Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 17, 2010 - The last time seeing him alive

May 17, 2010 was a beautiful day. It was warm and sunny and I was happy. I was going to see my baby boy again and I couldn't wait.

Today is rainy and grey and I'm sad.

One year ago today, we saw Jacob alive for the last time. I was 18 weeks, 5 days.
I had my second anatomy scan. The first had been done on May 13th as a result of the bleeding. The 20 week scan was supposed to be done on May 26th, but when the IPS screen came back with a 1:280 chance of a neural tube defect, my OB moved it up by a week. If she hadn't, we wouldn't have seen Jacob alive again. We wouldn't have the amazing profile picture that we do.
I was a little nervous leading up to the appointment because I was scared that they might find something really wrong, given the scan last week, but mostly I just couldn't wait to see him again.

The appointment was at 12:50 pm and we were seen pretty quickly. It was done at the prenatal clinic at the hospital where Jacob was born, in the same room I would be in 2 weeks later to confirm that he was gone.
Their policy is that they do all the measurements and then the Dad can come in and see the baby. The ultrasound tech, Angie, was nice. She also seemed to be to go-to person for others in the department as someone came in 2 or 3 times with questions.
She started the ultrasound and measured my cervix then let me go to the bathroom. I had to get up twice more during the scan because my bladder was filling up again.  She said that my baby was moving around so much that she was having trouble getting all of the pictures she needed. She asked which one of us was hyper, me or my husband (me). I was so proud. I could see the screen the whole time, so I just lay there and enjoyed watching him.

Dr. A had arranged for Dr. M to come in during the ultrasound since I had the elevated AFP in the IPS test. He came in about 10-15 minutes after the ultrasound began and Angie showed him the baby's spine. He said that it looks great and I was so relieved. They said that the placenta was across the top and back and they saw a small pool of blood there, but they weren't concerned about it. I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. He had to leave to go into surgery, so Angie finished the rest of the scan. Ted was called in.  He tried to take a video of the ultrasound, but Angie said that it wasn't allowed. He got a short one though, which I treasure.

I wish that he had gotten more time to watch him, but Angie said she had to move on to the next patient as they were getting behind and she wanted me to come back when Dr. M was free again to let him see some more images of the baby.

We sat in the waiting room and went into the courtyard for a few minutes. Then we went to stand in the hall near the ultrasound room. There was another patient in there. Dr. M stepped out and said that it would just be a minute. I had to go to the bathroom again, so I did and when I stepped out, Dr. M was waiting for me and I felt a little bad but he didn't seem annoyed.

I lay back down and they started scanning again. They said that there seems to be something wrong with his left foot, which I was expecting. Then they said that they thought there might be a problem with his left hand and I felt horrible. I worried about my poor baby....what was wrong with his hand, how much would it impact his life? They kept trying to get a good look and had me change position, but Jacob put his hand under his head and they couldn't see it at all. I lay on my left side and that is when she got his profile picture, which I look at every day. It is the only thing we have to really know the shape of his face before he died. We saw right away that he had his Dad's lips, and my long neck and cheekbones.

They said that his hand was clenched when they could see it and he never unclenched it. I asked if everything else looked ok - brain, spine, organs and they said yes, so that was a relief. I asked if his hand and foot could be a sign of a chromosomal abnormality and he said that there were no other indications that he had that, but I should go to the High Risk Clinic at Mount Sinai. I asked him to make the referral since Dr. A was on vacation for another 2 days and I wanted to get in as soon as possible. Angie told him that I had already waited a week for that ultrasound since getting the IPS test results. I liked her for that, she recognized the worry and anxiety we had already been living with.

Dr. M asked me twice if I had had an amnio (I didn't), which worried me. He asked if we had any questions and I asked if he has club feet and Dr. M said 'not exactly' since it was only affecting one foot. He called his office from the room and left a message to make the referral.

Right before Ted and I left the room, we asked Angie if the baby was a boy or girl. She asked if we were sure we wanted to know and I said yes. She said she thought the baby is a boy and I was glad that she said the same thing as the ultrasound tech last week.

We walked down the hall, turned the corner and walked towards the entrance. I barely held it together until we got outside and started crying as soon as we did. Ted kept hugging me and telling me that it was OK and that we could deal with whatever the problem was. I just couldn't stop crying and said how unfair it was that our innocent little baby has to have a problem and likely has to have surgery when he is born.

We got to the car and I called Mom and Dad and told them. I kept crying while on the phone, but said that the news wasn't that bad. Laurie called a few minutes later to see how it went and I cried some more and she was also reassuring.

We got home and I answered Jessie's email, telling her what happened and she replied with reassurances and said that it doesn't matter, that she already loves him.
It was a long night. 

Here are some of the pictures from May 17, 2010. I got them on June 7th when I went to the film library at the hospital and asked for all of them.
I'm not sure what is in this picture, but I like the heart shape on the right. 

His perfect spine

A perfect heartbeat

Perfect right leg and foot. 

His left hand.

His body....and a full bladder? 

The profile picture that I look at everyday. Daddy's lips,
Mommy's cheekbones and long neck. 


Michele said...

He's beautiful... Hugs...

Emily said...

I'm jealous of all the fluid around Jacob. We can never really get that clear a shot because of how low fluid I've always had. With Aidan we couldn't even see his head because he was so wedged in there. With Acorn we got one nice profile shot around 18 weeks, but I doubt we'll get anymore until he or she is born unless a miracle occurs and I build up more fluid.
I'm glad you got to see him that last day. I also wonder if they ever suspected anything was wrong with Jacob's placenta? I had a high AFP level with both Aidan and with Acorn, and both have been attributed to my malformed placentas in each case. In absense of any physical abnormalities with the baby, a high AFP can point to a placenta that is not functioning well. If you'd made it to Mt. Sinai's high risk clinic that's what they might have been checking for. Just thought I'd let you know.

The Wellman's said...


Drew's Parents said...

So precious! The picture of his spine is adorable with his little bottom in the air. <3 I am so glad that Ted took that video.

Becky said...

I love that you got a video of him moving, even if it is only for a second, what a great memento of him:)