i have thought of my children margot, audrey and sargent as miracle babies because i had them with a surrogate. before my dad (a doctor) died, he talked about how wild it was that something as delicate as conceiving and carrying a child could be manipulated with human hands in every stage and still end up with a healthy baby- “with all it’s fingers and toes.” he found that remarkable.
we are currently pregnant with our fifth and final baby (final because we have no more frozen embryos). her name is eve and her c-section birth date is jan. 13, 2011. (if you haven’t read my blog “all about eve”, you should go read that now, then come back.) ever since we got the exciting news that we were pregnant with eve, the doctors have said something was really wrong with her. finally, the genetic specialist told us out daughter would be mildly to severely retarded and need open heart surgery at 3 months old.
after hearing that news, the following 6 weeks were devastating. while i mourned the daughter i thought eve would be, i began preparing my heart and home for the eve that was coming.
i went to all of the doctor appointments with our minister because my husband was out of town shooting a movie. on october 29 we had a follow up appointment with the genetic specialist at the same time my husband david was on break from said movie. he would be able to attend the appointment with me! i was so excited for him to see his daughter and ask the doctor all of the questions that he had not had the chance to ask.
when the doctor walked in the room that day, she told us that she saw our name on her schedule and cried because she just wanted things to be okay for us. that meant a lot coming from a doctor that had been doing this 30 years and is one of if not the best in the world. we had grown to care about each other in a very short time under very stressful circumstances. she introduced herself to my husband and got to work. she isn’t a big talker while she studies our daughter. we sat silent. then about 10 minutes into the exam she said, “i am in shock.” the doctor who has seen 5 -7 different markers in our daughter was shocked? what happened? did my daughters arm fall off? how much worse could it get? we were still sitting in silence when the doctor said, “there has been a miraculous turn around with your daughter.” i had gotten so used to the grim news that i couldn’t understand exactly what she meant. i said, “does miraculous mean miracle?” ”yes, there has been a miraculous turn around” the doctor said. she then began listing off what she saw. ”her head that has never measured on the charts is now measuring at 7%. her arm and leg bones that have not measured on the charts are now only measuring one week behind the average fetus. the fluid around her heart is gone. the hole in her heart is now so small i don’t think you will have to have open heart surgery. the ecogenic bowel (blood in the bowel) is gone. her thumbs and toes that had been pointing in unusual directions are now in the normal baby position. there is a good chance that your baby is playing catch up and that she could be okay.”
“what? what was the doctor talking about? how could i hear she has a genetic syndrome and neurological damage to she could be okay?” i didn’t feel anything. i wasn’t excited, hopeful, happy, nothing. i felt numb. i felt flat.
my husband was crying pretty hard, but i had nothing.
the doctor opened our file and showed us a big stack of papers. she had printed out a weeks worth of research because she should couldn’t stop thinking about our daughter.
our baby had gotten a virus called parvo. a baby can die from parvo if they get too anemic, but usually the virus passes through the baby with no lasting affect. we knew our baby had parvo, but the other “markers” were so severe they said parvo was the least of our worries. the doctor found a case 25 years ago where the baby got so sick she stopped growing. she said, “you know when you get so sick you can’t eat or even get out of bed? that is how sick your daughter was. she shut down, she stopped eating, and she stopped growing. she felt so bad that even her hands were in a stressed position. the virus had passed and now i think she is playing catch up.”
my husband was crying and i was still. i had created super strong body armor to wear to help me deal with what was coming. when she talked about the miraculous turnaround it felt like a tiny ding on my armor. i couldn’t really feel it. we left the appointment and dave was cautiously optimistic and i was still flat.
3 weeks later we went back for a follow up. our baby girl was now measuring at 30% on the growth curve and the hole in her heart was gone. everything looked great. the doctor confirmed she believed eve was “catching up.” after the last appointment i too have become cautiously optimistic. we got a 3d picture of eve’s face (not an actual pic of her on this post). she is precious. she looks mostly like my daughter audrey. she has my dad’s nose and full lips. i don’t know where the full lips have come from, although i have kind of full lips now with the help of lip filler.
i can’t wait for this little miracle peanut to come out. i can’t wait to hold her in my arms and tell her about the roller coaster ride we rode with her, how much we love her just the way she is, and how bed we wanted her in our lives.
i am not 100% sure exactly how eve will be when she is born. i was not exactly sure how any of my kids would be when they were born, but they are perfect. perfectly the way they are supposed to be, perfectly who i am supposed to parent, and perfectly teaching me the exact lessons i am here to learn.
we just celebrated thanksgiving. my husband was not able to be here and that was sad, but with the good news about eve, it was the best thanksgiving of my life.
dear eve, we wait for you with open arms and open hearts and may we be the best parents and family your little body deserves. hurry home peanut!
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