Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Today is the day we are scheduled to undergo the amnio. Our appointment is scheduled for 3:15pm at Maternal Fetal Medicine. My emotions were all over the place this morning. I couldn’t convince my body to stay on the treadmill for more than 5 minutes at the gym, because it gave me too much time to think and focus on the severity of the procedure I was about to undergo, and the health of our Little Sephora…Yes. That’s her name. Sephora Angeline. My husband chose this name for her nearly 1 month ago when he saw the name of a makeup store while we were walking around our local mall. As soon as we passed the store, I knew what the look on his face meant. He looked right at me, eyes bright and glittery with excitement. I looked right at him and exclaimed, “NO!” “REALLY?” “NO!” A week later, while getting ready to head to church, he screamed from the bathroom, “Sephora Angeline! Get down here!” I saw his head peak around the corner with the biggest smile on his face. I hadn’t laughed so hard in such a long time. At 19 weeks, we knew her name would indeed be Sephora Angeline. After learning that something was wrong with our precious Sephora, we looked up the meaning of her name. Little did we know Sephora Angeline literally means, “Beautiful Angel.”
The amnio wasn’t nearly as awful as I thought it was going to be. We had a very brief ultrasound to determine a good area away from the baby to insert the long but thin needle to grab some fluid. As the needle entered through my belly and into my uterus, I was really focusing on remembering to breathe as I watched the reaction of our Little Sephora through the ultrasound on the TV screen in front of me. She usually is very calm and curled up in a little ball with her feet directly in front of her face. As soon as the needle went in, she freaked out! She kept stretching her legs and moving frantically while this “foreign invader” was in her space. As soon as the needle was removed, she calmed down. Dr. Bayliss informed us that we’d have some answers within 48 hours as to why our baby has such severe abnormalities. Until then, we wait and enjoy our pregnancy and our baby girl’s movements.
Yesterday, we received a phone call from the perinatologist at Maternal Fetal Medicine who scheduled us to come in for our Level 2 Ultrasound today at 3:15pm. I knew if we were scheduled for a visit with the specialist 2 days after our first ultrasound, something was seriously wrong with our beautiful baby girl. We checked in at the front desk and were escorted back to our exam room. We saw everything during this ultrasound that we’d seen 2 days prior. We even got another picture of her profile, another of the bottoms of her feet and a great 3D shot of her face! I love that she was so curled up in this shot. She even had her left foot and right hand in this picture!
After scanning my belly for over an hour, the tech stepped out to go get the doctor who scanned my belly for another hour and a half! He finally put the transducer down and spoke to us very assertively as he explained to us what he saw. Her ventricles are extremely enlarged, and he doesn’t know at this point what caused it whether it be an infection, a chromosome, etc. He also discovered she has a hole in the bone that separates her left brain from her right brain. Currently, there is free flowing fluid passing between both sides of the brain, which could be the cause of the enlarged ventricles. As far as her heart….she’s got a very severe heart defect. Though her heart is audible and physically beating, he’s not convinced that her heart is making the right connections to the proper veins and arteries to ensure her body will be receiving the proper blood flow that her body will need after delivery. Something else he noticed while looking at the top of her head, is the lack of a developed set of eyes. Not only does she have a severe brain issue AND a severe heart defect, but now our precious baby girl hasn’t developed eyes and will be blind?! What did we do wrong to create such a perfect baby with so many horrible abnormalities?!
What is our next course of action supposed to be? He believes with the number of abnormalities she has, she will not have much of a chance to survive. Therefore, he suggested we perform an amniocentisis to determine if she does in fact have a chromosomal abnormality. If it is chromosomal, we are to assume that every cell in her body is affected and is abnormal. If she does not have a chromosomal issue, we will be sent to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for more testing. So…now we wait. We came straight home after our appointment and cried together. Thankfully, my husband Chris somehow managed to sleep. I woke up a few times to reflect and cry and talk to some of my friends on Facebook. Needless to say, this is not going to be a very good weekend.
Today we went for our 20 week anatomy ultrasound to see “Baby’s” size, weight, gender, and even get a 3D glimpse of Baby’s face! After looking at all of the not so interesting necessities of my uterus, placenta, etc, the first part of the baby we saw were the legs and butt. This obviously showed us exactly what we really wanted to know about our baby. We are having a…BABY GIRL!!! We saw her hands and feet, her bladder, heart, and her precious little face. In the one 3D picture of her that we got, she was holding her umbilical cord like it was a blankie. It completely covered the right side of her face! Again…that’s MY little stinker! It isn’t the best picture ever, but it is the best we’ve seen of her so far! We’re so in love with her!
The ultrasound tech was having some issues measuring her spine and wasn’t able to see some part of her heart because of her positioning. When she finished, she told us we would meet with one of the doctors on staff to go over the results of the ultrasound. I didn’t realize we’d be meeting with a doctor after this visit. I supposed it was normal and none of my other friends told me this was standard procedure. We got situated in our room and waited for the doctor to come in. When the doctor came in, the information she shared with us threw us both off of our seats. She told us our baby girl has enlarged ventricles in her brain. “What in the world does that mean?!,” I calmly shrieked. She told us she is not a specialist, so she “couldn’t” tell us much more than that. “What a ridiculous answer,” I thought to myself! All we knew at this point…enlarged ventricles are not something that should be seen during an ultrasound, and we’d be seeing a perinatologist to receive a Level 2 ultrasound. This should give us some type of answer and diagnosis. As the doctor escorted us to the checkout counter and explained to the ladies behind the desk what was happening, I could feel the tension, importance, and sense of urgency that this Level 2 ultrasound surrounded us with. I felt the puppy eyes follow us as we left the office with a feeling of uneasiness. My husband, Chris, wrapped his arms around me as we proceeded to the car. I looked up at him and said, “We’re having a little girl, Babe!” I immediately lost my composure and sobbed hysterically in his arms. Was our perfect pregnancy about to be derailed?!
From the moment we found out we were pregnant on November 2, 2012 we were in love with our precious little baby.
From obsessing about food from sun up to sun down, to sleeping 12 hours every night, watching the ball drop on New Years Eve while my head was in the toilet trying to expel the Spaghettios I’d just eaten…this pregnancy couldn’t be more perfect, and our baby was loved more and more as the days passed on.
At 16 weeks 6 days, I felt our baby move for the first time.
Many women describe this feeling as flutters or butterflies. I’d describe it as “bubbles.” They felt very similar to the bubbles that mist your face when you’re sitting in the hot tub. At 17 weeks 4 days, my husband Chris and I felt our baby bump and literally roll for the first time. It was the COOLEST FEELING EVER!!! Every day there after, “Baby” has become a little more active. Baby usually bumps a lot when I’m sitting down. I guess that may be because the baby’s “home” is slightly squished when I sit. A lot of times when I feel the baby move I try to catch another bump with my hand on the outside of my belly. Usually, Baby stops as soon as my hand touches my belly and chooses to play hide and seek with me for a while. “That little stinker,” is what I usually think to myself…but you’re my little stinker. Again, I sit in awe of this tiny little life we created that now grows inside of me.
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