About George

George was born on a warm and sunny Monday morning. His birth only took about four hours, so we got to quickly welcome our lovely son into our lives. George had a healthy cry as soon as he was born, but the nurse noticed that he was turning a little blue as I was holding him. They gave him oxygen and decided to take him to the NICU for further testing. He stayed there for the next five days. I remember feeling anxious about this because the doctors were performing many tests without saying exactly what they were looking for. They performed a full body ultrasound of his major organs, an ECG and x-rays. He was also put under the heat lamps for his jaundice. The doctors concluded that George was healthy and all of his major organs were functioning perfectly. We were relieved to hear the news! They decided to refer us to a doctor from the IWK Children's Hospital in Halifax. His specialty was genetics. Kyle and I had no clue what to expect. In the midst of all this, I was having real trouble nursing George. I was no stranger to newborn nursing difficulties, but George's issues seemed different. The lactation consultant determinded that George had a very small mouth, but she was sure he would latch as soon as he grew a little. The nurses had decided to feed George formula while I tried desperately to pump. The first few days felt like forever and I would have given up if it weren't for Kyle, my mom and my sisters. I distinctly remember my mother assuring me that George was going to be a nursed baby. I can happily say that she was right. I pumped for about a month and then used a nipple shield for two more months, but near the end of August, about a week before my birthday, George just decided to latch. What a day! He was almost three months old, but he had finally learned to nurse. It was his first accomplishment. I knew at that point that we were going to have to be patient, but that George would learn to do everything in his own time.
 
We first met with the geneticist when George was a month old. Dr. Skidmore examined George and we discussed his extra baby toe, angulated thumbs and his broad first toes as well as his one undescended testicle. The doctor decided to give us a few ideas as to why George had these physical differences. He wanted to be cautious with his initial diagnosis so Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome was just one of several possibilities he mentioned that day. We went home and immediately started looking up information about the syndrome. It seemed clear to us from all of the literature about RTS and pictures of other children with the syndrome that this was exactly what George had. Kyle handled the news very well, but I was really torn about how to feel. I knew that everything was going to be fine and that we would love George and give him a great home, but I started worrying about whether I would be smart enough and a good enough mother to handle all of the challenges that I knew were coming our way. It took me a while to gather the confidence, but every day that I spend with George I feel more and more sure of myself. It's still going to be a lot of work physically and emotionally, but I know that with all of the support from our families, we can face every challenge ahead of us.
 
In early December of 2010 we met with Dr. Skidmore again and decided to have the hospital perform the genetics testing that would determine whether George had RTS. We waited for a little over a month, and the results came back positive. Knowing really hasn't changed much for us, but now we feel comfortable telling everyone about George's condition. I already feel that having George in our lives has changed us for the better. I feel myself really appreciating everything and everyone around us as well as every new day we greet. George has had virtually no medical issues to date. He's healthy and happy and that's all we could ask for. I hope that everyone gets a chance to meet George. He's a wonderful baby and I just know that he's going to be an amazing person!