Monday, February 17, 2014

The Story of our Baby Girl

It's been awhile.
Over two Three months (I had to go back and change that because this post alone has taken me almost a month to finish).

But, lots has been going on.
Probably stuff that I should write about, but haven't had the energy to do so - napping has trumped blogging.

Let me fill you in...

On September 16th (yes, 5 months ago), three days before Jack's first birthday, we found out I was pregnant again.
It was quite the surprise.
My heart was racing with panic; Jason was weeping with joy.
Pretty much the same reactions as when we found out I was pregnant with Jack.
Except this time I kept thinking about how I was pregnant at this time a year ago.

But all you women who have ever been pregnant know that no matter how much shock or panic there is at first, the attachment to your baby comes just as instantly.  

After four weeks of waiting and not feeling super confident about the progression of the pregnancy (due to low progesterone levels and spotting), we had our first ultra sound and saw that little heart beating for the first time.
A little over a week later, I was back at the doctor's office, thinking I was going through a miscarriage because of extreme abdominal pain.
Turns out I was 'just' passing a kidney stone and our little baby was still growing and progressing.

We had our 12 week NT scan a few weeks later and shortly after that, a few days before Thanksgiving, we announced our excitement and thankfulness for the 'extra baking we were doing during the holiday season.'
Our 20-week ultra sound was scheduled for January 2nd. 
I barely slept the night before.
I was really nervous for it.
Much more so than with Jack.

We arrived at 6:45am for our appointment.
The tech took all the images she needed, but seemed pretty disengaged with us the whole time.
I finally relaxed when the doctor came in and immediately told us everything was looking wonderful.
She began to take a look around herself, and I noticed that she kept going back to the brain.
And she said a couple of times that there was definitely no cleft lip.
And back to the brain she would go. 
Then, she finally said it...
"There's a part of the brain that I should be seeing, but I'm not."

She continued to talk, telling us that nothing was confirmed because ultra sounds don't read the brain very well, but we would need to go get a second ultra sound and a fetal MRI at Stanford as a confirmation.

I couldn't muster up any words, so Jason asked all the questions.
The part she couldn't see was the corpus callosum, which connects the two hemispheres of the brain.
From what the doctor said, the effects could be very mild, but like a lot of things, there is a spectrum, and therefore a more severe side.

We had planned on doing a cake gender reveal with our families the following night, but I was not up for it.
Gender seemed so insignificant to me at this point, and I knew I was going to be emotional when we found out the sex.
I wanted Jason and I to find out just the two of us.
So that night, we sat on our couch and looked through the pictures they had put on a disc for us.
And then it came - the picture of 'nothing' with the words, 'I'm a girl.'
And then came the tears.
It was such a sweet moment.
I chose not to google, which is so unlike me. But, I know myself, and I knew I would diagnose our baby with the most severe case of this, so I stayed away from Dr. Google until we knew more.

Jason on the other hand wanted to know everything there was to know about people born without this part of the brain, so me not googling basically didn't help because Jason told me all the worst-case scenarios anyway.

We decided on her name the day after our 20-week u/s. Or as we say, she picked her own name. My sister looked up the meaning of one of the names we were leaning towards and this is what it meant: Symbol of Peace and Renowned Fighter. It was just too perfect, and so our baby girl had a name.

After a long two weeks of waiting, our appointment at Stanford finally came on January 15th. I was surprisingly calm thanks to the many people praying for us and our baby girl. Our prayers going into this appointment were that 1) they would see the corpus callosum; 2) if they did not see it, it would be a mild diagnosis; 3) God would give us peace and equip was for what our future held.

Our ultra-sound tech was great, and it was fun to see our baby girl again. She did a very thorough ultra-sound, examining all of the anatomy. I felt like I was really able to relax and just enjoy looking at our baby girl.

However, when the doctor came in with a cardiologist and two ultra-sound techs, my heart definitely started pounding. But, right away he said, "So, we aren't seeing any of the concerns that were on the first ultra-sound." He then went to show us the corpus callosum on her brain, and it was a clear as day!  Our referring doctor still wanted us to go through with the MRI for 100 percent certainty, so we did that and got the call later that afternoon confirming that we had a perfectly healthy baby girl. We are not shy to believe that this was God's little miracle for us.

It was quite the few weeks for us as we sat in uncertainty, but I know I am thankful for that time. God does amazing things in your heart as you face uncertainty and only have Him to lean on and trust. Regardless of any ultra sound and it's findings, our baby girl would have been loved just the same. We are thankful for His grace and love for us.


Kristen said...

Rebecca. Wow. My heart was racing and I was praying as I read your post. Praise God! Praise Him for a healthy baby girl. Such a scary moment, but beautiful outcome. I can't wait to see her. Btw, we got pregnant by surprise when my first was 7 months. Close is good. Tough, but good. Even on the hard days, I'm glad mine are close.

Monique said...

What amazing story. I will continue to keep you and your family lifted in prayer.