Sunday, March 14, 2010

She Got the Call Today

She got the call today
one out of the grey
and when the smoke cleared
it took her breath away
She said she didn't believe
it could happen to me
I guess we are all
just one phone call from our knees

It was an early morning start for me. I was tired and nervous. I was almost too tired to feel my nerves but I was so nervous that no level of exhaustion could quite wipe away the steely feeling my nerves left in my stomach, tightly knotted and leaving my stomach feeling a little queasy.
This pregnancy had left me quite worn out and the travel schedule with work didn't help the overwhelming waves of exhaustion that caused me to crash down onto my couch each evening as I listened to Cliff give Ethan a bath as I drifted off to sleep.
But this morning was a special morning and also one that left me quite anxious. I was traveling to the city to help lead a training class for new associates. I was insanely nervous at the idea of speaking in front of a group, but was equally passionate about the importance of this training and this created enough drive for me to try to push my nerves aside. This was my first time to help lead the training and I was not as familiar with the materials and the flow of the class as I would like but I was determined to do it with passion and enthusiasm.
The fun part of leading the training course was that it was themed to make it more enjoyable. The theme was Space and I got to pick from two costumes to wear upon my arrival. The options were Obi Won Kenobi and Princess Leia and with my ever growing belly, I quickly determined that the flowing white robe of the Princess would be the most comfortable route to go. I went to the bathroom and put on the over sized white robe over my clothes and adjusted the cinnamon roll wig on my head, making sure to secure the cinnamon buns over each ear with a bobby pin.
I went back to the conference room and helped to finish prepping the room and joked around with a few people that worked at the business office. Just before class was set to begin I looked at my phone which I had already put into silent mode and saw that I missed a call around 7:50 am. I thought that it seemed very odd and checked my voicemail to find a message from my OB/GYN. The message asked me to call him back as soon as I could. The nerves that were already present in my stomach began to flutter a little bit faster but I pushed that feeling aside and told myself he probably just wanted to discuss my next appointment. I called his office back and the nurse said he was in with a patient but he would call me back. No sooner was I headed back to the training room and my phone began to ring again.
I went quickly back to the little kitchen and paced nervously as the Dr began to explain to me that something came back out of the ordinary on the ultrasound image. Something was wrong with our baby. I sat down at the little round table in my princess leia costume with the white robes spilling around my dangling feet and the cinnamon bun wig itching my head and nervously took notes as he explained to me that our baby had stomach organs or intestines growing outside her stomach. I wrote down what he was telling me as accurately as I could, trying to spell out words like omphalocele and gastroshisis so I could look them up later. I was too shocked to asked questions and my doctor seemed to have prepped for this because he calmly explained that it was too early to know what we were dealing with and he had already set up an appointment with a specialist for me. I hung up with the Dr and sat at the table for a moment in a daze. I leaned my face into my hands to try to hold back the hot tears from my tired eyes but they spilled over and unto the sleeves of the princess leia tunic. I knew there was no way that I could stay at work and tried to put on a brave face so that I could face my co-workers and let them know I was leaving to go home.
I walked around the corner to tell the Admin that something was wrong and I had to go home and as I passed another smaller conference room one of the associates there caught my eye. After I quickly explained to the admin that something was wrong with the baby and I needed to go home and headed back down the same hall, the associate in the conference room stopped me. Even in my shocked state I knew that I did not want to be rude, even though I really didn't want to make small talk with anyone.
"Hey Micayla!" They exclaimed boisterously. "How are you?!" I tried to control my voice so that the emotions wouldn't spill forth. "Okay." I said making eye contact quickly and looking away. " Geez," He joked " You are acting like something bad happened or something." I was floored at this and didn't know what to say. I don't even remember my response or how I got to my car and made the hour drive home. I spent the rest of the day in shock and an immense sense of dread as I researched as much information online as I could.
I didn't understand how this could be happening to me, TO US. I cried out to God, prayers and questions swirling in my head as the helpless tears rolled down my check over and over. This would be the beginning of many many days and weeks and months of tears and I would soon learn what it would be like to have crying become a part of my daily routine- so much a part of it that I swore off makeup in the coming months rather than reapply it several times a day.
And so our difficult journey had begun- with one simple phone call- 3 years ago on this day. March 14, 2007

Friday, March 12, 2010

The start of a journey

Three years ago, on this date March 12 2007, it was a Monday. A sunny Monday and a hectic Monday at work. Cliff was taking half a day off from work at his job in the city because we were having a second level ultrasound for our second child. Somehow we managed to schedule the ultrasound for around 17 or 18 weeks which we found out later was about 2 or 3 weeks earlier than what is the norm. I am not sure how we managed to get into the ultrasound a few weeks early but given the prognosis we recieved a few days after the ultrasound I am glad that someone somewhere messed up on the scheduling. I like to look back and think that God had a hand in that mixup. I had received an ultrasound or 2 before this date, but they had been basic ultrasounds on the doctors old machine at his office. This was the official level 2 ultrasound that would tell us if we were having a boy or a girl!
I managed to leave the office just in time to make it over to the ultrasound room at the hospital and as I drove over there my mind was preoccupied with the thought that I really wanted to have a girl but I reminded myself over and again that I would love a boy too and not to be disappointed if that's what we were having.
The ultrasound technician was very pleasant and seemed very knowledgeable. She spent a long time looking at some of the images and said she just couldn't tell if it was a boy or a girl. She even called a colleague into the room to look at the ultrasound screen. They seemed to take a lot of images of the babies midsection and the ultrasound tech assured us it was because she had a hard time capturing it just right. I began to grow a little nervous but remained oblivious to any problems. I was so happy to see images of our child's face and foot which they printed out for us to keep. I left the ultrasound disappointed that we wouldn't know if we were going to have a boy or a girl for the rest of the pregnancy( unless we could talk the doctor into another ultrasound which I was already plotting in my head as we left) but very happy to see my little one. We would not receive the full ultrasound report for a few days yet, so our world remained worry free and well adjusted.
It seems ironic to me when I look back at the dates that we had Faith's level 2 ultrasound on March 12th and received the news of complications from the ultrasound report on March 14th- with National Trisomy 13 awareness day smack in the middle of those two days on March 13th. But I will share more about the day I received that call from the Dr on March 14th in a few days.
Today, I will just think about the moment that I first saw my daughters face(via ultrasound) and remained innocent to the knowledge of her difficult journey- our difficult journey- ahead.