This is your emotional, drained, but overjoyed mother.
We are eagerly awaiting your arrival, as today marks 40 weeks that you began your journey in my belly; from a tiny little “tad pole” to the almost 8 lb. baby you are estimated to weigh right now, we have loved you from the beginning and continue to love you more and more.
Though you haven’t given us such an easy time this go around, not like your brother did. There have been many things that have left us in tears, speechless, unable to find the questions or answers to comfort and steady our thoughts.
At around 14 weeks, my son, I hemorrhaged and was very scared that we lost you. We were so happy that after a very long night in the emergency room, we came to find that you were just fine. After all these months, I have truly come to find out what “just fine” really means to me. We will get to that in a little while.
When we showed up to our 18 week ultrasound, we assumed we would hear the news that you were “just fine”; a healthy, handsome little boy that would carry out this journey with me with such ease, happiness and excitement. Because that, of course, is what every mother expects from their child. That they will be perfect in every way, health especially.
I never questioned that you may have something wrong, and our doctor’s had mentioned not being able to see something as clear as they had hoped, but the tone in their voice didn’t concern me enough to run to the computer and Google search every possible scenario and scare myself to death. They simply had me schedule a follow up to check again for what they felt would show up within a month; your stomach bubble.
We returned to our doctor within a month, but the ultrasound tech still wasn’t satisfied with what she saw. She scheduled us for another appointment the following day. Your daddy always goes with me to every one of your check ups, but the morning of this appointment, your mommy was in a rush to get there and get back, and told your daddy to go ahead and sleep in and I’d see him when I got home. This time I went to another office, one that specializes in comprehensive fetal care. I assumed this would be just like any other appointment, they’d see what they were looking for, and I’d return home to get ready for work.
Not so much…
They scanned you for almost an hour.
After the tech left the room, a gentle-voiced doctor came in and sat down beside me. She said she wanted to talk about some options, some possibilities, some concerns. She mentioned that you may end up with trisomy 13, 18, or 21; all of these are not things a mother wants to hear. She explained to me the connection between these things and a cyst that was seen on your brain. The sound in her voice was filled with uncertainty, almost as though she felt very sorry for me. It hurt to hear that there may be something wrong with you. When she left the room, I did what I wished I hadn’t; which was search the web for these things, to try and find out what to prepare myself for. I was asked if I wanted to take a harmony test to get a better understanding if this was something we would need to plan for. I had declined it at 18 weeks, when they offer the test, because regardless of how you come in to this world, my love, I will love you and care for you. After a lot of thought, I decided to take the test that would allow me a high percentage of knowing if any of these things would be something that would greatly affect our lives.
On the drive home I cried and cried. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in my life. I had a very long talk with God. I just couldn’t understand what was going on. I was angry, sad, confused, crushed. I called your father, but I couldn’t breathe long enough to get out the words I was wanting to say. I felt so many emotions, because I couldn’t understand why this had to happen to you. My instincts are to protect you, to keep you healthy and safe, and I felt that I was already failing you.
Days went by, and my talks with God became longer. I accepted that there may be trials and struggles, but God did something unexplainable. He lifted me up and gave me peace of mind. When I wanted to scream, all I could do was thank him for you. When I wanted to cry, all I could do was smile that he would even allow me the chance to be your mother. When I wanted to question everything, he filled me with an understanding that it would all be OKAY. No matter what I tried to do, or how often I would try to question my faith, He would never leave my side.
1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
Two weeks following the appointment, I was relieved to get a phone call from a nurse that said the results came back negative. I felt like God had prepared me for anything. The next step was to try and narrow down what it was that affects you, my sweet angel. We went to Baptist to have a fetal echo of your heart; it came back with no abnormalities. We continued to have ultrasounds several times throughout the months ahead. Where we stand now, is awaiting your arrival and to make sure you get the care you need.
From what we have seen, you are not able to swallow the amniotic fluid around you. This is assumed because doctors have not been able to clearly see your stomach bubble. Also, I was diagnosed with polyhydramnios, which is an excessive buildup of amniotic fluid; this explains the stomach issue. At 40 weeks today, your mommy is measuring like she is 44 weeks pregnant. I feel extremely huge, stretched to the max and a little hormonal, but I am continuing to be your safe house until you are ready to greet us.
We met with your surgeon just two weeks ago to discuss the possibilities of surgery after you are born. Your doctors think you have what is called a TE Fistula. They will need to do an incision through one side of your chest to repair your esophagus. This is a very important surgery for you, because without it you would die. You would not be able to feed properly without fluid going in to your lungs. We hope that when you are born, everything turns out to be fine, but we are prepared for what may come; we are with you every step of the way.
Your surgeon said you will more than likely be in the hospital for 2 weeks up to a month after you are born. We aren’t sure yet how this whole living situation will play out yet, but we know that we won’t want to leave your side.
You may end up on a feeding tube for a while, but once you are released from the hospital, you should be able to eat on your own without any trouble. You may have trouble eating certain solid foods once you reach that stage, but we will take on that mountain when we get there.
I feel so confident in your strength. You make me so proud. Every time we hear your heart beat, it sounds so strong and you sound so happy. What a lucky mother I am to have you. Your dad and your brother, Carson, are so excited to meet you. Your grandparents and aunts and uncles already spoil you like crazy.
“Just fine” has created a whole new meaning in my mind. When before I assumed it meant perfect and healthy; that there would be no challenges, no questions, no tears. Now I understand what it really means. You are JUST FINE. You have so many wonderful doctors looking out for you. You have a whole team of family and friends rooting for you. You have parents who would never think twice of what you can’t accomplish or become in life because of illness or physical indifferences, because we know you are beautiful and perfect and we wish for you all good things. You have an AMAZING God, who knows your worth and value. He will continue lifting you up through your life’s challenges. He already knows the life you’ll live and He isn’t going to let you walk alone, not ever. You have grandparents who talk about you and their love for you every single day. You have aunts and uncles who call or check up on you every single day. You are our little life, and we love you so much.
No matter what obstacles we may face, no matter what life throws our way, you have our support. We love you and can’t wait to meet you.