You can check out my blog post about finding out we were pregnant HERE and all about that life update. This is to focus on the stuff that I didn’t share publicly. It does kind of jump around since I add a new paragraph based on our appointments, so bare with it as it is more of a rough draft then a finished novel. If you read the first initial post you already know how this pregnancy was emotionally rough for me. I’m not sure exactly but it just wasn’t a walk in the park like I had with Archer.
At 16 weeks, we went in for a gender ultrasound. I remember being excited to see our baby, I already knew he was a boy because we had gone two weeks earlier (14) to Vegas to see he was a boy. But we were excited to see his little face again. I remember laying there and she was moving the probe? all around my belly and we could see our cute little guy just a wiggling. The ultrasound tech was taking fairly longer and kept saying “I want to get a good shot of his face” which I thought she was doing it to be kind. She kept going over all the organs in his little body which I was confused by because this wasn’t our anatomy scan, it was a “fun” scan. Anyways, I was telling her how my pregnancy with Archer was beyond perfect, we had no complications, I loved every day of being pregnant. All of a sudden she got quiet and said “I see a complication. I need to grab the doctor.” I sunk into what i cannot even begin to explain. It was by far the WORST feeling I have ever felt. Ty squeezed my hand and we waited for the Doctor to come in. This is where I went a little blank. I cannot remember exactly how everything went because I was just in some type of dream/nightmare it felt like. Our doctor came in and they exchanged whispers and then that is when we found out our baby had a cleft lip. I initially broke into a cry…more like bawl because hearing those words that your child has a “complication” “abnormalitiy” or anything wrong with it is beyond horrible. We went into a private room and our doctor grabbed some printable for us to read when we got home. I still sat and cried and cried and cried. I don’t recall ever crying that hard. We went out to the car and I remember my mom was sitting in the passenger seat (Archer had fallen asleep prior to) and I just sobbed and sobbed. I could barely drive home because I was a wreck. I cried for days, even weeks and grieved over the loss of our perfect baby. It wasn’t that I was embarrassed but I was more scared and nervous of what people may think or say. It was hard news to actually accept. We live in a world where social media is everything. I choose to share my life publicly with people and people can be beyond cruel. I was scared as well, when you first imagine a cleft lip it automatically is hideous, its cruel and its not what you want to hear is wrong with your baby. My heart hurt so badly and I barely had the courage to tell anyone what was going on. I told my closest friend and I still didn’t quite know the words to even say. We were set up to come back in 4 weeks at his 20 week anatomy scan to double check everything on little man.
20 week appointment rolled around and my parents came down to go with us. By now we had told T’s brother and my parents. As I was getting ready to go to my appointment, I started to get some pretty bad back pain and stomach pain. I honestly thought I was going into preterm labor. I called my Dr and he wanted me to rush to labor and delivery. We ended up missing the appointment and I was hospitalized instead. They ruled out premature labor and marked it has a kidney stone. 24 hours passed and I was good as new and ready to head back home. I often think that things happen for a reason.. maybe I wasn’t suppose to attend that appointment, or maybe there would have been false info given. I’m not really sure but I felt comfort in not attending it and rescheduled for another time.
We arrived back at 24 weeks, I pushed back the appointment as long as I felt I could because I was so scared to go back. Not only were we finding out about the cleft but we were doing a full anatomy scan which could lead to other problems. I was already a wreck before we went back and my nerves were sky high. My parents once again came down to join us and she started the ultrasound. She went over every little ounce of his body and then confirmed that our sweet baby had a unilateral left sided cleft lip. She did say that everything else came back positive and there was no other side effects and she thought that palette was 90% not involved which was excellent news. We were referred to see a specialist however to conclude on these findings.
I started to feel really good, although it was still hard to process all this information, I was doing okay. We went and saw the specialist around 26/28 weeks (cannot really remember TBH) and we didn’t get the best news we were hoping for. During this visit we had a very depth ultrasound. It was around 2 hours long and we went over everything on the baby. When they were doing this scan I kind of just felt numb. I didn’t quite know what to think and the tech was moving so fast over everything and I just was a little shocked. Once the doctor came in he started to use big words and describe everything that he saw. To put it down into regular people wording, he basically told us that our babies brain was dilated and had fluid inside it the left ventricle. This could be several things including the Trisonomy’s, and several other things that he went over with us in a book. We went into a small room with the doctor and a family counselor and he pulled out some type of “doctor” health book and showed us every possible thing that could come in the coming weeks based upon our sweet babies little brain. It was scary for us to sit in a room and be told everything that “could happen” over the next few months before our precious baby made it into our lives. I thought I cried a lot at the first ultrasound but this one took over. I was beyond scared and all I could think about was my poor, little baby. He wanted .. actually begged us to do genetic testing but in the end it would only stress me out more plus he did mention that it isn’t always accurate and insurance doesn’t like to cover the new genetic testing that he wanted us to get done and it ran quite expensive. We decided to deny it mainly because I wasn’t going to abort my baby based on the test results and the results would only make me more nervous to live each day. He wanted us back in a few weeks to recheck the ventricle and see the progress (that would help conclude what was exactly going on.) We had decided to let family know that we were having some complications but didn’t want to say what because we honestly didn’t know. It had been changed so many times on us that we were unknown ourselves. If you can imagine, this month was pure torture. We spent several nights praying and crying to our heavenly father to please please bless us that our babies brain would end up fine and that nothing besides the cleft would come into play. I don’t think I have ever said as many prayers in my life as I did this whole month. My heart was hurting in more ways then one and I felt hopeless and weak that I couldn’t do anything. It was one of the roughest months I have ever endured. I didn’t want to do anything baby because I wasn’t sure I would even be bringing a baby home.
We went back around 32ish weeks to see the specialist again. This time he said he was fairly certain that our babies palette was involved as well as the lip. But we got somewhat good news, the brain ventricle did not progress any! Which was a huge step because normally, it would progress due to the babies age in the womb. We also found out that our baby was measuring TWO weeks ahead!! This seriously was some of the best news we could have received. Normally babies who are having brain problems run small in the womb so to find out that our little babe was measuring two weeks ahead was proving that our prayers were working. The stats on the brain stayed the same which meant that there still could be some problems but it was a step forward in the right direction. I instantly felt so much more relived. I was still scared and worried but I felt peaceful and thankful with these conclusions.
We never have gotten the perfect image of that sweet little face, so we decided to go down to Miracle in progress to see if they could get some for us. What a sweet success it was! We got some amazing images of our sweet babe and saw just how chunky the cheeks are. I instantly fell in love and when I saw the cute little clefty smile, I melted. This baby is precious and beautiful and is so so so loved already. Archer points to the images and said “baby” every time he sees a ultrasound and we know that this sweet babe is meant to be ours. I truthfully feel that we were granted this trial because we could handle it. Our heavenly father knew that we were meant to be his parents and blessed us with this sweet, amazing little guy.
Fast forward through several appointments, ultrasounds, and visits the specialist decided to mark off the brain as being NORMAL!! This was huge news, like for once I didn’t bawl my eyes out after the appointment. He wasn’t worried about the babies brain anymore and marked it completely normal. I literally felt like I was in seventh heaven. We have had several people praying for us and helping us during this hard time that I am so thankful for. I finally felt some comfort knowing that this little babes brain was marked normal. I still had some doubts but I was so grateful for this great news to come to us.
This whole time we didn’t want to tell anyone besides a few people because we didn’t want rumors to spread and people to talk. We also weren’t sure how to address it because we to have been in the “unknown” for so long. People have been so supportive during this time even though we had some “nosey” people try to dig up the information themselves. It wasn’t that we are ashamed of telling this news, its that we have not known what to expect or what exactly was wrong with our babies brain. It wasn’t some fun little game for us to have people try to guess what was wrong. This baby is REAL, and we are REAL people with REAL emotions. For those of you who are reading and respected our privacy and didn’t try to dig information out of family members, or friends we highly appreciate it. We know that many of you have kept us in your prayers and have helped us in more ways then one and we are so grateful! I am truly truly grateful for those of you who have kept us in your prayers and been so supportive even when you have been stuck in the dark.
We had to meet with surgeons and it was harder then I imagined. There is something that isn’t right about having to pick a surgeon who will perform surgery on your child especially at such a young age. We narrowed it down to two excellent surgeons but we still cannot quite decide who to choose. Both have several pros and both have several cons about them.
Some basic information/Facts/FAQ:
- I was healthy this pregnancy.
- I did not drink any caffeine until the 3rd trimester.
- I did not have alcohol or drugs at any time.
- I took care of my body and took my prenatal vitamins.
- Clefts do not run in our family history (that we are aware of.)
- 1 in 700 babies are diagnosed with clefts.
- 1 in 450 babies in UTAH are diagnosed with clefts.
- I was prescribed a medicine during the early early stages of my pregnancy to help with an allergic reaction I had from the medication they gave me to help us get pregnant. Our specialist did research and noticed that this drug does not pass through the placenta well and could very well be the cause of this cleft in our baby. (we told the Dr we were most likely pregnant upon being prescribed the medication) Studies are shown in animals and in the UK that this steroid drug causes clefts in pregnancy, but the US has not ruled it has being unsafe for pregnant women. I trusted the Dr. and I took as little as possible, but heavenly father knows what he is doing and we were meant to have this blessing be given to our family. It was a blessing in disguise but we are so thankful for our little baby to join our family.
- A babies face forms from the back forward. This is why you have a small indent on your top lip and some have a “butt chin.”
- The babies face forms in just TWO days!
Fast forward through 2 more ultrasounds, our sweet little guys brain didn’t change one bit. SUCH GOOD NEWS. We filled family in on his little complication and prepared for him to join our family. They instantly all fell in love with him and supported us 100%. It was a good relief to have a few people know and I didn’t have to keep it on the down low anymore because we had answers.
We hit 38 weeks and I instantly became beyond nervous. I was nervous on how to accept him, I was nervous on how to show him to the world.. would I even want to show him off? This was a whole new ball game for us and our answers were unknown.
I will blog all about his birth in my next post and how we decided on his name.