So I was going through some things today, and came across a journal that my mom had given me months ago. It had only one entry in it, which I had written 2 weeks before Ava baby was born:
September 22, 2009
Dear baby girl,
It is your Grandma Cathy's idea that I keep this journal for you; what a great idea it is too, because it has been quite an adventure carrying you and waiting for you to join our family.
You have quite the personality already! When we went in for the 20 week ultrasound, you were playing games with us, or maybe you were feeling non-cooperative. Either way, the sonographer tried for about 1/2 hour to poke and prod you into moving until she just gave up. So we set up an appt. to look at your heart and brain @ 24 weeks.
We were so excited though; we were able to see your cute little face, arms and legs. And we couldnt stop smiling about the fact that we were having a beautiful little girl!!
Well, we came back @ 24 weeks, and the sonographer seemed a little perplexed. The OB then came in and told us that it looked like there was an anomaly within the heart, and referred us to a perinatologist to get a more specialized opinion. So a few weeks later we were able to see Dr. Schemmer, who confirmed that there was a heart defect, and who then referred us to cardiologist.
Dr. Su was the cardiologist, and he agreed that there was a heart defect, and, incidentally, confirmed my diagnosis (I had been researching the Internet) of "Tetralogy of Fallot". But, overall, your heart defect was not terribly severe, and optimally could be managed with only one surgery, which could be pushed back hopefully until six months of age.
Now all of this should have been quite reassuring to me, because the heart defect was not that severe, and the outlook of the cardiologists' was optimistic.
But I had these feelings that something else was wrong. When I had met with the perinatologist, I had felt the Spirit telling me that yes, there would be some complications, and there would be difficult things ahead. So when the sunny prognosis was given, it didnt match those feelings I had, and it felt uncomfortable, or wrong.
Well, we went back to the perinatologista few weeks later, and Dr. Schemmer found that your brain ventricles were right on the upper levels of size, and he spoke to us about chromosomal abnormalities, like Down's Syndrome, etc.
We decided to go forward with an amniocentesis, which tests for these abnormalities. Our only concern was that if you had a severe chromosomal syndrome, then we would re-evaluate whether you should have to go through the trauma of open-heart surgery, if your life expectancy would be a small period of time.
During this time, your daddy and I were finishing up work, trying to tie up all the loose ends that come with moving. We moved to Logan just a few days after the amnio so we still didnt know. The hardest part is, and continues to be, all the unknowns. The patience and faith required to to continue on, although the future remains so unpredictable is often more patience and faith than I seem to have.
Well, the results of the amnio came back--astonishingly positive. There was no indication of any kind of chromosomal disorder. So once again, there I was, grateful for your health, but confused as to why I felt those feelings so strongly; those warnings of my need to have faith and be strong.
So since we moved, I have had all new doctors. Dr. Andres found that you were very small, less than three pounds, while you were only 6-7 weeks away from delivery. He also noted that you hadn't been able to have variability in your heart rate, meaning that it stayed at a constant pace, even when they tried to startle you, or make you active. Your brain ventricles were also increasing in size.
I think that i will have to add to this saga later. But I want you to know that I love you and I am so excited for you to join our family. You have a reason to be here, and I believe that God sent you here to do a work. I love you, and think of you scores of times throughout the day. I have already cried over you, and feel very special that I get to be your Mama.
I will always love you for always,