On January 27th, 2012 we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter Hazel Loretta. She came in at 5lbs 0oz and 50 cms. She came out kicking and screaming about how long it took for her to get here.....even though she was 3 weeks early. She decided to come at the earliest possible moment that she could, starting at midnight of my 37th week of pregnancy.
Hazel was born with Down syndrome (Trisomy 21), as well as issues with her stomach/bowel and her heart. These are common health concerns associated with Down syndrome. So far she has had surgery on her bowels to correct the "double bubble" stomach. The surgery was done on January 28th, 2012 when she was only 28 hours old. Although scary for a while, since the surgery her bowels and stomach are fully functioning. Without this surgery Hazel was unable to eat and digest any food. As a result her first few days of life were sustained by IV fluids. It was extremely difficult to watch this as a parent, wanting to provide the best nutrition for your brand new baby. Over the 6 weeks stay in the NICU, breast milk was slowly introduced. It started at 2mls over one hour being pumped into her stomach through an NG tube. Slowly, over the next 4 weeks the amount was increased. In the end, she was taking 45 mls per feeding orally by bottle. Go Hazel!!!
At 5.5 months old, Hazel headed into her second major surgery, a VSD repair. She had a moderately sized hole in her heart that needed to be fixed. Prior to the surgery, she struggled to eat and gain weight. Her heart was working in over-time and making it very difficult for her to gain any weight and thrive. She was a little, tiny peanut at 5.5 months old, weighting only 11.8 lbs. Her personality, however, was flourishing everyday. She was a baby just like any other, that was meeting her milestones and getting to know her new family and friends.
Every single day that has passed since her surgeries, Hazel has gotten stronger and demonstrated a will to survive that humbles us as parents. She fought continuously to get well so she could start her life with all of us. Her determination to face these challenges with such ease made us more proud than we've ever been. Hazel managed to keep us calm through her ability to maintain a peaceful yet tenacious recovery.....not to mention she has the most beautiful face and magnetic personality....we can't get enough of her.
This blog is something that we put together to keep our family and friends up to date with Hazel's fight. We hope that it reaches people out there who are faced with a similar situation as ours. Our goal is that our story bring some comfort and hope to those who feel like hope may be lost. Also, we seek to raise awareness about Down Syndrome through personal experiences. Lastly, and most importantly, we strive to bring as much joy, happiness and smiles to your lives as Hazel brings to ours.
In November 2013, we welcomed out 2nd daughter, Nola Charlie. She was never imagined nor thought possible, but she is more than we could have ever dreamed of. We have been so very blessed with our 2 beautiful girls .