Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Auriana!

Happy 4th Birthday to my baby girl, Auriana Faith! I am so blessed to say I am Mommy to this special princess!
As I think back to the day she was born 4 years ago, my head fills with emotions... emotions of fear and joy all spiraling together. The day Auriana was born was one of the happiest days of my life! You see, I had spent over 3 weeks in the hospital on bed rest. Doctors were constantly monitoring her growth and her heartrate and I had fetal stress tests daily. I was exhausted from the specialists telling me what all may or may not be "wrong" with my baby. I remember that day very well, though. I woke up that morning, still in the hospital. The nurse came in with the fetal stress test. The results showed that "the baby" was not showing much movement. An ultrasound was ordered. The ultrasound tech came in and measured "the baby" on the screen and did a weight estimate. I recall asking her, as I did every time she completed an ultrasound, "how much does she weigh?". Every time, she had only gained about an ounce. An ounce was good, though, because it meant that she was still growing.
I had been told months earlier that Auriana would be born with a severe heart defect and would need surgery within her first year of life and it was imperative that she be born as close to her due date as possible and weighing as much as possible. Not long after, the doctors also stated that she appeared to have "a form of Trisomy" and none of them seemed to think it was one that was compatible with life. In fact, the main MFM specialist who was over my care was dead set that "this baby would be born with Trisomy 13 or 18". I refused the amnio because Auriana also had a in utero condition called "umbilical cord absent flow of diastole" meaning that the umbilical did not allow the proper amount of nutrition to flow in to the baby, like a hose with a kink in it. This condition brought the risk of loosing the baby during an amnio up to 50/50...too high for me! This baby was a blessing and her fate was in God's hands. I had Faith that she would be ok and that would be her middle name.
So, back to the morning after the ultrasound... The ultrasound tech responded "I'm getting a weight of 3 lbs 8 oz. And I'm seeing what looks like a shadow on the right side of the brain. But, it is probably a mistake since it wasn't like this yesterday. Let me go discuss the findings with your doctor. We may repeat it."
The weight had dropped by a few ounces since the last scan just a few days earlier. I tried not to panic, finished cross-stitching the bib I was making for Auriana and ate lunch. I remember my dad called me from his deployment in Iraq at some point in between what happened next. What happened next was a nightmare. The MFM specialist came into my room. It was just me. My mother and Kylee had just left after stopping by for lunch. The doctor looked at me and said "have you had a chance to speak with NICU?" I told her that yes, we had spoken the them last week. Then what she said next will never leave my memory... "Well, I doubt you will need them anyway. You are being induced today and this fetus is probably not going to survive. It just has too many issues, and now it's stopped growing" and with that she left the room. I was stunned. I called my mother crying hysterically. She came back and had the doctor come back and explain it to her and I know she argued with the doctor quite a bit. Some women from church came by. I took a shower. A preacher came by and prayed with me and when he asked "what should I pray for?" I said "pray this baby has Down Syndrome and not one of those other things." so THAT was the prayer "LET THIS BABY HAVE DOWN SYNDROME". The rest is really just one big blur- I know I was induced and then I remember the monitor kept beeping and I saw on the screen a heartrate of 45 at one point. The nurse reached over and turned it off. I said "is that the baby?" she didn't answer until the doctor walked out of the room. She leaned over and told me "that is your baby's heart rate. The doctor has ordered us to let the baby pass peacefully." I shouted "WHAT?!!! SOMEONE BETTER GET IN HERE AND DO A C-SECTION!!" After that demand they had no choice, emergency c-section it was! They prepped me and began to cut within 10 minutes. The surgeon said at one point "it's at 30, there's no point." referring to Auriana's heart rate. I wasn't even completely numb and felt the first cut. NICU was there. I remember saying "you better save my baby". Within a few minutes she was out with a cry like a little cat. She kicked the doctor on her way out. She was a FIGHTER!!
NICU took one look at her and said "Oh my.... mom was right. I think she just has Downs"
I touched her for 2 seconds before she was rushed out... she was very purple and had really low oxygen. She was 3 lbs. 10 oz. and 18 inches long! She was breathing and ALIVE!! 8 hours later a nurse came in to tell me that she had Down Syndrome and I screamed "THANK GOD!!" she looked at me like I was nuts. But, I knew that with Down Syndrome she had a chance to live. I was wheeled down on a stretcher to the NICU a few hours later to see her. She was tiny and precious. She would have to fight but I knew she could do it! She did have the heart condition and Down Syndrome and had a long road ahead.
Auriana Faith is now 4 years old, has had 2 open heart surgeries, a heart cath, ear surgery, wears hearing aids and ankle braces.... but she is a pure JOY!! She is amazing and she is my daughter! She is little sister to Kylee and now big sister to Lily Hope!
Auriana now does everything the doctors told me she never would, she walks, talks, eats, plays just like other kids, gives big hugs and kisses, and even sings in church children's choir!!
I thank God for all three of my precious little girls!
Happy Birthday Auriana! I love you and am so thankful for you just the way you are!

1 comment:

  1. This touched my heart like nothing else I have ever read. You are the kind of Mama every child wants and needs. May you and your girls always know how loved you are.