When I first found out I was pregnant (exactly 3 months and 3 days from the day we got married) the feeling wasn't at all what I expected. "Ambivalence" is the word I used at the time. I was excited, I felt fortunate....but there was great hesitation in my heart. At the time, I chalked it up to caution. 30% of all pregnancy's end in miscarriage I knew this, and I wasn't about to get my hopes up. I took it one day at a time, but I just couldn't shake that feeling. "Be cautious, Kim." "You have no idea what is going to happen, Kim" I still wonder if it was simply shock, or if my gut knew what was to come. Regardless, the newness wore off, I made it past the 3 month mark and being pregnant sank into my bones. This was for real. I was going to be a mom.
On June 27th, Mark and I traveled to our First "real" ultrasound appointment. Being first timers, we had no idea what to expect. We now laugh at the things we said and how completely unaware we were of what was about to happen. The night before, I asked Mark "Do you think something is wrong?" He said "No, everything is fine." I simply chalked it up to new mommy jitters. I fell asleep giddy over the fact that I would finally know if we were going to have a "Paige McKenzie" or a "Evan Anthony"
First, the good news. Katie (our ultrasound tech) asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby. DO WE WANT TO KNOW?!!! (By the way, I have no idea HOW people wait until the birth to find out.) I nearly screamed yes, and the warm feeling I got when she said "you have a little baby boy in there" was one of the sweetest moments of my life. The next best moment came when I turned to look at Mark and he had tears in his eyes. You have to know my husband. He is 6'4 and north of 300lbs. A high school and college football player, he towers over most everyone. He looks tough, but is hands down the sweetest & most nurturing man I have ever met. As I laid there, hand in hand with Mark, the ultrasound tech did what I assume they all do. She measured EVERYTHING. Then..she measured everything again. The ultrasound took almost an hour and half. She spent a great deal of time on his head. I saw the image on the screen and said "He has a big head!" "You got a big head, big head!" I said to the screen. We laughed, I cant imagine the pain that ultrasound tech must have felt. Here she is, looking a pocket of fluid in the center of his child's brain that is NOT suppose to be there, and these two crazy kids are making jokes. COMPLETELY unaware that their first child has hydrocephalus. Most parents in our situation are urged towards termination. And now she has to go on and pretend like nothing is wrong. She smiled politely and finished up, never making eye contact.
We were handed the printout of his measurements and a few grainy pictures and sent back to my OB's office. As we are walking across the lobby, I stop. As I am reading the measurements, I see that the cerebellum is measuring 2 weeks behind, while his head is measuring 2 weeks ahead. I know this is wrong, but I am still on cloud 9 from the news that baby Evan is kicking and moving inside of me. I mention it to Mark and he simply says "Ask the doctor about it." We make it into Dr. Y's office and sit down. He asks if we have any questions, and in a hurry to get out of the office and start making phone calls I say "no." Mark asks about the measurements. Dr. Y says it is all in the semantics and brushes it off. Being a special education teacher I know it isn't normal, Mark has already opened the door...so and I ask again....and that is when he says it. "I wasnt going to say anything, but there is fluid on the baby's brain and we need to wait and see what it does. Could it be hydrocephalus? sure. Could it be spina bifida? Yea, but it may not be anything at all"
Dr. Y is talking, but I cant hear anything he is saying. All I can think is "Oh my God, please, not my baby."
We are told to wait 3 weeks and come in for another ultrasound. I feel as though someone has pulled the rug out from under us and shock, fear and pain are crushing my heart. And all we can do is wait.
We sit in the parking lot and send out texts messages, because calling your friends and family when your hyperventilating doesn't go well.. Our phones peep over and over with "congrats!" "Awesome!" and "so excited for you!" Yet, I don't feel excited, or awesome. I feel devastated, confused and down right scared.
We go to dinner and low and behold...our waiters name is Evan. He is tall, with dark brown hair and brown eyes. Much like I pictured my Evan being someday. I cry as we eat, I cry on the drive home and I cry for the next 3 days. Not at work, or at cheer practice, but at home. Where no one else can see me.
And then I find a blog, written by a mom who's daughter has hydrocephalus Her daughter is smiling, and laughing. She is beautiful. And in that moment I decided I wasn't going to have a pity party, or cry because things didn't go the way I had envisioned them. I wasnt going be a victim, because I still had my baby. I didnt lose him, he wasnt gone. Where the hell did I get off being sad? Things could have been a LOT worse. I had to be strong for this little man, and crying wasn't going to get me any where. I have always hated weakness, and I've never cared for people who wallow in negative things. Life isn't easy, and it doesn't always go the way we planned. I knew this! I have always taken the bad and made it into something good. I was a firm believer in "Everything happens for a reason." And here I was being a big old fat hypocrite. I quit crying, I quit asking why, and I started praying. God had Evan in his hands, and I took comfort and faith in the fact that everything was going to be okay.