Zach and I went to see Dr. Read, our fetal specialist, yesterday. Leading up to yesterday, I couldn't help but be excited, yet nervous. I knew the visit was going to be full of answers, answers we were trying our best to prepare ourselves for (but how can you really), yet I always have hope for a change.
We started our appointment with the ultrasound technician. I made sure to let her know that last time, I had a very awkward and uncomfortable experience....and that I didn't want this one to be the same. I let her know that we were curious and if she could just point out what she was looking at or measuring, that we would really appreciate it. She was amazing and so kind. We had about 30 minutes of a complete examination of our little one. She walked us through it all....Zach and I hand in hand. We were so excited to see all the organs developing, the heart beating so strong. We were both all smiles looking at Our Grace Baby move around. How can you not be? Once the technician finished, I let him know that the doctor would be in soon and that things were about to get a whole lot more serious. I told him that Dr. Read was straight forward but so kind and gentle in his delivery of heartbreaking news. I made sure to tell him to ask any questions he had and to keep his ears open for the both of us.
Dr. Read started to examine the baby and just as I had warned....things got intensly serious. He let us know right away that he still had many, many concerns for our baby. He started to point out various conditions our beautiful baby had that led him to believe that things had not gotten any better. First, he pointed out that our baby had club feet, that the intestines were looking a little different in color on the scan than they should be, that the fluid surrounding the baby's head was now approximately the same size as it's head, that the nasal cavity was not really forming. If it was appropriate to scream, "I get it"....I just might have. But, I just laid there, hand in hand, trying to hold back tears.
We went on to talk about an anmnio, which I had prepared myself for. He was ready to do one at the appointment if we were. I was floored. I had prepared myself for a discussion....not for a procedure. Dr. Read gave Zach and I a minute. Not even 2 seconds after to door closed, I broke down. Zach held me and we discussed what we thought would be best. We decided to go ahead with an amnio and we were both confident that that was right for us. I want to know everything I can about this baby, whether it is selfish or not. Zach and I cried and said a prayer before the doctor came back in. Prayed for our baby, our doctor, for strength.
The process began. Paperwork was signed, blood was drawn, tears were shed. Making a tough decision is never easy....going through with your tough decision is a million times harder. For anyone who knows me, I am not one for anything invasive....not a fan of needles....not a fan of procedures. This was no different. I laid down and they sterilzed my stomach. They found the position of the baby and the best spot to extract fluid from....I closed my eyes as tight as possible thinking it might take me to a different place. It didn't. I could feel every inch of that needle enter my stomach....it was painful, physically and emotionally. I could feel the fluid being extracted...it was unbelievably surreal. I was shaking and crying and wishing it would be over. It only took a couple of minutes...that lasted an eternity.
I was instructed not to lift anything the rest of the day and the following day. I was told there would be cramping and some discomfort. And then we went on our way. Hand in hand.
Throughout the appointment...I am pretty sure I received about 20 texts full of love and prayers. It is so comforting to me to be surrounded by so many who love us. God's love was just beaming. Phone calls began. I tried to make at least one an hour. I didn't succeed. I tried to call whoever I could but I just became exhausted.
We had to find someone to help us with Zoe and luckily my sister is in town. I drove to my mom's house, got Zoe situated and then laid down. I got some good rest after a long morning. Once I woke up, I just laid there, thinking. I kept having this reoccuring thought.
"Be still....I am with you...you are not alone."
Over and over.
I am not alone. God is right by my side. God planned this....God gave me Zach because he knew the two of us...only together...could get through this. God has brought strong, supportive people into our life to lift us up...to encourage us. God has given both of us the most wonderful families. God is right by my side.
Now for great news!
Look at this Baby Bump!
And this God of ours never ceases to amaze me.
Welcome Oliver Thomas.....you are more loved than you know!