Reuben’s Story, by his mum, Rachel
We are first time parents to Reuben, so everything is new to us! During pregnancy, we were given a 1 in 6 chance of him having Down syndrome, and we refused extra testing.
My pregnancy was fairly stressful, as they kept finding things ‘wrong’! I had scans fortnightly and they were prepared to do a C-section at anything from 28 weeks. We managed to get to 36 weeks and Reuben decided he was coming out all by himself! He spent 3 weeks on NICU needing oxygen and jaundice treatment, and he was fed through an NG tube until he was strong enough to bottle feed and come home.
This was during the first lockdown – I was lucky enough to stay with him, but his daddy wasn’t allowed to visit which was very hard! I had always wanted to breast feed my baby, and I kept trying without much success, so over the following weeks I expressed. But, at 12 weeks, he finally took to breastfeeding! And he continued to do it until he was 14 months old!
Finding NDSSG was one of the best things we did! Helen and Mel came to visit us with a wonderful welcome pack, and we met other local parents of babies with DS to talk to, through an online Messenger group. In time, we were also able to meet up in person.
This has been a huge support for us and we are so grateful for all their love and friendship. NDSSG sent Santa round, last Christmas, to meet Reuben and bring gifts when we couldn’t go out and about much. And we have been on some days out with the other local families, which has been amazing.
Reuben is almost 18 month old now and he makes everyone he meets smile. He’s so cheeky and funny, his personality is really shining through. He started nursery just after his 1st birthday, which he loves going to, as well as going to his swimming lessons and baby groups. We’d be lost without him brightening our days, and we wouldn’t change a thing about him!