Stephen and I woke up in a relatively happy mood. We were almost 18 weeks pregnant with our Sweet Pea (Benjamin if it was a Boy, Sophia if it was a girl). I had taken the day off of work to enjoy the day. My plan was to go to our ultrasound, find out what we were having and then head out shopping! The day did not go as planned. We were excited, hopeful and thrilled around 9am. We wanted to know if our suspicions of our second baby being a girl were right. I don't remember much before the ultrasound, just that I was excited and oblivious to knowing that our world would come crashing down again. We headed to the hospital having last seen our little Sweet Pea at 14 weeks. We got a quick peek at 14 weeks because our little Sweet Pea decided to turn away from the Doppler and give us a heart attack by having our doctor not be able to find the little heart beat so we had a quick trip down to radiology. Of course I was a blubbering mess heading down, not knowing if our baby had already passed or not. By 14 weeks our doctor should have been able to pick up the heartbeat (we did at 10) so of course Stephen and I had the fear that our baby was gone. Thankfully and quite quickly after I got into the room we were relived to know that our Sweet Pea was perfectly fine. It was the last time we were told our baby looked good. There was no indication that anything was wrong.
Almost 18 weeks, everyone was anxiously awaiting to hear what we were having. Grandparents were waiting for the phone call (and I'm sure my mom's day involved going out shopping for whatever gender it was too) we were all so blissfully unaware of what was to come. We arrived at the hospital and headed to the main radiology as the women's radiology was being moved to it's new location. We were in the basement of the hospital, section D. I can picture that place so well, I spent many times down there, most during very difficult times. Like all ultrasounds they require the partner to wait out side until they have all their measurements. Having had quite a few ultrasounds I know how long they should approximately take. It was taking a while but I thought maybe the ultrasound tech was a newbie and needed more time. She didn't say anything or act like anything was wrong (I'd loose it if I knew something was up, how she kept her act together, wow!) She told me she had to go check her pictures and left. She didn't ask me for my husbands name, she didn't say she was going to bring him in. I thought maybe she would come back and ask but I started to get nervous. It took her a while and I knew something was going on, I wasn't sure what but there was something. She came back into the room about 15 minutes later and said that we were to go up and see Dr. K right away. In my heart at that moment I knew, I knew our little Sweet Pea had issues. What those issues were I wasn't sure but I knew they were severe. I left the ultrasound room crying my eyes out only to come out into the waiting room full of pregnant women and my husband. He had no idea what was going on but I can only imagine what was going through his head when I came out sobbing, telling him we had to go see Dr. K right away.
I lost it, in his arms I lost it. I just knew something was seriously wrong, that our baby has issues. I prayed that it would be something like downs syndrome or some other kind of medical diagnosis that we would be able to handle. Sure, it would be a lot of preparation but we were ready. But deep down I knew it wasn't. We walked the hospital halls as we have many times in the last 18 months. We headed up to where the old women's health center was (they were in the middle of moving it so it was really just our Dr's office left) we met her and sat down. That is when we learned the fate of our Sweet Pea.
She explained to us that the babies kidneys were very small and the amniotic fluid amount was severely low. She didn't give us a detailed diagnosis because she didn't know. All she said was she was very sorry and that she was sorry she had to give us the bad news. After all we had been through, she was sorry we had to go through it again. We were told that an appointment had been made for us on May 3rd (the next day) for a fetal development clinic. We had no idea what that was but were told they would be able to give us a better answer, more details on what was going on. The only question we asked was what the gender was. We were told a girl, though at that moment I knew we couldn't use Sophia, this was a special little girl who deserved a very special name. We left in more tears and more heartbreak. We had only walked in about two hours earlier so happy and so excited and left once again with a broken heart and tearful eyes. We headed home.
I don't even remember how I was able to make the phone call to my parents but I did. I called and told them we needed them there for Tuesdays appointment and of course I knew they would be. My mom called my dad at worked they packed and were on their way. I can only imagine how heartbreaking that 4 hour car ride must have been for them. It had only been 7 months since we buried Ty and now their second grandchild was at risk. They had no idea what was going on either. We had no information other than it did not look good. We weren't sure if that meant a few weeks or a few months or a baby born with severe health issues (which we would have welcomed at that point) We got home and for hours upon hours I researched everything I possibly could about small kidneys and low fluid. The news did not look great. I learned all about kidney disease, horseshoe kidneys, people with on kidney, people with no kidneys, kidney dialysis, lung growth, lung function, respiratory issues......everything, I read it all. I was exhausted emotionally and physically.
My parents arrived that night and stayed with us. There was a very somber feeling in the house. No one talked too much, we were all too busy researching everything we could, mainly to form questions for the doctors we were to see on Tuesday. I called work and let them know I would not be in until further notice. I didn't know what we were getting into. I don't think the 4 of us slept a wink that night. It had been such a long day, a day that started out so wonderfully with excitement and joy and hope. A day that ended with tragedy, heartbreak and enough tears to fill an ocean. It was one year ago today that we knew our rainbow baby would not be coming home with us. We didn't know how long his stay would be or if we'd even get to meet him alive, hear him cry, touch his soft baby skin, give him kisses and sing his song to him (You Are My Sunshine) We prayed that we would get a bit of time with him, we prayed for God to heal him. We laid in bed wide awake all night thinking about the day to come. The day that would give us all the information we needed to know. We already knew early delivery was not an option for us. Based on our faith and just the fact that I loved my baby and feeling his sweet little kicks, hearing his sweet little heartbeat, I needed to hold onto that for as long as I could. Having just buried Ty we knew the value of 9 months. We were determined to give our Sweet Pea every possible chance we could. We would fight for him and he would fight for us (though at this point we still thought he was a she) That night was spent contemplating every possible thing that may have been coming our way the next day. There were many tears, much heartache and quietness.
A year ago today was the day our world came crashing down for a second time. A year ago tomorrow was the day we heard those dreaded words "incompatible with life"......to be continued tomorrow.