Friday, April 27, 2012

Finding Out Our Little Miracle Was a He!!

So, as you all know when we announced our pregnancy, we were not going to find out the sex of our baby. There was a good chance this would be our last baby (as I wanted three children but Eric wanted two), and I wanted it to be a surprise, as Hannah was. I figured after all the hard work getting her to us, I wanted that moment at the end, when we found out what was growing inside me. It was a special moment. A proud moment, and I didn't want anything to ruin that anticipation that you feel in not knowing. There are very few true surprises in life, and in my case, we would know his/her delivery date, as I knew I would be having a c-section. So, we decided to have baby #2 be a surprise as well.

However, shortly after my water broke, my feelings started to change. I still longed for that "dream" delivery. But we knew that that was not going to happen. There was no way the Dr's were going to let me go past 36 weeks gestation, and we never really knew what we would be looking at if he/she was born at that point. All we knew, was that I had to have a c-section - due to my allergy to pain medication and anesthesia, and my dysautonomia. The Dr's did not want me passing out during delivery leaving the baby in a compromised position, when they were very limited as to what type of anesthetic they could use. And they certainly did not want to administer that anesthetic when my blood pressure was in the tank. So, we were for sure on board for a c-section (provided I wasn't silently dilating and showing up in the delivery room with his/her head already popping out - in which case they would suction him/her out to spare us the trauma of a crash c-section). So, having a c-section for me meant being sectioned under general anesthetic = me being completely out and Eric not being allowed in the room. It also meant hours of recovery post c-section during which I would not be with my child, and would likely still be under anesthetic, or waiting for it to wear off. Well, a lot could happen in those hours. Like my child could die. I could miss out on ever meeting him/her alive. I could hear those words that i was looking forward to hearing from the moment we found out we were pregnant. "It's a Boy! It's a girl!" Instead, the words I may have heard could have been "It was a boy! It was a girl!". These words began to haunt me. I had difficulty sleeping. I would wake up in a sweat paranoid that it wasn't just a dream. I had soo much fear that I would never get to know this little one growing inside me. Each time I went for an ultrasound I toyed with the idea of finding out and putting those fears to rest. I just wasn't ready to give up my dream. To admit that this whole thing was really real. Despite the fact that I was in the hospital, hooked up to monitors, whose job was to determine that my child was still safe. His life was dependent on those wires hooked up to my belly. I loved and hated those wires. They were my peace of mind that drove me out of my mind. I focused on the numbers on that monitor. I thrived on the heart beat emanating from the machine. I would often fall asleep to his heart beat, inadvertently, but I had my best sleep then, ironically enough.

Finally, enough was enough. I was tired of all this unknown. I got to worry about when this baby would come? Would he/she be able to breathe? Would we make it through the NICU? Would he/she have any of the long term things he was at risk for? Would we make it through? I was tired and scared. And tired of being tired and scared. I needed to feel like this was in my control. Soo, much was out of my control, and beyond my means. I had been robbed of soo much. I wasn't able to be at home enjoying my pregnancy, potentially my last. This pregnancy was supposed to be the relaxed one. That's a joke! I needed to turn this around for myself, and control the things I could. instead of living in fear, I needed to take the time to properly celebrate the miracle of this baby. No matter when my delivery ended up being, it wasn't going to be that dream delivery. It would be filled with anxiety and fear. We would not get to hold our child and gush over him/her. He/she would be promptly whisked away by the NICU, by the time we would see him he would be in an isolette. Our moment would be lost. So, I decided to take it back, at least a portion of it.

I already knew Eric wanted to know the sex of the baby. I was the one who hadn't. So I asked my Dr's what the babies sex was, and they surprisingly enough did not know. You would think after nearly daily ultrasounds they would have that part figured out. I was planning to find out and to give Eric a card at Christmas revealing the sex of our child. But the Dr's didn't know, but they could find out, and they could do better they said. So, after reviewing all the files of ultrasound pictures I had done, none of them revealed the sex. And there was a chance that the Dr's wouldn't be able to determine gender due to the lack of fluid. But one of my Dr's, one of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Dr's that I saw on the very first day I was admitted and pretty much every day after that admission, came to my room with an ultrasound machine and a bunch of students, and informed me that we were going to do a scan and determine what this baby was. It was the day before Christmas Eve. I had pretty much given up the idea of finding out in time. But she had a plan all along. An amazingly special plan. She performed the ultrasound, and it was one of the most informative ultrasounds I had ever had, she went over every inch of my baby, explaining what she was seeing. Until she got to the gender reveal. She turned the screen away from me. She was going to keep it a surprise for the both of us to open on Christmas morning. It was soo special. She printed the picture determining the gender and put it in a sealed envelope for both of us to open on Christmas. She came and checked on that envelope several times before my Christmas leave of absence.

So, on Christmas morning I woke my husband up before anyone else was up, and gave his the card. The two of us were both soo shocked when we opened that envelope and it said "this looks like boy parts". It looked like a foot to me. But we were elated. One girl, one boy. Our family was complete. We just needed to make it to the finish line. It was soo special and nice to have that little piece of information just between the two of us. It gave us something to focus on. Our dream wasn't stolen, just diverted. Every week I remained pregnant I celebrated by ordering something for the babies room. It was a decision I have never regretted, but one I spent soo much time wondering if I would regret. I do not regret. It calmed my fears, composed focus for me.

That is how we found out that our miracle was a "he".


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