Sunday, October 24, 2010
August 14, 2008
Trey and I went for out 16 week appointment, excited to find out the gender of our baby. Dr. Maberry, our perinatologist, started the ultrasound and looked and looked for a long time. He finally stopped, turned the machine off and turned the lights on. He began to explain that the baby had spina bifida and what he could see on the ultrasound, "lemon sign", "hydrocephalus", "opening in the spine". I'll never forget that day, what he said is all a blur to me now, but the heartache I felt will stay with me forever. Trey asked him if we were going to loose the baby, and he said it wasn't likely. He said that the baby would likely have bowel and bladder problems and hopefully walk with leg braces. He told us that there was always the option of termination, but I quickly told him it wasn't an option for us. Next he turned the ultrasound back on and showed us all of the signs he was seeing on the spine and brain. He asked if we wanted to know what we were having...a boy! We were so excited! Dr. Maberry said that he wanted us to see another doctor in Ft. Worth to verify diagnosis. If our little boy did really have spina bifida then he would have to be delivered in Ft. Worth because Abilene doesn't have the facilities to take care of him.
I had learned a little about spina bifida in nursing school, but didn't remember too much. A family friend got me in contact with her daughter in law, who's son also has spina bifida. I talked a lot with Kim and she explained a lot about what to expect. She taught me a lot in those first days. I learned about a study program that she participated in, the MOMS study, a surgery that is done to close the defect in the baby's back in utero. I was very curious about this, but scared at the same time. I kept thinking, what if I think this is a good idea but it's not God's will. What if it's not the right thing to do? Kim told me what helped her make that decision and I agreed, all I had to do was make the decision to do it. If it was God's will I would be accetped by the doctors that do the study, then when randomized I would be selected for fetal surgery, before he is born.
We kept praying that the diagnosis was not right, that what Dr. Maberry saw, the new doctor wouldn't.
On the 18th we went to see Dr. Tabor, another perinatologist. He was very dry, and hard to read...not really the best first impression. He too said our baby boy had spina bifida, but he did not suggest terminating. I was shocked! He recommended termination for Kim and her husband. What made us different?
He said that Dr. Maberry would continue to follow me in Abilene and we would come back to see him later in the pregnancy. I asked him about the fetal surgery, but he said he didn't think I was a candidate for it. I wasn't sure what that meant. Was it that he thought the baby was too bad off, or that what I "may" have wouldn't allow me to do it? I'll never know. But I didn't count it out. Dr. Tabor said he would set us up with a consulting neurosurgeon so that we would know what to expect once the baby was born. But for now we just wait.
The next few weeks were the hardest of my life. I kept praying, praying, and praying. I knew that I could handle being this baby's mommy but I didn't understand why he was going to have to go through this. This innocent baby coming into a world of evil, I was already worried about what he'll go through. The hardest part of it for me was the pain I felt for my little boy. For my baby Cannon.
I remember how my relationship with the Lord changed, of course I had my family and friends, but I needed HIM. He carried me through. I believe that a long time ago He told me I would have a child with special needs. And that I could handle it. Knowing that got me through. I praise him for preparing me in that way.
But I felt like I needed to do everything I could to help him.
So I called and did a telephone interview to determine if we qualified for the study. Unfortunately the possibility of my clotting disorder kept us from being accepted. Of course I had a hard time accepting it, this was something I really felt strongly about. I felt like it was something I needed to do to help my baby. Now my hands were tied. There was nothing I could to to help him, except take care of myself. So that's what I did...and I prayed.
December 26, 2008
We went back to see Dr. Tabor for an amniocentesis. We needed to know if Cannon's lungs were strong enough to breathe on his own. We stayed the weekend, wondering, in Weatherford waiting to find out if we would get to meet Cannon on Tuesday. The weekend came and went, and Monday morning the nurse called and told us to come Tuesday for my C-section.
December 30, 2008 at 9:44am Cannon was born. I can still hear the words as clear as they were that day.
"9:44" and Trey saying, "That's my boy!"
I only got to see him for a moment as they wheeled him by to take him to the NICU.