So last night was the first night since very early childhood I can recall sleeping with a stuffed animal. Dylan, the interactive dragon, has found a very soft spot in my heart and is waiting, patiently, to have a little baby or babies to love it. Dylan provided me with some comfort yesterday after a miserable day.
What’s up? Well, the day started wonderfully. We were excited to have another ultrasound and see our lovely twin daughters again. Mommy has been loving pregnancy and feeling great, and the kicks were a great sign that all was well. And at first, it was. My parents were with us to see their grand-daughters for the first time, and the Civic high-risk unit was very receptive to having them there. Boy, they were thorough. So thorough, in fact, that after a lengthy time, and after my parents left excited and happy, I had a second ultrasound with the doctor on duty in the unit.
It was then, after he looked around for another 5 minutes or so, that he was forced to look at us and say “there’s something wrong with one of the babies”.
You never want to hear these words folks. You really, really don’t.
The optimist in me kept trying to come up with questions and things to say that would make things better. Was there any possibility that this situation could rectify itself? No. Could I still try and deliver vaginally? Unlikely. When will we know for sure if she was going to be okay? Not sure if we will have any good answers until the birth, if she makes it that far…
You see, baby B had somewhere along the line developed a hernia that meant there was a hole in her diaphram. Not a severe issue in and of itself, except that at some point, as I understand it, her tiny developing stomach migrated through the hole and took up residence beside her little heart, which is a spot normally reserved for her lungs. IF it is just a hernia, and not a sign of some other contributing issue (it might be a sign that the baby has Downs and now we must have an amnio in order to find out), and IF somehow the baby’s lungs are able to develop enough, we MAY be able to save the baby with a quick surgery after birth, but there’s a real chance, from what we gather, that she won’t make it. And there is nothing we can do about it, except pray for a significant amount of luck.
So what do we do? We are now being tranfered to the General, and to CHEO as necessary, and will have a number of appointments with specialists, surgeons and go through a number of tests and monitoring ultrasounds to watch and wait. We can, at the very least, get the amnio to obtain an answer there, but it won’t mitigate the possibility that even if she survives, she may have some level of disability or handicap. I no longer have an OB, but the hospital will be my doctor. Not sure what will be the outcome for my doulas…
And what is doubly hard (or a comfort, depending on my mindset at any given time) is knowing that baby A is fine, and healthy, and barring early onset of labour, should be with us, and with Dylan the dragon, in due time. We have to keep going as if we are fine and are having twins, because…at this point, we ARE, and thinking otherwise is thinking worst-case scenario.
Yes, by the way, after three miscarriages and now this, my natural sense of optimism is being severely tried.
Um, what else? Oh, yes. There is a chance that due to this hernia issue, baby B’s amniotic sac will develop too much fluid, which could affect my belly size, which could in turn increase the possibility for delivering prematurely, which, with this scenario, is doubly dangerous. This means I have to be off work very soon – as soon as two weeks from now, and possibly earlier than that, in order to take it easy and focus on eating healthy and resting a lot. Thankfully, no requirement for bedrest as of yet…
So here’s my question. Can concentrating on all the beneficial things I can do to help the girls grow, can my intense love, and can a certain dose of courage to face what might be a very hard reality help affect the outcome here?
It seems to be all I have to offer. Anyone who thinks you control what happens in life is fooling themselves.
AND…to add insult to injury, after our unexpectedly lengthy appointment yesterday, we got a parking ticket.
Thank god I have my wonderfully strong husband, my caring parents and Dylan, the stuffed dragon, to get me through the next few months. I’m going to need all the help I can get.