Last month, my boyfriend and I were very excited to go for our 22-week ultrasound. We were anticipating finding out what sex our baby would be, the ultrasound was taking a long time, and as a nursing student, I could swear I only was seeing 3 chambers in the heart. Thinking I was being paranoid I set aside my thoughts and didn’t tell my boyfriend. Then at the end, the radiologist came in and told us they could see cleft pallet and some kind of heart defect. She told us about terminating the pregnancy and something to do with genetics. We had no idea what was going on.
They sent us away that Monday in a daze, we had to wait until Wednesday to go in for another ultrasound and get answers. Those were the longest 2 days of my life. I went back to work as a homecare worker Monday evening, trying to ignore what I had just been told. I went to school the next day again, trying to avoid my thoughts.
My best friend and I started doing research and we came up with stoklers syndrome and trisomy 18 as possibilities, but with only a couple errors we didn’t think it was trisomy 18.
That Wednesday we went into the ultrasound, we sat silent, I was listening hard to the OBGYN’s as my medical background helped me understand what they were saying.
At the end of the ultrasound, they listed off the problems. One after one, cleft pallet, clenched hands, and atrioventricular septal defect, I was right, I was seeing what I had thought that day on the ultrasound. The went on to say tear drop ventricles, bilateral choroid plexus cysts on the brain, extra fluid on the brain, the size was in the 6th percentile. The moment I heard brain defects my heart sunk. I looked at the doctor and I said it’s “trisomy 18 isn’t it”, he looked back at me and said, “that’s what we think”.
I did my research beforehand, I had to prepare myself. I instantly knew what the right decision was for us. Suddenly that week I didn’t care what sex my baby was. Those words “as long as it’s healthy” they replayed over and over. Our dream was crushed.
It was harder for my boyfriend to understand. As it would be for anyone with no medical knowledge. I sat down with him and talked it over. We decided it was best to say our goodbyes.
After making our decision, I asked to have the paperwork of diagnosis from the ultrasound. We then found out it was a girl.
We went home that Wednesday and I kept saying how horrific the ultrasound was, it was the only word I could use to explain my grief. I told them I needed a few days to let this all settle in my brain. That Friday I went into the hospital and they started the induction.
January 29, 2017, our little angel Isabelle Margaret came and with our families by our sides we got to hold her and say farewell.
Today February 15th, my phone started ringing in class, it was the hospital, I think I flew out in the hallway at light speed. The results were in, it was Trisomy 18.
My heart, I don’t even know what it did. I already said my goodbyes. I felt relief. I felt upset. It was every emotion put into one.
I’ve had friends who lost babies, one in particular who were told it was a bad mix of their genes. This isn’t the case. So I can be ok with it. We CAN try again. So fingers crossed this never happens to us again.
But I am now very aware of this terrible chromosomal defect. And it will stay with me forever…..
I will never forget our baby girl.
We love you Izzy