I took this photo for the IT'S A GIRL post, instead it's going in the SAD NEWS post….
Last week we found out that our little girl had fluid building up around her lungs, so Zac and I met with a specialist bright and early Monday morning for a more extensive ultrasound. We had no idea what we were in for. When they told us a week earlier that the pleural effusion could be indicative of more serious issues, the thought of my baby not making it into this world was not one I had considered.
Once you make it past the first trimester, things are supposed to be fine, right?
The doctor started off the ultrasound with lots of positives. Her heart looks great, her measurements are good. Stomach…check. Liver…check.
Then on to the other details... She has a club foot. It was obvious from the ultrasound, we could easily see her foot didn't look right. Then on to the next one. That one is club too.
What does this mean? Will she walk? Will she have braces? At that point, I thought that was it. That was the bad news. We can deal with physical therapy. We can deal with physical handicaps. But oh how sad I was for my little girl!
Then they moved onto her little arms. They weren't right, I could see that right away. Now they were talking more severely. "Her legs haven't moved in the last hour we've been watching her. Neither have her arms beyond very small movements in one."
Zac and I looking over at the doctor, not understanding what all this meant, were still thinking "special needs".
Then the terms "severe hydrops"…"she has a syndrome"
Like Down's syndrome, you mean?
"No, Down's syndrome has a life expectancy. What you're looking at is most likely Trisomy 18 (Edward's syndrome). The mortality rate is 12 months in only 10 percent of babies, but with such extensive hydrops in combination with the Trisomy 18 and so early on..."
Wait…you're telling us that our baby isn't going to live?
With a very soft, sad smile the doctor confirmed our fear.
Once all this set in, I kept thinking back to the thirty minutes before. Oh how I wished I could be back where I was mourning the thought of our little girl having severe handicaps. How terrible I was to be upset then.
The doctor's first question after all the information was laid out was to ask if we wanted to abort. For our situation that didn't feel right. I shook my head, no.
How long do we have? "It could be next week or you could carry her full term. We'll have more information next week after we watch her to see how quickly her hydrops is progressing."
So much to digest, so many tears.
Over the last two and a half days, I feel such comfort knowing that my little girl will move on to a better place; that she is too special for this earth. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to give her a little body and realize that so many don't have this special privilege.