March 2011 we found out that we were pregnant. We were thrilled and honestly, shocked. Well, at least I was shocked. When we were trying to get pregnant with Ashlyn it took over a year and finally it came down to fertility drugs. This time it just happened. There was no trying it just happened. We were going to be parents of 2 under 2 and couldn't wait. We imagined what Christmas would be like so many times. Ashlyn 1 and a half and maybe not having any clue who Santa was yet but she would still be so thrilled when she saw all the presents and then our little Bean only a few weeks old. It was going to be perfect! I imagined how I would decorate the nursery whether we were having a boy or a girl. There were such plans ahead for us! Since the kids would only be 18 months apart I also imagined them being such a team. We would take them to Disney and life was just going to be perfect!
During my normal pregnancy screening it was determined that we were at high risk for Down Syndrome. On June 5th I got a call from Dr Mendise at Paragon telling us that are chances were 1 in 136 that Bean would have Down. I was of course upset. I called Steve and told him the news. Though it was upsetting, it was never anything that either of us consumed ourselves in. We denied the amnio because we knew regardless of the outcome we would keep the baby and love her or him to the best of our ability. Because of the results we would be having a Level 2 ultrasound with a specialist for our 20 week ultrasound however.
Leading up to the Big Ultrasound we made such plans. I had it all planned out in my head exactly how the room would be for a boy or a girl. We also picked names. Quinn Elise for a girl and Casey Andrew for a boy.
We decided that instead of having the ultrasound tech tell us the sex of the baby we would have them put it in a sealed envelope and that night we would have all of our family over. I had ordered a cake and was planning to take the envelope to the bakery and they would then make the filling either pink or blue depending on what was in the envelope. Then when all of our family was around we would cut the cake and all find out together. I was SO excited for this day! With Ashlyn I just knew that she was a girl but this time I wasn't quite as sure. I was pretty much set that it would be a girl but I still had that doubt that it just might be a little boy in there.
July 20, 2011
The big day was FINALLY here! We were going to get to see our beautiful baby and find out if Bean was a boy or a girl! We were both excited. I did tell Steve that morning that I was a tiny bit nervous because of the Down Syndrome possibility but he wasn't at all. We just assumed that we were going to have a healthy happy baby in 4.5 months.
The Tech came in and did our ultrasound. We saw the heart pumping away at 157 beats per minute - again confirming in my mind that it was a girl! Everything looked and seemed perfect to use. Once she was finished getting all of the pictures that she needed she left and said that the doctor would be in after a few minutes to also scan and go over everything with us. Since this was normal procedure I wasn't the least bit concerned. As I lay still on the table and Steve was next to me we talked about how amazing it was that in 4.5 months we were going to have another baby. Our family was going to be complete and we couldn't wait!
When the doctor came in he said hello and got right to business. At first he somewhat rubbed me the wrong way. He didn't really say much, was just chewing gum and staring at the screen while moving the wand on my tummy. Then all of a sudden he said the words that would change our lives forever.
I am seeing some Chromosomal defects here.
I was shocked. I then asked if it was Down Syndrome and he looked at me and said "It isn't Downs". I asked if the baby would survive and he couldn't answer me.
My world changed forever at this moment. I was terrified. My world was crashing down around me and there wasn't a single fucking thing that I could do about it. Dr Stewart told us that the baby had multiple birth defects that he could see, the brain isn't developing correctly for one. The knots in the back of the head should be together and our baby's are separate. The bowel is protruding, the hands are clenched, the feet are what they called rocker bottom, there is a severe cleft palate and the arm and leg bones are shorter than what they should be.
I was trying to listen to everything that he was saying and make some sort of sense to it but I just couldn't. How was it possible that my sweet little innocent baby had so much wrong? At this point Steve ripped open the envelope for the bakery and saw that we were expecting a girl. A sweet little girl, Ashlyn's baby sister, who might never make it into this world. There are no words to describe what we were feeling.
I told the Doctor that at this point we would want an amnio. He said that he would make some calls and it would be done today. He left the room for a bit and Steve and I just held each other and sobbed. After a while the dr came back in and the amnio was done. We were told that it would take 3 to 5 days for the results. Seeing as this was Wednesday, he would be calling us either Friday or Monday. He gave us each hugs, told us multiple times that it wasn't our fault and there was nothing that we could do to prevent this. At some point in him talking I heard him say the words Trisomy 18. He told us that if it was Trisomy 18 that he would be able to tell us what would happen with our baby. We would be lucky if she was born alive, only about 50% of T18 babies will survive birth. Even if we got that lucky, she wouldn't live past 3 to 6 months. If it wasn't T18 he wouldn't be able to tell us what we were looking at other than the fact that there are clear birth defects. As he put it, these are not gray, they are black and white.
We left his office in a state of shock. We were supposed to be headed off to work just waiting for our big reveal party and here we were wondering if our daughter was going to be able to live long enough for us to meet here.
We decided that the first things we needed to do was let the people closest to us know what was going on. So we let them know the news that every expectant parent dreads and never expects to happen to them. We weren't going to have a healthy baby.