Saturday, January 21, 2012

Baby Peter's Story

I debated whether to share these personal and special experiences outside of our friends and family or not, but decided that our story could help others feel not so alone in their own trials and circumstances.

I hope these thoughts will touch your heart and spirit and help you feel the amazing spirit that Peter brought into our home and lives.

 by Tracy on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 2:35am

About three or so months into my pregnancy, at my normal ultrasound check up,  the radiologist thought that she saw a few abnormalities- ie. two brain cysts, large stomach, small kidneys, missing portion of heart wall. Any of which wasn't really something that they would normally worry about, but all of these things together could indicate a chromosome abnormality. So my OBGYN referred us to a specialist in Abilene. At our first appointment with the perinatal specialist, he said that all the organs were perfectly fine in size and shape, the baby was right on track in developmental size, but that there were brain cysts, but that they were really nothing to worry about because they are somewhat common, and usually resolve themselves (disappear). Our perinatal doctor determined that if there was anything genetically wrong, that it would most likely be Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards Syndrome, but that it didn't look likely at this point. We could have had an amniocentesis test to draw fluid from the womb and have a culture done to determine for sure if there was any genetic problem, but if there was something wrong the only options were to terminate the pregnancy, or continue it knowing that Trisomy 18 usually ends in miscarriage, still born, or death shortly after birth. Also, with an amniocentesis there is a risk of miscarriage. So, after prayer and a priesthood blessing- we decided to just move forward with faith and see what would happen since we weren't going to terminate the pregnancy despite the outcome of the test, and not wanting to risk a miscarriage. We also did some basic blood work on my blood which came back negative (which is good). The blood test we had done has a low probability for a false negative. So, that was good!

A month or so later we went back to Abilene for a follow up, and the doctor was right! The brain cysts were gone! All the organs looked perfect, and we felt really good about it. This is when we decided to finally announce to the world our pregnancy- when I was already five and a half months along.

One more follow up a month or so later (after my trip to AK for my brother's wedding) showed that everything looked perfect, and we were confident that our baby boy would be healthy with no problems.

August 29th I went to my regular check up with my OBGYN. I reminded her about the large size of my last baby, and all the damage she had done while being delivered.  This lead to a discussion on the possibility of a c-section with this second baby.  A few weeks later on September 12th (35 weeks along) it was confirmed that baby #2 was also breech, and therefore a c-section became the only option. Normally my doctor could try to turn the baby, but I was already dilated to 4cm, and if she attempted to turn the baby my water could have broken, and we would be in danger of having a premature delivery. So, we scheduled a c-section for October 6th, about a week before my due date on October 15th.

Monday October 3rd at 4:30am my water broke. I woke up Zach and got ready as he called the hospital and then called our family friend, Matt, to have him come over and spend the rest of the night/morning with Lucy, who was still asleep, as we went to the hospital.  I didn’t have any contractions until about 5 minutes away from the hospital. But the one I had was painful. From my previous birthing experience, I knew that the contractions would soon become very painful after my water had broken, and so I was eager to get to the hospital as soon as possible before the contractions really started kicking in.

After checking in and being wheeled to my room, I changed into the gown, and sat on the bed while waiting for the nurses to check me out and test some things. I was dilated to 5 or 6cm, and by this point I was definitely in a lot of pain as the contractions became strong and closer together. The nurses were having a hard time finding the baby’s heartbeat, and I started shaking uncontrollably and felt like I was going into shock. I was really scared, and just wanted them to take me to surgery right away and get my baby out safely.  With each contraction the baby’s heart rate went down, so they gave me a shot to stop me from having contractions and continued to prep me for surgery. My doctor arrived and they put me under for the emergency c-section.  Everything went well and they quickly delivered baby Peter at 6:03am.

Fast forward to after delivery, and they discover that there are some problems with Peter's heart, and potentially some other genetic problems. He shows some of the indicators of Trisomy 18 (shape of face, ears, fingers folding inwards, heart problems, etc.), and they sent his blood work to be tested, and we hope to have a definite answer by Friday as to whether or not there is a chromosome abnormality. At which point we will take the information and prepare ourselves for what it means for us and Peter. There are still a lot of unknowns that will only be resolved with time as Peter grows and develops over the next few days and weeks, and as tests are done and results come back.

We are in love with our precious baby Peter and hope that he will continue to grow and gain in strength and health. The love, prayers and support of family and friends has been a huge comfort and strength through all of these emotional months. We are so grateful for our knowledge of Heavenly Father’s Plan, for the blessing of an Eternal Family, and the power of the Priesthood.  We have found great comfort as we have sought for peace through prayer and priesthood blessings, and as we have allowed the Spirit to guide us in our decisions. We hope that Peter will have a long and full life with us here on Earth, but are also prepared to accept Heavenly Father’s will if he will only be with us for a short time.  I know that Peter will be ours forever as long as we remain true to the covenants we have made in the temple. I know God loves us and has a plan for our Eternal Family, and I am so grateful that Peter is now a part of that family.

We Believe.

Love at First Sight

First touch.

Lucy came to visit and see her new baby brother!

First hold- with tears in my eyes.

Our first hold: Love my precious baby.

Zach's first hold.

Father and son.

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