My son Holden was only partially planned. In a rash blaze of self assurance my husband and I decided that perhaps we could try just one month to have a baby. Extraordinarily, we were blessed to find out that that one month trial was enough to bring new life into the world. Almost immediately after our initial celebration, I began to experience pregnancy difficulties. I began bleeding slightly and went to the ER to make sure everything was OK. A cursory ultrasound showed only a gestational sac, but no fetus. Devastated, I returned home to wait for the miscarriage. After days of waiting and praying, I returned to the doctor confused about the lack of progress. Another HcG level screen showed my rates were indeed falling, and they opted to wait two more days to better analyze the situation. When I returned a few days later my HcG had gone up! They did a second ultrasound to find that along with the empty sac, I had one viable pregnancy! My husband and I were elated that the pregnancy would continue but heartbroken at the loss of the child who had "reabsorbed" leaving only a blighted ovum. As the pregnancy continued so did my troubles. I was in and out of the ER every other week. We were constantly on edge that we would lose our child.
Consequently,however, we were able to see many pictures of our child. Some of our fondest memories are of him tumbling and pulling on his umbilical cord in utero. At 18 weeks, my triple screen came back abnormal. I was told that my child had a high chance of spinal bifida and or downs syndrome. Though I would never consider aborting a Down Syndrome child, I was under the impression that Spinal Bifida was incompatible with life. I was advised by my doctors to abort. Heartbroken, I came home and researched everything I could about the disorder. I found that a child with SB could indeed lead a full and long life. I was furious at the doctors and family members who had led me to believe otherwise. Meanwhile, I had been diagnosed with both partial placenta aburbtia and placenta previa. There were questions about my health and possible hemorrhage risk. I put my faith in God and knew that His will would be done. Miraculously, at my 20 week appointment it looked as though the placenta previa had corrected itself and the abruptia had healed. More excitingly, the ultrasound showed that my son's(!) spinal cord was fully fused and he did not have SB. My highrisk OB told me that unless I wanted an amnio, she did not need to see me until closer to the delivery.
We refused the amnio and decided that whatever would be would be and we would accept our child regardless of his chromosomal normality. At 23 weeks my water broke and I was again urged to end the pregnancy. My highrisk OB thankfully listened to my husbands pleas to do everything she could to continue the pregnancy(I was unconscious at the time) and they were able to stop the progression of my labor. I remained pregnant for 7 weeks after my PROM. My son's limbs were short for gestational age which is a marker for Downs. We didn't care, we were only focused on getting him safely delivered. I was terrified at the thought of losing him. I was told that preemies after PROM have a much lower survival rate than other preemies. No doctor or nurse gave me much hope. My son was delivered at 31 weeks weighing 2lbs 4oz. To everyones shock and amazement he was completely fine. Though he was IUGR, he had no breathing problems or chromosomal abnormalities. His only deformity was a slight malshapment of the ureter which was cosmetic and not functional. He went on to have a few hernias which were surgically repaired. That was all. After all of the fuss and worry and times we were told his life would not be worth living, his only negative marker was an enlarged belly button! He is now a very healthy, very happy 10 month old. He is crawling and standing and saying "dada". Everything we were told would go wrong did not happen. He is our miracle. I know that not every story and prenatal diagnosis has this ending, but I would just like to say that had things gone the other way and he had been disabled, we would not love him any less. We love him now the same as we loved him when he was a tiny preemie fighting for his life. We will love him forever. Have hope for your child's life, No one can determine the magic of looking into your child's eyes and giving him all of your love and care no matter how short your time together may be. Know that however things turn out and however long your child is with you, they are loved both by you and by God.
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-The support, information and encouragement provided by the PPFL parents is not meant to take the place of medical advice by a medical professional. Any specific questions about care should be directed to a health care professional familiar with the situation.