to feel relief and happiness that he is healthy and not facing this particular difficulty, it is a normal reaction for a Mom who was thinking of the challenges ahead for a beloved child. Prayers continue for the Roccos as they adjust to life with the newest man.