"Come here, I have something to show you. Please don't be angry." These are the words I said to greet Jesse after work one afternoon in early June. His reaction to the four positive pregnancy tests I had lined up on the counter was one of laughter and happiness. "Are you serious?" he responds. Yep, we were just sent a surprise blessing and miracle all in one. You see, Jesse had a vasectomy back in April, and we thought that we were done with this phase in our life. Now granted, there's a 12-week window that we knew you needed to be out of to be fully sure the procedure worked. But after his procedure I realized maybe I wasn't quite ready to be finished, so we decided to take a chance and see what happens. Well, surprise!
We both were so excited and shared with our family and friends in July. Later in July, we found out through bloodwork results that all the genetic results came back clear, and that we be welcoming another little boy. We were both happy that he was healthy and I love my boys, so couldn't wait to add another, Baby Jude.
Our lives and pregnancy were turned upside down on September 18 when we went in for our 18-week ultrasound. As we went through Jude's anatomy scan everything was looking good, and we received confirmation that he was in fact a boy. Then the ultrasound tech got to the heart and was silent, no "looks good" or "there's his heart". We immediately knew something was wrong based on her response, but didn't know what. After waiting to see the doctor, she informed us that Jude had a single umbilical artery and also something was wrong with his heart, but they didn't know what. It was a blow to the gut for both of us.
The next week was spent worrying and praying that they were wrong. We were referred to a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist at Children's in Plano. She was wonderful and spent lots of time looking at all of his anatomy. She was able to confirm that something was in fact wrong with his heart, but couldn't tell us exactly what. We decided to go ahead with an amniocentesis that day just to confirm that there were no genetic abnormalities. This wasn't nearly as scary or as bad as I had pictured in my head. The needle is long and it did cramp some for the next couple of days, but it was over quickly. I knew it was worth it to find out as many answers as we could about Baby Jude and how we could help him. She then referred us to the Fetal Medicine Cardiologist at Children's in downtown Dallas who we were able to schedule a visit to a few weeks later.
The amount of anxiety and stress I felt during this time period is indescribable. Not knowing what was wrong and if it was something I did to cause it was soul-crushing. The grief and anger I felt knowing that this pregnancy would no longer be filled with happiness and joy was something that was extremely hard for me to overcome. There were many days filled with darkness during this time for both of us. We both knew that Jude was our little miracle from the beginning and just prayed he would continue to be so.