Tomorrow starts the beginning of going full circle. It will be one year since we first heard the words “cystic hygroma” at our first ultrasound. Emmett had developed a large, fluid-filled cyst on the back of his neck, what doctors told us is usually caused by chromosome issues such as Down’s Syndrome, Turner’s Syndrome, etc.
We went from being perfectly elated hearing our baby’s heartbeat the first time and seeing a bouncing blob on a monitor to being completely petrified and devastated in the matter of minutes.
At that appointment, we were instructed to get a follow-up ultrasound later that week at a different medical center to see if the findings were true. They were… but the news got worse. The advanced u/s machine also detected he had developed fetal hydrops, a condition where his organs were filling up with fluid. This causes them to work much harder and in a fetus that can be difficult to do for a full-term pregnancy.
The chances of Emmett making it the full 40 weeks was going to be a long shot since he had developed the cystic hygroma and hydrops so early. The chances of him ever making it outside a hospital was even lower. The chances of him celebrating his first birthday, lower than that. There was also the risk that I could develop maternal hydrops, putting my health and life at risk. It was a lot of news and information to absorb in such a short time.
They gave us the option to end our pregnancy that day or wait it out to see if things would improve. We did the latter and it was the longest April of our lives.
I’ve dreaded this month to come for a year, just like I’ve dreaded all the milestones and holidays that should’ve been. Thankfully, I didn’t post online about my pregnancy last year so I don’t have to re-live these moments in the time capsule that Facebook has become. We only have a handful of photos of Emmett, including the ultrasound scans.
I look outside my window today. It’s foggy and gloomy, much like my heart and head have been for the last 11 months. Yet, I still can hear the birds chirping, signaling spring is on its way. The time for new life and new experiences. The pain and devastation of losing our son will always be with Brett and I for the rest of our lives. There will always be a hole in our hearts that we will want to fill. Even though Emmett is no longer with us, we have found strength within ourselves that we didn’t know we had. We have taken the tiny steps to a new beginning with our son in our memory and a stronger bond to keep us together.