Vadas Birth Story

I realize now after several failed attempts that I can not go back into a time that feels not only like yesterday but also what seems life a million life times ago.

I had high hopes of what I would write. I wanted so badly to share my pregnancy and the birth of Vada by using beautiful and poetic words, but I just cant pull out the right ones to use. To express the pain that I felt or the loneliness that I went through while I was on weeks and weeks of bed rest so long ago is difficult for me to do. I cant express in words the powerful life altering emotions that I went through and still prove to you as a reader that the happiness that I also felt triumphed over it all. My emotions were so blurred together then, that its difficult to put it all into words now.

I wanted Vada's birth story to be perfectly wrote so that there was never any doubt about my love for her. I wanted her story to stop who ever was reading it and it to make them think..., really think. I wanted the story to change peoples perceptions, not just with Down syndrome but life in general. In my mind, Vada's birth story had to be not just another story but something that changed the inner thinking of all who read it. (I call this form of thinking "Change the World Syndrome" and I have it!)

With each day that passes it becomes harder and harder to tell her our birth story. I say "ours"" because lets face it, I was there too.

So, here's the deal. In the beginning of my blog I wrote about the hospital trips during our pregnancy.  I wrote about the testing and the emotions that came with it all. If your interested and haven't already done so you can read them here, here, here, here, here, here, here and finally here. Sorry, I know its a lot of reading, but I thought that I would make it a bit easier by giving you the direct links to them.

What I really want to do is share my pregnancy and one of  the most amazing days of my life with you. It was the day that my beautiful baby girl Vada was born! Everything else, just doesn't matter. I realize now, that one persons perception over another is their own business. What matters is the way that I feel and I love this little girl to pieces. I love every single last drop of her and I hope that each and everyone of you are able to experience this kind of love in your lifetime....

I started out as a pretty small woman but grew quickly into a ball of pregnancy bliss!

We had too many sonograms and ECHO's to count but these two are two of my favorite photo's that we were given. With weekly visits that lasted hours and hours, seeing Vada was what got me through it all!

Due to all of the complications and the difficulties with keeping me from constantly going into labor and due to the fact that we knew Vada would need her Duodenal Atresia repaired, and quite possibly her heart, we scheduled an induction in Peoria. We all felt it was the safest decision to make.

I wanted to have an all natural birth. In fact, before finding out about any of Vada's medical conditions I was very close to talking Justin into doing a home water birth. However, our story goes a little differently than I had originally wanted and planned.

My good friend Janel took this picture and to this day it is one of my most favorite pregnancy pictures that I have!

The labor was difficult. Which I am sure had a lot to o with the inductions process. I ended up taking pain medication and then having an epidural.

I tried so hard to bring Vada into this world naturally and then when that didn't work all I wanted was to have a vaginal birth.

That too was disrupted when Vada's head twisted to an odd angel and she became stuck in the birth canal.

At first I was determined to push her out. I really thought that I could if I tried hard enough but her oxygen levels depleted and we had to do an emergency cesarean.

How very flattering, huh?
I didn't get to see Vada coming into this world but her daddy did and for that I am grateful.

When I look at these pictures I cant help but to think that my little frog legged baby looks like an angel. Perfect in every conceivable way.

Unfortunately, Vada had bile in her stomach and it was apparent. The nurses were unable to wait for me to wake up before Vada had to be taken to the PICU. Surgery for Vada's Duodenal Atresia repair was in the mix and a tube needed to be placed in her throat to help withdraw the toxins until the repairs could be made and the bile had stopped its reverse flow.

I didn't get to meet my daughter until almost an hour after she was born and it was closer to two hours before I held her in my arms.

I was strapped to my hospital bed and wheeled down and through the PICU for our first introductions. The moment I laid my eyes on her I felt a flood of relief wash through my body and quite possibly even through my soul.

When she was in my arms and I could feel her warmth and smell her sweetness. I knew she was right where she belonged! I knew every hardship that we all had face thus far was worth it!

 I made sure to kiss her and to tell her that I loved her. I even remember that I apologized for not getting to her sooner than I had.

Take notice to the couple in the background-that's Grandpa and Grandma.
Justin was a proud Daddy and he was excited to show me everything he had already seen in our baby girl. I remember hearing his voice as he rambled on, clearly already in love with his daughter, but I too was lost in her and remember hearing only his voice but not his actual words.

Vada had her Duodenal Atresia repair done with in the first several hours after being born. We were told that we could expect to hold off on heart repairs for a minimum of a few months, we hadn't fully expected this bit of news and we were grateful for it.

Vada laid in her bed for several days following the DA surgery with no one allowed to hold her, including me. It was hard and I was terrified that any touch would cause her pain.

Over the course of the next few days we were able to hold her more often.

The girls were even able to come and visit her.

Eventually, we were able to "bath" Vada and even weigh her and then shortly after that I could practically hold her when ever I wanted which made things even easier to bear!

At one point towards the end of this stay her bilirubin levels were high. Therefore, she spent a few more of her days basking under a nice warm lamp. It was her own personal island of sun.

Her hospital stay lasted a total of three whole weeks. During this time the hospital was in the end process of building a new children's hospital that would be more "family friendly". Since we were still in the old hospital, I had to leave her every night. Leaving her was one of the hardest things that I had to do.

Justin had to leave Vada and I and return back home and to work two weeks after she was born. He was at work the day that Vada was released. Her release wasn't fully expected at that moment so we were all a bit shocked but thrilled!

When we arrived home we were greeted by Justin, who had left work early, his parents and our two older daughters. 

I often look back and replay different events of my pregnancy with Vada. I can see certain things quite vividly as if it had all happened just yesterday. The memories play like an old movie. Skipping in some areas and blurring in others but what I do remember is the important things. I remember how hard we all worked and all of the sacrifices that were made, especially from my husband and his parents. Those sacrifices got us to where we are today-here, healthy and at home with Vada!