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 The Story of Oliver

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EAS1971



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Age : 46
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PostSubject: The Story of Oliver   Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:24 pm

I thought I'd share the story of the day Oliver was born.

Oliver is my 1st child, but my 2nd pregnancy. We were so happy to be pregnant, yet scared of another miscarriage. The pregnancy was perfect. The only issues that I had were that I had some pretty major swelling of my feet and ankles and my blood pressure was going up. It was not pre-eclampsia, but I was getting monitored for that. Otherwise, all was great! Oliver had no issues while I was pregnant with him. The only testing I had was the regular-old 20 week ultrasound. Everything looked great! We wanted to be surpised and learn the sex at the birth. So we had them write the sex down on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. That drove everyone nuts!! LOL. We waited until AFTER Oliver was home from the hospital before we opened that envelope. It said "Boy!!!" LOL. Who knew?! LOL! Wink

My labor with Oliver (and Sebastian, too) was L-O-N-G!!!!!!!! I mean, I was literally in labor for a week. I finally went into the hospital and met my doula there after 6 days because I didn't feel quite right. My doctors were really good about letting me do things my way, in my own time, without any drugs or interventions. However, my doctor wouldn't let me leave once I got to the hospital, due to my blood pressure. So, I was there for 27 hours before Oliver was born. (Following 6 days of laboring at home. Exhaustion!!)

With both my kids, labor would progress very very slowly...and then stall for HOURS at 5 cm, and then, once I moved past 5 cm, BOOM, I would be at 10 cm. So once I got to 10 cm with Oliver and started pushing, he started having heart decelerations. That's the first "issue" we had with Oliver. Just under 2 hours of pushing, with me getting oxygen for Oliver, and then he was here!

When he was born, the first thing I said was "Is it a boy or a girl?!?" He was my first. I didn't realize the silence in the room was not normal.

My doctor simply said, "I don't know yet." Then she cut his cord (my husband was supposed to get to do that...but I guess there wasn't time for him to do it.) She handed Oliver to me. I thought he looked PERFECT...but grey. Why was he so grey?

Very quickly, they took him from me and took him over to the little table. Now, I had a very specific birth plan. They KNEW that they weren't supposed to do a bunch of "stuff" to him right away. The KNEW that I wanted to have him for a while first. But they took him, and started working on him. I had no idea what they were doing.

I heard a nurse say "He's 6 lbs 7 oz." I said "Why is he so little??"

It's about then that I really looked around the room. There were about 5 student nurses in the room, to observe and learn. I saw them looking at Oliver on that table....and crying. I looked at my husband. He was crying. I looked at my doctor. She wouldn't look at me. I looked at my doula. She was rubbing my arm and telling me to rest.

I said "What's wrong? What's going on?" My husband came over. He and my doula went over a laundry list of things....Oliver came out grey, his 1 minute Apgar score was 6, he had a double nuchal cord (cord around the neck twice), his cord had torn or ruptured or something and had been bleeding profusely, they had to immediately cut his cord very very short, he swallowed a lot of blood, he had to get his stomach pumped, he isn't moving or crying too much. He had a very rough start! But 5 minute Apgar score was 9. Much improvement.

Things calmed down just as quickly as they got scary. All the doctors and nurses left us and we got to be a happy little family for a while. Things were perfect! We cuddled and loved on Oliver. I tried to breastfeed him. Oliver had a hard time. My doula said, "He's having a hard time breastfeeding because he has a tongue thrust." Hmm, never heard that term before.

Then, about 2-3 hours after he was born, a nurse came in and said, "Our neonatologists want to take a look at Oliver, since he had such a rough birth. Normally they'd come to your room, but they're really busy right now. So we're going to take Oliver down to the NICU."

My husband insisted on going with Oliver. And I, not worrying one bit, decided to take a nap.

Suddenly, I started to wake up from my nap, and realized they had been gone WAY TOO LONG. Just at that moment, my door opened and a doctor I had never met walked in...followed by my husband and no Oliver. Somber looks. Not good. I looked at my husband and said "What? What is it?"

My husband walked around to the side of my bed and took my hand. This unknown doctor sat down on the other side of my bed. And so it began...."We're concerned your son may have a heart defect. And that got us looking at other features. Which leads us to believe he may have Trisomy 21, or Down synrome....May need to transport him to a more specialized hospital...." The rest is a blur. I remember wishing this doctor would just SHUT UP!!! I remember hating him. How dare he come into our lives and say such things! I wanted him to leave us alone!

Soon he asked if we had any questions. I just shook my head "No." He left. I turned to my husband and said, "What just happened here?" He crawled into my bed with me and we held each other and cried. After a few minutes, I said that if Oliver has Down syndrome, I am okay with that. We can deal with that. There are FAR worse things. But a heart defect...I just didn't want him to have this heart defect.

For the next week, I told family and friends that he might have Down syndrome and he might have a heart defect. I told everyone, "I am okay with Down syndrome. We can deal with that. There is so many worse things out there. But his heart. I just want his heart to be okay!"

Long story short....His heart was okay, Thank God!! (A small ASD that later closed on its own.) He spent 8 days in the NICU due to low pulse-ox levels and feeding issues. Exactly one week after his birth, we got the confirmation that he has Down syndrome. I held it together. Just at that moment, my sister arrived to visit at the hospital. I told her the news and then I cried. I told her "I just don't want Oliver to have a hard life." She just listened. Then I went home for a bit. While there, my sister-in-law called. I told her, "We got good news and bad news. Good news, Oliver is off of oxygen and will be coming home soon. Bad news, he does have Down syndrome." She said, "Okay!" I loved that response. I knew it would be okay. And I never cried or grieved again about the diagnosis!

There is no way us "seasoned" parents can let new parents know that things really will be okay! Better than okay. They will be great!!! Those of us farther along on this journey can speak the words. But new parents have to take the journey, walk down the path, go through the experiences and emotions. But mark my words....Things will be wonderful. Our children are such blessings. They teach us more than anything else in life. The depth of love we have for our children, and they have for us, is immeasurable. We are very, very blessed. We are the lucky ones.
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SamKat



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PostSubject: Re: The Story of Oliver   Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:03 pm

Your story was very touching and well said. I know that Oliver means the world to you. Thank you.
Mary Beth
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mom2alex

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PostSubject: Re: The Story of Oliver   Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:17 pm

I just love your story of Oliver. Well done!
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ellenstumbo

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PostSubject: Re: The Story of Oliver   Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:48 pm

EAS1971 wrote:

There is no way us "seasoned" parents can let new parents know that things really will be okay! Better than okay. They will be great!!! Those of us farther along on this journey can speak the words. But new parents have to take the journey, walk down the path, go through the experiences and emotions. But mark my words....Things will be wonderful. Our children are such blessings. They teach us more than anything else in life. The depth of love we have for our children, and they have for us, is immeasurable. We are very, very blessed. We are the lucky ones.

Well said Beth, it is so true.

Your story really touched me.
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rastagalnj

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PostSubject: Re: The Story of Oliver   Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:00 pm

Beth, your Oliver's face brings a smile to my lips. He looks so happy, his smile is infectious. Thank you for sharing your story, it was truly one of my firsts to read from you sharing with me on the other board. Thank you.
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David's Mom



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PostSubject: Re: The Story of Oliver   Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:48 am

I have tears in my eyes. What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it.
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pookeymom

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PostSubject: Re: The Story of Oliver   Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:37 am

I'm loving reading everyone's story. Thanks for sharing you Smile
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nicksmom

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PostSubject: Re: The Story of Oliver   Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:08 pm

Beth, I wish I could take your words (Ellen's quote of you) and put them on a Hallmark card and give it to every new parent who "Hits the Lotto"
I am so glad to be getting to know you...if not for Oliver, I do not believe I would have ever had been given the opportunity.
Your story is beautiful!
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EAS1971



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PostSubject: Re: The Story of Oliver   Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:06 pm

Thanks everyone!!! Smile

You know, that's a pretty cool idea on the Hallmark card thing. Wouldn't it be neat to have a book or little cards to hand out to new parents????

_________________
--Beth
Mom to Oliver, 7 (DS, ADHD)
and Sebastian, 6
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