At around 7pm on Sunday February 14 I thought I felt my my water break. I called my doctor & they said to come in & they’ll check to see if that’s what it was & if so they’d admit me. I was trying to remain calm & not freak out too much so I took my time, packed my hospital bag (oops didn’t have it ready haha) & we headed to the hospital! We got there after 8 & they did a test & came back that my water did indeed break! I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. And that I wasn’t freaking out more!
I was admitted & sent to my delivery room. They wanted to let me labor naturally & if things didn’t start moving along they’d induce me by 2am. It was the most laid back experience. I ate Popsicles, we watched movies, slept a little & felt very relaxed. Then around 2am they induced me & the contractions started. Before they just felt like tightening but then they started getting real…I could only lay on my left side because any other position would make his heart rate drop low so that was kind of scary. But once I was laying that way he was fine. Then with every contraction, his heart rate would dip down so they took me off of the pitocin to give him a break.
I continued to have contractions & once his heart rate was more stable they put me back on it but a lower dose. By 6am the contractions very very painful!! They kept telling me I could have the epidural whenever I wanted, but I didn’t want to be a baby. They told me I was being very tough & that they were really effective contractions. So at 7:30am I said okay I’m ready for it!! I don’t know how women do it without. It made the whole experience so much more enjoyable!
I watched some more movies & even took a nap! I went from being dilated to 7, to 10 very quickly. They called in my doctor & he asked if I wanted to start pushing & I said “yes!! Why wait?!” So I started pushing at 2pm & he was born at 2:09!! My doctor was very impressed with my pushing skills haha. After Martin cut the cord, the doctor plopped him right on my chest & little Martin looked right into my eyes & I melted. It was love at first sight. 5 lbs 7 oz & 18.6 inches long. I couldn’t believe he was ours!!! We both cried with joy.
They asked what we were going to name him & I looked over at Marty & he said “Martin James Clason Jr.” I didn’t know Marty was on board with the name & I was so excited!!! He said he’d been on board for a month & was trolling me haha. He was very blue so they had to give him some oxygen but we could hear him cry so that was very reassuring. My nurses & Doctor were amazing.
We couldn’t believe was a relaxing and peaceful experience it all was!! Little did we know what we were in for…before my parents came in to meet him our nurse pointed out that he had a few markers for Down syndrome: he has one line that goes all the way across his palms, only one joint in his pinky finger, upturned eyes & a gap between his big toe & the rest. At first we were thinking that there was no way! He looked completely fine, they said he was healthy & I am young!! But then we realized they were right…
We had to wait on genetic testing to be sure, but we knew. Never in a million years would we have expected that. Immediately I thought, “did I do something wrong?! Is it my fault?” We both broke down but know our Lord has an amazing plan & we couldn’t love Martin junior any more. Once the initial shock wore off we are so at peace. The Lord will equip us whatever the tests say. Marty is such an amazing dad & the way he’s handing this amazes me. He cried with me when we found out but immediately said how much he loves him & he’s his son so he’s perfect. Martin Jr. seriously SO perfect & I am so blessed to be his mommy.
My parents came in to meet him & when we told them they didn’t even skip a beat & told him how much they love him & that he was NOT a mistake. The tests did come back positive for Trisomy 21 which meant they would do an Echo ultrasound on his heart to make sure he didn’t have any heart problems-which is very common with Down syndrome. We weren’t worried because nothing had shown up on my 20 week ultrasound & they didn’t hear anything off when they examined him since he was born.
But to our shock, a cardiologist came back to inform us that he has an AV canal defect. Which is basically two holes in his heart that makes it so the blood mixes & can get into the lungs. (That may not actually be right, I think I blocked it out) He said it doesn’t repair on its own & will require surgery. I was in complete shock. They couldn’t tell us more until someone could read the ultrasound more completely. They compared it to congestive heart failure.
I cried harder than I’ve ever cried before. I couldn’t imagine them taking my tiny baby away for open heart surgery. We thought we were going to lose him. We cried out to the Lord & begged him to heal Martin Jr. & that if surgery was necessary that He would watch over & protect him. We had just gotten past the shock of his diagnosis & now this. I didn’t think I could handle it. I am so blessed to be walking through this all with Martin Sr. He is so strong & yet he cried with me & prayed when I couldn’t.
Waiting to hear the next steps was excruciatingly painful. The next day, the cardiologist came back & explained that normally the symptoms don’t start until babies are 4-6 weeks old & they start to breathe rapidly consistently in a way that effects their eating. He said it’s a gradual thing & we will know. At that point, they would give him medication to balance out the pressures in his heart & lungs until he is 3-6 months old & strong enough for surgery. I felt like a massive weight was lifted off my shoulders!!
He wouldn’t be whisked off to surgery & it wouldn’t be a sudden tragic moment that his heart would give out. He said the surgery is extremely successful & once his heart is healed he’ll have so much more energy & will likely be able to nurse! We were overjoyed. He joked that he’d never had people so excited about open heart surgery before!!
This was amazing news compared to what we were expecting.
We had family come to meet him and then the day after he was born, he was taken to the NICU so they could keep a close watch on his heart. He also had to be put on an IV of glucose because his blood sugars needed to be regulated.
He looked so tiny & helpless in the incubator hooked up to everything. I couldn’t believe this was happening. He wasn’t getting enough of my milk & wouldn’t latch on & my heart broke. I was so looking forward to nursing & was devastated I wasn’t able to. He wasn’t strong enough, yet I felt like I was the one failing. I couldn’t even feed my baby…the enemy knew right where to strike. Thankfully I was able to pump & they gave him my milk through a feeding tube. Everyone kept saying that my milk was the best thing for him. And I was so happy he was able to at least get it, even if it wasn’t through nursing.
The next 2 weeks have been an absolute whirlwind & roller coaster of emotions. In the midst of it all, we’ve had such an overwhelming sense of peace. This is exactly where we are supposed to be. I feel more sure of that every day. Martin Jr. is not a mistake, there is nothing “wrong” about him & who he is. He is a child of the King & we are beyond blessed our Lord chose us to be his parents. I have such a fierce love for little Marty that grows each & every day!
We couldn’t believe how many people took time to make us meals & bring them to the hospital or to our home! That has been such a gift. The outpouring of love & support is incredible. So many people have committed to praying for Martin Jr. & our entire family & we will be forever grateful.
Blown away at the amount of genuine care we received from the nurses. Every one of my nurses who took care of me & Martin Jr. were so amazing & took such great care of us. Once he was transferred to the NICU they would ask for updates & wanted to make sure Martin sr. & I were doing ok. Their care goes way above & beyond just their job. I can feel it. One nurse, Laurel, who walked me out once I was discharged made me promise to call them all on the floor to give them an update on Jr. 🙂
The Lord hears your prayers & we sure feel covered in prayer & love. I’m overwhelmed (in the best way) at the amount of people offering to make meals, just talk, or anything else they can do to make us feel comfortable. We have the most amazing support system & everyone at the hospital comments on that & can see it.
We still get to snuggle our little guy which is a huge blessing! He’s getting stronger every day & is actually starting to nurse more. He gets very tired but he definitely knows what he’s doing. We learned how to put in & take out his feeding tube & how to feed him through it in case he doesn’t take his whole bottles.
My mom has been by my side nearly every day when Martin is at work. And I cannot thank her enough. Whether it’s to hold our sweetie while I pump, cleaning my pump parts, being there to talk to or holding me when I cry & don’t think I can do it…she’s been there. You never stop needing your mom. I now am just beginning to understand her incredible love for all of us kids! Now I’m extra blessed to have a mother in love who has come nearly every day to love on our little Marty & to encourage me & listen. I couldn’t ask for more.
The nurses, doctors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, geneticists, & cardiologists have made what could’ve been a horrible experience somehow comfortable. Of course we’d rather have him home, but we feel so confident he’s receiving the best care. And more importantly, they genuinely care for him-not just his treatment & that warms my mommy heart.
It’ll still be a long road but we feel so confident in our Lord & the plan He has for us. We can’t wait to see more of Martin Jr’s little personality & know for a fact the Lord will use him in big ways. He already is. He melts hearts of everyone he meets 🙂 I’m so proud of our little fighter & know he’ll get through this! Thank you all again for your continued love & prayers!!