I saw the inspiration quote about writing about the things that hurt you.
There is a part of my journey in parenthood that I am ready to share. I do not always feel like writing about it. But since this challenge began, it is always trying to sabotage all my topics for the day. I do not know when I will write about this again. I know that this is the platform where I want to record my thoughts, reflection and feelings about the experience. I did not do it when I was in the midst of the storm, but I can reflect back on it now. That reflection lets me know that I am in a moment of healing from the grief and the pain.
This is the beginning of my story with my eldest Joshua. His existence has made me experience some of my darkest days, but in that darkness I know that I became a better person, it made me mature in such a way that allowed me to appreciate every aspect of my life and to be grateful.
And there it was, as I stared in awe at the ultrasound showing a tiny blob swimming. Then it was real, the doctor found your heartbeat, it was so fast. That is when I knew it was real. You were real, there is no real description for the feeling of knowing that a life was growing inside of me. The anger I felt towards your father’s audacity to miss our first appointment quickly dissipated. My excitement and brightness of that day were met by dark clouds and grayness after the doctor kept measuring and re-measuring you and my belly. The room fell into a silence that could be pierced by the slightest sound. The alarms in my head and my heart went off, and my mind screamed: There is something wrong. My hands got cold as I bit my lower lip as I fought back tears. I had no control about what was happening. I had no idea of what was going on and the doctor’s silence hurt more than anything he could say. She finally broke the silence by asking me every date I could remember, last period, and date of the pregnancy test, was I sure, and was there any doubt in my mind. No, I timidly answered, I was sure of the dates, my body kept screaming that something was going on, that there was something wrong even if I could not name it. There was no doubt in my mind there were big changes coming.
Nothing else was said, besides a referral to a Perinatologist. A specialist, there was something terribly wrong. As I drove back to the apartment, there were many thoughts in my mind. Did I do something wrong? What was the problem? What could I do to solve it? Did I not find out early enough? I had a confirmation at 6 weeks. There was no doubt that my morning sickness sent your dad into an almost panic attack. As I walked up the stairs to our apartment, the mixed emotions were indescribably I proudly showed off the sonogram with your first “pictures,” the undeniable fact that you had your daddy’s nose. As I shared the news, I saw the excitement in Joshua’s eyes and I had to tell him: I think there is something wrong…
There was an unbroken agreement between Josh and I from that point on, he did not miss any doctor’s appointments. We were unsure of the outcome and the future. From that point forward, we were to embark on an unexpected journey, a journey that shook me to my core. The perinatologist visit was the most difficult visit of all. The Uultrasound tech measured and re-measured the baby’s growth, the endless questions about dates and periods, and everything else just reminded me that something in my body was completely out of my control and it was not good. After that visit I had many terms to google. Yes, google because it was exactly what I needed right then. Information, odds for survival, experience of others, information, I wanted to arm myself with information because that was the only control I could have at that moment. The doctor gave me the news, there was reverse diastolic flow on the umbilical cord which meant that whatever the baby needed to receive, returned to my body for a few seconds. It had caused IUGR (Intra-Uterine Growth Restriction). It had sent my body into a state of shock: High blood pressure, fatigue, every morning when I woke up, my body immediately swelled up as if I was soon to go into labor. The prognosis was bleak. The doctor’s recommendations were: bed rest, Amniocentesis test, worst case scenario termination of the pregnancy. You know what I remember? They called my baby a fetus…and whatever they said about my health and the grave danger I was in was lost to my ears (not lost to Joshua’s ears, who now tells me how worried he was). From then on, I went to the doctor more than I wanted to, I googled everything there was to know about the dangers of an early delivery and the best chance for my baby’s survival.