Going Full Circle

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.

EmmettUltrasound

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.

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To My Dear Husband

Dear Schmoopie,

We’ve been through a lot this year. More than we ever anticipated. We started 2016 with such joy and hope, only to have it torn away from us.

I don’t think this is anywhere close to what we imagined our life would be together. We’ve come so far in the 12 years that we’ve known each other and the almost 9 years of marriage. Looking back at those silly college-aged kids in photos, everything now seems like a lifetime ago. When our biggest troubles and our greatest fears revolved around term papers or master’s projects.

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Our wedding – Feb. 15, 2008 at Hotel Metro in Milwaukee, Wis.

Some days I can’t even comprehend how you find the strength to stay with me. You’ve been there for all of my personal struggles in the last 10 years. You’ve missed work to go to medical appointments so I wouldn’t have to be alone and you could hold my hand. You slept on a twin bed for the first two years of our marriage in that tiny apartment so we could care together for my dad and brother. I’ve put you through a lot, and you know it’s my biggest fear that you’ll leave me. I remind you constantly of my insecurity. I’m grateful to have you by my side. I don’t know how I could go on some days without you.

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