We found out I was pregnant when I was 9 weeks along. We were both very pleasantly surprised. I was beginning to think that I couldn't have any more children. (I have a daughter, Alexia, who just turned 10 this month!). I felt so very blessed once again. We immediately picked baby names. I wrote down the ones that I love and gave him the list and told him to write down the ones that he liked. Instead, he took my list and picked out the ones he liked from it. He said Kolton for a boy and Addison for a girl and the middle name will be Sage. =) Perfect.
We did our triple screening testing when I was 16 weeks along. Two weeks later we got the results back. I tested positive for Trisomy 18, with a ratio of 1/62. My heart dropped. We immediately scheduled a specialized ultrasound and possible amnio in Denver for a few days later. We were told by several people not to worry because a lot of people get false positives. We were very hopeful that this was also the case for us.
On June 23, 2010, our lives drastically changed. Nothing could have prepared me for this day. The ultrasound tech looked over our baby and spent a long time trying to find his head. She said, "I can't find your baby's head. I don't think your baby has a head". She left the room to get Dr S. Our daughter said, "the baby doesn't have a head?" I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Tears were just rolling down my cheeks. I remembered how so many people asked me if I wanted a boy or a girl and I would reply, "as long as the baby is healthy, it doesn't matter what the gender is." It seems that dream came crashing down on top of me.
The Dr came back in and took a look himself. He said, "Your baby is incompatible with life. The baby has anencephaly, which means the top part of the head above the eyebrows never developed. The baby won't live long after childbirth if he survives the childbirth process. I recommend that you terminate and we can do that right now. Would you like some time to talk about it?". He lead us to another room, where we were just too shocked to speak. We were so lost.
He checked on us several times within the next half hour. I asked him, "can you tell us if we are having a boy or a girl?". He said, "It looks like it's a boy". He explained to us how he can still grow and have a heartbeat without having a brain. It's because of the brainstem that is located at the top of the spine.
How could we be put in this situation to make a choice and have our baby die now, or carry him and have him die later. I don't want him to die at all. I wish he could stay inside of me where it is safe. When I think of making choices for him, I think of what outfit he will wear when he comes home from the hospital. Not die now or die later. :(:(
[[This whole time my husband was right. He was so determined that we were having a boy. I kept having dreams of a baby girl so I was sure we were having a little girl. lol.]]
We talked and he called his mom. We wanted to carry our baby to term. This is our son!! We wanted to give our son a proper burial. We told the Dr of our wishes and he gave us his card and told us to keep in touch if we changed our minds.
We drove back home in a fog. How does one process the news that their baby is dying and their is nothing that they can do to save them?? We had to go in for a follow-up visit with our original Dr. (Dr D).
We told the Dr what Dr S. told us and that we wanted another opinion. We did another ultrasound at the hospital. I told the ultrasound tech what Denver had told us. She didn't know what it was so she typed on the screen Possible Fetal Demise. She said our baby doesn't have a face or a back to his head or a top to his head. But I knew he had a face because I could see it. Dr. D came in to go over everything with us. He said that he wouldn't be able to deliver our baby because he wouldn't be comfortable doing it. Regardless of when we chose to have him. He was in tears. We left and he later called us and told us that we should terminate because there are so many complications if I carry full term. The complications consisted of too much amniotic fluid, due to the baby not being able to swallow it and that would cause my kidneys to fail...etc. the list goes on and on. That really scared us so we thought of inducing early. I read that a healthy baby born at 26 weeks would have a 90% survival rate. I wanted to believe that the Dr's were wrong. When Dr. S called me, I told him that we would induce but it would be when I was 26 weeks along. He said why so long? I told him about what I had read and so we set it up for August 19, 2010.
We went to Bateman's funeral home to start making funeral plans. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do but I wanted to do it now, because this is the only thing that we can plan for him and I want it to be perfect. We then picked out burial plots for our family. We ordered Kolton a white tux with blue lapels to wear in micro preemie size. We ordered memorial necklaces. One for each of us: Kelby, Alexia, Myself, and Kolton. We bought concrete molds to get hand molds and feet molds. We bought two baby blankets, whom a friend's mother embroidered his name on. I contacted a Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep photographer (http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/) and arranged for pictures to be taken.
About a week later, a couple friends gave me the name and number of a good Dr. in Hays. Dr. F. I called and asked his nurse if he had ever delivered a baby with anencephaly before. She told me that she would find out and call me back. She called back right away and we set up an appointment to see him .
At our first visit with Dr. F, he came into the room and he said, "You have choices. I don't know what you have been told but you have choices." We told him everything and he said it was obvious that we wanted to give our baby every chance possible. He said, "I urge you to carry to term and I would love to be able to deliver your baby for you. I want you to have the chance to say--we have two children; a daughter and also a son that we didn't get to take home."
We have a better peace of mind now. We have a Dr that treated our baby like a baby should be treated. A perfect beautiful blessing. He told us that when we go into labor to just start driving that way. :-/. It's 2 hours away!! So I hope all goes well when November rolls around!!
At 27 weeks, I went into preterm labor but they were able to stop my contractions. I was put on bedrest and they stopped completely. Very thankful for that!!!
We are at 31 weeks right now and cherishing every kick and jab. He is a very active little guy. He showed his big sissy that when she was laying with her head on my tummy! He kept kicking her. lol. She had to move because she couldn't hear the movie.
You never know what strong is until being strong is the only option. This journey has been a roller coaster ride. At times I fall to pieces. When I talk to other anen families I fall apart. I try to stay positive and strong because I want Kolton to feel nothing but love. I don't want him to know of grief or sadness. I just want him to know how loved and precious he is to us.
We are so thankful for our family and friends. For without them, I am not sure how we would be able to get through this.