The Hailey Herald

The Hailey Herald

Monday, October 5, 2015

Healthy Baby

Shortly after Hailey was born, I was somewhere (I say this because I was really in a fog those first few weeks) and overheard a conversation about a baby not yet born.

Woman #1, "Do you know the gender?" 
Woman #2, "No, but it doesn't long as the baby is healthy."
Woman #1, "Yes, as long as the baby is healthy."

I'm going to be honest, it really was by the grace of God that I didn't turn around and speak my mind.  I wanted to scream, "So what?  What if your baby isn't born "healthy"?  What are you going to do if your baby isn't healthy?   Are you still going to love that child?"  Apparently I had enough rational thinking to bite my tongue and not interject myself into their private conversation.

We all know what everyone means with the phrase "as long as the baby is healthy".  It truly means "as long as there isn't something wrong".  We really should say, "I'm hoping for a healthy baby".  "As long as" makes it sound like you are going to do something if you don't get what you want.  We say "as long as they're healthy"...almost as if we are making a sacrifice by not having a preference on the gender. 

Yes, there is a long list of medical complications that can come with Down syndrome.  Here is part of that list:
 - Heart defects - almost 50% of children with Down syndrome are born with some sort of heart defect.
 - Leukemia - young children with Ds have an increased risk of leukemia
 - Infectious diseases - abnormalities with their immune system make them more at risk for infection diseases like pneumonia
 - Dementia - people with Ds have a greater risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
 - Sleep apnea - because of soft tissue and skeletal changes can lead to obstruction of airways.
 - Obesity - greater tendency than the general public
 - Thyroid conditions
 - Ear infections
 - Hearing loss
 - Skeletal problems
 - Poor vision
 - Seizures
 - Skin conditions such as psoriasis

Some issues may develop with Hailey later in life, but as of now, Hailey has vision issues (but so do many people in the general population) and she had a heart defect.  So technically speaking, Hailey was not healthy when she was born.  She was a very sick little girl, who was getting more fragile with each passing day.  There is no way of knowing if Hailey would have seen her first birthday.  However, thanks to medical technology and dedicated professionals, Hailey had that heart defect repaired at 4 1/2 months.  I joke that she hasn't stopped moving since, but I believe it's true.  The girl is always on the go.  Knock on wood, we have been lucky.  Hailey is healthy, but we definitely wouldn't love her any less if she wasn't.

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