Saturday, February 11, 2012
It was pretty cold out, and William had some things to get done, so he planned to meet us at the doctor's office. I was a little worried that he might be late, but sure I could show him the DVD and pictures later if he didn't make it. I'm so glad he was there, so very glad.
We went back and she asked if we wanted to know the gender. Of course, I mean, isn't that the real reason you do this? So she looked around for a while, and found his "boy" parts. She looked at all the other parts too, actually for a little while. Then she pointed out that it looked like he had a cleft lip and palate. I thought, okay, well, that's fixable. And I guess I'm glad he's a boy, because he can always grow a mustache if the scar is visible, and somehow, it's more okay for a boy to have scars on his face than a girl. Then she said the doctor wanted to talk with us. What? Well, okay. But I was supposed to be seeing the midwives, not the doctor.
He came in, I can't even remember which doctor he was. He started talking about how our little boy had some problems, and he was pretty somber. I thought, okay, so he's going to have to have some surgeries. I mean, really, in the grand scheme of things, a cleft lip and palate aren't really that bad. They're certainly fixable.
And then he continued. My baby had clenched fists, and a certain kind of clenched fist, and they hadn't opened the whole time. My baby's legs were crossed, and stayed that way. He had choroid plexus cysts on his brain. All by themselves, they didn't mean much, but with other anomalies, they did. And his heart, his precious heart, the aorta and pulmonary arteries were parallel, not crossed as they should be.
We met with our perinatologist, a doctor who specializes in high-risk pregnancies the next week, February 16th, (yeah, another one of those dates). When she finished her scan, she turned to me and said, "I'm very sorry. I am almost certain your baby has something called Trisomy 18." I started to cry and she asked if I knew what that meant. I said, "Yes, it's incompatible with life." That was all I could get out. I knew, I knew in my soul when she said those words, I knew she was right. Over the next few weeks and months, we had other tests, including an amniocentesis the end of April which gave us the definitive diagnosis, but I knew back in the office on February 16th. And my soul ached within me.
Two years ago, I quickly learned that I couldn't read anyone's story if their baby didn't live at least four months. When you don't even know if you'll be able to hold your baby while they're still alive, four months seems like such a long time. So that was my threshold. Aaron has lived five times that long, and is still going strong. He has a mission to perform here on this earth and has been promised that he will not leave it undone. I don't know what it is, but I hope it takes him a very long time to accomplish it. He is such a blessing in our lives.