I’ve created a new page here at Margs for Mommy titled, “On a Serious Note.” However, I have yet to post one blog to the page since I put it there. So today I put the humor aside briefly and share a serious side. It doesn’t pop up often, but when it does I hope others will find it beneficial.
A year ago today I was five months pregnant with Trey, our second son, and scared to death. I had found out earlier that summer that Trey had a very rare condition called gastroschisis. The condition was discovered as my husband and I sat anxiously awaiting for the nurse to tell us the sex of our baby at a three month ultra sound. Instead of hearing the anticipated, “it’s a boy,” we listened as she went through the body parts: “Here’s the hand, and here is the mouth, and this, this is what we call gastroschisis.” And just like that my entire world changed.
She continued, “gastroschisis is a very rare condition where the intestines are actually growing on the outside of the infant’s body through a defect in the abdominal wall.” WHAT??? This could not be farther from what we had expected to hear when we arrived that morning. I honestly could barely comprehend what was happening.
Further explanation continued as I lay crying hysterically on the table. The nurse left the room briefly and came back with a large medical book in which I noticed she had purposely placed paper over the photos of a gastroschisis baby upon birth. I assume she realized that these photos would be more than I could handle at the time, and she was exactly right. Continually she repeated statement that, “this is something we can fix, of all the bad news I ever deliver to parents this is one of the easiest because I know your baby will be fine.” She explained he would need surgery upon birth and would have to be in the hospital for an extended period of time to recover after that surgery.
Knowing we would want to learn more about what we were about to face she offered us information on various websites to visit while strongly encouraging us to stick to those sites and not just Google gastroschisis. Well of course I didn’t listen to that advice. Google gastroschisis I did, and some of the information I found took the wind right out of me.
It is that particular instance that has encouraged me to write this story. If there is ever another parent out there that is delivered the same bad news as we were delivered that day, and they too run to their computers to Google this new word in their vocabulary, I pray that my story pops up. I want them to know, EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY! These next few months will be some of the hardest of your lives, but you are lucky, not only is this a fixable situation, it’s one that will leave you so much more appreciative of the gift God has given you.
My Google experience did in fact lead me to some encouraging stories, but many more discouraging ones. In hindsight, I think that’s just the nature of the situation. When things turn out perfectly fine I would imagine people are less likely to share that information with the world. But when things don’t, one may feel more inclined to write about it.
I spent only one afternoon reading these stories of strangers who had been in my shoes. After that I decided to leave it in God’s hands. I would listen to the advice from my doctor’s, do everything I could to remain positive and healthy, be the best mom I could to my then 2 year old, and be thankful for the gift I was to receive. In all honesty, I think my entire outlook on life changed during this pregnancy and not one time did I ever utter the words, “why me?” Instead I moved forward with the strength in the thought of “why not me?”
After taking a few days to comprehend what was happening, my husband and I decided that we would only share our unborn child’s condition with a few close loved ones. I just couldn’t bear the thought of people feeling sorry for us because of what we had to face. Having a baby is a joyous occasion and I planned to keep it that way.
This blog is just the start of our journey. Over the next few months I hope to continue posting about the remainder of my pregnancy with Trey, the breakdowns that occurred during that pregnancy, the bed rest, the preparation for what was to come, the birth of Trey, the surgery, the recovery, my stay at the Ronald McDonald House, how we juggled Trey’s hospital stay with our two year old, the support, the tears, and the overwhelming joy. But for now I’ll just sign off with saying, if Google brought you here please have it bring you back. You aren't alone and I hope I can be of some help.