Expectations and Faith

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans”. We planned on a family. We planned on how to decorate the baby’s room. We planned on so many things… All of those “plans” changed when we walked into the ultrasound lab at the hospital.

My doctor had ultrasound equipment but it was not the equipment used for the 20 week (possibly 18 week? It’s a blur…)scan.  This is where the baby is measured and checked to make sure it has all chambers in the heart, and all vital organs necessary for life. We walked in holding hands. We were laughing and happy, and planning on picking a name that evening. Life was good. As a lay on the table, the ultrasound technician began the scan. She said that she could see the leg length and some other things. She said the baby was measuring small for our due date, but that could just be a mistake in the original measurements. Then, she said, “It’s really hard to see anything. There isn’t a lot of fluid. Has your doctor mentioned anything to you?”

My heart stopped. Everything had been fine. How could something be wrong? She stopped an put the probe down. She said she was going to call my doctor. Then, I knew something was really wrong. Miles asked about the sex of the baby, and the technician explained that there was so little fluid she really couldn’t make anything out. I was immediately panicked. I began to pray, ” Dear God, please make this okay. Please make this a mistake.”

The technician returned from her phone call, and told me my doctor would call me in the next couple days. She said she really couldn’t say anything else. I left in tears. Since we’d met at the hospital after work, Miles hugged me tightly and kissed me on top of the head. He said it would all be okay, and we’d be fine. I first called my aunt, an OBGYN nurse. She told me it could be a number of things, but to chalk it up to dehydration from my trip to Ohio, and not to worry. Then, I called my mom to tell her that something was wrong with the ultrasound, and a drove back to school to get things in order for a substitute. My assistant and another teacher friend of mine were using the room for their afternoon exercise session. They were so excited for me. They paused their workout to ask how it went. I felt like the air had been kicked out of me. I couldn’t stop crying. I tried to tell them about the fluid and that the baby was measuring small and that I was waiting to hear from the doctor. My heart was breaking.

The doctor didn’t wait long to call, thankfully. She had me come in that afternoon. Since Miles was already headed home to let Jasmine out, I asked my mom to go with me. When we got to the doctor’s office, they put us in a room immediately. When the doctor came in, she explained that for some reason there was very little fluid and it appeared there was a problem with the baby’s kidneys. She went on the explain about how the baby produces fluid and how the fluid helps with the lung development. I began to understand the severity of the problem. She said that her office staff was trying to get me into MUSC for a better ultrasound as soon as possible, but I should take a few days off to get myself together and to drink as much fluid as possible. That possibly the problem was dehydration from our trip, but she wasn’t really sure. The receptionist came in and told us they could get us in on Thursday. Now, let me remind you, it is Monday afternoon. Thursday seemed ridiculously far away…

I went home and cried, and cried, and cried. I bought gallon jugs of water and chugged ALL day long for the next 3 days. I remember showering, and looking down at my belly, and praying, “Lord, please make this okay. Let my baby be okay. I’ve wanted this my whole life….”

The next few days were tough. I didn’t get out of bed except to use the bathroom. I drank more water than I care to imagine and I prayed. I slept very little and worried a lot. Miles was so patient with me. He held me and let me cry. He assured me we would be okay. I remember asking him,”How? How will this be okay? What kind of mommy has something wrong with her baby, and can’t do ANYTHING to make it better? How is THIS okay?” Even as I write this, I remember it so vividly and it still make me ache.

We woke up Thursday morning. We drove to Charleston with heavy but hopeful hearts. I just KNEW things would turn out okay. They had to. I prayed about it. I wanted this baby. It HAD to be okay. We went in to the room. I disrobed and they slathered me with jelly. I laid there as the technician said she knew there was a problem and she would speak very little until she knew something for certain. The next few minutes were quiet and strained. I squeezed Miles’ hand, and continually prayed. She looked up and said she would return in just a moment. Without another word, she left. In a few minutes, she returned with her supervisor. He came in and explained why she’d called him in. He said that it appeared the baby hadn’t developed kidneys, and that was the reason for such little fluid. He said he would a scan to double check, and the results would be sent to my doctor. It all became like a dream from that point on. I felt everything, pain, sadness, worry, sick and nothing all at the same time. He dug the probe into my belly and it hurt so much. I flinched, and he asked me to stay still. I was so upset, I wanted to get up and run away. But, I stayed as still as possible. Soon, he let up and told us, the baby had no kidneys and was not conducive to live. I remember gasping for air and trying not to be sick right there on the floor. He said to was a “fluke”, something that just happens;It didn’t seem that it fit a syndrome, just a “fluke”.  He said he would give us a few moments and then send in a genetics counselor.

Miles helped me wipe my belly as I sobbed. How could this be? How does this happen to someone like me? I asked him,” How could this happen to us? We’re good people… We pay our bills. We help people out. We are so happy about this baby. How does this happen?”

He asked me sweetly to calm down and just  listen to the genetic counselor and we’d figure it out.We’d be okay. I agreed to try and compose myself. I was aching though. I felt as though someone had ripped a part of me out. The counselor basically told us our options of delivering by induction or having a surgery to “remove the pregnancy”. The risk of still birth in this situation was very high, and could be harmful to me. She said we had some time to decide but not to wait too long, because of the laws and timeline of the situation.

We drove home and I wanted to be sick. I went straight to bed and stayed there for days. I had no desire to eat, to move, or anything. I began then to question God and to be very angry with Him. How could He have let this happen? Where was He when I needed him?

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