I woke up, we all woke up. I say "woke up" very suggestively because I don't actually know if any of us were asleep. We got up, I know I showered as I rarely leave the house without showering. I can't remember if we ate breakfast or not, I'm sure most of us didn't. Maybe a bagel that we tried to choke down. We piled into my parents car and we were off to St. Joe's. We had to head to St. Joes because they had not moved the High Risk OB clinic over to Victoria yet. We arrived and checked in with the fetal development clinic. Stephen and I went into the initial meeting by ourselves. We sat in the room waiting, wondering for about 20 minutes. A nurse came in and explained what would be going on that day (we were previously informed that it would be a day long appointment) she told us what doctors we would be meeting, where we were to go after the check in, how long we could expect to wait and handed us a pager. They give you a pager so you don't have to sit in the office and wait but rather could walk around the hospital. After we checked in we headed to radiology. Like always, I was brought in by myself at first. That was the worst part ever. The nurse asked me why I was there and I tried to explain the little that I knew. She brought in the head radiologist (as they always do for FDC) and listening to them talk I knew the news was not good. There was little hope. Once they got all their measurements they brought Stephen, my mom and dad in. The radiologist then showed us what was going on.
He explained that Jacob actually did not have any kidneys and there was no fluid (different from what we were told the day before) he showed us where his kidneys should have been. In normal kidneys you have a Y shape (blood flow from veins) that splits into the different kidneys. Jacob did not have this. He had nothing, his line was straight, no Y. There were no kidneys and no blood flow to anything that could be a kidney. They searched everywhere to see if his kidney was in a different place (that sometimes does happen) and looked for every possible sign that there was something. There was nothing. The radiologist confirmed our worst fear. Our little boy was not okay (well at the time they still thought he was a little girl) We asked that day if they were knowledgeable of the gender and they said it looked like a female. At that point we knew what was going on and we knew Jacob could not survive without kidneys. We all stared at the screen with tears in our eyes, looking for hope, just like we looked for hope when we stared at the screen after Ty had passed praying we would see his heart beat. There was nothing. We knew what that meant but our day had only just begun. After we met with the radiologist we were suppose to go back, check in and wait for the meeting. We were told it would be a few hours so we went to try and eat something. I think I got some crackers, I was so nauseous I didn't feel like eating. I also got a ginger ale to help with the sick feeling. I don't think anyone else at much either. We sat silently around the table with tears falling down our face. We all tried so hard not to loose it but it was just too much. I remember starting to sob as I sat there. I didn't care what the people around me thought. I'm sure it has happened many times. People die in hospitals, it happens. It was taking awhile for our meeting to begin so we checked back in and learned that the doctors were all late getting to their pre-meeting appointment. They all sit down and go over the cases before they can meet with families.
We walked around the hospital for a few hours. At some point my mom and dad just sat in the waiting room. Stephen and I wondered around, we went to the chapel, we sat in some kind of lecture room, we stood in the hallway that faces Richmond, I can't drive pass there without being brought back to that day. We cried, I cried, I sobbed, I broke down so many times. Stephen held me and tried to be strong for me but his silent tears let me know he was broken in side as well. After all we had been through we had to do it again expect this time we knew, we had time to prepare.
It was mid afternoon, we had been at the hospital for about 6 hours by the time we were finally called into the meeting. The 4 of us went into that room knowing what was about to happen. We sat down and tried to listen to what the doctors were saying through our tears. There was about 6 doctors in the room, a NICU doctor, our soon to be High Risk doctor and some other people, med students and whatnot. They then proceeded to tell us that Jacob had a fatal pre-natal diagnosis of Bi-Lateral Renal Agenisis. He did not have kidneys, he was "incompatible with life".
Those three words brought us crashing down again. I don't remember much of what was said other than he would not make it. We asked about kidney transplants and all of that but we were told if there was no blood flow going to where kidneys should be, they couldn't do anything. We asked how long he would be with us. They said he could be stillborn any day due to the low fluid. We asked if it was a risk to my life, there was none. We asked if we could donate organs and tissues and anything else that we could to help save other babies, we were told no. We asked what to expect with the pregnancy as it progressed, they told us a small baby, not many movements, physical features would be altered. We were told that we could terminate, we said No, there was no way we were going to terminate. They didn't seem to understand but we didn't care. I know a million other things were asked and a million other things were talked about but I don't remember any of it. We were exhausted. In a matter of 24 hours we learned the fate of our rainbow baby and that was, he was not a rainbow for he would be another angel.
8 hours after we walked into the hospital, we walked out. We were all exhausted, no sleep a long day and thousands of tears later we knew. We had no more joy, no more excitement, we didn't care about the gender of our child anymore. All we cared about was looking forward to spending the next 18ish weeks getting to know our baby as much as we could. We were going to give him every possible chance at life. We would not give up, we would fight for him and he would fight for us.
One year ago today began the journey of Jacob. This blog came into existence to keep family and friends up dated on our journey. Stephen and I both made the decision to leave work and do everything we possibly could. Need I mention one year ago today in two weeks we were planning on getting married had that to think about. Two weeks before we became & we were told our second baby would not come home. It was tough. I put myself on bed rest and despite the doctors telling me no amount of water that I drank could do anything I made sure to get a gallon a day. I drank a gallon of water a day from May 3rd until the day Jacob was born and I do believe it did help him.
Our journey with Jacob began one year ago today, the fate of his little but very precious life took a turn for the worst. As many of you know the last year has been an emotional roller coaster. We had so many wonderful opportunities with Jacob. He got to meet Chef Michael Smith, go to a Blue Jays game, attend his Mommy and Daddy's wedding, attend his Aunt Jenn's wedding, we went to watch curling, we got to see Josh Groban in concert, we went to the beach and he got to swim in Lake Erie, he got to experience different foods at the many different cultural fairs throughout the summer, he got to listen to fire works, he got to feel love and lots of it. We reached out to an organization called Sustaining Grace and thanks to them we got to see Jacob in 3D, a video and pictures I cherish. We recorded his heartbeat, took every picture we possible could and tried to prepare for the inevitable. We reserved the plot beside Ty because we knew they had to be together and we couldn't risk another baby going in there.
At our 25 week check up things started to turn around, our little miracle baby we had been praying to heal grew kidneys. The doctors were flabbergasted at this. Never had they seen or heard of a baby developing kidneys late. It just hasn't happened, at least not that they knew of. We started to have hope but were warned that his lungs may have suffered too much to sustain his little life. Fluid started to re-accumulate (I know this was thanks to the gallons of water I drank) he was growing, he was moving, he was defying all odds and proving the doctors wrong. It was also discovered that he was a he (by Stephen and I, not by a doctor) we held on, he held on, We fought, he fought and in the end we are so thankful for the 36 1/2 weeks and 2 1/2 days we got to spend with him.
One year ago today......our sweet baby boy Jacob became an inspiration. It has been a wild year but we would not have done it any differently.
Jacob, I know Ty welcomed you into Heaven with open arms, I have no doubt he was there in the hospital room that day showing you how to get to the greatest place in existence. We are so thankful you fought so hard, that you proved doctors wrong, you showed them not to give up in babies, give them time and you may see true miracles. One year ago we learned you would be joining Ty in Heaven but we are so grateful we had some time with you before you joined him. You also gave us the blessing on an amazing High Risk OB who walked the journey with us, listening to us, spending time with us, doing what we asked, reassuring that we did everything we possibly could. A doctor who will be with us on the next journey of life and one we are so thankful to have. Though I struggle to understand why and how (we couldn't even be given a statistic because what happened to you was so rare miracle baby) and days are really hard lately, one year ago today I felt you move for the first time, something I was told you would never do.
A lot can happen in one year, in that one year we created so many memories and did everything we possibly could think of to prepare though you can never prepare for the death of your child, but we had a lot of regrets after we lost Ty and we were determined not to have any with Jacob (though there are still a few) It has been a year, a long, hard, emotional, exhausting year but in that year we got to enjoy a miracle, a gift from God that we were so thankful to have and to hold. I can only imagine what the next year might bring. What will I be writing in May 2013? Probably nothing as the world is suppose to end this December but if the Mayans were wrong, I hope to be writing about the little life I will be holding in my arms. The little life Jacob and Ty protected during the long journey of pregnancy, the life Jacob, Ty and God gave to us, our rainbow after the storm. I do not know what the next year holds but to whatever it may be, I pray that it will be peaceful and soulful.