I’m a mother to two kids - a beautiful 6-year-old girl and a handsome 2-year-old boy. By profession, I’m a dentist and lactation educator. Our life is beautiful as we are one big happy family - my husband, kids, and in-laws. To our surprise, my son was born on my daughter's birthday (December 2) and my I went from being a wife to a mommy to a second-time mommy. But the second time wasn’t that easy. We were celebrating the birth of my son when we got the bad news. The baby had a simian crease in both his hands. When the doctors informed me about it, so many questions came to my mind. Having a medical background I had some clue and finally, the doctors added to my horror that my son could have Down or Klinefelter Syndrome.
He was only 5 days old he got newborn jaundice and we were at home doing everything as per the old wives tale but nothing helped. The doctor advised a blood investigation and since his Bilirubin level was high, we admitted him to phototherapy at NICU. The level was still not going down on the second day and when it came to an average level, the doctor suggested a few more blood tests. Finally, my baby got better and was discharged. After ten days, we collected the reports from the hospital and when I showed them to the doctor, I got another shock. My son’s thyroid levels were very high but he showed no symptoms of the same. The doctor said that the reports may not be accurate and we should get one more test done.
But I could sleep in peace and the next morning I booked an appointment with a pediatric endocrinologist. Getting an appointment was not at all easy as the doctor had a waiting time of twenty days. Luckily for me, she answered the call and hearing my story, she called us immediately. She told us to relax as the report could be wrong but if it was accurate, there were chances that my baby will be mentally and physically retarded. She immediately suggested a few investigations and told us to start the medication from day 15 of his life. He is 2 years old now and is regularly taking Eltroxin, which along with breastfeeding has helped him achieve all the milestones on time.
During this course, I was shocked to read that it’s compulsory for hospitals to conduct a few metabolic tests for every newborn baby. To my surprise, the so-called big brand hospital in New Delhi did the test but never bothered to see the results or advise us on what's going on.
I wonder who would have taken responsibility if my child had become retarded. If this can happen in the capital city, what must be going on in smaller towns and villages?
So moms, please make sure to educate yourself about the basic tests during pregnancy and post delivery. Make yourself connected to the baby so that you can note every change. Breastmilk is liquid gold, so make sure you breastfeed the baby. It really helped my son overcome all odds. His reports too showed no genetic abnormality - he is an absolutely normal double-handed Simian child.
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Also read - Congenital Birth Defects