David was due to arrive on May 17, 2010. We found out that he had down syndrome when I had an amnio 16 weeks into my pregnancy. Based on my past history of delivering my other son early (my water broke at 36.5 weeks) and the assumption that babies with down syndrome have a higher chance of an early arrival; we were anticipating a baby sometime before that date. We could never have anticipated the actual events of that day. Let's just say it's a good thing that I have never had a birth plan.
Week 35 of my pregnancy, April 16th, I went to the specialist for a non-stress test and ultrasound. Within about a minute of starting the ultrasound the doctor was called into the room and the discussion went kind of like this.
Doc: The baby has developed fluid around the heart and the lungs within the last week and he has an enlarged liver, we are going to do some more imaging but this doesn't usually develop in one weeks time. Have you been sick, has anyone in your family been sick.
Me: I feel great, I worked out this morning. Am I going to have to deliver the baby soon.
Doc: Yes, very soon.
Me: Are you thinking in a few days or today (I am thinking oh it will be a few days so they can give steroids for the lungs, etc.)
Doc: After more imaging, I am thinking the baby could have developed leukemia in utereo which is very rare, I am calling the hospital and telling them you are on your way. And I am calling your OB.
Me: Can I go home first and pack my hospital bag. And by the way, my OB is out of town.
Doc: Yes, you may pack your bag but then go to the hospital and one of the OB's from your practice will be delivering you today.
Me: Do you think I need a c-section, can he survive the birth.
Doc: I will recommend a c-section to the doctor but it will be their decision. (And he would not address survival rates).
So by 10 am I am at the hospital and they don't know who or why I am there. The peri didn't call the hospital, he only called the OB. The OB's office was scrambling because my doc was on vacation and the on-call OB was in the middle of surgery at the hospital already. So the L&D nurses hooked me up to the monitors. They said did you know you were having contractions. I said no I can't feel anything (maybe this was just because I was reeling from the information I received an hour ago). Well, as they hook up the oxygen mask for me, they say he isn't tolerating the contractions well at all his heart rate is decreasing with each contraction so put on this mask and lay on your side. I said I am having a c-section aren't I. They said that will be up to the doctor but yes you will be. So I called Steve and said you probably want to come to the hospital as I will probably have the baby as soon as the doctor is available.
The doctor finally comes to introduce himself, Steve gets on his scrubs and then we take another twist. My lab work shows my platelets are low so they cannot do an epidural I will be having the c-section under general anesthesia and Steve cannot be in the room. I burst into tears. Our baby is going to arrive into this world without his mommy and daddy. I kept thinking what if he takes his only breath and doesn't make it and we aren't even there to hold him.
So now I am having a baby 5 weeks early by c-section under general anesthesia and no one is in the room but a crap load of doctors and nurses. Then they ask if I am a Jehovah Witness (what the heck)....because I may need a blood transfusion and so may the baby. So we sign consent for blood transfusion forms. But wait there's more. They need to insert my catheter without sedation because when they put you under a general for a c-section they want the baby delivered within 3 minutes so he does not go under the sedation and inserting the catheter would waste time that they could be removing the baby. So more tears from me. It was really quite unpleasant, but not the worst thing that could happen.
So I go alone to the operating room with the people in scrubs. They put me, the prego lady with the big butt (yeah not one of those cutsie prego ladies here) on the narrowest operating table ever. They then tell me I am going to feel some pressure on my windpipe, did they mention it would feel like someone stepping on my neck with all of their weight? Luckily it only lasts 10, 9, 8, 7........
So I wake up with my husband standing next to me, and my only question "is the baby okay". Steve showed me pictures of David. And then I proceeded to ask to see the pics over and over again as I was groggy and confused. David arrived at 2:37 pm weighing 7 lb 7 oz and 19.5 inches long (pretty good for a preemie, although we know some of the weight was fluid building up in his body) And so began our medical journey with David.