GROWING OUR FAMILY

I remember being a couple days late with my period, so I bought a pregnancy test. I took it that night, and it showed two lines. I was so excited! I was so excited and told my husband the following day. He was shocked, but he got used to the idea.

At eight weeks, I went to see my doctor, and I got to have an ultrasound. I could not wait to see my baby. Everything was perfect, and he had a nice strong heartbeat. The pregnancy was normal, and I experienced nausea and vomiting after eating certain foods. At twelve weeks, we went in for another ultrasound, and he was moving around and waving to us. He was so beautiful, and everything went well.

The following week, I experienced some spotting, and I was so worried. I went to my doctor, and she ordered an ultrasound to check viability. I was so nervous waiting for that ultrasound, but I was relieved when I heard my son’s heartbeat. They did find a small subchorionic hematoma, and I was so upset, as we had lost our second baby at fifteen weeks because of a subchorionic hematoma. Thankfully, this time the spotting stopped, and the hematoma went away.


LEARNING THE DIAGNOSIS

At twenty-two weeks, we went in for our anatomy scan, and everything looked great. At the end of the ultrasound, the radiologist said that I had low amniotic fluid. I asked what could cause that, and she asked if I had been drinking enough water. I told her yes, and she said that I may need another scan to check the fluid levels again in a week.

A week later, we went to the hospital to have a routine appointment with our obstetrician. Before we even sat down, the obstetrician said, “I’m sorry. This is not a good outcome for your baby.”

I could feel my son kicking as they told us that it appeared as though he did not have any kidneys. I was in complete shock. I could not believe what was being said. I felt like screaming. My heart sunk. I couldn’t believe this was happening.


CONFIRMING THE DIAGNOSIS

They told us that we would need additional scans to confirm the diagnosis, and I agreed. I wanted the next appointment to be as soon as possible to show that they were wrong about this diagnosis. I couldn’t get an appointment until the following week.

At the next appointment, we prayed that the scans would show that our doctor had been wrong. After the ultrasound, we were called into a room to meet with the doctor, who confirmed and further explained the diagnosis. He mentioned termination as an option, but I did not want to terminate. I could feel my son kicking and moving all the time.

This doctor recommended that we do an MRI scan to see if there was any kidney tissue or possibly a pelvic kidney. The first MRI was unsuccessful, and the images were not clear enough to provide any information.

At twenty-five weeks, I underwent an amnioinfusion, to provide more amniotic fluid, and another MRI. A week later the results from that MRI came back. We traveled to Brisbane for the results, praying for a miracle.

The results showed no kidneys or kidney tissue. I couldn’t believe it. We were told by specialists that our baby had no chance of survival outside the womb and that dialysis would not be successful. It was heartbreaking listening to the news. All I wanted was to bring my baby boy home to meet his big sister and brother and to watch him grow.


PREPARING TO MEET OUR SON

At thirty-seven weeks, we stayed at Ronald McDonald House as we waited for me to go into labor. During that time, a nurse organized a photographer to capture some beautiful maternity photos.

At thirty-eight weeks, I had an appointment with my midwife, and they checked his heartbeat. They made a recording of his heartbeat for us. I’ll never forget that while she was checking his heartbeat, I saw his fist come right out and move around my tummy. It was so beautiful.

At thirty-eight weeks and one day, my waters broke, but I had no contractions. I was then induced the next night. I recorded his movements, praying for a miracle.

Our beautiful boy, Jonah Ray, was born peacefully on the morning of March 8, 2019. He was such a beautiful boy, and he had the softest hands. Our other two kids came in to see him as well, and we spent five days with him thanks to the cold cot. We love and miss him so much. We wish things were different and that we were able to bring him home with us. 


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Every story is different, but collectively they remind us that we are not alone. In this spirit, we welcome submissions about your experience carrying to term.

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