On March 6, 2012 when those two pink lines appeared on that pregnancy test, I knew I would never be the same.
It was like something instantly changed within me, an instinct just naturally kicked in.
I am growing a life inside of me. Our child. My baby.
I now knew love at a level I had never dreamed was even possible.
But with that love comes fear.
Thanks to the internet I became incredibly aware of all the horrible things that can happen, especially in the first trimester.
I was reading about miscarriages every single day, just praying that it wouldn’t happen to me.
One day I decided to stop worrying.
I wrote a verse on a post it and stuck it on my rearview mirror. That way, whenever I was feeling concerned, I could look at it and be reminded that God is in control.
It never occurred to me that these words would become a staple of healing.
I’ve alway been one to trust my instincts, but even instinct couldn’t have prepared me for this.
A week ago I went for a standard dr. appointment.
The nurse couldn’t find my baby’s heartbeat with the doppler but that is extremely common so I wasn’t worried.
She pulled out the portable ultrasound machine and there was our little one kicking its little legs and waving.
I was elated but I could see a look on the nurses face of concern.
She told me everything looked great and she even snuck me photos of the ultrasound to show Derek since he wasn’t there.
I knew something was wrong, I could feel it in every ounce of my being.
But I ignored it.
Convinced myself that I was misinterpreting her expressions and being my typical worry wort self.
This past Friday at exactly 13 weeks pregnant, I went for my NT Scan.
This is an optional ultrasound that searches for chromosomal abnormalities in the baby.
Derek and I decided to do it and were not even the slightest bit concerned about the results.
When they called my name to take me back the nurse took me straight to the ultrasound room.
This is weird. Normally they take my vitals first. Oh well.
We sat in silence as the nurse did the ultrasound, snapping photos without speaking to us at all.
She finally said, “I’ll be right back” and left the room.
Derek and I talked about how weird it was and assumed she was just in a hurry to get us out of there.
The door then opened but it wasn’t the nurse, it was a doctor.
My heart sank into my chest.
Something is wrong.
She cautiously confirmed my fears.
“What we are seeing here is not good. It’s really not good.”
She went on to explain to us that our baby has an excessive amount of fluid surrounding its neck. She said that when this happens it usually means Down Syndrome or Turner’s Syndrome, which is where the baby is missing a chromosome.
Doesn’t matter. There isn’t anything in this world that could make me love this baby any less.
But wait, there’s more.
“Normally that is what this fluid means, but your baby has too much fluid. The fluid has started to surround its body along with its neck, and that is when this becomes fatal.”
She continued to talk but I couldn’t hear her over my heartbeat and breath.
I’m dreaming. I am in a dream. Close your eyes girl. Close your eyes and wake up.
I open my eyes and she makes eye contact as if she just asked me a question that requires answering.
“Do you want to do the CVS? It is extremely valuable in that it will be able to tell us which chromosomal defect caused this.”
Derek chimes in, thank God since I can’t seem to form functioning sentences, and asks her if the testing will help and what the survival rate is.
She lets us know that the baby’s condition is severe and that finding out what caused this will not change the outcome, however it will help us with future pregnancies. She told us that once this happens the odds of it happening again are slim to none.
“This is a 1 in 10,000 chance. It happens in 2-3% of all pregnancies, but the severity of your case only happens in 1%”
At this point Derek and I are still not clear on whether our baby has a chance to live or not.
The doctor has a genetic counselor come in to talk to us.
She is more upfront.
She is delicate in her approach but lets us know that our baby is not going to survive this.
We are advised that the longest they personally have ever seen a pregnancy like this go was 26 weeks, but that my condition doesn’t even stand a chance to last that long.
More like 1-2 weeks.
We finally left the doctors office and by this time the hospital was closed.
I had red eyes and a fever of 100.1 as we walked down the empty hallway hand in hand, dead inside.
We were on our way to Santa Barbara to meet with our friends and family to walk a half marathon in the morning in honor of my mother.
It was the longest drive of our lives.
We called our families and broke the news.
We questioned everything.
We sat in silence.
“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
When I was leaving work on Friday to drive to my dr. appointment, for the first time ever, my post it fell off my rearview mirror and into my lap. When I got home I told Derek about it and how I took it as a sign from God that everything was going to be okay.
It was a sign from God that everything was going to be okay, just not in the way I thought.
I’ve gone over everything in my head a thousand times.
I didn’t eat cold cut meats, drink caffeine or alcohol, or do any of the other potentially harmful things for your baby.
Nothing is wrong with me. Nothing is wrong with Derek.
We are just 1 in 10,000.
Dumb luck. Or fate.
I don’t know why this has happened but I do know that God does his best work when we are weak and sorrowful.
I do know that Baby Franklin will forever be our first child.
I know that I will have another angel watching over me.
I know that this baby happened for a reason.
And I know that we will be okay.
On Saturday I finished the half marathon and it meant so much more to me than originally anticipated.
The race was in tribute to my mother symbolizing strength and the willingness to fight.
I started that race with a broken heart, feeling like I had nothing to live for, and like the hilly terrane I went through a mountain of emotions in the three and a half hours we walked.
I ended feeling accomplished, proud, and hopeful for the future.
Finishing this challenge and supporting my mom reminded me that in life there are so many tragedies, so many obstacles.
But we can fight.
We can fight through them and keep going.
And when your knees feel like they are giving out, maybe it’s because it’s time to get down on them and pray.
You were carefully planned by mommy and daddy. The past thirteen weeks have been the best of my life thus far, nausea and all. Thank you for bringing so much joy into our lives. Your time here has been short, but you have changed my life for the better. Though I will never get to hold you in my arms in this world, I know you will be waiting for me in heaven. Until we meet again my sweet.
All my Love,
I had this post saved as a draft. I was going to post it today originally when we got home from Santa Barbara and was going to upload a belly shot with it. Though I don’t have the photo, I would still like to keep this post for Baby Franklin, so here is week 13.
Okay, I know I said at week 11 that I was going to post a picture but it’s not my fault!
[Well, it sort of is]
I somehow managed to lose the charger for my camera battery and naturally my camera decided to die the exact day I was going to take my photo!
It’s like $40 to get a replacement so I was trying desperately to find it but it looks like I’m going to have to suck it up and drop the cash.
So here is my lower quality photo for this week until I get my awesome Rebel up and running.
Here are the last two baby notes that you missed too :)
As my first trimester comes to a close, I want to look back on some key things I have learned about pregnancy since beginning this journey.
1. You think you know what you love, but you don’t. Before I got pregnant I thought I loved cream cheese, chocolate milk, yogurt, peanut butter, french fries, and bananas. Since being pregnant however, I have learned that I LOATHE all of those thing. Go figure.
2. There’s a reason I was never the sober driver. Watching a billion people around you act like piss drunk fools while you’re dirt sober isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. For some reason the jokes aren’t as funny as they are with a beer in you either.
3. Suddenly you want to petition to make bed pans a workplace requirement. Getting up to pee every 30 minutes grows very tiresome. I feel like I spend more time in the bathroom then actually working these days. If only I could pee in a bed pan at my desk without terrifying my coworkers, getting fired, and ending up on Megan’s Law.
4. My bed has never looked sexier. I have a new found love and appreciation for my queen mattress, fluffy pillow, and fur filled blankets. Never had I literally craved sleep this much in my entire life. Just typing about it makes me want to indulge. Mmmm sleeeep.
5. People think you’re fat, not pregnant. I look at women in a new light ever since becoming pregnant. When you see a woman walking down the street and she looks like she’s got a little pudge, it doesn’t always mean she’s had one too many cookies. She could be pregnant! I have not gained any weight so far with this pregnancy, yet somehow my weight has shifted to my mid-range and I look like I’m smuggling a dozen Arby’s roast beef sandwiches. [For the record, I have yet to have an Arby’s roast beef sandwich this pregnancy, though I feel I could go for one now]
All that being said, I am IN LOVE with Baby Franklin and I spend every single day thanking God for blessing us with this baby. In life all things come with sacrifice and I can honestly say that everything negative I have experienced doesn’t hold a candle to everything wonderful.
Until next time.