Life's Journey with Down Syndrome

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Number of posts : 208
Age : 58
Registration date : 2009-01-27

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PostSubject: Reuben's story   Reuben's story Icon_minitimeSun Nov 18, 2012 11:06 pm

I had a scheduled induction for the birth of my 3rd child for the day before my due date. I had gestational diabetes and the doctor didn't want the baby to get too large. I had had a good pregnancy and felt great, only gained 10 pounds cheers and other than the diabetes, which was controlled by diet, I had no complications.
My husband and I had declined prenatal testing, just as we had 3 years prior with our daughter. Due to my "advanced" maternal age, I was considered high risk. We had several ultrasounds and all showed a healthy baby boy. We were excited to have a son join our family of 2 daughters!
I don't remember a lot from the day of Reuben's birth. The first few hours were pretty routine for being checked in, settled in a room, iv started, and then the waiting. I don't know what time I got the epidural, I think it was after 12:00pm. Things went downhill from there. The room became crowded with doctors, nurses and more nurses. I think at the time of delivery there were 9 people in the room besides Wayne and myself. Reuben was in distress, my blood pressure was critically high, it was "deliver him or we do an emergency c-section". The doctor decided that getting Reuben out was more of a priority than waiting for my body to be ready. I was only dilated to 7 when the doctor had me push. Reuben was born at 3:30 pm. He had the cord wrapped around his neck and he had swallowed meconium. Thankfully, he was not the big baby they anticipated. In fact, at 6 lbs 7 oz, he was my smallest baby! Wayne knew at first glance that Reuben had Down syndrome. He looked at me and just nodded. For one brief moment my heart fell, and then I took a deep breath and mentally told myself that we would love him and do the best we could for him. That was the end of grieving and the beginning of total acceptance.
You might wonder how my husband knew at a glance that Reuben had Down syndrome. And you might wonder how we accepted that with little or no grieving. You see, Wayne was 16 months old when his mother gave birth to his brother, Keith. Keith was born with Down syndrome, the year was 1957. My mother-in-law's wonderful doctor told her to "just take him home, and love him". He was not expected to live past 4. He is now 55. Wayne grew up with his brother (and other siblings), protecting Keith, loving him. Wayne also has a girl cousin 3 months younger than him, she also has Down syndrome. In the 50's and 60's when many of these children were still institutionalized, Wayne was growing up with 2 family members with Down syndrome that lived with the family and participated in everything the family did. How awesome! In 1974, Wayne's older brother's first child was born and she had Down syndrome! He now had a niece, a cousin and a brother with Down syndrome! Wow! How does one family get so blessed? It doesn't stop there! Wayne's oldest sister has a great grandchild with Down syndrome too. Wayne's great-great niece. I came to love Keith and our niece Monica also (the cousin lives out of state and I don't know her well). So when Reuben was born it was really no big deal to my husband and I , we already knew the secret blessing of loving someone with Down syndrome!
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Number of posts : 1118
Age : 45
Humor : Lots and lots please!!!
Registration date : 2009-01-26

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PostSubject: Re: Reuben's story   Reuben's story Icon_minitimeMon Nov 19, 2012 9:33 am

That's amazing, so many in one family. What a blessing to have that experience and personal reference already in place when you had Reuben!

My mother had an older half-brother with DS, who would have been born in the early 40s I believe. He was institutionalized, on the insistence of my grandfather, and it caused the end of his marriage. (Then he married my grandmother and had my mom.) My mom never got to even meet him. But his mother did visit him sometimes I think. Not sure. I sure wish we would have had the privilege to meet him. I remember hearing that he had passed away when I was about 11 or 12 I think. Such a wide variety of stories are out there of how families reacted that long ago...

Thanks for sharing your story!

Reuben's story Readingsisters-siggy102311
RK, Mommy to Braska (DS) 11/21/06 and Kinlee 02/09/09
Braska's blog:
RK's blog:
Kinlee's blog:
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