Pregnancy is supposed to be a joyous time in a woman’s life. It is supposed to be…but sometimes it is not. We see images, videos, and other media that teach us that pregnancy and becoming a mom is a happy time. For those of us who get lucky enough to experience it, we never think about what it might be like to have a sick baby.
Finding out I was pregnant was a wonderful time. My husband and I had been married 2 years and being a mom was what I wanted more than anything. We shared the news with family and friends and I began to plan…
At my routine 4 month ultrasound, the day I was to find out if I was having a boy or girl, the tech saw something (or didn’t see something) that was concerning. She could only count three chambers in my baby’s heart. Of course this was very serious, but my doctor tried to keep me calm and he explained that it might just be “their equipment.” He scheduled an appointment for me in another facility 2 hours away because their ultrasound equipment would give better pictures.
The hours and days that lapsed between receiving this news and the appointment were torture. I made the decision that I would not share this information with my family yet; not even my husband. Why should I cause them to worry if there was a chance that this was just an “issue with equipment?” So I kept this secret and I began praying for my baby that I now knew was my son.
The day of my appointment arrived and I made the 2 hour drive with one of my friends who insisted she come along on my “shopping” trip (which I had to disclose was not really a shopping trip). The ultrasound there confirmed a problem with Evan’s heart and they decided to do an amniocentesis to check for genetic abnormalities.
The next big task was to share the news with my husband and our families. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Family and friends began praying for my son who now had a name; Evan.
Our first visit with Evan’s pediatric cardiologist was difficult. He was unable to tell us much about Evan’s problem because he was still so small. I left that day knowing this:
- My son’s heart could correct itself.
- My son may have to have heart surgery right after birth.
- My son may have to be flown to a bigger city and have a heart transplant.
- My son might not survive.
I accepted baby showers as an act of faith; faith that God would allow my baby to live. I prepared a room for him as another act of faith.
This is where I stayed stuck until I was over 8 months through my pregnancy. Finally, the pediatric cardiologist told me that Evan’s was a classic “text-book” heart defect. They had seen this before and they knew what to do about it. He would have to have a series of surgeries throughout his life and possibly a transplant as a much older adult, but he would live.
He would live.