Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Big Ultrasound

We went in for our routine ultrasound when baby was almost 19 weeks along. We found out the great, but surprising news that we are having a second boy! I was convinced it was a girl because this pregnancy has been so different than my first. I was shocked at first, but quickly Andrew pointed out all of the fun things about having two boys! I realized how exciting it would be for Andrew and Matthew, and I also was happy when I thought about how bonded Matthew and I have been since he was born! Another boy is a perfect addition to our family!

After the ultrasound, we met with the doctor. She surprised us with news that there were some problems found with the baby. We heard something about a spot on the spine, fluid on the brain, and a calcification in the heart. The doctor told us that she wanted a level 2 ultrasound and sent us on our way to the Maternal Fetal Medicine office immediately. Our thoughts were all over the place and we were devastated by the news that something was wrong with our baby. We had no idea what was wrong or the severity of the problems, and we didn't know if the baby was even going to survive. At MFM, we had a lengthy ultrasound. I remember asking the technician if she saw all the problems they mentioned. When she told me yes, I asked if she knew what it meant. She mentioned that it could be Spina Bifida. As I heard the words, I knew right away that it sounded familiar. I had no idea what it could mean for our baby, but I knew I had heard it was bad, really bad. The doctor explained the condition as best she could, but it all sounded so somber and frightening. She recommended we have an amniocentesis in order to rule out any other chromosomal abnormalities. We decided to have it done right away. It was not quite as scary as I had imagined, and I was so glad that I had less than 10 minutes to mentally prepare for it. It was another frightening prospect that there could be even more wrong with our child, but I wanted to be prepared for what we would be dealing with. When we left to go home, I was still clueless about what we were up against and Andrew and I were both an emotional mess.

For the next week, I researched constantly. I did not google "spina bifida" because I was afraid of the horrifying descriptions I might find about the condition. I did however look at blogs and try to find information from parents of children living with the condition. It was a very uplifting experience to find such positive and valuable wisdom from these families. It kept me hoping for the best, which was especially important during my 7-10 day amnio results wait. We finally got the call that all chromosomes looked good! I was so thankful that we would "only" be dealing with spina bifida. After that first week ended, I felt confident that we would get through whatever this will mean for our family. I even started desperately looking for a name so we could bond with our boy as much as possible and call him by name. Our baby is going to be another child in our family, and he will just come with a few extra care instructions. I am trying to take it all day by day, knowing that some days will be difficult and others will be amazing. And we will try to appreciate the amazing days even more. Andrew and I both liked the name Ben, so we decided to name our baby Bennett, meaning "little blessed one".

No comments: