Later that week, we scheduled our appointment with the MFM specialist (basically a high-risk OB). I also had blood drawn for genetic screening of Trisomys 13, 18, and 21.
And then we just waited. We were scared, worried, and anxious about the results and upcoming appointment. We knew, no matter what the results were, this was our baby. And nothing could change the amount of love we have for this baby.
This baby was wanted. Desired. Loved. Ours.
We told only our parents about the scary news. Everyone else received a sweet ultrasound picture of our babe, “Asparagus”. There was no need to worry anyone when we weren’t really sure what was going on. I spoke with my Principal and VP to let them know that we were expecting and there were some health/development concerns with the baby. J spoke with his boss about the diagnosis of our little one. It seemed like we would be having more appointments and ultrasounds than a typical pregnancy, so we wanted to make sure both of our bosses were aware.
Monday, May 7th arrived. We both took the day off, just in case. It was supposed to be a long appointment: a geneticist, a detailed ultrasound, and then a meeting with the high risk doctor to go over the results.
We spoke first with the geneticist. We went over family histories and drew up a detailed pedigree. She went over the most common chromosomal abnormalities associated with cystic hygromas: Trisomy 13, Trisomy 18, and Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome). We talked about prognoses and other ways to test the chromosomes and genes of Asparagus. We left her office feeling a little overwhelmed at the possibilities and scary outcomes, but better armed with information for our baby and the potential needs.
Next was our ultrasound. As nervous as we were to hear their findings, we were happy to have another peak at our sweet Asparagus. After two ultrasounds, we knew what to look for to find Baby’s head and body and limbs and, most especially, the heart beating.
The ultrasound technician was friendly as she entered up my information and talked to us. There was a big TV screen to watch as she looked and measured Baby.
But right away something wasn’t quite right.
Asparagus was in the exact same position and location as our ultrasound last week. Which wasn’t that weird, but shouldn’t he have been jumpy and moving around more?
And I couldn’t quite see his heart beating. There was no little flutter on the screen in the middle of his body. The scan on his heart showed no beat. I looked at J, he looked at me. And we just knew.
The tech finished up, and said she was going to get the doctor to go over the results. Our 30-45 minute ultrasound lasted only 5. She left the room, and then suddenly we were in each other’s arms, speaking the words out loud.
“I couldn’t see the heart beating. The heart wasn’t beating. There was no heart beat.”
The words I spoke and images in my head made no sense. The heart beat was strong and steady last week. How could this be? I clutched my Rosary and pleaded to God.
I cried in J’s arms as he tried to reassure us. We didn’t know for sure. Maybe we just couldn’t see it. Just wait for the doctor.
But we both already knew. Our baby was gone.
The specialist came back in, with tissues in hand. He said hello, shook our hands, and pulled up the ultrasound. He looked at the images taken by the tech, and then started a new scan. He looked at our Baby, scanned the heart, and finally spoke the words we had been dreading.
“I’m so sorry, there is no longer a heartbeat in your little one.”