Friday, May 22, 2009

And the Fun Has *Just* Begun...

It's here. Summer vacation. Or should I call it the lazy days of fighting, whining and complaining?

Sorry folks, it is what it is. I am not a fan of summer vacation. I try to be, but really, I just can' isn't natural for me! I love school that much. Yes, I do.

So as not to trivialize all that is going on in my world, I will just be blatently honest with you. I am not doing all that well. I am severly depressed. Majorly messed up--some in the head, but mostly in my heart.

I have guilt. Over what? Over feeling like I am grieving. I am grieving. I don't like it. Not one bit. As one misunderstood person told my husband..."she just needs to get over it". Easier said than done. And nobody is walking in my shoes.

I am grieving the loss of the child I expected...but I truly love the child I've been given. It's just a big, and frankly, scary new world I've been thown into. The world of Down syndrome is frightening to me. I also grieve the loss of a nursing relationship with my daughter. It just isn't happening. Yet. Maybe it never will and I don't know if I can be okay with that.

But, I'm not giving up. Yet.

I'm not thrilled about summer. I am not ready to face an entire brood of children while still trying to work out the kinks in my heart. Honesty, again. It isn't always pretty, is it? I'd like to just go to bed and wake up in August.

Zoloft, here I come!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Sweetness of Life

"In the name, the precious name
of Him who died for me,
I will fight to win a promised crown
Whatever my cross may be."

Faith may be all smiles today, but I am heart is heavy and burdened. I am torn. Confused. Disappointed.

Thank you for your smiles Faith...they are just what your Mama needs!

Lord, come quickly.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Happy One Month Birthday, Faith!

Time sure does fly...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Got Milk?

As tired as I am of doctor's offices, I find myself almost looking forward to Faith's weekly visits to the pediatrician's office for her weight check.


I still get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, stemming from worry and the what-ifs...

That being said, ahem, today Faith showed a gain of EIGHT ounces since her last weigh in a week ago! I just about whooped it up right in front of the scale, but I did my best to retain my composure--and I didn't yelp with delight. Funny how excited I was over those 8 ounces! It *is* exciting though...and it made me proud. I look at my daughter's newly rounded toosh and her plumped up arms, legs and cheeks and I think to myself "I did that!"--I feel almost accomplished in the fact that she is thriving on my milk, even though she's getting it in a bottle.

So, the verdict today was 7lbs 10.5oz--up from 7lbs 2oz last week. And the doctor doesn't need to weigh her again for 2 weeks this time!

Mama's milk...does a baby good, no matter how it's delivered!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

If You Can't Change Your Life...

Change your hair!

I decided that I'd had enough of my drab,dark-rooted hair and I wanted to treat myself to a change. Highlights and a haircut can do wonders for a girl! I don't think anything can be done about the tired-mom-of-a-newborn-bags under my eyes, but oh well, my hair looks good :)

Speaking of being tired, I am really becoming weary of pumping milk. I've been going strong 24 hours a day for the last month and it is growing old quickly. Especially at midnight, 2am and 4am.

However, I am still holding out hope that Faith will nurse sometime soon, so I will keep up the arduous task of pumping around the clock so that I can be ready when she is.

I am learning more and more, day by day, about Down Syndrome. It scares me. It worries me. It makes my heart palpitate with anxiety.

But, more importantly, I am learning more and more just how precious Faith is. I don't look at her as 'my baby with Down Syndrome'--I just look at her as my sweet baby.

I see her through God's eyes. Just as she is.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Just for Cuteness Sake

She's finally tipping the scales at a whole 7lbs 2 oz...go Faith! You're headed in the right direction :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

From the Heart

Cardiologists make me nervous.

Thankfully, they don't seem to have that effect on Faith...

Having an EKG--being swallowed up by all the leads!

Okay, maybe she's a teeny bit nervous here having her blood pressure taken...

After 3 l.o.n.g. hours in the pediatric cardiology office, Faith was given a diagnosis of having a Patent Foramen Ovale. A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a defect in the septum (wall) between the two upper (atrial) chambers of the heart. Specifically, the defect is an incomplete closure of the atrial septum that results in the creation of a flap or a valve-like opening in the atrial septal wall.

Long story short, it may or may not close up on it's own--Faith will be further monitored to determine what, if anything needs to happen as far as intervention/treatment. But, what she doesn't have is any of the major heart defects that afflict upwards of 50% of babies with Down Syndrome. (WHEW!!) We are thankful she is in the *other* 50%.

I am slowly adjusting to the reality that my child has Down Syndrome and all that will mean to her, and to us as a family. Someone at MOPS this past week told me that *I* was the one that was special...because God thought it appropriate to send me such an angel :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

And the Journey Began...

I was elated at the birth of Faith. Her birth was pretty easy all things considering. Painful yes, but over so fast I didn't have much time to think about the pain.

My arms instinctively reached down to pull my newborn to my chest the moment she was born. My wonderful OB made no hesitation in obliging my desire, and allowed me to gather my baby up in my trembling arms immediately. I heard the doctor giving my husband instructions in how to cut the umbilical cord. I drank in my beautiful little baby girl's sweet spirit and then handed her over to the nurse practitioner to place her in the warmer.

Across the room, I heard her strong and beautiful cries floating through the air. Sweet, sweet music to my ears. All was right in my world. My baby girl was here.

The Nurse Practitioner swaddles my baby up tightly in a pink and blue striped hospital blanket and walks over to my bed. "I need to talk to you about your baby" she says. "I am seeing signs that she has Down Syndrome". I hear myself audibly gasp, my heartbeat quickening. She begins to point out the 'characteristics' of Down Syndrome that she sees in my baby. Almond shaped eyes. A wide space between her first and second toes. Small ears. Deep creases on both palms.

"What?" I cry. "I am not that old, how could that happen?" I didn't really hear what was being said. Shock took over my senses, I think. I look at my baby first. She looks perfect to me. But, when I look up through my tear-rimmed eyes in an almost foggy room, I see the concerned faces of 2 nurses, my OB, my Mom, my husband and my friend, Teri. "Is my baby going to die"? I ask, not really wanting to hear the answer. "No sweetie. Your baby looks healthy" explains the Nurse Practitioner. "But, we need to take her to the nursery to make sure she's okay".

I am numb.

I hear someone begin to sob. Heart wrenching sobs. And then I realize I am the one sobbing. I kiss my baby, feeling like she is a stranger, and tell her that I love her. Always and forever. No matter what. And I do love much it hurts.

And here in birthing room 40, begins a whirlwind of emotions. Scary and painful emotions. I am flooded with grief even though I don't quite yet understand why...

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Faith Journey Newcomb
Born: Thursday April 16, 2009
Time: 10:15pm
Weight: 6lbs 7 oz
Length: 19"

During my 38 week OB visit, my blood pressure had shot up to 170/100 so I was sent directly to the Birth Center to have labor induced. 2 doses of Cytotec and 30 minutes of Pitocin later, I went from 3 cms dilated to Faith's birth in less than 10 minutes! One big push and out she came with her elbow next to her head. (ouch!)

Definitely my easiest labor and delivery. And yes, my last labor and delivery too.

Faith is a beautiful baby girl. She also happens to have Down Syndrome. A big surprise, but even at just a mere 2 weeks old, she is already the light of our lives.

I have been wanting to blog before now, but I suppose I just wasn't ready. My emotions run high and my energy runs low as I am on a very hectic schedule of pumping milk every two hours for Faith as she is unable to nurse just yet. She has what's called Hypotonia (low muscle tone)due to her DS (Down Syndrome). I, along with her team of doctors and specialists, are hopeful that she will be able to nurse in the upcoming months as she grows stronger and isn't so sleepy. I cling to that hope each day as my heart just aches to have that relationship with my baby girl.

I will try and post more often, but my free time is sparse these days. Bear with me as we travel down this new and honestly, scary road.

In the mean time, enjoy these pics of my baby girl!