Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Complicated Ultrasound

As I walked into the hospital this morning, I had a minor anxiety attack.  I felt my chest get tight and my eyes welled up with tears.  Not out of fear of this baby dying, although that thought was there... but just having to walk into that hospital again. 

I walked in at 10:15 am, went up the stairs and within minutes of checking in, we were called in. 

I remembered how at Rachel's ultrasound, we bumped into a friend of my Aunt's who told us of her daughter just having her healthy baby.  These memories are so engraved in my mind that I could see her standing in that very place almost 3 years later. 

We stopped to sign the insurance paper - and I remembered requesting the tech I wanted on August 4, 2010....and my biggest worry being what sex the baby was.  My heart just wished my problems were still that small.

We walked towards the waiting area outside radiology and I made jokes about getting an ice cream afterwards to break the tension.  Matt said I could have two.  One for me and one for baby.

We sat down in the waiting area that I have not sat in since that day.  The last time we had a scan, they didn't make us wait there.  We sat there for all of 4 minutes... just long enough for me to be in tears remembering the 15 minutes that completely changed my life forever.  The 15 minutes that stole my ignorant bliss.  The 15 minutes that still rips apart my heart all these days and months and years later.  I remembered as we walked from the room saying "I don't care what's wrong with her, I just don't want her to die" and I heard the scream in my mind "Not my baby girl, Matt, I want to keep her!"

They called my name.

"What's wrong?" she asked me as I tried to sniff in my running nose.  "Nothing" I said.  I'm tired of looking like the crazy woman who keeps having babies even though I know how dangerous that is for people like me....  I'm tired of explaining.  Tired of people not getting it.  Not getting me.  So I just said "Nothing" and got on the table.  It was easier.

Within seconds of her putting the wand on me, I saw the nice round head.  It's crazy looking back that I couldn't see how obvious it was that Rachel's wasn't there... but we have gotten much better at reading them.  We've only sat through dozens of them.... I said "I see a round head!" and she said "Yes you do".  The entire scan took just a few minutes.  And it ended at 10:27 (the time Rachel was born) with the exact words I said I needed in my post last night...

"Everything looks good". 

She gave me one picture and I walked down the hall staring at it... just like I did with Rachel's... and all my other babies.... except Rachel's was the only one that they didn't give me the usual profile photos.  I left there with a pic of her hand and her feet and I knew it was her head that was to worry about.  I just didn't know it was going to kill her.  I was hoping for anything but death.

I had my doctors appointment after and realized half way through it that Matt didn't buy me those ice creams... and the irony of me being able to think of anything else but my baby struck me.... am I seriously able to think at all, never mind about ice cream right now?  Is this what it's like to feel 'normal'?  To just have a 'routine' ultrasound?  Ice cream?  Really?  Not funerals.  Not shattered dreams.  Not second opinions.  Ice cream.  Wow.

My appointment went well... and I left with a bottle they were giving out for new babies as samples.  I walked to my car and thought of the item in my hand.... this is a much different thing to be carrying than the box of cheap tissues they gave me to bring with me on August 4th.  Is it crazy that this baby bottle makes me miss Rachel even more?  Does it make sense that every 'good' or 'normal' experience after her makes me hate the reality of what I lost that day?  Long before she ever even died?

I called my mom, who was babysitting just like on Rachel's diagnosis day, and told her the baby looked good.  I hung up and cried remembering how hard it was to dial the phone that day to tell her Rachel was going to die.  The complete despair as I tried to find the words to tell Desirae that her sister was not staying.  I envisioned walking into my house this time with good news and got a lump in my throat.  I have to say that one of the biggest blessings in having a healthy baby is that my children do not need to lose another sibling.  Watching them experience this type of loss so young in life feels so wrong... and they have done it with such grace and beauty and I believe they will be better for it, but I don't want them to EVER have to deal with this again.  More so than not wanting it for me, I don't want it for them.

I had asked the tech (who I was not all that fond of)  if my due date had changed and she quickly replied "We wouldn't change the date".  Obviously, she has no idea what we've been through as far as the number of scans we've had and how many times dates have changed on us... or that the last u/s changed my date by 2 weeks, but it's not that odd of a question.  I went to the van and took a pic of baby's scan to put on facebook and I noticed that the due date had in fact changed.  It said EDC 8/4/2013.  The anniversary of Rachel's diagnosis day. 

I swear, my little girl is all over this pregnancy.  This didn't happen with Asa... it's constant this time.  The doctor thought I was scared because of this, but I had to explain that I am encouraged by it.  She feels closer... and part of this.  And I love that.  The doctor said we would leave the due date 8/3/13 because the earlier scans are more accurate. 

I typed in my due date into a calculator on line to see how many weeks & days I am and it said:

"If your due date is 8/3/13, your 1st trimester started on 10/27 (her birth time) and you ovulated on 11/10 (the time she went home).  200 days left to go!"

Ironically, none of that *should be* right because my cycle started on 10/16 (anniversary of the day we had her 'Celebration of Life' when I was pregnant with her) but apparently I ovulated "late" - and right on time for 'her numbers' to show up over and over and over again.  And since I still remember each of my kids' due dates right along with their birth dates, I'm kinda glad that this baby's due date is not the same as Rachel's diagnosis day.  The two events hold such polar opposite emotions in my heart that it doesn't seem right for them to share a date. 

But apparently baby is measuring a day big, which assures me that (s)he is growing good!  Thank You Lord. 

Baby was dancing like her big sister and waved a couple of times at us.  We're in love.

And I couldn't help but notice this 43 on ^ the bottom.... ♥


  1. Love it. All of it. And you. I'm praying! <3

  2. Rachel, I haven´t been here for quite a long time. So I´m very surprised and happy about the good news!!! Great!
    Keep going on! Since yesterday we know, that we are expecting a little girl, she is due on May 20:-).
    Lot´s of love to you and little baby!

  3. Aww <3
    God is in every detail :-)
    I love the due date, 8/3 is my husbands birthday :-)
    Hugs and love, anja


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Thank you! ♥ The Aubes