Friday, May 13, 2011

It's a boy

One year ago today, I found out that my baby was a boy.

One year ago today, I saw him moving around.

As a result of my visit to the ER the night before, I had an ultrasound on May 13/10. I didn't know when it would be, since I was being fit in. I got a call at 7:20am saying to come in at 10am. I called my boss and told him I had to have an ultrasound, but I may be in later if everything was OK.

I remember so many events from that day, even little ones. I remember driving around side streets trying to find a place to park near the hospital, but ended up just parking in the visitor's parking.

I sat in the waiting room for the ultrasound playing the game Chocolatier on my ipod touch. I realized that I had an eye appointment that day, so I called Ted and asked him to call that clinic and tell them I wouldn't make it.

I remember the woman and the approx. 3-4 month old baby boy sitting beside me. She had him wrapped in a blanket, but alot of his skin was still showing and the room was cold, so I thought he might be. She told someone else that he was having trouble keeping food down.

I was called in just before 11am for the ultrasound. I was bursting and it had been getting more painful as I waited, especially since it was supposed to start at 10am.

The ultrasound tech was nice. She could see that my bladder was really full, so she took the pictures of my cervix and let me go to the bathroom. My watch started beeping at one point (it was in my purse) and she asked what that was. I somehow set the alarm on my watch months before that and hadn't figured out how to turn it off. A few months later, I gave it to Lindsay who fixed it up.

The ultrasound tech didn't let me see the screen while she was doing her measurements, so I stared at the ceiling most of the time. I asked if she could see if the baby was a boy or a girl. She asked if I was sure that I wanted to know and I said definitely. She said it looks like a boy. I was a little surprised, but was happy. I didn't really care. I had at least 1-2 dreams about a baby girl and most people thought I was having a girl, so I just started thinking that I was. Within a second of finding out he was a boy, I started day dreaming about my little boy. I imagined telling Ted that he was having a son, I imaged how Ben and our baby would grow up so close to each other, I imagined all of the things we would do with him.

I noticed that she stayed on the right side of my belly for a long time and I wondered if she found something wrong. I've had lots of ultrasounds in my life, and that is what they do when there's a problem.

She finished at 11:45am. She turned the screen so that I could see it for the last 2 minutes and she pointed out his body parts. He was so active. She left the room, saying that she was just going to make sure that she had everything she needed. She ended up being gone at least 10 minutes and it made me worry a little. Jacob's picture was still on the screen and I spent that 10 minutes staring at him. Still amazed that he was mine. That he was inside me. My son.

I was told to go back to the ER to get the results. I grabbed a granola bar from the cafeteria on my way there. I went to the triage area and did the usual things....bp, pulse (78, compared to 131 the night before), temp and explained why I was there.    My bp was 109/72 and they asked if that was normal for me (it is). I was called to the registration desk, but instead of getting a folder and being told which zone to go to, the person said to have a seat and I would be called.

I spent the time playing Chocolatier on my ipod touch and text messaging Ted, Laurie and my friend Jen. I talked to Mom and I talked to Ted at one point and asked if he wanted to know what the baby was. He said he did and I told him it's a boy. It was such a happy moment.

I watched a mother and her 2 sons...about 7 and 11. The 7 year old was in a wheelchair and the 11 year old was pushing him around. They got some fries and coke from the cafeteria.

I waited for 2 hours and 15 minutes, and being told in triage that I should be seen quickly since it was just for results. I kept getting worried that they hadn't called me back yet because there was some really bad news and they were putting off telling me. I didn't want to sound like a complainer, so I went to the triage nurse, told her why I was there and asked if I could run and grab something to eat or if I would be seen soon. It was just an excuse to make them notice me. She was surprised that I hadn't already been seen, looked me up on the computer, which said I should be in the red zone. So she took me there and spoke to another nurse, but my file wasn't there. One of them went to the green zone and came back saying that they were looking for me there.

So I went there, was brought to a bed and a doctor came in within a few minutes. The doctor said that all the major things looked fine, but there seems to be some kind of issue with his limbs. He said it could be "as simple as club feet or as complex as a few missing toes". He said they couldn't tell exactly what because it was a little early. He asked if I had the integrated prenatal screening. I said that I had and it came back with an increased risk of a neural tube defect. He said that the results of the ultrasound showed something along those lines. He recommended that I be referred to a high risk OB and that he could do it, but since my OB was back from vacation the next Wednesday, to call her, get her to call the hospital to have the ultrasound report faxed to her, and have her make the referral. I said that I had another ultrasound scheduled for the next week and he said that that was good and that they should be able to see alot more by than. The ultrasound didn't show any reason for the bleeding. He didn't mention any problem with Jacob's hands, but when I look at the pictures, I can see that all his fingers weren't visible.

I was relieved that there was nothing major wrong, but was worried about what my baby would have to go through...and that it might be worse than they could see.  I pulled back the curtain and started to leave. I could see a guy sitting on the next bed with his 12 year old son and knew that he probably heard everything. He was staring at me as I walked by and out of the room.

I got outside and called Ted and told him everything. I cried a little, but we were both still hopeful that it wasn't anything worse. Club feet, he would have surgery. We would hate to see him go through it, but he would be fine in the long run. A few missing he would learn to walk without them. He would never know what it was like to have them anyway. I called Mom and told her everything.

I got to the car, drove to a side street and sat there for awhile. I called Laurie and she said that it doesn't matter what his feet look like, we will love them.

I didn't go to work that day as I got home too late in the afternoon to make it worthwhile.

Jacob was so active during the ultrasound and the ultrasound tech commented on it. In the short time that I got to watch him, he flipped from his back to his side, he opened and shut his mouth, he moved his arms and legs all around. At one point, his legs were curled up against his belly and he straightened them out completely. He would push his head back too, as if he was stretching his neck.

After he died, I called the film library, told them I had an ultrasound there on May 13th, that my baby died and that I wanted more pictures of the ultrasound. They said they would burn me a CD of the pictures. Jacob was born on a Tuesday and I picked up the CD on the Thursday. We stood in the waiting room hugging while we waited. I remember standing there on June 3, 2010, feeling completely empty. We got home and tried it, but it didn't work in any of our computers. I was so disappointed. I called the hospital the next day and they burned another one for me. Eventually we did get both CDs working. Here are some of the pictures:

A perfect spine

Heart rate 147
A perfect right foot

One of my favourites

View from the top

Today kinda sucked. I felt a heaviness when I woke up, knowing that I saw him alive a year ago today, knowing that it was when I found out that he was a boy.

The day wasn't too bad though, until this afternoon. I got back from lunch and just as the elevator doors were shutting, I saw Sarah walking to the elevator, so I pressed the button to open the doors for her. As soon as she stepped in, I realized that she is about 5 months pregnant. I never knew her well. She started around the time that I found out that Jacob died. I don't remember if it was a week before that, or the week I came back to work. I don't know if she knows that I was ever pregnant. We worked on the same floor, in different departments, until November or so, when her department moved to a different floor. I haven't seen her in months.

When she stepped on the elevator, I felt the paralysis overcome me. She got off at the 4th floor and I went on to the 5th. I just sat at my desk staring straight ahead and thought of how unfair it is. I don't want anything bad to happen to her baby, of course, but she already has 2 kids. I can't seem to even have 1 child that lives. All summer, I overheard her talking about her kids, when Jacob's loss was so fresh. 

I called Ted and told him about her and I started crying a little. He said things to try to make me feel better and I quickly got the tears under control.  About 30 minutes later, Sarah came to my desk with a box of timbits and asked if I want one. I took one and tried not to stare at her belly. I haven't seen her in months and then twice in one afternoon. An hour after that, I was on the second floor to get Brenda and Sarah comes through the door to drop something off on someone's desk. Will the next few months before she goes on leave be like this? 

Just the other day, I was thinking how nice it was that no one at work was pregnant. Now I have to avoid her. 

Tonight I was walking around the house with my belly showing a little and I got a little self-conscious when I saw Ted looking at it because I never tried to get rid of the remaining bump as I always figured I would be pregnant again soon. Ted said that he likes looking at it because his baby was there. It was so sweet. 

He also said that when I called to tell him about Sarah, he could hear how sad I was and his heart broke for me. I am so lucky to have him. 

We went out and bought a used X-box tonight. It is my birthday present. Now I can play Guitar Hero and Rock Band again. The hours pass quickly when I'm playing those games. I haven't played them since before I was pregnant. So no associations with Jacob there, except that I should be too busy to be playing them.


Becky said...

that is awesome that you were able to get a CD of those pictures!
Thinking of you...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the pictures.. and I am so glad you got the CD...

Sarita Boyette said...

Dana, this is such a bittersweet story. I am glad you have memories of Jacob when he was alive. I'm sorry he passed away. I love these sweet photos of him. xoxo

Elaine said...

Jacob is so cute! I love the one with his hand near his mouth too, like he's sucking his thumb. I'm so glad you thought to ask for those photos. I never even thought about it with Blaine and I imagine it's far too late now. It's good you have those memories.

mommy4boys said...

Sending you love. Thank you for sharing the pictures. I hate how there are so many bittersweet memories with this month.
I'll be home today after 4 if you want to talk.

butterflymom said...

Dana, thank you for sharing this story. I can only imagine how hard it was to write and think about. But you truly did an amazing job remembering what that day was like and the excitement you felt knowing your little Jacob was a boy. I'm glad you have those pictures of Jacob. I only wish I had more of Kennedy. I'll bed thinking of you lots in the upcoming weeks. Sending much love your way.

Drew's Parents said...

I love all of the pictures of Jacob, Dana! With so many angles, I can just imagine him dancing around. That day sounded so difficult...and yet another example of what an amazing mother you are. Jacob filled your heart and it is so apparent in your writings and reflections about him. He is such a special little boy surrounded by so much love <3 <3 <3