Before Birth

Saturday September 11, 2010

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We first learnt Samuel might have Downs at 12 weeks into the pregnancy, but after more tests it was conclusively confirmed at 14 weeks.
This was all quite a shock for Angie and I, made worse by the attitudes of many older people including parents on the prospect of us bringing up a child with Downs Syndrome. When all we craved for was support this just added to the upset. Many said "You should get rid of it and try for another one", and that we would never be able to go or do anything ever again.
We appreciated that this was sadly the attitude of years ago, and how things were 'in their day', but that is not the case today.
To be truthful, my personal feelings were that it would not be fair to have this child if he were to suffer with pain and a life of serious medical problems, but if our child was  reasonably healthy and could lead a happy life, we could give him all the love and support  needed, where as Angie unconditionally wanted him no matter what.

Maybe in some people eyes he is not a 'normal' child, but what is the definition of a 'normal' child.
All children develop at different rates, if he happens to be slower he will get there in the end, but the main thing all children need is lots of love and cuddles and they are in abundant  supply for our little boy.

The younger generation of friends and work colleagues were fully supportive from day one, both our bosses were terrific. My boss was wonderful allowing me to attend all the hospital appointments (which were many, you could fill a photo album with all the scan pictures) and so understanding. Angie's boss and colleagues were also supportive and were a great comfort when news of results came through. Our friends were also offering their services as baby sitters.

Our local Hospital at Margate were also wonderful and supportive. On receiving confirmation of the baby's condition we were invited along to discuss things and they were unbiased, the decision on how we preceded was totally ours. They arranged a next day appointment at the Evelina Children's Hospital in London for a heart scan, made even more amazing as Samuel's heart at this early stage was the size of a grain of rice. We were overjoyed to hear after this and one more appointment that all was normal with his heart. This was also the point at which we found out we were expecting a little boy. Some might view finding out at this stage would take away the surprise at the end but it really helped us focus on what was to come.
Soon our initial shock turned to joy and excitement at the prospect of Samuel coming into our lives.

At about 30 weeks, we read in the national press that Eastenders (a very popular 'soap opera' in the United Kingdom made by BBC television) was going to run a storyline about a couple giving birth to a child with Down's Syndrome. The Birth of this child happened about two months before Samuel's. It depicted the Mother and Grandmother at first rejecting the little girl as it was not their 'perfect' baby they had hoped for. The father's feelings were entirely different and he just wanted to love his little daughter but not at the expense of his marriage. We watched it, although to be honest it was very hard at times. After many ups and downs with the story, the Mother and Grandmother came to terms with things and are living as a proper family.
It was good to see this as it brought Down's Syndrome more to peoples attention and we hope that the little girl continues to be part of the programme.

On 11th October we had the first visit from a lady who was part of the Herne Bay Health Visitor Team, she was accompanied by a student Health Visitor. They had come to tell us about the various services available and what to expect once Samuel was born - visits, weigh-ins and immunisations as well as support services available for a special needs child.
We received Samuel's Red Book with special inserts to track his weight, length and head circumference as Down's children's development is at a different pace.
We were asked to contact them as soon as Samuel was born as they would be our first point of contact if we had any questions or concerns.
 
After frequent scans the final scan on 16th October showed that the fluid around Samuel was reducing so the hospital decided that he should be induced, this was to be sooner rather than later on 19th October at 38 weeks.

Home | Before Birth | In Hospital | Samuel Comes Home | Feelings of Friends | A Year On | Samuel is One!! | Samuel is Two!! | Bon Appetite! | 'EIEIO...' | Recommendations | What a Busy Boy! | Majorca 2008 | Samuel Rides Again! | Fun on the Beach | Samuel's Gallery

This page was last updated Wednesday June 17, 2009