May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
-Irish Blessing

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hearing the News a Second Time

I picked my husband up from work and we drove the rest of the way to the appointment together.  I asked him what he thought about the ultrasound and again told him that I thought something was really wrong.  I explained how I didn't see amniotic fluid, kidneys or bladder and that I had compared these pictures with the other children's.  He lied to me and told me he thought everything was fine.  Usually when my husband tells me everything will be fine I have one of two reactions: anger at his minimizing the situation or I find it comforting and allow myself to let go of whatever is distressing me.  This time it was like I barely heard his words.  All I could do was pray that everything was okay over and over.  I know why he lied and he knows that I know, that's all that matters.

I knew from the minute my doctor walked into the room that the news was not good.  It was written all over her face.  She said that the radiology report was nearly identical with Wyatt's.  No amniotic fluid, no kidneys, no bladder.  The only difference was the absence of the sacs they had seen on Wyatt's spine.  This baby was perfectly normal, minus those important little organs.  The baby even measured right on track at 19 weeks.  My doctor was very caring as she again explained our options and the increased risks involved with each option for me this time considering my prior history of four c-sections.  Because of the time I already had to process the news one of my biggest concerns was preserving my uterus as much as possible so that I could try to have another baby.  There was no question that our decision would be to carry this baby to term just as we had done with Wyatt and she anticipated as much.

I cannot say enough kind things about the compassion that my doctor has showed me throughout this whole journey, and that day was no exception.  She hugged me and cried alongside me as I sobbed for the baby, myself, my husband and our family.  This was the first blow of many.  Now we would have to again tell our family and friends and perhaps most importantly, our children.  That was the most difficult part for me.  I could process this news, I had been down this path before, I knew what to do and when to do it.  Knowledge empowered me.  But it left me speechless when I contemplated what to do with our children at home.

We decided to tell them that evening.  Mommy & Daddy explained that the baby in Mommy's tummy was missing some parts and would die, most likely after it was born.  We explained that Mommy was okay and that baby was okay for now and that hopefully we would get to watch him/her grow bigger and stronger in Mommy's tummy.  But that when the baby was born it would not get to come home with us.  Mommy & Daddy are sad and will be sad for a long time and that it's okay for them to be sad too and for them to talk with us about how they feel.  Our oldest, about 6 1/2, really understood.  She said she felt very sad for the baby and desperately wants Mommy to have another baby.  It's heartbreaking to feel this loss from her perspective.  We felt it was necessary for them to have the knowledge that Mommy isn't going to be normal Mommy sometimes, that she may cry, she may get angry for no reason and that I may have to go to the hospital earlier than planned.

That evening it occurred to me that I had again not purchased one item for this baby.  My husband bought a new carseat but I hadn't wanted to purchase one yet and really wasn't too interested.  It was like I knew that we wouldn't need it again.

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