Late August we welcomed our third and final daughter, Axl Elise Bautista. One day while we were having a random conversation about a random topic Axl’s upcoming birth came up. I was asked if I was nervous and how I felt about having another baby after I had Ariana. I was told more than once that “I would never have more kids after that” or “Don’t have anymore kids after this one it’ll be too hard”. Its almost unimaginable to some people to have MORE children after a diagnosis like Down syndrome. Down syndrome didn’t magically end our desires to expand our family.
Down syndrome is many things but scary is not one of them. The fear of having another child with Down syndrome was never there. We just decided that if God believes us worthy for another child with Down syndrome who are we to decline such honor?
At about 19 weeks into my pregnancy I was referred to be seen by a high risk pregnancy doctor because of Ariana’s diagnosis. We initially declined being seen but then we were told we could just get 2 detailed ultrasounds done instead of any invasive testing. I mean, 2 extra ultrasounds? sign me up! The first ultrasound was like any typical ultrasound. The tech looked at all her organs and everything checked out. I mentioned that Ariana was born with two holes in her heart so they decided to bring me back for a detailed ultrasound of her heart.
At 20 weeks on our 2nd ultrasound we looked at Axl’s heart. It was beautiful and complete. The tech then moved on to the rest of her organs just to take another quick look. The tech ended up finding something we were both not expecting. Axl had a blood clot in her umbilical cord. I remember not understanding anything that the doctor was explaining to me. My ears started ringing and my palms were sweaty. The doctor was trying to explain herself and I just couldn’t understand her. Then she said “There is a chance your baby can die at any moment. We have to start weekly monitoring.” That I understood.
My mind instantly went into panic and the why’s just kept coming. Why can’t I make healthy babies? Why does this keep happening to me? Why my baby? and then the biggest question of all, Is she going to die before she gets a chance?
At that very moment I prayed for Down syndrome. I prayed for the very thing everyone was afraid of. I prayed that God would spare her life and let her arrive into my arms.
I wasn’t afraid of Axl being born with some genetic disorder I was afraid that she wouldn’t be born at all.
I went to monitoring for the next 17 weeks.
My whole pregnancy full of paranoia and questions. I couldn’t enjoy my belly or the joys of pregnancy. I just wanted her out right now. I just needed her out.
Axl was finally born on August 25th. I was a nervous wreck that whole day. I couldn’t believe that we made it thru this. I couldn’t believe that I was going to be able to hold my baby. All I wanted to do was look into her eyes. I just needed to see her looking back at me.
When I heard her first cry I just couldn’t contain myself. My baby is here! She made it! Thank you God! Her eyes finally met mine. Her skin finally felt mine. Her first breath was also mine.
Down syndrome was everyone’s fear for this new baby. But the world is so much more bigger than that. I have always said to people that Ariana was born with Down syndrome but at least she was born. Now this rings true for Axl also. At least she was born. At least she is here.
You are my miracle. My sweet baby, momma loves you forever.