The Hailey Herald

The Hailey Herald

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Support of Medical Professionals (31 for 21)

There are lots of things that were eye openers after having Hailey.  My ignorance of Down syndrome was one of them.  However, I have found out, I wasn't the only one.  Thank goodness.  I didn't want to think I was the only one living under a rock.  I was surprised to find out that in many other cultures and countries, children with Down syndrome are not even welcome in their own homes...they are left in orphanages and after a few years, moved to adult mental institutions.  Most of them die shortly after.  I was surprised about the number of people who do find out they are having a baby with Down syndrome prenatally that choose abortion.  Later, many of them say they had a miscarriage and never admit they aborted for Ds.  Another one is how all over the board medical professionals react to Down syndrome.  I have friends tell me stories of how they found out prenatally they were carrying a child with Down syndrome and they were asked multiple times when they wanted to schedule an abortion or if they were positive they didn't want to abort.  As if, the first two times they answered those questions weren't sufficient.  Or the grim picture many doctors will paint of having a child with Down syndrome.

We were fortunate.  We didn't see any of that.  We don't count anything the OB/gyn that delivered Hailey said.  She was a twit that let me go home in full labor with my 3rd baby.  Her opinion or comments were totally disregarded as soon as the words left her mouth.  We saw several neonatologists in the three weeks we were there.  But two of them were her primary caregivers during that time.  The neonatologist (Dr. W.) who first gave us his opinion about Hailey having Ds was very compassionate and optimistic.  He was more serious concerning her lung development, feeding and the possibility of her having a heart defect.  He assured us that her future was bright and full.  Dr. S. came in the second day Hailey was there and came to my room to talk to me and had the same positive outlook as Dr. W.  We had lactation consultants and nurses come to stop by and tell us how beautiful she was and to share stories of people with Down syndrome that they have known or who had touched their lives in some way.  But again, none of it negative.  The nursing staff at the NICU fought over who would be assigned to Hailey each shift.  They loved to cuddle with her and sing to her.  They shared so many stories over the course of our stay there.  None of it mean, nothing less than positive.  We even had a few nurses shed tears when Hailey went home because they had become attached to little Miss Sass who did everything on her terms even back then.

I will always be thankful for the medical staff we had when Hailey was born.  I am grateful for their positive outlook, optimism and their support as we worked through our emotions.  It breaks my heart that not everyone has the same support from the professionals they trust.  I pray as time goes on, that more medical professionals realize what an impact they have on their patients and families.  I hope they become better educated with the world around them and see that having Ds is not the grim outlook that once was.  I pray that more families have the positive experience we had.  I also hope that the medical staff we had know how much good they do for families and how much they are appreciated!

1 comment:

  1. That is so great! And yes, I wish this for everyone in this situation. It's sad that it's not the norm. I think that more and more people are positive toward a baby who is already HERE, and less so for one that is still in utero. And that is hard, because adjusting a diagnosis of an unknown baby has to be so difficult.