We found out we were expecting our second child just a few days before our daughter’s third birthday. We were so excited to finally be expecting again! We decided it was time to sell our house and start building our dream house for our growing family. Our home sold quickly and we had some gracious friends that allowed us to live with them for a few months.
We had our 20-week ultrasound while my husband was out of town for an extended period of time for work. I was so excited to find out the gender with my husband over FaceTime.
The visit lasted 3 grueling hours. The first ultrasound technician took what seemed to be forever. She was rather quiet, but when she said, ” We just like to take extra images of the heart,” I knew something was wrong. I kept calm and told myself that whatever it was, I was going to love this child no matter what. She brought in a second ultrasound technician to “find the things that she couldn’t find.” After a while, they said the doctor herself was going to come in and do the scan. I quickly became nervous as it shouldn’t have taken 3 people to do an anatomy scan.
The doctor came in and told me that they found a series of indicators associated with Trisomy 18. She started from the head and went to the toes and listed everything that she saw: choroid plexus cyst on the brain, cleft lip and pallet, complex heart defects, one kidney, one umbilical artery, gender defect, and clinched fists. She asked if I was familiar with Trisomy 18 and what it meant. I said no, although I knew in my heart she was going to say what I feared. She proceeded to tell me that it meant the baby was “incompatible with life.”
I did my best to hold it together since my daughter was there with me. The genetic counselor came in afterward to talk about my options and the further tests that I could take to verify the findings.
When I went out to my car, I called my husband so that we could open up the envelope together that revealed the gender. We were having a boy! And then I proceeded to tell him everything that the doctor said. I felt like my world was shattered.
We opted out of the amniocentesis because we knew that we were going to love our son no matter the outcome. We did do a cfDNA blood test (Harmony Test) which came back >99% high risk for T18. The results from the blood test along with the consistent ultrasound findings were enough to convince us of the reality of it all, but we still chose to be joyful and be hopeful as we believe in a God of Miracles.
At 41 weeks, our precious baby boy, Jonesy Luke Gray, was born on February 28, 2017 at 6:53am at 5lbs 4oz. He was absolutely perfect to us! We chose palliative care so that we could spend as much time as we could with him. He was very content on my chest, but seemed to regress if he was disturbed in any way. With the help of some medicine to ease his anxiety, he lived for about 8 hours before he went to heaven. We were all sleeping so peacefully when he passed.
We were very thankful for the time that we got with him; it was more than what we anticipated and we wouldn’t have changed anything about that day.
Our faith has carried us through the pregnancy and will continue to carry us as we face our tomorrows. It will never get any easier, but we are constantly reminded of the importance and purpose of baby Jonesy’s life.