I'm hesitant to make this public. Not that I don't want to tell everyone in the world the story, but disclosing this out in the open is difficult. And I prefer my writing style on this blog to be easy, breezy, CoverGirl - NOT serious Sally. I hope to tell it in a way that doesn't offend anyone nor makes light of it.
This has been a pretty difficult pregnancy for me. I'm not one of those women that loves being pregnant. I'm just not. I like to have personal space and having a baby with 50% foreign DNA inhabit my body for 40 weeks is the opposite of me having my personal space. It's hard. And I've been sick. Sicker than sicker. I've also been scared. Scared that something would be wrong (despite my wrinkle free face - I'm not a spring chicken). When you are laying in bed doing your best to not give up and just hold some Gatorade and Saltines down . . . it's hard to not think about all the statistics and all the possibilities.
With Henry, I thought the ultrasound was just a party - you know, where you find out the sex of your child and celebrate. Nope. This can also be a rather scary appointment. The tech makes all sorts of measurements, looks to see if there are any problems, alerts you to them . . . that sort of thing. Once I realized the stakes - I went in to this ultrasound more nervous. I hoped that all those horrible concerns that I would fantasize about in the dredges of morning sickness were going to be dispelled. But I also knew that maybe they wouldn't be. A mother's intuition means something doesn't it?
While in the appointment, the tech asked three times, "You have a doctor's appointment after this. Right?" Me, on high alert already, knew that this was not casual small talk. As we waited, and waited, and waited for the doctor after the ultrasound I became increasingly nervous. Finally, she came in and we learned that yes, there was a problem. A problem that couldn't be explained from the images gathered earlier that morning. Fluid build up between the lungs and the stomach that could signal something significant. They just couldn't tell. We were then sent to wait and wait and wait until we could be seen by a specialist a week later.
It would be an understatement to say that this was a long week.
We prayed. We fasted. We prayed some more. And we went into the specialist's office remarkably at peace. Scared. But I was worried I was just going to be a basket case of non-stop tears. Nope. Calm, cool, collected, and ready to just know.
After about an hour long ultrasound by a technician, a doctor came in and performed his own ultrasound. He walked us through what he was seeing and he explained that our sweet baby has "bi-pleural effusion" significant fluid between the lungs and the stomach that oftentimes results in the lungs not being able to develop and as the chest cavity becomes more full with fluid the heart works harder and harder and eventually can't handle it - resulting in heart failure resulting in a stillborn, or some parents make the decision to perform a c-section still recognizing that the child will not be able to survive for long outside the womb. He was kind . . . but he told us that, as is, the baby had about a 5 to 10% chance of survival.
He told us our best option was that we needed to do some tests to see if this baby would be a candidate to go to either Houston or Colorado and have shunts put in that would try and shuttle the fluid out of the cavity to allow enough room for the lungs to develop. We waited and he contacted his colleagues at both hospitals. After determining what tests were exactly necessary - we were scheduled to come back the next morning to do some tests to see if a shunt was even a viable option
That day/night was bad. An understatement. But - we were okay. We knew. No more of this wondering.
And now for the miracle. The next day we went back ready to have the amniocentesis and a thoracentesis. As the doctor is performing the ultrasound - again - he stops. He continues. He is silent. He leaves telling us that he needs to go and consult his pictures from yesterday and his colleagues. He comes back to tell us that the fluid that was measuring 1.0 cm yesterday is now measuring only .3 cm (that's point 3 or 3mm) - and that he had to measure it in a different spot because where he was measuring it before the fluid isn't big enough to get a decent measurement.
His look of confusion is something I never want to forget. He told us that he thought that he was looking at a different baby. We continued with the appointment - had the amniocentesis performed looking for genetic abnormalities to determine the cause of this fluid build-up, opted to wait for the thoracentesis because of how much smaller the fluid had become and were told that things looked better but we needed to continue to wait and see.
As miracles occur I have learned that this was a big one. The doctor told us that he has never seen fluid decrease like that in such a short of time. Of course, he has seen it increase but never decrease in the same amount of time. And as miracles occur I have also learned that this baby is one big miracle wrapped up in a bunch of small ones. Since then, test after test after test has come back "normal" and "healthy." This weekend I was reminded again of the sweet faith of a child. When we were originally told of the 5 to 10% chance of success, our 7 year old niece clung to that statistic. As I was being my realistic self she was saying "But Krissi, 5 percent! 5 percent!" Our will is not always the Lord's will but how grateful and blessed we feel that sometimes our will and Lord's will coincide.
And while things are not perfect -we continue to go in for ultrasound after ultrasound after ultrasound - things are good. The fluid is stable if not a little bit less each week. And lo and behold - today is the first Monday we haven't had to go to doctor for about two months. Praise be! (They gave us a 2 week break instead of our usually weekly appointment).
And she is beautiful.
*no more long blog posts for awhile - I mean who has time to read these things?