My husband and I had been married for seven years before deciding we were ready to have a child, or at least we thought we were as ready as we would ever be. We had enjoyed our time together, worked on our careers, and traveled as much as possible.
Fast-forward two years later…we discovered we were pregnant! We were ecstatic and joyful and giddy with excitement. We go for our first ultrasound and discover that there is not just a Baby A but a Baby B as well. To say the least, we were surprised, shocked, and scared. We asked ourselves, how would we handle two babies, how would we afford two babies, and most importantly would this jeopardize my well-being carrying multiples?
At 36.5 weeks, my blood pressure began to creep upwards. My OB-GYN decided that is was best to go ahead and induce labor. After a very easy delivery, we met Adeline Claire Dobbs and Solon Carter Dobbs IV. Both appeared to be healthy and happy right after the delivery. Both were sent to the well baby nursery for the first night. The next morning the neonatologist thought it would be best to send Solon down to the NICU for closer monitoring. He was having some difficulty maintaining body temperature, and his blood sugars were a bit low. No need to panic…just to be safe.
A week later, Solon was still in the NICU, and the doctors decided to order further testing, including chromosomal testing…just to rule everything out. Two days later we received the news. Yes, your son does have Trisomy 21, and I am sorry we missed it earlier. So now…we have a 2-week-old daughter at home and a 2-week-old son with Down Syndrome in the NICU. I was immediately contacted by CMDSS, given references and resources, and instructed by our NICU case manager on our next steps.
Many times I have found that it is not only what I am told or learn, but also when that can make the difference.
Like so many families in our situation, we struggled to balance the grief, anger, happiness, and a burning desire to obtain more information. We quickly recognized that CMDSS and the many families involved in the organization were not only able and willing to offer comfort, but knowledge as well. Knowledge can be a curious thing. Many times I have found that it is not only what I am told or learn, but also when that can make the difference. Some facts need to be learned quickly, despite the sting, yet other information comes only when we are ready for it to be absorbed.
Solon and his twin sister just celebrated their third birthday, and as I reflect on our time together I recognize the importance of the connections made with the caring and compassionate individuals linked to CMDSS. These families share in our struggles and our triumphs. For me, the lesson is simple — I have been given two beautiful children, and our journey has led us to a group of people who offered us information and community. As I look into my son’s eyes and hold him close, I can only ask, what more could a mother want?