Sunday, October 14, 2012

One year ago (part I)

One year ago today was the day that changed everything. The day that my world fell apart, upside down, inside out, and all kinds of broken. October 14, 2011 is the day I thought our baby boy was not going to live. Let me set the scene for you. 
Presenting my research...12 weeks preggo =)

I was in my last semester of college and had just finished up working on a research project that I absolutely loved. My pregnancy had been going great. I was healthy, happy, and excited about graduation! I already had big plans for the nursery and wanted to get a head start on it because I just knew we were having a boy. The most exciting day of my pregnancy was going to the gender scan. I had an appointment scheduled at my OB's office when I was almost 20 weeks. Everything was going fine and all I could think about what confirming that we were having a boy. Our ultrasound tech spent a long time going over all the organs, most of which I didn't pay attention to because well, they're not as cute as seeing hands, feet, and a profile. She went through every organ and finally got to the only part I cared about and told us "its probably a boy".
 Looking back, I wish I could slap myself for being so stupid and naive. 

My doctor came in and her exact words were, "Everything is fine, we just can't see the heart well." She said she was referring us to a high-risk OB because they have better ultrasound machines. I asked her if we should be worried. She told me, "There's nothing to worry about." Ok, so I just thought he was positioned in a way that they were unable to get good enough images. No big deal. Our doctor seemed ok with it, so I would be too. 

My level II ultrasound was scheduled for the following week at UNC. I was surprised they got us in so quickly but I was happy that the appointment was during my fall break so I wouldn't miss any classes. Jeremy and I had already planned to make a day of it. We were going to go to Raleigh, eat lunch somewhere new, and go baby shopping. 

As we got closer to the day of the appointment I was getting more nervous. I didn't understand why but I couldn't shake the feeling. I just assumed it was some kind of pregnancy paranoia. 

The ultrasound took about 2 hours. They went over every single detail of the baby's organs. Of course we were anxious to confirm (for sure this time) that he was a boy and the tech got us a clear view of boy parts...we were ecstatic! Jeremy called that moment the happiest of his life thus far. That was the end of the marathon ultrasound. The tech then told us that the doctor would be in soon to talk to us. At that moment, I got scared. I realized that while we were gushing over our baby boy, the tech spent a long time looking at his heart. I told Jeremy I thought something was wrong. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I'm pretty sure this was the first time I used my "mom-intuition". 

The maternal-fetal specialist came in with the ultrasound tech, who was carrying a box of tissues. Every emotion that I felt from that point on was so physical, so raw, so painful. I knew what was coming. My ears started ringing as soon as the doctor started talking and I only heard bits of what she was saying. 

"....the baby's heart..." "....left ventricle..." "...congenital defect..." "...termination...." 

At that I let out a loud, uncontrollable sob. I hadn't even noticed the tears streaming down my face until then. Did she actually suggest that I terminate my CHILD? I had to leave. I'm not sure if I even said anything or if I just got up. I ran to the nearest room I could find, which was a bathroom. Jeremy came in with me and we just held each other for a minute...right there in the bathroom. Although a lot of details from that day are foggy, I clearly remember asking Jeremy why this happened to us. We were good people, our baby did not deserve this. 

We stayed at the office talking to counselors, geneticists and OBs for hours. They all showed us outdated diagrams of a hypoplastic heart and despite my basic knowledge of anatomy from college, I had no idea what they were saying. I couldn't think of anything other than my baby not surviving. The most excruciating part was when we were about to leave, they told us that if we wanted to "end things" we needed to make a decision quickly because they were running out of time based on how far along I was. Without even consulting my husband like we would normally do, I quickly told them not to mention that again. Jeremy and I sometimes have telepathic powers and I knew he was thinking the exact same thing. I was too disgusted to stay at that doctor's office any longer. 

I remember dreading having to call everyone and tell them the news. I knew my family would all be waiting anxiously to hear how the ultrasound went. I called my mom first. I know I didn't make any sense at all, I was crying so much I could barely get a sentence out. I told her that I couldn't bear to talk to anyone else and hung up after a very short conversation. 

Jeremy and I drove home in silence and didn't have much to say when we got home either. All I could think about were the million questions I had about my baby boy's quality of life. We would have to wait through the weekend until we could see the pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Robinson the following Monday. 

The rest is in part II...

The day after Jensen was diagnosed 

Looking at this picture brings back so many memories. This smile is totally fake. I wanted to skip taking my weekly picture that weekend but I'm glad I didn't. 

No comments:

Post a Comment