Monday, November 8, 2010

A Baby. Really? But I’m Almost 43!

By Penny Putman

Penny with her youngest son, Wyatt.
Only God knew the amazing journey He had planned for us when we found out we were going to have a baby in the fall of 2008. I was almost 43; we just knew I was entering menopause. But God had a much better and bigger plan than we could have imagined. Our lives were about to change forever.

At the time, we had Ethan, 16, and Forrest, 8, and life was pretty easy. A baby. Really? What was God thinking? After adjusting to the shock of the pregnancy, we knew our risks for having a baby with Down syndrome were higher because of my age. We chose to not have prenatal testing because we knew it did not matter if our baby had Down syndrome; he was God’s plan from the start, and we knew God was in complete control.

After a very quick delivery, Wyatt Christian Zane Putman was born July 6, 2009. He was a beautiful, healthy baby! We were told a few days after he was born that he has Down syndrome. We were devastated. I will never forget the pain of those first few days.

And there was more to come. At his first check up when he was 5 days old, the doctor detected a heart murmur. We were told of the high percentage of babies with Down syndrome who are born with congenital heart defects. “Wasn’t the Down syndrome enough?,” I wondered, “Does he (we) have to have more to deal with?”

At 10 days old, Wyatt had an echocardiogram, performed locally by a pediatrician who had cardiac training. Wyatt was diagnosed with a small ventricular septal defect, a small hole between the ventricles, and a small atrial septal defect, a hole between the atria. We were told they likely would close on their own without needing surgery.

As we looked for support locally concerning Wyatt’s Down syndrome, we were told over and again the local doctor often missed important diagnoses, and that it was imperative we seek the opinion of a pediatric cardiologist.  

Wyatt, shortly after surgery.
We traveled to Pensacola for an appointment with Dr. Joseph Davenport at the Nemours Children’s Clinic. We knew we were at the right place. His awesome staff, thorough examination and diagnostic testing, confirmed the original diagnosis of ASD and VSD, but with the decision to closely monitor the holes to be sure they closed. We had appointments every couple of months until January 2010, when Dr. Davenport decided it was time to send Wyatt’s records to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Eggleston for surgeons to evaluate. Within a couple of weeks, we heard back from Eggleston –  they believed it was necessary to operate. We were devastated and scared. And I asked, again, couldn’t his Down syndrome be enough for us to deal with? 
A happy Wyatt healing after surgery.
As much as everyone reassured us he would be fine, it wasn’t their child having his chest opened up for surgery. Praise God, Wyatt’s surgery went smoothly, taking less than two hours. We were quickly able to see him in recovery. He actually looked much better than I had prepared myself for. Wyatt spent about 48 hours in the CICU before being transferred to the step-down unit where we spent another 48 hours before being sent home. WOW! That was scary, leaving Atlanta to head home to Panama City with our baby boy who had just had open heart surgery!

Within just a few days, he was back to his happy self. Wyatt never indicated he was in any pain, and he healed quickly. By four weeks post-op, he was allowed to resume his physical therapy. His prognosis is good, and his cardiologist visits are farther and farther apart. He is now a 16-month-old, busy, little boy!

We were amazed at how quickly God healed our baby! Throughout his surgery and recovery, Wyatt was bathed in prayer by hundreds of people around the world, and we are so thankful for the answered prayers.

We know that God has great plans for Wyatt: “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) We give God all the glory for Wyatt’s fixed heart!

Penny Putman is wife to Tim and stay-at -home mom to three awesome sons; a terrific teen, Ethan, a cool kid, Forrest and an adorable baby, Wyatt, who just happens to have a little something extra, Down syndrome. Wyatt’s birth 15 months ago dramatically changed the Putmans’ lives. Penny’s  life now revolves around therapies, doctors’ appointments and online research about Down syndrome, in addition to everyday household stuff and her responsibilities as women’s ministry team leader for her church. Wyatt has physical, occupational, speech and developmental therapies every week. Fortunately, they come to the Putmans. In addition to Wyatt’s heart issues, Penny also is currently working on hearing and thyroid questions. It’s a busy life, Penny says, one she could never handle except by God’s grace, and her relationship with Jesus as her personal Savior! Follow the Putmans' life at

No comments:

Post a Comment