Thursday, February 10, 2011
I remember like it was yesterday
My sister came with me to my ultrasound appointment. We were going to find out if our baby bump was a boy or a girl. I didn't want the ultra-sound tech to tell me, but instead just write it down and put it in an envelope. Dinner was already planned with all of the family members to reveal that we were in fact having a baby Dominic. :)
Everything seemed to be fine, except that I was so excited to find out, that I couldn't keep still. She checked his head, his kidneys, his liver, and then his heart. She said it was obvious what sex the baby was because he wasn't very shy at all. She kept going back to his heart though.
"I just can't get a good picture of his heart" she says. "I'm just going to have you come back because he's just not in a good position."
So we did, we came back and still, couldn't get a good picture of his heart. We got sent to a specialist in Medford the next week. By this time, I'm about 7mos prego, sitting in the waiting room and I'm laughing uncontrollably. (that's how I deal with uncomfortable situations) We get called in, I'm laying on the table and he says it. "Your baby has a heart problem. We're going to need to do more tests" Just cut and dry like that... no, I'm sorry to have to tell you this, no, unfortunately.... just Hey, there's something wrong with his heart.
This is where things get blurry. I can't remember in what order things went from here but I cried... a lot. I had to get an amniocentesis because the surgeons wouldn't want to operate if they didn't know the complete genetic background of this unborn child. I was given many options including abortion.
I left that doctors office feeling alone, guilty, empty, but most of all, alone. The conclusion was this: My baby had a heart condition, and his stomach was on the wrong side of his body. We weren't sure of how extreme this condition was, if he was going to live, did he have downs syndrome? How did he get this? Was it my fault?
The next day the doctor called and asked us to come in on Sunday because in order for OHSU to look at the case, they needed more information. So we did. I was under the ultrasound machine for 3 hours and we left a second time with all of the same questions we had before. No answers in sight.
The tests came back negative for downs, good news, and our appointment at Doernbechers Children's Hospital was in two weeks. The only good news we had was the 3-D picture that we had of Dominic and he was already adorable :)
Portland was wonderful. We didn't get all of the answers that we had questions to but we felt comfortable. While in the ultrasound room, they were looking at him in 3-D and as we watched, unknowing what we were looking at it happened. The most beautiful, comforting, miraculous moment of my entire life. Dominic's face came up close, so we could see every detail of it, and he winked. He winked at me as if to say, "hey Mom, I've got this". And that was the last time I saw him until he was born.
The doctors were about 80% sure of what his heart had entailed, but it was hard to say, seeing it through another human being. As of now, the plan was: Deliver in Portland on April 10, 2006, give him an echo cardiogram as soon as he is born, and proceed from there. Until that day... we wait.
Dominic, my love, before you were born, you were already the most amazing little kid I had ever known.