For those of you that follow our travels, you might have noticed we haven’t shared anything on social media from our much awaited London adventure.
There’s a good reason for that. We didn’t go.
Where to even begin?
I guess I should start with the most important news: we’re having another baby! I’d planned, with much joy and excitement, to announce it here on the blog last week. We are due January 27th.
We went in for our 20-week ultrasound last Thursday to find out what we’re having. We learned that it’s another little girl!
Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before this exciting news was crushed by fear.
After the ultrasound, we got the worst possible news any new parents could receive. There was something wrong with our baby’s brain. They didn’t give us very much information…just that it looked “abnormal”.
Brain. Though I had no idea what was happening, I knew this was bad.
We both sat in shock. We’d had a totally normal pregnancy with Evelyn. The easiest and smoothest you could imagine. And we were nearly at the 21-week mark now; no indications of anything wrong. How could this be happening now?
Shaking with fear, we immediately headed back to see a perinatologist and do another ultrasound.
After what felt like the longest 20 minutes of our lives, the doctor finally came in to explain to us what the problem was. He asked, “how much have they told you?”
“Just that there’s something wrong with the brain,” I said.
“Well, they’re right,” he said, “there is something very wrong.”
I burst into tears. The words that came next are a blur. Brain. Lethal. Not forming properly. Incompatible with life.
With a mixture of confusion and grief, the doctor explained to us that he would be doing an amniocentesis to test the baby’s DNA. He highly suspects our baby has trisomy 13 or 18 – both fatal in the worst of cases. We are sent home and left to wait 24 hours for the results.
24 long hours.
We spend the rest of the day canceling flights and reservations for London. While the nurse tells us we should still go (after all, it won’t change the outcome), there’s just no way we can mentally handle being so far away, not knowing what awaits us at home.
The hours tick by slowly. We try to keep our minds off things. But all I can think about is this phone call and how it will change our lives forever.
Finally, at 2:30 PM the next day, the phone rings. It is the nurse from perinatology. The preliminary results of the genetic test confirm that our baby does not have any extra chromosomes. No trisomy 13 or 18. We are relieved and yet still shocked. We’d been preparing ourselves for the worst, and for a moment, we feel hope.
And that is where we still stand today. It’s been a week since the terrible news that has turned our lives upside down. I don’t know whether to be hopeful for a positive outcome or prepare myself for the worst. I don’t know what to pray for. I don’t know what the best case scenario would be. It is still very possible that we will not be bringing a baby home with us in January, and the very thought of that kills me. And so we pray for God to give us strength and make a clear path as we navigate this nightmare.
This afternoon we will do a fetal MRI so that a neurologist can look more closely at our baby’s brain. Full results of the DNA testing should be back in another week as well. From there, we’ll hopefully know more about the prognosis and the best course of action.
For now, we wait. Anyone who’s gone through something similar knows this is the hardest part. I think through every possible outcome over and over and over again. My anxiety eats away at me.
But we still pray for a miracle. We pray that our little girl bounces back and starts making strides towards healthy brain development. We pray that all this is caused by something tiny and fixable. We pray because there is nothing else we can do.
We humbly ask for your prayers and positive thoughts as well. You may not hear much from us over the next few weeks, but I promise to return and share an update once we have it. Thank you all for the support and kind words we’ve received thus far; they mean the world to us right now.