The early months with Wade had their ups and downs but most of that was due to fact that we were new parents and were working this thing out as best we could. Down Syndrome played its part but only in the practical hiccups that we had along the way. There were more doctors appointments than usual, more information to understand and more time spent working on his physicality to help with his development. The thoughts I’d had during pregnancy about what it would mean to raise a child with DS didn’t change after he was born. Wade was happy and healthy and Down Syndrome was not much of an issue for us, luckily. I felt validated that all of the research and mental preparation I had done had paid off and I was already realising that Wade was capable of surprising things…
The first few weeks were were certainly anxiety ridden but joining a mother’s group and getting involved with Down Syndrome Victoria programs like the My Time mothers group saved me from myself. Meeting new people in a group setting has never been my forte, though. I’m usually badly behaved in group settings as I find them unnatural and formula driven. I can’t stand groups where you have to do trust building exercises or turn to the person next to you and think of three things nice to say about them. Ice breaking exercises designed by someone with a Public Relations degree but no idea how actual people actually talk to each other. If I find myself in these things against my will, I usually leave my “appropriate tone and comment” filter in the car. Therefore I was skeptical as to whether I would get past the first week but I knew it would be a great benefit for Wade to have some social networks and I hoped I would get some benefit out of it too. It was important to me that he formed friendships with the local kids who didn’t have DS as well as the ones that did. Continue reading
Wade was (still is, although there is some stubbornness creeping in) a dream baby. My idea of having a newborn in the house was, scream, scream, poo, scream, finally asleep, shh, shh, creep around, don’t wake the….dammit, scream, more poo, dried spew in your hair and maybe a smile every now and then.
Wade hardly ever cried. He settled quickly into the feed, play sleep routine. When he fell asleep, nothing really woke him. He usually slept for an hour on the dot and woke up smiling. In fact he smiled most of the time and only pooed once a week for the first 5 months of his life. I think this is actually due to the low muscle tone meaning that everything took longer to work its way through but I was counting it as a win. Other mothers would groan as I complained about how he was getting a bit grumpy as poo day was coming up, when they had just cleaned the third poo for the day off the walls, the floor, the car seat, change table or whatever else was nearby.
And he was this cute too….
The morning after Wade was born, we were lounging around in bed waiting for the paediatrician to come and give his assessment as to whether Wade had DS or not. We already knew that he did but this was a necessary procedure as you need an official diagnosis by blood test which has to be ordered by a paediatrician. They also assessed him to see if there were any underlying health issues.
My sister, Sammy, was there when the paediatrician arrived. He also had with him, a visiting paediatrician and a trainee. So, I’m in bed with Wade, Mick was at home getting a few things and Sammy is sitting on the bed too. At the foot of the bed is a wall of doctors. They take Wade to examine him and the two paediatricians explain everything to the trainee. They pointed out all of the physical characteristics of DS to look for when doing an assessment. Continue reading
The final week of pregnancy was awful. I was hot, swollen, uncomfortable and getting really impatient. Logic was telling me this thing can’t stay in there forever but I honestly thought it would never happen. The night before, I went for a walk down the park and I was so grumpy! Waddling along, wingeing and moaning thinking I would feel this awful forever.
The next morning around 7am I got up and there was a”show”. Hooray! Something was happening. All morning I felt a dull groan in my belly and I wandered around the house thinking how excited I was that I would finally meet my baby. I had been warned that these things take time and pre labour could go for hours, days even. I called my parents and sister, Sammy, and told them maybe over night or tomorrow we should have the baby. I had asked Sammy and my mum to be there for the delivery. From what I had seen of labour, it took days and I thought Mick could use the support of another person and maybe they could take shifts. Sammy told me to relax, it would be ages yet. I rang the Birthing Centre and they told me the same thing.