Ariana will be turning two in a little over two months, and lately I’ve been thinking alot about how our little angel came into the world. Her birth story isn’t something out of a book, and it doesn’t have a great beginning. Her birth and the months to follow were honestly some of the hardest, saddest, most emotionally draining, overwhelming days of my life. And not for the reasons you would think.. her diagnoses had nothing to do with my sadness.
On June 5th 2014 at exactly 6am I had my first contraction and every 15 min after that. I labored at home for a couple hours, & then decided to go to the hospital because honestly I was just anxious I wanted to get the ball rolling, I wanted to see my baby. We checked in, and I was only at 2 cm. By that time it was about 11pm. We went home, I labored some more at home. Contractions were every 6 minutes Now so we headed back to the hospital. We arrived and I was still at 2cm. By this time I was exhuasted. I had major what I thought felt like “I’m giving birth RIGHT NOW” contractions all flippin day. I thought I was going to pass out the pain was so bad. I asked for an epidural but could not recieve one because I was only dilated 2cm. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have worked anyways. When I was in labor with Amari the epidurals only worked on my right side for about 10 minutes.
By this time it was around 4am and nothing had changed. No epidural, no change, and stronger contractions. At around 4:45am we had an ultrasound done to make sure everything was okay. & it wasn’t, Ariana’s oxygen levels were very “dangerously” low. The nurse told me “baby needs out, now.”
Ariana was born on June 6th 2016 at 6:28am via C-Section….. she was this beautiful 7lbs 6oz little ball of hair..
From the beginning of the C-section I felt so uneasy, I was anxious, nauseous, and honestly scared. I was trembling in the operating room. I couldn’t breath, I remember feeling like I had weights on my chest and shoulders. I’ll never forget what happened next…
I had 4 doctors working on me, they were as calm as can be, casual conversations while they worked. Mostly about their amazing vacation homes, and world traveling and how much money they would spend on said vacations. They were laughing and just having a good ol’time… that is until my sweet Ariana was born….
She was born and the whole room went silent… Ariana’s dad left my side for the first time to go look at his sweet baby. What a proud daddy, taking videos and a million pictures. The nurse brings her over to me so I can see her. And my very first thought was “She has Down syndrome”… & now I’m so sad that those were my very first thoughts about my baby.. I wish I would have thought about how much hair she had, or how chunky she was, or how she had my nose…
Dad came over to me, gave me a kiss and left with Ariana. They had to run extra test because she has Down syndrome. They checked her heart and hearing right away.
While I was laying there alone.. getting stitched up. All I could say to myself was “She’s beautiful, she’s mine, and she’s going to be okay” I said that to myself a million times if I had to guess. But then I heard the doctors speak about my daughter as if I wasn’t there.. as if she wasn’t as much human as they were.
“Did they know she was going to have Down syndrome?” “I don’t think they did, wow.”
“If my wife was pregnant with a baby that had down syndrome I would make her get an abortion” said one doctor. And they all agreed.
My heart sank. Ariana just came into this world, and she had her first taste of ignorance, and hate….
I cried in silence. I was numb. I was sad. I was in disbelief about what was being said about this innocent child.
I was finally rolled into my room where I expected to see my baby. But no baby.
I began to panic. Not seeing her, and everthing that was said in the OR took a toll on my emotions quickly. On top of all of that I had a really bad reaction to the anesthesia. I felt like my skin, all over my body was being ripped off. My face felt like it was melting. I couldn’t stop scratching. I was full freaking out at this point.
Everything begins to get a little hazy after that.. but one thing I remember so clearly is the way Ariana’s dad and myself spoke after she was born.
I’ll never forget the look on his face.. it wasn’t sadness.. and it wasn’t anger.. he was worried. He was scared. We didn’t know what was happening. We didn’t understand why it was happening. He looked at me and said “the baby has Down syndrome.” And I said “I know.” And we both said “okay”. And that was it. That was our “how do you feel about her diagnoses talk” we were more than okay with her being born with Down syndrome.
I do admit for awhile I did blame myself for her being born with Down syndrome. I would ask myself what I did. Did I eat something I wasn’t suppose to eat? Did I do something I wasn’t suppose to do? I struggled with guilt for awhile. Not long. But the struggles were there.
I found peace in god. I placed all of my faith in him. He gave me the strength to overcome all my guilt and uncertainty.
Ariana stayed in the NICU for a little over 2 months for feeding issues. Ultimately resulting in a G-tube that had to be placed. How emotionally draining those two long months were… life was hard, really hard. The doctors kept pushing back her home date. One day she would eat a whole bottle and then the next three not even 1cm. It was alot of ups and downs and high hopes with lows. But we got thru it, Ariana got thru it.
She was also born with a ASD/VSD, that have both closed 99% without having any surgeries. She now has yearly check-ups to keep an eye on her heart.
I never actually filed a complaint about the four unprofessional, heartless doctors that operated on me.. and it’s one of my biggest regrets. My first chance to stand up for my daughter and I didn’t… but in all honestly I don’t even remember their names. My doctor wasn’t available that day so I got a random hospital doctor. It was just crap on top of crap that whole night/morning. Nothing was going right. Until I finally got to hold my little princess. I didn’t realize how badly I needed to see my girl, to love on her and to cuddle her. Instant tears when I first held her. So many unanswered questions, and so much guilt in my heart. But I knew that my love for her was unbreakable and unmistakingly powerful.
I just remember thanking god for such a beautiful gift. Thanking him for allowing her to be mine.
I repeated this to myself over and over again for a long time.
Ariana was born with Down syndrome, but atleast she was born
I could have lost her at birth, or anytime during the pregnancy. So I thank God for allowing her to be born.
I believe that Arianas birth experience set the path for me to become such an advocate. I pride myself in being Ariana’s mother. Down syndrome is such a huge part of my life. I pride myself in being the a voice not just for Ariana but for children, adults just like her. After her birth experience and how terribly bad I failed at standing up for my daughter. I vowed to never again. I will never again let someone walk on by with such ignorance in their hearts. I will never again let my daughter be made any less. Because she is so much more than Down syndrome.
Down syndrome isn’t Ariana, and Ariana isn’t Down syndrome. Ariana is Ariana. And Ariana just happened to come with a little extra, whether it be extra love, happiness, or that lil’chromosome. We love her. Because God made her. And God makes no mistakes.
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart”