Thursday, December 18, 2014

When Everything is Not OK

This was supposed to be a very different post.  I never thought I’d have to write what I have to write today. This post was supposed to be an announcement. I was going to go on about the shock we felt and adjustment we went through when we found out that we were unexpectedly pregnant with number 3, due in March. I was going to talk about dealing with antepartum depression while being a mother to 2 toddlers. I was going to write about how we're surprising our parents with the gender reveal on Christmas. But, then our world stopped turning and seemed to reverse.

At 22 weeks (5 weeks ago) we went to the doctor’s for our 20 week anatomy scan. Up until that point

our biggest worry (once I'd found an anti-depressant that worked for me) had been if we'd find out the gender or not (I was against it, McGee was very much for it). Well, we found out the gender, and everything else seemed fine. It was a short ultrasound and, when we met with her a short time later, our doctor said how great baby looked… “But…” I hate that word. Both of my previous pregnancies included a lot of “buts”.  The doctor didn't seem overly concerned, but she'd noticed something weird around baby’s heart and recommended that we go to a specialist in Denver to have a more in-depth look. This, oddly enough, didn't worry me. We'd been sent to the same specialist for a “heart issue” with Goofy Girl that ended up being nothing. So, this would be the same right?

Not so much. By the time the doctor sat down to do a half hour peep of the baby, after the tech had spent an hour, I started getting bad vibes. Especially when the doctor said that we'd “need to talk” after she was done, and then followed up with asking if I had anyone with me that I wanted to come sit with me while we talked.  And then she said “I want you to know that this isn't your fault. Nothing you did caused this.” My world shattered. To put it simply, I was told that baby had fluid in the abdomen (ascites) and heterotaxy syndrome (the stomach and, it appeared, the heart were in the wrong place). “I’ll get you into the Children’s Hospital as soon as I can.” That was Tuesday. Thursday McGee and I went to the hospital for about 5 hours of ultrasounds with various different departments and techs. Monday I went in for an MRI and then we had our team meeting; a meeting where we sat across from 5 distinguished experts who told us that they were baffled. What was happening should not have been happening. The only good news (also known as the only answer) that we got, was that baby’s heart was fine and WAS in the right spot. Baby’s liver and stomach were fine but on the opposite sides from where they should have been. That fluid? The ascites? That was the baffling part to them. That’s not just supposed to appear, something like an infection, STD, or family history is supposed to cause it- none of which fit our case.

The gist of all this? We don’t know if baby will come home with us in March. We won't know until the pregnancy has run its course, baby has been delivered, and they're able to see what they can do. Meanwhile, we wait and go to appointments at Children’s Hospital weekly and my doctor 2 times a month.

Now, I'm left with nothing to say when people ask how the pregnancy is going, or if I’m liking being pregnant. I'm left having to give a half-hearted smile when people say what a good big sister Goofy Girl will be, or how full my hands will be when there are 3 toddlers to chase. I get the unusual experience of feeling my baby move and watching every week, not knowing if I'll ever get to see that on the outside. It hurts, REALLY hurts.


The title of this was misleading- everything is OK. At least, it’s going to be. No matter what the plan for this little one is, I know that this is supposed to happen. I know that we’ll be strong enough to make it through; strong enough to trust that Heavenly Father has a plan. I know that this sounds naïve. I know that it sounds like I'm believing in a fairy tale. But, even if I am, it’s a fairy tale that’s bringing me peace in an otherwise shattered and darkened world, so I'm clinging to it.

I am so blessed to have an amazing support group behind me. Family on both sides, friends near and far, and virtual friends I might never meet have rallied around us and buoyed us up in ways that I’d never imagined. The day of my MRI I had prayers coming, both sent to me and silently said, by at least a hundred women who I've met through my beloved Cloth Diaper Group. Family was praying and friends were texting. I know that’s the only way we got through that day, the day with more questions than answers. To all of you, thank you, and please keep them coming. Every bit of strength is being felt and is much appreciated. We're paying it forward the best that we can and will continue to do so, as always.

I’m going to try to start blogging again. I need to throw myself into something besides thinking about the uncertainty, I need predictability in my life, and Christina (who wrote about her recent struggles) needs the support that I haven't been giving her. This was started as a partner blog and it will continue that way, just don't be surprised if it’s not frequent (well, it will definitely be more frequent than the last 6 months…) 


  1. Praying for you Hannah and that sweet little baby growing inside of you!

  2. Prayers Hannah. To you and your family.

  3. Praying for you and your family!