At 15 I found out I was pregnant. Too scared to tell my parents so I left it a while.
I decided to change doctors so my parents wouldn’t find out. This was 1988 the doctor I had was Dr Carlyon I’ll never forget him he asked me to lay on the bed and felt my stomach he said your around 18 weeks I can feel the head. He then said you’ll obviously want it terminated, I said no straight away.
I missed the 16 week triple bloods as I was further gone. I went home and cried not because I was pregnant but because I was too scared to tell my mum and dad. I told my partners sister she told her mum then my partner at the time dad went round and told my mum.
My mum was devastated but soon came to terms with the idea of being a nanny. Anyway my baby was due Christmas but I had a planned c section for the 18th December as my pelvis was too small to pass a baby.
12th December I started with a tummy ache so tried to sleep for a bit which I did but when I woke pains were still there. Mum rung the hospital and they told her to take me in to be checked. Mum and dad were both at work so my 14 yr old sister came with me. I was 5cm dilated so had to be rushed down for c section. I didn’t get to see my baby until the next morning a beautiful healthy 7lb 14oz baby boy.
Back then you had to stay in hospital for a week after a c section. Couldn’t believe this baby was mine. During our stay in hospital my son stopped breathing and was trying to gasp for breath the nurse there took him off me and put a suction tube down his throat and sucked up, he was ok she said it was mucus. The next day the pediatric doctor came round to check his limbs and soft spot and said he was perfect.
Time for us to go home. By this time i was now 16 with a new born and was loving it. Things were about to change 26th December my boy was fussy taking his feeds and going slightly blue around his mouth, dad said it’s probably where he’s sucking hard on his dummy, he said see how he is on next feed if no change we’ll call the doctor. Next feed came and he took 2oz so I thought he’s ok. He was very fussy during the night so mum said get some sleep I’ll put him in my room.
The next morning mum said she never had much sleep. I started to top and tail him when I put him on the bed he went blue when I picked him up he went back to pink. My mum called the doctors and they sent out the midwife remember this was 1988 so the midwife never had a phone and we didn’t either. She came up stairs took one look at my baby and said he’s really poorly he needs an ambulance. Running up and down our street trying to find someone with a house phone whilst I was holding my dying baby at the front door.
Finally a lady let her in to use the phone in the meantime my baby had stopped breathing in my sister’s arms. The midwife grabbed him off her run to her car put him in her boot and resuscitated him. 2 ambulances turned up. We got in the back of one and I couldn’t look at my grey little boy.
They took him straight into resus. It seemed like a lifetime wait. They brought him out inside this little tank which was giving him oxygen they shaved the side of his hair and placed a drip. My poor baby I sobbed. He was then transferred to intensive care. I was asked to wait in the family room until he was ready. They called me in and I was in shock this tiny baby was in an adult bed wrapped in foil with a heat lamp over the top. He had pneumonia his lung had collapsed. Sobbing like a baby a doctor pulled me a side and said were doing tests as we think your son has down syndrome ok I said…down syndrome never heard of it.
I had to wait for results but the midwife told me she could see the downs in him when he was blue. I stayed in that hospital day and night praying for him to pull through. This will sound a bit weird now but I think I was put to the test to see how much I wanted this child only being 16 myself with a 2 week old baby with downs and pneumonia to fight and pull through this. I didn’t care he had down syndrome he was my baby. They asked me if I wanted him put up for adoption. No I said. I kept asking the nurses will he pull through they just told me it’s 50/50. As each day went by the better he was getting.
I often questioned why me but I’m glad it was me I was told once. God picks special parents for these babies which made me feel good at 16.
He was certainly a little fighter he pulled through. 2 weeks later we were allowed home to start a new journey with a baby that had down syndrome. I had a social worker who was fab and she helped me get in touch with other mums.
Looking back over the years the first 5 yrs were the hardest as he didn’t walk until he was 3 and in nappies until he was 5. He has taught us so much in life he’s fun, loving, really helpful at home. Does everything at home us mums do ie Hoover dishwasher, change beds and the good thing is he really enjoys doing it. He’s nearly 28 and has more of a social life than us lol. He lives at home still but is out 4 days plus 2 evenings a week.
He has 2 sisters 25 and 26 and 2 brothers 21 and 4. He has really helped raise awareness with my kid’s their friends and our family members which I think is so important I think children should be educated at school that were not all the same and some people are different.
It’s not as bad now as it used to be but it’s not as great as it should be.