So, where do I begin…. In the words of Julie Andrews ‘Let’s start from the very beginning… a very good place to start’.
This Monday just gone (Jan 26th), Paulibear and I set off to have our 20 week scan, caught up in excitement and anticipation to see our growing baby bear, and to find out whether we were going to be having a little girl or a little boy.
As some background information, we were also a little anxious, due to the fact that Paulibear was born with a rather rare and complex congenital heart condition. He has been a brave bear since the day he was born himself, fighting against all odds and proving himself to be somewhat of a medical marvel by making his way through the emotional and physical trauma of numerous surgeries, recoveries and at times, phenomenal uncertainties.
Due to this history, we were aware of the possibilities of our baby bear having to face similar complications. So, upon arriving for the scan on Monday, my own heart was beating a little rapidly and when our little person came up on the screen, I was suddenly aware of just how much was hanging in the balance.
Our sonographer checked baby from head to toe (literally) before finally honing in on the heart. To me, it looked like a little butterfly flapping away, and I was so entranced by its flutterings, that I forgot where I was for a while. Then… I realised that we had been looking at the heart for a long time…. and just as I was about to ask, the sonographer tentatively said ‘I’m not sure…. but….. I think we may have a tiny hole in the heart…. but I’m not sure’.
Well, both our hearts stopped for a second and as we exchanged worried glances, the sonographer double and triple checked the screen. Finally, she moved on and went about taking measurements, before referring us to be seen for a review aka a second opinion at St Thomas’s Hospital in London for a more in depth scan of baby’s heart in 3 days time.
Cue 72 hours of pure anguish. Lack of sleep, wandering aimlessly around rooms, keeping busy with bits of work and menial tasks and basically, functioning on auto pilot. One would cry as the other one held, then we would switch places. It was awful. As holes in the heart (or VSD’s as they are technically known) are seen as being quite common, and also fairly easy to treat, one might wonder why we were so affected. But we had been told that a more in depth scan could show even more complications and defects and as I said before, with Daddy Bear’s history, we couldn’t help but think the worst. Nothing was certain, and as someone who hates to be left sitting on the fence, not knowing which way things could go… it was just so hard to keep balanced and wait and see.
So, yesterday, Thursday (Jan 29th), was our review scan. We made our way to London in the car, trundling through traffic and playing our favourite songs, each quietly contemplating the what if’s and if only’s. We arrived at the Evelina, St Thomas’s children’s department, and were called in for our fetal echo without too long a wait.
Up came our baby on the screen, arms and legs wriggling away, and then a whole squirm away once the probe was ran along my tummy. And there was the little butterfly shape again, beating away with gusto, making my own beat fast again. We all sat in silence, the sonographer obviously needing to concentrate and listen in where needed. It felt like an age and again, I found myself zoning out in wonder at this tiny creature on the screen, marvelling at the fact it was all going on inside my mound of a tummy.
Finally, we heard ‘Well… to me, all looks rather good to be honest. I’m happy with that, no signs of any problems. But I will just get a second opinion.’
I felt like I had been holding an elephant on my shoulders for 3 days and that with those words, this man had suddenly made it all disappear. I was so happy I was numb! A second specialist was brought in, a lady this time, and she had a good nosey around too and came to the same conclusion, baby bear’s heart is fine! All four chambers are present, arteries are working great, valves and structures all look sound.
Upon reflection, the past week has been a complete roller coaster. Some may react in anger and believe that the first sonographer on Monday worried us unnecessarily, others may wonder why we worried at all if the initial diagnosis was so uncertain…. but all of that is fluff to us now. As Disney says, ‘Let it Go’. I regularly ponder that these sorts of situations are sent to all of us for a reason. They build strength, they help to create character and they also remind us of what is most important in life…. Our health, and each other. I couldn’t have made it through this week without Paulibear, not to mention our families, some friends who we chose to burden with the worry, more out of blurting it out rather than planning it out… and lastly, even our cats Winnie and Fred, who snuggled up to us in bed to provide comfort on the sleepless nights and made us laugh in the midst of all the gloom by taking turns to feverishly guard the fish tank… shall have to post a video of said antics at some point, its hilarious.
And… as for our baby bear…. would you like to know who we are expecting?
|Our Baby Boy Bear|
|Baby Boy Bear’s Foot….. The sonographer and I agreed that baby’s feet are the ultimate in cuteness so she gave me a picture of his feet to swoon over. By the size of them, its no wonder he’s been giving me pretty strong kicks!|