Hi my name is Rachel and I am the mother of "little" Henry
Morgan. Our big guy was born June 15th, 2002. This is our story.
On my birthday in 2000 my wonderful husband surprised me with a gift
that I had been asking for, for months. It was a card and written inside
were the words, " Let's have, raise and love another!" I was so
excited, you see we already have a beautiful daughter between us named
Lauryn, and my husband also has two star athletes from his first marriage.
This would make number four!
Well we decided to start trying in the upcoming spring. It took several
months but I found out that I was pregnant in October 2001. I must have
conceived right after September 11th. My mom says that after I stopped
thinking about myself and started to think about the world around me is
the reason why I got pregnant. Who knows, I was just happy that we had
this little baby on the way.
I was severely nauseated the first three months of my pregnancy. I was
hospitalized due to dehydration. I finally started to feel better in my
fourth and fifth month. That's when I started to feel the life inside of
me. This baby kicked and squirmed so intensely and so abruptly that I'd
jump off of the couch. I would tell T.J., something's up with this baby
his movement is so strong it hurts! I went through all of the basic tests
they give you and they came out normal, including a sonogram at 25 weeks.
Something told me that there was something different about this baby,
while I was pregnant. I told my best friend that he moved differently than
my first, and it concerned me. I kept my suspicions to myself because I
didn't want to worry my husband just in case I was wrong.
On June 15th at 5:45 a.m. my water broke. It was a beautiful Saturday
morning and we were off to welcome our son. I received the epidural early
in the labor process so I was very comfortable. My mom and my best friend
were there as well as my husband. We had such a fun day, laughing, eating
Popsicles and waiting for our little guy. Labor started to slow down a bit
so pitocin was administered. Then I really started to feel the pressure of
the baby's head. I started to complain that the pain was unbearable even
with the epidural. My nurse said, "Oh come on I've had mothers push
for over two hours, you can do it." At 9:01 p.m. and after hours of
excruciating pain, my son came into the world, 10 lbs. 14oz. They lifted
him up like an offering and said, "It's a boy!" Then he peed on
me! It was wonderful.
They took him over to the warmer; my darling boy struggled to take in
his first breaths of life. They used some oxygen and my mom went over to
take a look at her new and only grandson. It looked like she saw a ghost.
All of the color drained from her face. The OB then told me that the baby
looks like his fingers and toes are webbed together. I searched the room
for my husbands face. He said, " Yeah it looks like his fingers are
webbed", they rolled the baby away to ICU to stabilize his breathing,
my husband followed. I looked at my mom and said, " It's okay mom,
whatever it is, it's okay." For some reason I felt the need to assure
her, maybe I was in too much shock.
After the doctor repaired my episiotomy and 3rd degree tear clear to my
rectum, they put me in a wheel chair and took me to meet my son.
All of that confidence of "it's okay" went out of the window
whenever I heard him cry out. He sounded just like my daughter. It was
heartbreaking. I transferred all of the love I had for my brilliant four
year old to this baby I really didn't know. They wheeled me to my private
room where my family had been waiting for me. I was sobbing to intensely
that I didn't even see who was around me. I wanted my mother, I wanted my
daughter and I wanted to wake up from this nightmare. After a few hours,
all of my family left. It was just T.J. and I, and all of this hurt. He
took my hand and said, " It's going to be alright no matter what it
is, because I love you so much and we can do this." That night went
by so slow but then again so fast, I wished for morning so that I could
know what was wrong with the baby but dreaded it because it would mean
that this was all so real and not just a dream.
By six a.m. the neonatalogist came into my room to give us the news,
" It looks like he has a craniofacial condition called Apert's
syndrome, A-P-E-R-T." He said that these kids have fused sutures and
fused hands but after surgery they lead pretty normal lives.
After some time to swallow all of this new terminology I went into the
ICU to visit our new baby. He was all laid out in a warmer; I thought he
obviously didn't need by the way he was sweating. He had only a diaper on
and an I.V. in his bellybutton. He was breathing under an oxygen hood and
undergoing a ton of tests. I just couldn't believe it. This just didn't
feel like my life. After five days they let us take Henry home. Along with
the apnea monitor and the crash course in infants CPR. He snorted and
sweated. He barely opened his eyes and when he did the right one didn't
seem to focus. We worried and prayed. I grieved, denied and then accepted
this new life.
Fast forward to now. Henry is almost four months old and is a true joy.
He is extremely healthy and through the grace of God he will remain so. He
scoots on his tummy and loves to chew on his cloth diapers. He smiles at
his big sister and eats like a piglet. We love him so much and know that
he'll laugh with Lauryn one day and run with his big brothers. We know
that he'll have friends and all of the joys of childhood. The love I have
for this guy runs so deep it almost hurts. I tell T.J. all of the time
that if they don't separate his fingers soon I just might bite them apart.
He is absolutely delicious and as cute as can be. He has a lot of trials
ahead but I know that the victories will outweigh everything else.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and if you are new to this
experience feel free to email us. Rachel