March 3rd, 2017. I can never forget the day. My hubby had returned from a month in Belgium the day before, and we were so incredibly excited and nervous to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. Prior to the week of this very important ultrasound, we were so sure that we were having a girl. Fast forward to the week of the ultrasound, I phoned my hubby and said in dismay, “babe… I’m starting to think it’s a boy.”
In my mind, it was perhaps the worst scenario ever. (Don’t judge me lol).
The day of the ultrasound, we entered the room and the ultrasound tech began the examination. When we first saw the image of our baby, [he] was curled up into a little ball, facing downwards. He had the most beautiful spine I’d ever seen. …not that I’ve seen many spines.
Then, at last, came the big reveal: it was a boy! Honestly, I was like “yay?” Not overjoyed or anything. My dreams of adorable little dresses, shoes, and headbands completely dissipated. I’d been raised by a single mother and had next to no experience with the male persuasion (friends or otherwise) before my hubby. It was one of those “what am I going to do with a BOY??” scenarios.
Wrapped up in these emotions, we failed to see that the tech was really focusing on our little baby’s heart. Then came those dreaded words: something may be wrong with your baby’s heart.
We were referred to a special fetal cardiologist, but we were so positive that nothing was wrong. The exam was long and boring, and afterward, the doctor looked at us and said words like: hypoplastic left heart syndrome, Shone’s Complex, multiple surgeries, developmental delays, low quality of life. And then: “I have to ask you if you would like to terminate the pregnancy.”
With tears in my eyes, I told him that I would absolutely not be terminating the pregnancy. But it took us a while to accept that our little one may have a special heart. From that point on, it was a long, long, painful journey to Braveheart’s birth. But a rewarding one nonetheless.
During this time, I heard so many encouraging stories about parents receiving scary diagnoses during their pregnancies, but with everything turning out fine in the end. Unfortunately for us, Braveheart’s condition became more of a reality when he was outside of the womb. Has anyone else ever received a scary diagnosis for their unborn child or family member?
Thank you for reading!