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Delivery Day...or maybe not?

Stacie Robinson

Posted on October 19 2016

Monday morning was here!  We were excited that our wait was finally over and that we were no longer going to have to worry about him.  We had thought of a name for him, and it was going to be Madden Cutler Robinson.  So everything was in order and planned.

We show up at the hospital on time and get checked into triage and the first thing the nurse says to me is, "Don't get too comfortable, we don't know if we will be able to deliver this baby here."  My husband and I look at each other confused and ask her why and she continues to tell us that they don't have the "equipment" for him.  Our hearts start pounding. 

I could hear my doctor on the phone outside the door.  Then another doctor starts talking.  They leave and my husband and I have no idea why this is such a "big deal" but we know that something is going on.  Thirty to forty-five minutes had gone by and we still didn't have any answers.  The nurse kept checking on us but by now we just wanted her to leave us alone.  Down the hall we heard lots of footsteps coming.  They stopped before they came in our room but we could hear every word they said. 

A voice I didn't recognize said something I will never forget, "this is a baby that is going to be hard to stabilize at Desert (local hospital that specializes in high risk babies).  There is no way we are delivering him here." 

The neonatologist (specialized baby doctor) comes into our room followed by the other doctors.  He then proceeds to tell us that we had been misinformed about our baby's condition.  He told us, "If I could think of the sickest baby to be delivered it would be a baby with down syndrome and hydrops."  What was hydrops???  We had never ever heard this term before.  We had only been told that he had extra water in his body and they would be able to drain it and he would be out of the hospital in a couple days.  What was this guy talking about?  He then continued about the risks involved and how most of these babies don't survive. 

To say that we were blindsided was an understatement.  They couldn't stop apologizing for their mistake.  They said that we needed to go to the other hospital today and deliver the baby.  They set us up with another doctor who would deliver our baby and released us from the hospital.  With heavy hearts we drove to the other hospital.  I don't think we spoke one word to each other. 

The staff was waiting for us when we arrived.  They did another ultra sound and handed me the pictures like I was excited to get them; not knowing that I had hundreds of them already at home and had just been told that this baby might not survive. 

The new doctor came to our room and told us that the baby was "acting" fine inside my belly.  Most babies with fetal hydrops don't so he was happy to see that.  They were short staffed on the neonatologist team that day and with a case like ours they wanted to be certain everything went as smoothly as possible.  They were going to come up with a "game plan" during delivery and postponed it till tomorrow morning at 10:15.  He checked us into the hospital and told us that the neonatologist would come later that night and go over everything with us.

Guy and I go to our room and sit in silence.  How do we tell our family what's going on?  No one else even knows that our baby has down syndrome and now that he might not live?  It was not easy being in that cold hospital room.  Worry and fear consume you.  We did tell our parents and had them spread the message to our siblings.

Later that night the neonatologist came to our room.  He was very brief and honestly I don't remember all that he said.  But I do remember him saying several times that they do not resuscitate babies after they are born.  I remember being very adamant and said to him,"then please let me hold my baby before you take him away." 

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