Wyatt Michael

So I guess everyone is wondering how everything went?
We had the MaterniT21 test performed at 10.5 weeks. 2 weeks later the results came in. All we knew at that appointment was that the baby did not have T13, T18, T21. We had a *very* quick u/s and then we went home with the gender in a sealed envelope. I passed that precious piece of paper off until we were ready to look.
At that appointment the doctor let us know that he had to offer the NT scan since it is the “standard of care”. I was confused, because we had just been informed that our newest addition was healthy. The NT scan would look for an enlarged nucal fold and other markers of Ds…so why offer it after we had just performed superior testing?
It’s all because MaterniT 21 isn’t the standard yet. I sure hope it becomes that way soon!!

It was hard to wait, but so worth it.
We were surrounded with some close family and friends when we found out. We popped a black balloon to reveal BLUE confetti and I couldn’t have been more surprised. Apparently I have bad mother’s intuition: I literally had just dreamt it was a girl!!

It was simple. It was fun. We are blessed.

We chose the name Wyatt Michael. It was an easy choice but left me feeling conflicted, as I was with Eli’s name. When you are naming a baby with Down syndrome, it somehow takes on a new meaning- family name? what will the family think? will the person feel honored?
Ultimately, we prayed a lot and found the perfect name for our little light baby. I couldn’t imagine him having any other name.
And now, knowing we are having another boy, we have decided to use part of Barry’s name. Barry, of course, is so proud that it’s another boy. I’m happy. I wanted Eli to have a brother and now Ruby will be the sweet sweet spoiled princess 😉 Everyone wins.

I wanted to thank everyone who had supported us and celebrated our growing family. I think we are still in shock.

Pregnancy wise, Wyatt is well and I am sick as a dog. I was just hospitalized this week for dehydration and illness. I’ve been fighting off a nasty head cold and I can’t seem to shake it. I can’t smell, cant taste, can’t breathe from my nose. I have a cough and just feel puny. I tried to work on Monday but couldn’t make it through the day. I went to see my OB for a check up and more meds but before I could do anything else, I was sent to the hospital. My OB was worried- been sick for too long. So that was a fun day. I woke up feeling a bit better but still can’t breathe.

Pregnancy wise- We are floating along as scheduled. I am starting to feel him roll, poke and flutter which is cool. That was always my favorite part.

We are finally getting some fall weather so naturally we took the kids to the pumpkin patch and have all the windows open. When “fall” comes to Texas, we put fleece blankets on the bed, burn one fire, and pretend the leaves are changing 🙂
I guess not much else is going on in our world. I’m beginning Christmas shopping, getting the hang of our new schedule and trying to craft when I can.

MaterniT 21- Define Normal

20130310-082613.jpgI used to think I knew what “normal” was. If you would have asked me three years ago I would have tried to come up with something but honestly it’s difficult to define. What really is normal?

“typical”- adjective 1. of the nature of or serving as a type or representative specimen. 2. conforming to a particular type. I wanted my childern to assimilate and be typical.

Our path isn’t typical but it isn’t bad either. Every day our new “normal” becomes more and more typical. But normal? Well I don’t really know what that is.
I believe that if you take a step back and look at your own life you will find the same is true for your family. Maybe I’m wrong, but I know one thing for sure, our normal isn’t wrong and we feel blessed daily by our Eli.

I guess what got me thinking about it was all the MaterniT21 buzz. There has been a lot of discussion about the new test since we took it ourselves in 2011. It seems crazy to me that it has even been that long!

MaterniT 21:
-99% accuracy
-Can be performed as early as 10 weeks
-Detects Trisomy 13, 18 and 21 + gender
-No risk to fetus or mom
-Results in 2 weeks
-Company will attempt to bill insurance- max out of pocket is $240

Anyway- as we look to the future of our family and what that may mean, I’ve spent time thinking about how important it really is.
Most women in early pregnancy say things like- “We don’t care about the gender we just want a healthy baby”, “I’m not doing prenatal testing because the results wouldn’t change our decision”. We say those things knowing that it does matter and our expectation is “normal”.

Many special needs parents are reeling at the idea that a woman would know so early in her pregnancy that their child will have Trisomy 13, 18, or 21- and how that might affect their decision to maintain that pregnancy. It’s scary to think about honestly. A life without Eli?

We found out at 20 weeks that Eli would have Ds. By then, he was ours. I could feel him, we had named him, he was our baby. The diagnosis was scary but it truly didn’t matter because he was ours.

My point in all this is that I am so thankful we took the MaterniT21 test and were able to get the prenatal care we needed. Our pregnancy was stressful and yes there was grieving but being emotionally prepared made my sons birth what it should have been- a celebration. I spent so much time worrying about Eli and trying to define “normal” that I lost focus on what was important- my pregnancy and my son. Thank you, Lord for opening these blind eyes to the joy that is Eli!
THAT is why I think this test is so amazing- I understand the risks that go with such early detection, but the benefits outweigh that in my mind. We got specialized ultrasounds, heart echos, were more closely monitored, and we were able to research and plan for what Down syndrome would mean for our family.

In one month we will be celebrating Eli’s 1 year birthday. Celebrating his life. We never knew we would be the 1:1200 but we are thankful every day for our normal.

I hope that through my family I am able to show others that this is a life worth living- that all life is precious and that Down syndrome is not something to fear. It’s not scary and our kids deserve every opportunity anyone else is afforded. We are working to redefine “normal”. This is real.

For more information on the MaterniT 21 test: Sequenom

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you. Jeremiah 1:5

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalms 139:13

REBLOG:The Gift of Special Needs– Another mom’s perspective on prenatal testing.
This.– So well said and worth a read! Down syndrome: a promise of happiness or a curse?

{Hope}

20120527-222305.jpgI’m sitting here at 1am after a very busy week, pumping away with a huge grin on my face. I should be tired and cranky…we have been running around with something new and fun to do every day, I’ve managed to add even more pumpings to my day and Eli has decided to sleep less at night. I’m pooped!! But I’m grinning.
You see, it’s my routine, at 1am, to check my Facebook, stalk my favorite blogs and check my own blog. Keeps me awake while I am questioning why the heck I am up at 1am. Lol
So why I am grinning despite the fact I should be sleeping and have had a busy week? I was checking my blog like I always do when I discovered I had a visitor. Someone who just received a prenatal diagnosis of Ds for their unborn peanut.

Part of me immediately went back to that sad place when we found out. To the day where I knew without a doubt in my heart that Eli had Ds. To all my fears, my tears and my days researching on google. To when I finally reached out to the Ds community for the first time and to the peace and calm I finally gained while waiting for Eli to arrive.
That part of me only visited the past for an instant because I’m living a much better reality. Out life is infinitely better than I could have ever imagined…better than any medical diagnosis or book could prepare me for. Its life with a newborn and it’s so amazing.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that Eli does in fact have Ds. But honestly it’s just not a factor in our lives. This little guy is so loved! Every where we go, people love on him. Our families have completely fallen for Eli- ready to scoop him out of our arms when we walk in the door.
This child is a blessing and I couldn’t imagine my life without him in it.

So I’m grinning because I’m happy. Happy for this momma and her baby’s future. Happy that my blog was able to reach someone- after all, it’s exactly why I’ve shared so much. Hopeful I can reach others and show them the exciting future they have in store- banish their fears and the stereotypes.
This is a life worth keeping, hoping for and loving. I don’t have all the answers and I worry just like any other mother would. But holding my son makes all that other stuff obsolete.

If you have found my blog today because you had a “screen positive” on routine bloodwork, just received a diagnosis of down syndrome for your child, you’ve taken the MaterniT21 test or you are just searching for answers, I hope my blog can help. I’ve been honest about my fears and the process I had to go through to gain acceptance. But none of it matters anymore because Eli is here and he’s perfect. I pray you can see that and that hope can begin to grow in your heart. Hope for the exciting future in store for your family!