Tuesday, March 6, 2007

My Story

Hi everyone, my name is Sue, I'm Helen's mom and Sherry's sister(she calls me Susie). Sherry asked me to blog, I've never done it before but I'm willing to help her in any way possible in order to get this clothing line started. I was raised by my mom, my dad was killed in a car accident when I was four years old. I met the love of my life on June 9, 1988, nine years later we were married(he was Greek, I am not, that should explain everything!). We were pregnant two months after we were married, we both wanted a lot of kids and we weren't getting any younger. Theodore arrived three weeks before our one year anniversary, we were thrilled. When Teddy was eight months old I took a home pregnancy test, it came out positive. The same day I took the test, I miscarried, it was May 13, 1999, my very first Mother's Day. The doctor told us we should wait at least thirty days to try again, we were very careful, or so we thought, yes, I was pregnant. Our second child was to be a millennium baby, due February 15, 2000. During that pregnancy we moved away from family, about two hours, to Michigan. Peter, my husband, had gotten a job transfer, he was thrilled, I was not. We settled in and waited for the baby to come, we had no idea what was lying ahead. I went into labor very early on Feb. 5th, but didn't have the baby until the very next morning, Feb. 6th. My very first look at Helen and I knew she was Down Syndrome, my husband had no idea what the features were. We didn't know ahead of time what we were facing, there was a lot of information thrown at us right away, it was very overwhelming. There was some confusion within the pediatrician's office so the doctor didn't come to look at Helen until the next day, the nurses couldn't say anything to us about Helen. It was as if we were flying solo, and if it had not been for the fact that I had encountered Down Syndrome before Helen, we wouldn't have been as prepared as we were when the diagnoses was official. I was very happy I had a daughter and yet very sad, I was mourning the life I had imagined for her. Instead of a happy-go-lucky lifestyle we would be challenged everyday, and jumping hurdle after hurdle. My husband had a hard time, not so much accepting her because he loved her no matter what, I think he too was mourning. Everyone knows, mourning is an individual thing, everyone does it differently. We moved back to Illinois when Helen was a month old in order to have the support we needed in raising her. We got her started in early intervention and soon the therapies started, OT, Speech, and Developmental. Our first year with Helen was consumed with doctors appointments, in my opinion, the first year is the hardest. Helen had pulmonary hypertension, and three holes in her heart, PDA, PFO, and VSD. The day before she was 10 months old she had open heart surgery. Everything went well, they were able to patch up all the holes. I can't say enough about Children's Hospital in Chicago, and her cardiologist. Helen really started to grow after her heart was fixed, she was a little peanut before then. Not even a month after we came home from the hospital I fell and broke my leg, a spiral fracture. I was seven months pregnant with baby number three. Robert was born on March 24, 2001, he and Helen were partners in crime. It was such a joy to see Helen interact with Robbie, they were playmates. In July of 2002 and December 2003 I had two more daughters, Katherine and Grace. During that time Helen continued with her therapies, started preschool and turned into quite a dickens! When she was three we found ourselves back at Children's for an adnoidectomy and tonsillectomy. She seemed to always be sick from September through April, and always on an antibiotic. The surgery went well, but because Helen wasn't talking yet it was hard for her to tell us if she was in pain. I kept trying to get her to take fluids so we could go home, but she wanted no part of that. She knew it would hurt when she swallowed so she wasn't going to swallow if she could help it. We ended up going home around 12:30am with a lot of pain medication. It took her a good eight weeks to recover from that surgery.I am going to stop here for now, there is still so much to cover.Until next time--Take Care,Sue
Posted by Sue at 9:51 PM 0 comments
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