Happy Birthday Alayna Faith, we love you dearly!
I thought I would share her birth story with you to remember the special day that she entered our lives.
I had a wonderful pregnancy. At 15 weeks I did the prenatal testing and the results gave us a 1 in 10 chance of having a baby with down syndrome.
As I had had 2 miscarriages between Aidan and Alayna I opted for no amnio, we wouldn't terminate even if the test was positive for ds I just wanted to know so we could best prepare ourselves if there were any special needs.
We had a level 2 ultrasound and the doctor told us that Alayna had none of the 18 soft markers for ds. We were relieved,thankful and excited to hear we were having a little girl.
At 34 weeks, I was measuring a little small so they sent me back to the perinatologist and began biweekly tests to monitor her size and heart rate.
We had another level 2 ultrasound and at this time the doctor said her arms were a bit shorter than average, she explained this away with Jason and I weren't large people.
She believed Alayna did not have ds, that she was just a little over 4 1/2 pounds and due to placental issues she wasn't growing as well as they would like.
At that moment I felt in my heart that Alayna did indeed have down syndrome, I left the doctors office in tears.
On our way home we saw a license plate that said, "Have Faith". Jason pointed this out to me and from that moment forward I was at peace with everything, special needs or not I just wanted a healthy baby.
I was put on 4 hours of bed rest a day...really with a 5 year old how do you do that? I spent each afternoon that Aidan was gone to kindergarten lying on my left side. If you know me you know I don't sit still for long, let alone lie around when I have things to do.
However, this was an awesome time for me to have one on one, uninterrupted time with God for him to prepare me for Alayna's arrival. In retrospect, these few weeks assured me that Alayna would be healthy and prepared me to celebrate her birth.
On Thursday, October 9, 2008 (37 weeks 1 day) I went into the OB for my morning monitoring the doctor saw a drop in Alayna's heart rate and sent me to the hospital just as a precaution for more monitoring.
After the whole afternoon at the hospital they declared us healthy and fed me a great salad lunch and sent me on my way.
I arrived home about the time Aidan was getting home from school. We did his homework and started making dinner. Jason arrived a few minutes later. A few minutes after 5 the phone rang and it was the nurse from my OB's office. She said DON'T eat dinner and you need to be back to the hospital by 7 for a 9pm c section as they had re looked at Alayna's chart from the monitoring and her heart rate had dipped again late in the afternoon.
NO, NO, NO I am having a VBAC not a c section are you sure? I wanted to speak with my doctor. The doctor herself called me a few minutes later and assured me that Alayna was ok but, that they were concerned with her stress level and wanted to get her out.
WHAT???? We were in shock mode. Thankfully my parents were still in town so we called my mom and she headed straight over to stay with Aidan. I went to pack my bag and Jason headed to the basement to unbox the car seat and install it in the car. Did I mention that we weren't ready to have a baby this day? I had thankfully talked Jason into buying a pack of diapers and wipes the weekend before just in case.
We headed to the hospital and were immediately moved into a room and prepped for surgery. At little after 8:00pm they began surgery, everything went smoothly. Alayna arrived screaming at 8:16pm and weighed in at a hefty 4 pounds 14 oz and was 16 1/2 inches long.
The doctor told me "She is beautiful". I could see Alayna as the nurse practitioner examined her and I knew immediately that she did have ds.
Jason was standing next to the warmer and the nurse asked if he knew anything about down syndrome as she began explaining the signs that Alayna seemed to have down syndrome. Jason had that deer in the headlights look, he said "No I don't know anything about down syndrome". He immediately turned off and I could tell he was hearing nothing of what was being said.
From the operating table I interrupted the nurse and told her to come over to me and tell me the information. She did and I was thankful. Her information confirmed what God had shared with me and instead of being sad I celebrated this new little blessing and even though she was tiny she was healthy.
On Saturday morning, the on call OB came in to check on me and shared that she had delivered another baby girl with ds the evening before (we learned a little later that it was our wonderful buddy LC).
Jason and I set out on a mission to find that little girl and her parents (with a little help from the staff). We were pleasantly surprised to learn that Courtney & Justin were adopting LC and they knew prenatally that she had ds and a heart condition.
Jason was amazed, it was one of the turning points in his acceptance of Alayna's diagnosis. We thank God for planting these friends in our path to make our walk through life easier.
Alayna spent 17 days in the NICU due to low body temperature, she needed a little oxygen for a couple days and she had a great sucking reflex and latched on to nursing immediately she just would tire out too soon and not get enough food. She was on an NG tube for 2 weeks. Then all of a sudden she was strong enough and big enough that she didn't need that tube anymore. We brought her home on October 26, 2009 healthy, tube free and beautiful it was the second happiest day of her life!
Alayna is now 1 year old! Today at the doctor she weighed in at 17 pounds 6 oz.(55%) and is 27 inches long (40%).
It has been an incredible year filled with many blessings. We thank God for the blessing of Aidan and Alayna, and for you supporting our family, loving our Alayna and praying for us on a regular basis. You are a blessing to us too!
Here is the purple butterfly outfit Alayna wore at 3 weeks old to show how much she has grown.
Tonight she will get to enjoy cake and ice cream with the family!
Pictures soon to follow.