Today Y turns 2 years old. Wow. He’s no longer our baby boy, even though he says he is. What a ride its been so far.
I’m not sure if I’ve blogged about this before or not, but we had trouble trying to have a second child. We had 2 miscarriages before getting pregnant with Y, the second of which happened after we saw the heartbeat on ultrasound.
Right after the 2nd miscarriage, before the semi-emergency D&C I had to have for it, Hunky had to go to Albuquerque for a few months for work. That spring and summer was a hard time in our marriage, maybe the worst time so far. During that time, I had the aforementioned D&C, O turned 1, it seemed like everyone I knew was getting pregnant with no problems, and what was supposed to be a return date for Hunky of early June turned into mid August. I was not. happy. During this time, Hunky and I decided that when he got back, we would try to get pregnant for 3 more months. If it didn’t happen, or if we had another miscarriage, we were done, and would begin the adoption process. I already had decided on an agency and country even.
We got pregnant the first month. I started bleeding at about 7 weeks, and we figured that was it, another lost baby. I didn’t even head to the emergency room, just decided to wait until the next morning and call the doctor. Imagine our shock when we saw that heart, still beating up a storm! 3 weeks later I started bleeding again. And again, still a beating heart!
We ended the first trimester, and I thought we were out of the woods. Then, at about 13 weeks, we went in for a routine appointment, and when our fabulous OB (seriously, she is fabulous) couldn’t find the heartbeat with the doppler, she pulled out the portable ultrasound and took a look. The heart beat was still there, but there was something weird in the picture, like a line dividing my uterus. I asked her what that was, and she replied that she wasn’t sure. She referred us to a perinatologist.
So we went to see him at about 14 or 15 weeks. He did a level II ultrasound, the heavy duty one, and told us that the division didn’t look to be a problem, he thought it was an amniotic band, but it wasn’t interfering with the baby at this point. But. He did have a couple of concerns. The baby had a VSD, a hole in the heart. Also, the tail end of the spinal cord didn’t look quite right, and his brain was showing a “banana sign”, which together pointed to a neural tube defect, probably spina bifida. Given that 2 body systems were abnormal, he recommended an amniocentesis, to check for chromosomal abnormalities. Oh yeah, and this baby was definitely a boy – the only good news we heard that day.
We were bereft. I couldn’t understand why this was happening to us, why God was letting this happen, when all I had prayed for after the miscarriages was to not even let us get pregnant again if the baby wouldn’t make it. And these chromosomal abnormalities they were testing him for? – they were not survivable ones. All we could do was pray, ask everyone we knew to pray, and wait.
The amnio results came back the day before Thanksgiving – and they were normal. Praise God they were normal. Our baby still had these problems, but at least it didn’t appear that they were signs of a deeper issue. So now we just had to pray and wait some more – our next ultrasound was in January.
In January we went back, and from the moment that the tech turned the probe to the brain, I was convinced that the problem was worse. When she turned to the heart, Hunky and I both thought we saw the hole. By the time that the doctor came in, I was close to hysterical. Then he did his exam, and informed us that the heart defect had closed, and the spinal cord and brain appeared absolutely normal. Again with the praising God – what other explanation is there for this healing – 2 problems that were there, and then weren’t? The amniotic band was still there, but still didn’t look to be causing problems for the baby.
So we had a few weeks of peace – I was working extra days at the animal shelter, going to the gym, taking care of O. Then I went in for my 22 week appointment. I had been having a lot of Braxton-Hicks, but didn’t really think anything about it. Turns out that my cervix had started to dilate. Bed rest was commenced. The next 14 or so weeks followed, at an agonizing snail’s pace, with me not able to lift O more than was absolutely necessary, not able to work, not able to go to the gym, not able to …ummm….make whoopie with my husband.
At 36 weeks, I got the all clear to resume normal activities. And then the low grade panic set in. I was having non-stress tests 2-3 times a week, and they all looked good, but I was just so afraid that something was going to happen to Y at this point, before we could get him delivered. My OB agreed to deliver him at 38 weeks (a Monday), a decision that was reinforced by the amount of protein in my urine the Friday before, as well as the fact that I was about 4 cm dilated.
Monday arrived, and Hunky and I headed for the hospital. They broke my water and contractions ensued. 6 hours and 2 pushes after that, Y arrived gently in this world (a much different experience than the 40 hour, 4 hours of pushing, million doctors in the room delivery of O). When my OB delivered the placenta, we found out where that pesky amniotic band had been. It ran through the placenta, and somehow, the arteries and veins that should have been protected by a bunch of membranes, weren’t protected at all. Our OB told us that Y and I could have died at any time, and she was so thankful that we had delivered that day.
So that’s how Y came to be in this world. Ever since he got here, he’s been a joy. He is a constant reminder to us that God’s timing is perfect. Although we all know that I’m a crazy worrier, I firmly believe that God is taking care of my family. I only have to look at the dimple at the bottom of Y’s back to affirm that prayer works and that God does work miracles.
Y, if you ever read this (how humiliating will that be – better or worse than showing his girlfriend the naked bathtub pictures), please know how much we love you, how much we wanted you and prayed for you, and how much laughter you bring into our lives every day.
Man, it’d be good to post a picture right now, but I’m still waiting on the America pics from my mom, and we haven’t taken any since we’ve been back.