It's amazing how quickly your entire life can change.
Yesterday, I had an ultrasound. My husband and I happily watched our baby kicking and punching, opening and closing his mouth. We heard the little heart beating strongly. As we left the hospital, I was finally reassured that everything was going to be okay- that our baby was fine.
Last night, I sat happily staring at the black and white picture of our child's profile, wondering what he or she would look like, thinking about how wonderful it would be to finally hold this baby in my arms.
Today, all of those good feelings came crashing down. At an OB appointment this morning, we were given the kind of news that nobody wants to hear.
Unfortunately, we do not know much right now. All we know is that our child's life, both in and out of the womb, now hangs in the balance. Our ultrasound revealed a horrible problem. Our baby has an abdominal wall defect, and part (how much, we do not know) of the bowels and digestive system are actually outside of the body cavity. The formal term for this is "omphalocele".
In the best case scenario, if I were able to carry this child to term, he/she would require extensive surgery immediately after birth and specialized care in the NICU. In many cases, however, an omphalocele is only one of many symptoms of an underlying chromosomal disorder or anomaly. In two thirds of cases, omphalocele is accompanied with other malformations and abnormalities.
My head is spinning with possibilities. Unfortunately, we will not be able to find out what, exactly, is wrong with our baby for almost a month. We have an amniocentisis and targeted ultrasound at a specialized children's hospital in Grand Rapids, MI on August 9th. Until then, all we can do is wait and hope that everything is all right. Well, actually, we already know everything is NOT all right. All we can do now is hope for the best possible outcome.
To make matters worse, my husband leaves tomorrow for South Korea.
We now know that there is absolutely no way I can accompany him, as we originally planned. I must stay in the states, away from him, so that this pregnancy can be closely monitored and the baby can be delivered at the children's hospital in Grand Rapids, where he/she will have immediate access to qualified surgeons and specialists.
I do not know what is to come. All I know now is that the upcoming months will be extremely difficult, but that I must remain strong for the sake of this child. Please keep our baby and family in your prayers.