Looking back

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how much our family has grown these past 7 months, how our lives have changed and how we have moved through everything new while still holding on to who we are and how much we love each other. I found the email I sent to our family and friends the day after Ellie was born. I remember sitting on the couch in our basement typing these words. I felt I had to let people know that Ellie had arrived and things were not as we expected but that we were still blessed and deserved to send out an announcement for our amazing girl. I wanted to hear congratulations although at the time life was very hard. It was a difficult email to type. I was tired and confused and since Ellie was in the NICU, missing her tremendously. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in such a short time, how much we’ve learned and how things I thought would change really haven’t. I’m realizing that sometimes it’s important to look back to see how far you’ve moved forward.

Here is my email sent out on September 30, 2013:

Hello family and friends.

We are so happy to announce the birth of our daughter Eloise Nicole Berglund, Ellie. She was born at 11:05pm September 29 weighing 7 lbs 2 ounces. Her birth was an exciting and very long day. Ellie was breach on the morning of the 29th so they did an external inversion to move her head down and then induced labor, 13 hours later she was born. Shortly after Ellie’s birth as the nurses were doing her birth examination we were informed of the possibility that Ellie had been born with Down Syndrome. She met several criteria so they felt she should be assessed by the physician as soon as possible. We had a wonderful cuddle session and then they took her to the nursery. Once there they performed a series of initial tests to determine that Ellie does have Down Syndrome.

Since being born Ellie has been in the NICU. We have been able to hold her, change her diaper, and she is already an excellent breast feeder. She will need to stay in the NICU for a possibility of 2 to 3 weeks but we are hoping she will be able to come home sooner. The next few weeks will include a series of tests to determine the severity of any medical issues, including cardio and other exams. The nurses feel that she has already been a wonderful patient, doing very well.

From the moment we met her we experienced the sweetest sense of calm from her. Holding her and being near her forces you to smile and completely forget there is anything to worry about. Mya is completely in love with her and has met her twice already, one time in which she could touch her feet and hands.

This morning we met with a team of about 8 doctors and therapists to discuss the numerous programs available for Ellie. It was extremely comforting knowing how much support there is in our community for children and families affected by Down Syndrome. Although completely exhausted and at the moment a little overwhelmed, we are head over heels in love with this already amazing little girl.

love to everyone,

Catherine, Travis, Mya, and Ellie

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