May 16, 2011
Sorry for the radio silence friends…last week was ROUGH, and it took us a while to recover.
Monday went from bad to worse when we were told at our appointment that not only did our baby definitely have some sort of obstruction in its intestines, but also that there was a 40% correlation between that condition and Downs’ Syndrome.
Talk about kicking two infertiles while they’re down. I just couldn’t believe that we had to deal with this after everything that we had been through, and even started questioning whether we should have stopped trying so hard to have a child…that maybe this was our punishment.
S and I spent Monday afternoon/evening alternating between holding each other and crying, and walking around the house trying to find something really satisfying to smash that wouldn’t cause too much damage. Luckily we held it together, and made it through the night.
We were lucky enough to get follow up appointments scheduled for Tuesday morning, and we started bright and early (8 am) by meeting with one of the surgeons at Child.ren’s Hospital. By the end of the hour, we felt 100x better, both by her calm demeanor and clear explanation of the baby’s surgery and recovery, and also by her downgrading of our risk of downs (due to the lack of other soft markers).
Then we moved over to the connecting hospital (where I will now be delivering) for a battery of tests and procedures. It was recommended to us that we do an amnio – partly to screen for downs – but also to remove some of the excess amniotic fluid (what they call a “therapeutic amnio”). Apparently I had so much extra fluid (4X what was needed) that I was at risk of my water breaking too soon due to the pressure on my uterus. And the only risk of the procedure at this point in the pregnancy was my water breaking, which was likely to happen anyways!
So we agreed that we should do it…but let me tell you friends, amnios are NOT FUN. Even after all that I’ve been through, I’d rate that experience as one of the worst. I’m so big and uncomfortable to begin with, and add in all of the contractions that I’ve been having…then picture a needle going through your skin, then through your muscle, and then your uterus and the doctor having a tug of war. Yes, just as much fun as it sounds. Oh, and then the baby managed to whack the tube at the same time I had a contraction which kinked and blocked the tube so badly that they had to remove it and insert it AGAIN from the other side.
I spent the whole procedure practicing my labor breathing and trying not to break S’s hand…while the doctors kept telling me that they could stop at any time, but that if I could do “5 more minutes” that I’d really feel much better afterwards. I figured that since they were already in there and I was already in pain that I would just tough it out, but by the end of it (maybe a half an hour later), S put his foot down and told them I was done. When they pulled everything out, I got a contraction that seriously lasted 10 minutes and they actually had to put me in a wheelchair just to go down the hall.
Then we were hooked up to an NST monitor to watch the baby’s heartbeat and my contractions for an hour or so, at which point S went and got us lunch (the best chicken parm sandwich I’ve ever tasted, even though I’m sure it wasn’t really any good)! The baby was moving around so much (thank God!) that after a half an hour of chasing its heartbeat around, they actually disconnected the heartbeat monitor and just watched my contractions.
Then I had to go for a blood test and another Rhogam shot (in case any of the baby’s cells crossed with mine during the amnio) and schedule our appointments for next week. We finally left the hospital 6+ hours later, completely exhausted, both mentally and physically. Poor S had to go to work to put out fires for a few hours, and I went home and went to bed. I literally was asleep the minute my head hit the pillow.
Luckily, we were told that they’d have the downs test results back by the end of day Wednesday, so we really only had to get through 24 more hours of waiting. My parents came over Tuesday night for a quick visit and an update and then my mom came back Wednesday morning to help me do some laundry and cleaning. And we all spent the day doing a lot of praying.
I got the phone call early in the afternoon and the great news that the preliminary test showed NO DOWNS – thank you Lord! I honestly didn’t know how much more God thought S and I could handle…but we were definitely at our breaking point for a few days there.
So now we just have to get this baby through another week+ of growing and putting on weight and prepare for surgery and a NICU stay. But honestly, and as crazy as it sounds, that all feels completely manageable now that we know we are only dealing with ONE problem, that is surgically correctable and without long-term complications. We know that we’re in for a rough few weeks, but after the past few days, I’m pretty sure we can get through it! I’m just anxious to have it all behind us.
Oh, and in other news?
We’re having a BOY!!!!!!!!
We decided to find out last Monday – after S and I both saw “it” on the ultrasound and really needed some positive news to hold on to. It has definitely given us something to look forward to and plan for…and yes, we went blue clothes shopping over the weekend! 😉
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. If you could spare a few extras in the coming weeks, please pray that baby boy will continue to grow big and strong and will get through his surgery with flying colors (and that mommy and daddy will survive his stay in the NICU). Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for being there for us.