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Continuing to beat the odds: The birth of Jacsen

Written by: Heather July 29 2012 I went into my scheduled doctor's appointment on 6/4 and had been having contractions since about 4 pm the night before. After fixing breakfast and getting my two older kids to their school, I was hooked up for a non-stress test which showed contractions about 7 minutes apart and...

Written by: Heather

I went into my scheduled doctor's appointment on 6/4 and had been having contractions since about 4 pm the night before. After fixing breakfast and getting my two older kids to their school, I was hooked up for a non-stress test which showed contractions about 7 minutes apart and a low heart rate around 100. His heart rate had been normal for the whole pregnancy until I went into preterm labor at 35 weeks and they stopped it. Now we're thinking maybe we should have let him come then.

Anyways I was 5 cm and 50%. They sent me over to L&D at around noon and I labored without meds until around 4 without any trouble; at which time I reached 9 cm so the doctor broke my water and then the trouble began.

Baby's heart rate dropped into the 70s and we had to get him out right away! The nurse was manually stretching my cervix to 10 and forcing me to push with each contraction. I can say it literally felt like I was being ripped open but I got him out in less than 10 minutes thankfully. He had meconium in the amniotic fluid and his cord had completely separated. I will never forget the look on the doctor’s face. He was completely stunned and looking for a cord or something to clamp, looking back it is almost amusing. Doctors said they had never seen that before and it was a frantic rush to clamp whatever they could to stop him from bleeding.

He was rushed to the nursery and is still there but doing much better and on room air. We were later told that he has trisomy 21 and we will be undergoing genetic testing to determine the severity.

We are so happy to have him in our lives and that he is doing well. We are all shocked by the diagnosis and coping as best as we can. His big sisters have already fallen in love and so have mom and dad!

Breastfeeding is a challenge as he is still weak and has to build up his muscle tone and endurance but he definitely prefers it to a bottle. He is still in level 2 and is now getting some antibiotics and fluids via IV but he is improving every day!

Jacsen at two weeks:
We are home after 10 days in the hospital. They were wonderful at the hospital and allowed me to stay in a room right across from the nursery since we live so far, this allowed me to continue nursing him.

Coming home was harder than I thought but we are getting accustomed to it now. We also had our appointment with the cardiologist today and found out our sweet boy has two holes in his heart that may have to be repaired. We will find out at our follow up appointment in one month. Thank you for listening to my story. It's amazing and inspiring how a special little boy like Jacsen is so loved by so many. He is truly a sweet boy!

Jacsen at eight weeks:
Jacsen is doing fantastic! We just got news yesterday from the cardiologist that one of the holes in his heart has closed on its own and the other is significantly smaller than it was 6 weeks ago. He now weighs 10.5 lbs and is 23 inches long.

He has really impressed everyone with his abilities and strength so far. He could roll over from front to back at 3 weeks and he really doesn't like to be on his tummy. I am certain that he will continue to beat the odds and prove everyone’s stereotypes wrong.


Thanks to Jacsen's mom, Heather, for updating us on his progress!

We love hearing from you! Send your birth day story to birthstory@pnmag.com.

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