The Sealed Letter

Soon after Mom left, the midwife handed us our beautiful baby boy, a sealed letter and a command to go directly to our pediatrician’s office. She said Noah’s oxygen was a tad low and was concerned about taking him home without his lungs being cleared by a doctor.

A little more than two hours after giving birth, we drove back down the way we came. We signed in and gave the nurse the mysterious letter and waited to be seen. The doctor came out immediately and told us we needed to head to the hospital, ‘just to be safe.’ This was said without them even examining Noah.

We got back in the car and headed to Kent General where Joe dropped newborn Noah and I off so he could park in the garage. At this point I’m exhausted, confused and irritated that we just couldn’t go home and enjoy our family! Since the pediatrician called the NICU ahead of time, they were waiting for us. The nurse took Noah to the attending physician and gathered around him while I collapsed in a chair in the corner. After much hushed discussion amongst the staff, the doctor approached me and asked if Noah looked like my other children. Please remember, I’m four hours post delivery, in pain and I’m hungry! My confused brain doesn’t understand the questioning and I think he’s implying that I had an affair! I began to stammer that my older three children are by my first husband and Noah’s father is my current husband….and finally in tears, I yell…I WANT MY MOM!

Joe, quickly got me to a phone (pre-cell days) and I called Mom crying, I told her the doctor was accusing me of cheating on Joe! Breaking the sound barrier, Mom barreled in and demanded to know 1. Why was I crying over this beautiful baby boy 2. Why the crazy doctor was accusing me of infidelity 3. Why was I walking around doctor’s offices and hospitals after just giving birth!

The doctor finally realized we had no clue what was in the mysterious sealed envelope. Our midwife worked on a Reservation before her employment in Delaware. She became adept at spotting minor differences in the facial features of Native Americans and those with Trisomy 21. She was concerned that although Noah had none of the obvious characteristics; the small ears, flatter face, crease in hand, there was something about his almond eyes that gave her pause. We later discovered that she didn’t want to alarm us with her suspicion since she wasn’t entirely convinced. She was hoping the pediatrician would check him out and give us the all clear.

Fast forward to a geneticist being called to come down from A. I. Who said that in 700 out of 700 cases he could walk into a room and know whether a baby had Down Syndrome, in Noah’s case he could not. Tests were ordered, tests that would take two agonizing weeks to find out the results. In the meantime we went back to the family farm to await the results that would lead us down the road less traveled. There was noahscaping it.

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