Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Do I Wish We Would've Known?

In a word, No. In another word, Nope.

There are several ways to find out prenatally if a fetus has Down syndrome. There are procedures like amniocentisis and CVS, and oftentimes the neuchal fold is visible in a 20 week ultrasound. I didn't even think to have any of these tests performed.

Mirabel's 20 week ultrasound picture. Cutie!

I am a thinker and a planner. I know that if I had received the diagnosis during my pregnancy that I would have begun the research process. I would have read that children with Down syndrome often have myriad other diagnoses like heart problems, kidney problems, and thyroid issues, many very serious. I would have learned that most babies with Down syndrome have a difficult time sucking, because they lack the muscle tone in their cheeks, tongue, and lips, and so cannot breastfeed well.

I may have had a hard time listening to other mothers talk about the difficulties involved in raising their "typical" babies. I may have worried.

Instead, I enjoyed a healthy, active, happy pregnancy, and relished in hearing her heartbeat on the Doppler at every prenatal checkup. Instead, I didn't let Mirabel's NICU diagnosis as a "poor feeder" keep me from being determined to nurse her. Instead, I received the diagnosis with a sense of calm, and peace, and determination.

Mirabel has surprised us so much so far. I have a feeling the surprises are going to continue.

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