Thursday, December 8, 2011

December 9, 2010

December 9, 2010, the Day that Time seemed to stand still.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I left work early, excited for my 20 week ultrasound.  We had already found out that we were having a boy, but who doesn't love seeing your baby in a 3D ultrasound.  Kevin and I had previously decided that we were going to take Jake out of school early, so that he could see his baby brother on "tv".  Jake was just starting to get used to the fact that there was a baby in mommy's belly. 

So the plan was for Kevin to pick up Jake at school and then meet me halfway, since I was coming from work, and then we would all ride down together.  I left work with no incident and was on my way to meet Kevin when he called me and said that there was major traffic and he hadn't even picked up Jake yet.  Mind you that we were supposed to meet up within the next 20 minutes, and Jake's school was almost an hour away from where we were to meet.  I was annoyed, but knew there was nothing he could do about it...traffic was traffic.  So we finally decided that I would head to the doctor's office by myself and Kevin and Jake would meet up with me when they could. 

So, off I drove.  I got there in no time and was early, so I sat in my car.  Kevin called a few times to give me updates.  We ended up getting in an argument because he claimed to not know where to go (even though we had already been there a few times between Jake and Austin) and didn't understand the directions I was giving him.

I went in by myself and was called into the ultrasound room shortly after.  The technician had an "intern" with her and asked if it was ok if this girl sat in the room as well.  I agreed that was fine.  And so the ultrasound began.  The techician was VERY talkative throughout the ultrasound, mainly to explain to the intern what each part of the body was.  I enjoyed hearing everything in detail and just watched amazingly at my lil guy in my belly.  He was perfect.  After a short while, Kevin and Jake arrived and joined me in the room.  Jake was super shy and quiet and I think he was a lil upset because he didn't understand what they were doing to my belly.  He also didn't really understand that the "thing" on the tv was his little brother who was inside my belly. 

The scanning continued for some time, with the tech talking through every part of body.  Then she got to Austin's head....and there was SILENCE.  And I mean complete SILENCE.  I knew instantly that there was something wrong.  No one in the room said anything....and we just watched as she scanned Austin's head, over and over.  All I saw was black on the screen.  Lots of black.  When the tech finished, she got up quickly and said "The doctor will be coming in to talk with you" and then left the room.

I looked at Kevin and said "there's something wrong with his brain".  I remember saying to him that I thought it was very weird that the tech was soooo talkative the whole time, except when she got to his head and then she was so quiet it was almost surreal.  I remember telling him that it looked like the baby didn't have a brain, because all you could see was black.  And I remember Kevin telling me to "knock it off" and that I was exaggerating and to stop analyzing something I had no idea about.  So, Kevin, Jake and I all sat there waiting in the room for the doctor.  We tried to make small talk as we waited, tried to explain to Jake about his lil brother being on the tv.  And we waited.  And waited.  Seemed like forever.  I really have no idea how long it was.  I just remember waiting.

And then...the doctor, tech and intern came into the room.  The doctor introduced herself to me and then began to scan me again.  She didn't really say anything, but she was scanning Austin's head and taking measurements.  When she was finished, she said that she had something she wanted to talk to us about, to get cleaned up and then come into her office.  My heart sank.

Within a few minutes, all three of us were in her office.  She asked if Jake would go out and stay with one of her co-workers to give us some time to talk.  I knew Jake wouldn't go with anyone else, so he stayed with us and sat on my lap.  The doctor called the genetic counselor in and the two of them told us that Austin had a high accumulation of fluid in his head.  We watched as they drew a diagram of what was happening and talked about severe hydrocephalus.  It was all so overwhelming and all I really remember were the words "this is devastating" and "I've never seen it this bad so early on".  We sat and listened to them tell us all of these horrible things.  Things that I can't even bring myself to write right now.  And on top of it, I had my three year old with me and had to be strong for him. 

We were asked if we wanted to do an amnio to see if was a genetic issue. Kevin and I decided that we wanted an amnio and it was scheduled for the next day.

We walked out of that office and didn't say a word to each other until we got out of the car.  Still trying to stay strong for Jake who had no idea what was going on, we both cried and sat in disbelief.  We called our parents from the cars and drove to my mom's house.  My mom was able to distract Jake as we sat there and cried together, trying to figure things out and praying for the Lord to watch over and heal our baby. 

It was by far the worst day of my life.  I can't even begin to describe my emotions.  That day started a whirlwind for us.  I can't believe it has been a whole year.  We have all been through so much in this past year.  Things that no one should have to go through.....and to the complete opposite extreme, MIRACLES that are beyond anyone's imagination.  I will never forget that day that set things in motion.

December 10, 2010 I had an amnio.  We also scheduled my Fetal MRI for that following tuesday (December 14th).  We then sat back in that doctor's office, this time without Jake who we appropriately left in school.  As we were waiting, we noticed that she had graduated from the University of Texas, in AUSTIN.  I pointed it out to Kevin, as up until that point, we still had not decided on a name for our little guy.  Austin, that was a cute name I thought...and different.  I didn't know any Austins.  It was a contender in my eyes.  We sat in her office and listened to her again tell us horrible things.  Then I had to go over to the hospital across the street to get the shot because I'm RH neg and as we sat and waited for them to make the shot, Kevin read a magazine.  And there it was again...the name Austin.  This time it was a person who had wrote a question to the magazine (one of those 'Ask blah blah..' articles).  It was then, when we were sitting in the hospital, that we decided that our little guy's name was Austin.  It was the perfect name for him.  And perfect timing, almost like it called to us...

Austin has surpassed all that I could ever imagine...he is so happy....and such a perfect little boy.  I love him so much and can't imagine my life without him.  I'm so blessed to be his mommy and I know he is destined to do great things!!!!   I had a revelation last week.  I was in the field with one of my workers and we had to visit one of her families.  This family happened to be a family I had worked with, but I had not had any contact with them in about 5 years (or more).  I told my worker that I didn't even know that the family would remember me, since it had been so long since I had seen them.  But we got to the house and walked in, and guess what....they did remember me.  Kinda crazy how you leave your imprint with some people and how certain people seem to pop into your life for planned reasons, unbeknownst to us.  At any rate, this family had a child in their home the last time I saw them (this child was about 6 months old) and it turns out that he is now about 6 years old.  Not really significant other than the fact that this child has a shunt.  A SHUNT!  Didn't mean anything to me back then, but to see the child today, you would have no idea that he has a shunt.  He is a healthy child, who plays football, loves baseball, loves to color and loves to play video games.  A "normal" life he leads.  It was almost as though it was meant to be....meant for me to see this boy again, as I remember him from years ago.  Almost as though God was preparing me for what was to come.  (Often how I tell the story of being in a wedding when I was 9 months pregnant with Jake...and walking down the isle with the grooms brother, who had a cochlear implant.  I had no idea what a cochlear implant was at the time, but a few months after the wedding, I had never imagined that I'd be looking into cochlear implants for my own child).  Just amazing how God prepares us for what life will bring, in our own little ways.

And look at my two miracles.....just look at them....I may not always think that I am the most prepared I can be for my boys' disabilities, but I know that God is with me and is guiding me every step of the way.  True blessings...


  1. Isn't amazing how that day stays with you, and how stong you can be in a moment that you should be able to be anything but strong. Austin is a miracle. Those doctors should carry around his picture so when they talk of such awful things they also can remember that they don't truly know what the outcomes will be. JEN

  2. Thanks Jen! Yes, we learn so much when forced to deal with certain situations in life. Same to Norah, your little miracle!!