One year ago- January 6, 2012- Michael and I were given the devastating news that our child would be born with half a heart. I still can't believe I even have to type that sentence. I'll be perfectly honest, at the time it practically felt like a death sentence. However, there was not a single moment that we gave up hope, stopped praying, or didn't believe that our baby would flourish. We knew about the middle of December that something wasn't quite right at our first ultrasound. It took the ultrasound tech forever, and she kept saying the baby wasn't behaving and she couldn't get a good picture of the heart. She even called in our ob. I remember even saying to Mike "something isn't right". A day later I was getting ready for a meeting at work when I got the phone call saying we had been referred to a cardiologist at Children's.
There isn't a moment about the 6th of January I don't remember. I know the exact outfit I wore. Mike picked me up from work and we journeyed up the road to Children's. I vividly remember walking through the doors of Children's for the very first time. What's become so routine now, but then blindly making our way to the check in desk. Of course, I had done some of my own Internet "research" prior to our appointment and knew I didn't want our baby to have hypoplastic right heart. Then, right on the registration papers that we were holding while waiting for the ECHO tech to come get us, I read "referral notes: hypoplastic right heart". Mike tried reassuring me that our ob tech obviously could be wrong. I shook my head and continued to believe all would be fine.
Ironically, we realized during the ECHO, that we knew the lady performing the ECHO. She was from Treynor and had graduated with one of my aunts. Of course Mike and I talked and were friendly and reminiscing with her during the ECHO. I still wonder what thoughts she had as on her screen were images appearing that obviously proved our baby had major heart defects, but couldn't act any differently during our conversations. She left to go share the images she found with Dr. Danford our cardiologist. I remember going to the bathroom. Then after what seemed like an eternity, a group of Doctors and nurses returned to our room.
They started in on the diagnosis. Drawing pictures of the heart. I remember hearing the first three sentences, and after that it sounded like blah blah blah. I remember wanting Dr. Danford to stop talking, that I just needed to get out of that room and call all of our family to tell them. I KNEW I couldn't look at Mike. I never did, I just stared at Dr. Danfords hands. I was afraid if I were to look at any of them I would burst out in tears. I thought I would look silly. After the incredibly long appointment I remember our ECHO tech reassuring me that everything she knew was private and she wouldn't tell anyone from Treynor. I could have cared less at that moment. All the doctors than left, ad in came Jenny one of Dr. Danfords nurses. I remember thinking she serving the role as a counselor and gave us paperwork on joining a support group. I honestly couldn't believe this was happening. I had done EVERYTHING exactly right. Beyond what was even necessary! This wasn't fair! They tried ushering us down the long hallway. I wanted them to leave us alone and I couldn't get out of the building fast enough. I made it to the sliding doors before breaking down in tears as Mike asked me if I was okay. We obviously knew at that moment that there was no way I could drive. I called my parents right away, and my mom kept asking what was wrong as I couldn't even get the words out. I'm not sure if I stopped sobbing for the entire hour ride home. We stopped and told Mike's parents. My parents got in their car and drove to Oakland, as did my sister from Des Moines.
The first few days were rough. I remember waking up all the time at night crying, and getting on my iphone to do research. I stumbled upon a lady who did a blog for her little boy, who has about the same type of defects and realized that he was doing amazing, and so could our baby. This was the inspiration for our blog. We had friends of friends reach out to us whose babies have similar defects. The support was amazing.
I began to realize how blessed we were. God knew what he was doing when he gave us Blaise Andrew. There is no way I would want anything any different. I guarantee you I hug and love that baby more specially that I ever would have. Our relationship with God is so much stronger than it ever was before. I wish each person could have the same type of one. It's unfortunate not everyone will have the relationship with their child that Mike and I have with Blaise.
That's not saying the past year hasn't been hard. So many hard things. Do we have baby showers, or will people think that it's weird since there were so many unknowns? We took a birthing class that was totally irrelevant to us. Simple things like people saying that would be mad if they didn't get to hold their baby after birth. WHAT? We just want ours to be breathing! I remember thinking! I remember wanting to shake so many pregnant women and say "wake up!" who cares what color the room is and what outfit they are going to wear home! Just be praying that it's healthy! I think the one that gets me the most (and yes, I'm still working on it) is how anxious/excited/important it is for people to find out the gender of their baby at their ultrasound. It serves absolutely zero purpose in my mind except to tell you whether or not your baby is healthy. I wouldn't care if we would have an alien as long as it was healthy. It's so hard to explain that to someone. One of the hardest things is that not very many people have had the chance to meet Blaise in person. We want to keep him as healthy as possible, so we don't take him anywhere. I can't wait to introduce him to people this summer, run to the grocery store with him. Go to Target or shopping and more!
Our heart journey with Blaise continues, and we enjoy being able to share this remarkable gift from God with all of you!
What a wonderful past year!