Week 18: Are we really doing this again? (Part II)

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{Feel free to backtrack and read Part I if you haven’t already. This will make much more sense if you do.}

Up on the table I went. The same ultrasound table. The same room. The same giant flat screen that we witnessed the still still heart of our little Kyle-man…and here we were again. Just two years and some days later.

I took a giant breath. We tried to make it as nonchalant as possible.  That gooey stuff – so warm – they always have that stuff in a warmer. Seriously – if you don’t have a ultrasound tech that uses warm goo on your tummy, find a different one. It’s so worth it.

And there it was. The tiniest little thing you ever did see. Only a head and a tummy. Still attached to my uterus in the tiny yolk sack. No arms or legs and only a half centimeter long.

But it had a heart.

That was beating. 

So quietly even that the ultrasound equipment couldn’t pick up the sound. But the little thing was just a going strong as ever.

Yeah. We both cried. There wasn’t much to look at. But there it was – alive and tiny and so perfect. I mean, we couldn’t see if anything was wrong at that point, but for that moment in time, we dwelt in the moment of blissfulness. Completely happy that there was a baby who was alive and well and we could see it.

Week 12 selfie for my praying friends. <3

Week 12 selfie for my praying friends. ❤

Weeks 8-12: These weeks came and went with an onslaught of nausea and fatigue. I was pretty much in bed from 6PM on – after an afternoon of naps and resting on the couch. The cold and dark days here in Philadelphia didn’t help with the feelings of exahustion, either. But my girls were little angels. Chloe cooked breakfast for me, and lunch for everyone. Chris was the true hero in these weeks – I didn’t wash hardly a dish or change a single load of laundry during this time. (I rarely do anyway, but generally I can get around to carrying my own weight with the dishes and laundry when I have a free moment.) Considering we don’t have a dishwasher or a reliable washing machine, this is quite the feat.

This was coupled with an ultimatum from our landlady – telling us she decided not to renew our lease and we had to be out of our house by the end of the month. For whatever reason – hormones, my exhaustion levels, perhaps the fact that we had just gotten unpacked 4 months earlier? – I was a complete wreck from this and was pretty much ready to give up on all things happy and hibernate the rest of the days away under my covers. We spent any of my remaining energy looking at property after property and finally came to the conclusion that where we are isn’t as bad off as we were thinking, for one. 🙂 And second, that we’d need to buy something if we wanted to move into anything that was remotely move-in ready. (We weren’t up for a fixer upper at this stage of the game.)

I’m so grateful for a church that was so ready and willing to jump in and help out. I was going to make up a to-do list that would get us up and out in two weeks – and the church people would sign up and get us up and out! The goal was for me to not lift a box. The day we were planning to make an offer on a house, the landlady let us know that moving wouldn’t be necessary after all and we could stay where we were.

That was a HUGE sigh of relief for me.

Even now, I’m not sure what all of that run around was for – except maybe to get to know the area better? I do know that now I’m much more content where I am than I was before – and I’m so so happy to not be unpacking boxes right now!

Right around the end of week 11, going into week 12, I could feel the baby moving. This was such a huge relief to me! This is extremely early for anyone to feel anything. But after so many weeks of tracking every one of Kyle’s movements and thinking at each one it could be his last, I guess my mind was still super tuned in.

The tough part of this for me, though, was knowing that while I could feel this baby move, I would have a palpable fear – a deep unsettling fear – when I couldn’t feel the baby every day.  Only when it was floating near the front of my uterus was I able to feel it – when it was close to my skin. That would be a few times a day – then nothing for three or four days. I would be so nervous. My anxiety levels would rise by the hour it seemed. At one point I even took more pregnancy tests. Thinking that maybe if we had lost the baby, my hormone levels would have already dropped enough that the test would show negative. It was positive every time. And a few days later, I’d feel the baby again. And the cycle of relief and fear and anxiousness would start all over again.

Week 12, 4 days: I had requested a special ultrasound to be done. The Nuchal Translucency scan is one ultrasound done specifically within a ten day period of time. Anytime during the 12th week up to around 13 wks 4 days or so.  I was having a hard time getting in to see the midwife group I had chosen for my prenatal care here in Philadelphia, so I had to check into a high risk Maternal Fetal office – without any sort of referral – to see if they’d do it for me. Thankfully they were super willing to schedule something and I set up the appointment.

This ultrasound was the same one we had that showed Kyle’s devastating prognosis.  It’s a critical time for measuring the baby’s development and the amounts of fluid that gathers behinds baby’s neck. A larger than normal amount can be a signal of some genetic issues. This measurement of the fluid, along with a measurement of the nasal bone, is generally taken to check for Down’s markers. Kyle’s swelling wasn’t just behind his neck. It surrounded his entire body, like a bubble.

In my mind, having this scan at this time would show me, not that the baby was fine, but whether it had the same genetic traits – to the severity – that Kyle had.  This drive was one of the most heart wrenching hours of my life. I had to really come to grips with the fact that this was the moment of truth for me. The moment where I would know if we were going to do another pregnancy with a fatal end or if we could keep hoping for one a little more routine. I had to know where my mind and heart would be *before* I heard the news. If this would be the news that would finally break me, or I could continue going on with my faith…

My God never fails me. Ever. And in that tearful drive downtown I couldn’t help but feel the peace of God, knowing so many of my sisters and brothers in Christ were upholding my tired heart in prayer. I can never be more grateful for my dear friends.

That day was so full of fears. Who my technician would be, who the doctor would be to read the results, what we’d see – or not see.

Man – I think I remember a day when ultrasounds were exciting? But they are seriously the worst for me now.

I got up on that table again. (They had warm goo too. So Philly’s not all bad. 🙂

For the first 30 seconds or so all we could see was the baby’s head. It was so beautiful. But the angle she was checking didn’t show its little heart beating. I was terrified but took some comfort in the fact that she didn’t seem to be at all.

Then, around second 31, I could breathe again. Because there it was. The most unbelievable sight ever.

Week 12 ultrasound

No bubble around baby. A strong heart beat. (Another “funny” to me – I used to care about how fast it was – my mom always swore by faster ones are girls and slowers are boys…I’m not one for jumping on that bandwagon generally – but now, I don’t care. I don’t even think to ask. I just have to see it. Beating. So, no, I don’t know how fast it was. She told us I think. But I wasn’t listening to her.)

Until she said, “It looks perfect.”

I’m completely in tears even typing those words now. I still don’t know how to understand them or take them in.

She went on to tell us how “this isn’t definitive” and “your baby could still have issues”….but I saw what I needed. I don’t care what our baby has. For what we could see right in that moment, it wouldn’t have what Kyle had. There was no “come back in a week, but only if you haven’ t miscarried before then.”  Or “We aren’t sure how your baby is still alive but it is.” It was just “It looks perfect to me. The doctor will be in in a minute.”

{To be continued….sooner rather than later this time…}

 

 

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About Kim

I am a sinner, miraculously saved by grace, living by faith, and pressing toward the mark of being more like Christ. I absolutely love being a stay-at-home mom! I'm also a caterer for a few weddings throughout the year, a baker, and a party planner. And I love to play in other people's kitchens as well as my own! My husband, Chris, just finished his studies for his MA degree in Pastoral Studies. He's a wonderful (and super smart!) daddy - and the most loving and supportive husband. My two beautiful daughters, Chloe and Kami, are the joys of our lives! We pray that they both would be greatly used of the Lord. Throughout their short time here on earth, we have learned so much about ourselves, our God, and the gratefulness we have towards our own parents, who raised us in the ways of God's Word. Our third unborn child is a blessing as well - even after its recent pre-diagnosis of Trisomy 18, or Edwards Syndrome. This blog has kinda turned into a little journal of sorts of our dark journey down this rather uncommon road. I stay busy cooking, cleaning, gardening, and raising the plants I killed back to life, and homeschooling. I blog when get the chance. :) We are always happy to have visitors, so please stop by anytime! Although, if you do give us a call first, we'll make sure to have some fresh cookies and sweet tea available when you arrive!

8 responses »

  1. Loving the updates Kim! Now that winter is winding down, hopefully, we def have to find a good time to get together with you guys sometime:) praying for you all!

  2. What a wonderful update! In March of last year I wrapped up a high risk pregnancy (complete previa) with a premature baby with severe PPHN. His first 48 hours we had two hospital transfers–the second of which they let us ride with him because they didn’t think he’d make it through the transfer. Miraculously he made it. I love him so much but it took months to crawl out of that hole–I have so much admiration for you and what you’re doing, and can appreciate how this experience must bring so many emotions back.

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