We’ve started this blog for two reasons. 1.) To help keep you, our family and friends, informed as we learn more and more about our girl. 2.) To help us document Audrey’s life and have a place to refer back to.
It might be helpful to start back at the beginning a bit. Rewind to the end of January this year. Chris and I were packed and ready for a trip to Dallas with friends. Something we had planned for several months and were really looking forward to. I had a regularly scheduled appointment the day we were planning to leave town (Thursday, January 30th). I was 19 weeks along and was going in for my mid-pregnancy anatomy ultrasound. Because we were leaving town, Chris needed to finish his work day in OKC while I went to the appointment in Stillwater. I asked my parents to be there with me for the fun of seeing the show.
Going into the appointment I felt a tad anxious. About a week prior I noticed that my “bump” wasn’t much of one at all. Also, I remember vividly that I felt big brother Cooper kick for the first time around 17 weeks, but hadn’t felt anything yet this time around. Nothing too alarming but enough to at least make me wonder.
The ultrasound began with my friend and favorite sonographer, Sara Sheets. I asked a series of silly questions, like “She has two legs right?” Sara gently smiled while confirming her legs were both there – yay! At one point I really started to notice how cramped Audrey was. She was curled up in a tight ball and looked uncomfortable to say the least. I knew something looked “off” but wasn’t sure until I heard my dad ask, “Is the fluid level okay?”
It wasn’t. It was low – it was about a 9, which is considered the low side of normal. It explained why she looked so cramped, she was. It also played a role in why I wasn’t feeling her move. I felt guilty, instantly. I felt like it was my fault, that I hadn’t been drinking enough fluids to stay hydrated and it caused this. I’m really not good about remembering to drink, plus I was careful not to drink so much water, etc. that I aggravated my kidney. So, the guilt reared it’s ugly head. Meanwhile…the ultrasound went on but Sara, as hard as she tried, just couldn’t get the appropriate measurements she needed. We left knowing I needed to focus on hydrating and perhaps come back in a week to attempt the ultrasound again. I waited for Dr. Karns to see me and as you can imagine, I threw back a 20 oz. cup of water as fast as I could…
It took longer than usual for Dr. Karns to see me – I remember saying to my mom, “I think something else is wrong – something we don’t know yet.” Then I saw Dr. Karns and Sara walk around the hallway from his office to my dad’s. At that moment, I knew. I knew something was wrong. My dad was seeing a patient so I saw them walk back around. I was called back, a nurse took my weight and blood pressure. My weight hadn’t changed. There aren’t many times in your life you WANT to gain weight, this time I was. Dr. Karns came in – I prayed I wouldn’t cry. He said the low fluid was a bit of a concern but that there was something else. Part of the measurement that they take at this stage is of the head and brain. Sara went to measure Audrey’s cerebellum and she knew something wasn’t right. Dr. Karns said he didn’t know exactly that the problem was but it concerned him enough to send me to a perinatologist at Mercy in Oklahoma City. He pulled some strings and got me an appointment the very next morning with Dr. John Stanley.
The moment those words came out of his mouth, that she may have something wrong with her brain…her brain, I felt my heart start to crack. I cried gently – so did he. This doctor who has known me my entire life, his son is a lifelong friend to me and was the best man to Chris in our wedding, this man who brought our own son into this world…this man had to tell me one of the hardest things I have ever heard.
I left his office and went straight to my dad’s. He wasn’t in there, neither was my mom. I sobbed silently. My dad came in first…I sobbed more in his arms. It actually reminded me of being hurt when I was little – I felt so small yet protected. My mom, she had Cooper with her bless her heart, she juggled me and my son and intercepted his questions as they started coming.
Chris called for an update, knowing none of this. I couldn’t even speak. I literally couldn’t muster the words. I handed the phone to my dad and went in another room. I couldn’t stand to hear it again. Chris made a quick decision to cancel our Dallas trip and he would head to Stillwater right then to be with me.
The rest of the day and night, our minds ran non-stop. Our 9am appointment the next day could not come soon enough. We prayed, cried, talked and attempted to sleep. We didn’t have a clue what would come next…never did we imagine it might get worse.
I will go into more detail in the next post, here I wanted to give you an idea of that day, a day we’ll never forget.