Carson’s story, by his mum, Sam
When I found out I was pregnant again, with baby number 7, I was excited and scared, as I’d previously had 5 miscarriages over the last 17 years. All seemed to be going well though. We went for the 12 week scan and baby was growing perfect and nothing was flagged with measurements. 2 days later I got a call from the hospital midwife’s with my blood results, “I’m sorry to say you have a very high risk of baby having Down syndrome, 1 in 5 chance.” I dismissed any other testing as I was happy I was having another baby and any issues I would deal with once baby was here, and that was the last time I gave it a second thought.
I decided I couldn’t wait for my 20 week scan and secretly booked a gender scan, hoping for my dream boy after 6 girls. I organised family and friends to gather at my house to surprise them with the gender. He was a boy! We all screamed and cried with excitement! I was over joyed with my long awaited boy. Fast forward to the birth… After having an amazing pregnancy, besides being told I had gestational diabetes at 35 weeks, my baby boy was finally born at 37 weeks 6days. All seemed well to start with. I had already told the midwife that he might have Down syndrome, and she confirmed he did have very slight features, with the almond-shaped eyes, palmar crease on one hand and the gap between his toes.
6 hours after birth he was whisked away from me for, what I was told would only be 30 minutes, to regulate his temperature. 2 hours passed, and I was still sat on my own in the labour room, waiting for my baby to be returned to me. I was then taken to a ward – a ward that, at this point, was unknown to me as I wasn’t told where he was! He was on the high dependency neonatal ward. I broke down in tears, not knowing what was happening or where my baby was. Everyone was rushing around me, dealing with other babies, while I stood there sobbing, before another parent came to comfort me.
Carson had been put in an incubator with a oxygen box placed over his head and was attached to monitors. I later went back to labour suite, to be moved on to a maternity ward. As soon as I was settled in I went straight back to my boy to be greeted by rushing nurses who were moving him to another side of the ward, getting him ready to be sedated and intubated. He needed to have medicine directly in to his lungs. Later the same night he had a Echo on his heart, which found he had a duct open on his heart, but nothing to worried about.
The doctor said he would like to do some more testing but would come and chat to me about it tomorrow. I said to him, “If it’s to check for down syndrome I already know he has it, and it is fine!” He agreed that was what he wanted to test him for, but that he didn’t want to overload my worries. I told him that was not a worry at all to me. The following day he was moved down to low dependency for light therapy and oxygen and had the breathing tube removed. I felt relieved that he now only needed to be having a little bit of help.
I then had to isolate away from him for 2 days, as my 2 youngest daughters who had visited me 2 days before, had tested positive for Covid so it meant I couldn’t visit my baby. After 2 days I was moved to a ward in a room, in the hope I could have my baby with me very soon. While I was waiting for Carson to come back to me on the postnatal ward, I had a lovely visit from a paediatrician from the Down syndrome team.
She talked me through lots of things, that reassured me that there’s lots of support out there for myself and for Carson. She gave me a lovely welcome bag from the Notts Down Syndrome Support Group, with the most beautiful handmade blanket, and a knitted set for baby, and a little something for myself. She was so nice, I could have sat and chatted with her all day. The next 24 hours felt like they dragged as I counted every single minute until they brought my baby back to me. I was overwhelmed to have him back all to my self again!
The next evening, after 7 long and emotional days, I was finally allowed to take my beautiful boy home to finally meet all his excitedly waiting big sisters. Carson is now 9 weeks old and doing amazing! He has a slight heart murmur that was picked up at his 8 week check-up, and we are awaiting a cardiologist appointment to get it checked. I joined NDSSG a few days after being home, and was welcomed into a family group of lovely helpful supportive parents. I feel so thankful for their support and advice, when I’ve needed it.
Having Carson home as shown me just how loving and caring and extremely protective his sisters are of him. He is such a dream baby and he is loved immensely by everyone around him. I feel so privileged to be the chosen mummy to this precious boy, who is 100% rocking his extra chromosome. We are all looking forward to watching him grow and be as mischievous as his sisters.