28 September 2012

A Mother's Perspective...

I found the video below while on You Tube watching videos about Down syndrome.  I found this mother's relay of her experience truly beautiful.  

27 September 2012

Level II Ultrasound at 25 Weeks

This morning, Dustin and I met with our Perinatologist to complete our second Level II Ultrasound.  We learned early on that miscarriage (defined as loss of the fetus prior to 20 weeks gestation) is common for about 75% of babies with Down syndrome.  Once you reach 20 weeks, the correct terminology is actually stillbirth, which occurs in about 10% of the babies that make it past 20 weeks.  Apparently the reason for death is unknown and unpredictable so it's not something that we can attempt to manage prenatally.

So, the purpose of our Level II Ultrasound today and going forward (I have another scheduled at 29 weeks) is to monitor baby's growth and verify that things seem to be progressing forward.  Our Peri told me this morning that if we get further down the road and baby's growth stops or slows down substantially, we may decide to deliver him sooner than planned, however wouldn't want to take him before 35 or 36 weeks.

Fortunately our little guy seems to be doing as well as expected and nothing new or "worse" seemed to present itself during the ultrasound (although we do have another fetal echocardiogram next Wednesday, so we'll get a much more in depth look at his heart then).  He was estimated to weigh about a pound and a half, which is normal for this gestational age.  As a bonus, we were able to bring home a few new ultrasound photos of our sweet little guy!

20 September 2012

Feeling Baby's Movements at 24 Weeks

Up until 18 weeks gestation, we were under the impression that we were expecting a "typical" baby.  We found out at 18 weeks, 2 days that we were expecting what we believed to be a "typical" baby boy and then 3 days later, we discovered the abnormal 18 week quad marker screening results and since then we've been in a spiral of discoveries and emotions.  While I've felt relatively optimistic about our future and we've been surrounded by an abundance of support, I've had my fair share of days where I've experienced depression, sadness, excessive crying, etc.

Feeling the baby move has brought back the sense of joy I had about our pregnancy before we found out about the baby's heart defect and Down syndrome.  The movements have been God's special reminder that the life He has chosen to give us is growing and thriving inside my body.  I've been feeling him move since about 20 or 21 weeks gestation but the movements have grown in intensity over the last couple of weeks to the point that Dustin was even able to feel the baby move this morning!

I am so excited to meet this little baby (in due time, of course) and am looking forward to watching him grow and helping him to learn in the months and years to come.

We are blessed.