The pregnancy reached full term; I waited as long as I possibly could before going to the hospital. Unfortunately, everyone in the delivery room wasn't prepared for my daughter's birth. Some seemed shocked when they saw her. They looked at me, wondering what my reaction would be. Babies with Trisomy 13 have low birthweight, a small head with a sloping forehead, and major structural problems with the brain and skull. Their eyes are close set and underdeveloped, as are the nose and nostrils. Most have cleft lip and cleft palate. Mackenzie displayed all of these.
Everything changed once I held her in my arms. I didn't want to let go. I wanted to keep that little girl forever. I would have done anything to make her healthy and whole.
We were sent home just a few hours later. Mackenzie was tiny and blue and had many physical challenges. She was unable to nurse and had to be fed with a tube. It was all rather overwhelming. My parents and my then-husband's parents came and stayed with us for the duration. Our pediatrician made house calls and hospice came to assist.