Thursday, October 11, 2012

Our Ultrasound

We knew I was pregnant even before the test came back positive; so really there wasn't much surprise there.  But we had planned to wait a little longer to have our third child because our life had been so hectic in the previous few months; we thought it would be best to let things settle a little.  God apparently had other plans.  That was ok; we had about a week of panic, then began to get excited.  As I think is probably the case with most third pregnancies, I was so busy with our other two girls and life in general that it wasn't until I started to feel the baby moving that I was really able to start connecting with this new little life. I really began to look forward to our 20 week ultrasound and finding out if we would be adding a baby brother or baby sister to the mix.  (T was adamant that she wanted a baby sister and I had to admit it would be easier since we already had all the pinks and purples, but at the same time a son would have been great too.)

We got to the ultrasound early Tuesday, both girls in tow with promises of seeing their new brother or sister on the TV screen.  Things started off normally enough with the tech showing us what a nice long leg the baby had...but Chris and I both noticed that this ultrasound just somehow looked different than the ones we were used to.  After about ten minutes, the tech abruptly said "I'll be right back" and stepped out of the room.  Obviously panic sets in about that time and you begin to wonder what could be wrong...strangely, the only thought I had was "anencephaly." (It had been featured on one of "our shows," Private Practice, last season and for some reason that stuck in my head.)  Our doctor came in, looked over the tech's shoulders and after a few minutes of watching her nod, she confirmed what the tech suspected and what I think I already knew.  She said the most devastating words I have ever heard, "The baby has what's called 'anencephaly' which means that the back of the skull and the forebrain just haven't developed.  It's like a really really severe case of spina bifida.  It's not compatible with life, or any quality of life after birth."  I'm sure that is a bit of a paraphrase because I kind of started to shut down, but that was the gist.

Like anyone who receives that type of diagnosis, my first thought was "Oh my God, what did I do wrong? I know I didn't do a good job of taking my vitamins, was that it?"  When I asked, she replied with "There is absolutely nothing you did wrong, maybe taking vitamins two or three months ahead of time would have helped, maybe not.  I have people who smoke and drink Mountain Dew and eat Twinkies their entire pregnancy and their babies are fine.  You didn't cause this."  That, however, is a battle I think I'll be fighting for a while.

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