I feel like a blogging machine! I guess this is what happens when I go too long without writing. It’s almost like a cleansing for me, it feels like a nice long shower after walking 20 some odd miles in 90 degree heat. But I digress.
We had our 20 week ultrasound some weeks ago. This time (because my kiddos never have perfect ultrasounds), Fletch seems to have enlarged kidneys. Not alarmingly so, but enough that I was able to go for a follow up around 28 weeks or so. Of course being the crazy person that I am I researched everything having to do with Hydronephrosis and asked one of my friends who went through a similar thing. Everything I was read/told said there was very little to worry about.
Here’s the thing though, once you’ve lost a child, there is no faith in the Universe. There is no way to tell myself that it’s all going to be ok. Panic takes over. You go into worst case scenario mode, which is exactly what I did. It must have been so much easier to have babies before Google. I had to turn off the tablet and walk away and spend some time with Darcy to clear my mind.
At my 28 week ultrasound, I was nervous and pretty much badgered the poor tech, who would tell me nothing. I cursed myself for not bringing my glasses to try to read the numbers and measurements that she was typing in. Fletcher was also not so happy to have his picture taken and wouldn’t fully cooperate.
The problem here was that after my scan, they said that the doctor would call me within a week with results, sooner if there was an issue. Seriously??? Meanwhile at home Darcy was very sick with the stomach flu, so I was distracted for a few hours until the phone began ringing. It was the doctors office-to tell me that they had my bloodwork back and wanted me to take more Iron. I almost killed the nurse over the phone and told her that I was in full blown panic mode about my ultrasound and really wanted to know if they’d heard anything. She said she’d get back to me.
Meanwhile, on the other line my midwife was calling. I got that message and blanched. I knew it was not going to be great news if she was calling that soon. She said Fletch had slight Hydronephrosis, really nothing that would harm him in any way and they could do a follow up ultrasound in a month. Well, after asking her 100 questions, she decided it would be better for me to get a level 2 ultrasound with the PICU at UMASS.
I had to ask, was it UMASS Memorial or UMASS University? Parker and I still haven’t been to the hospital where we last held Benny and had to say good-bye. We go to extreme lengths to avoid even driving near the place. Thankfully it was Memorial, so I agreed and we were set to go for yet another ultrasound in a week.
I felt much calmer after talking to the midwife and honestly a little sheepish. Here I am all pro natural/zero intervention/no medical birth and I’m agreeing to every medical test in the universe over here. This is how I’m different now. This is where my lack of faith comes in. Everything isn’t always ok, it doesn’t always work out.
So Parker and I went over to UMASS Memorial to have ultrasound #5 and meet with the Neonatal doctor. I have to say that the ultrasound tech was amazing. She looked at everything and was so encouraging the entire time. She kept saying ‘looks good’ which made me breathe easier. She took some amazing pictures and to my surprise, Fletcher was calm throughout the process. He had his foot in his mouth at one point and of course his hands up by his face.
The most fascinating part was the 3-D. I’ve never had a level 2 ultrasound, so I was completely unprepared when the tech played around with the pictures and came up with a face. It took me a moment to realize what I was seeing, but it looked exactly like Benny. I started crying and Parker stood up to try to see what I was looking at. We were both blown away. Similar nose, lips, hand up by the head and it even looked as if he had a mohawk starting. This was something that we always knew could be possible, but seeing it was something else.
The doctor came in and said he was fine, everything looked good. He said that if we were over in Europe that they wouldn’t even consider his kidney size to be an issue. Worst case for this kiddo is another ultrasound in a month and maybe a follow up once he’s born. That’s it.
So it got me thinking, were all these ultrasounds a warning for us that he would come out looking like Benny? I’ve made my peace with it now and actually expect it. I know he will be very different regardless of what he looks like. I’ve been trying to prepare others so that it’s not a total shock when he’s born. We have another ultrasound, I will be curious to see if we get a better look without his foot and hand near his face.
Here’s the thing, regardless of what Fletcher looks like, he’s mine. He will never be a replacement for Benny, he’ll be his brother. They might look alike, but it will never be the same again. I’m not the same mom that I was. If I could, this little boy would be wrapped in bubble wrap until he’s at least 30. I will be that crazy helicopter mom and I’m still not sure how I even feel about that. Only time will tell I suppose.