I found out I was pregnant on March 26, 2008. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to get home and tell my husband Josh. We had tried for so long and with two previous miscarriages, it was great news. He was as surprised as I was, though it was so hard, we wanted to be happy about the news, but at the same time we were afraid that it was not going to work out again. Everything was going great. Every appointment that came and went was a relief to us, as we got further and further than the times before. We finally thought this is the one, we are finally going to have our baby.
On July 2nd we went for our ultrasound. We couldn’t wait to see our little one. During the exam they became concerned. The ultrasound showed our baby had clenched hands, clubbed feet and an enlarged kidney. Our Doctor wanted to send us for another ultrasound where they would be able to get a better look. We went on July 8th and they found the same problems, along with a small hole in our babies heart. They were concerned that these abnormalities could be signs of trisomy, which one, they were still unsure, though an amnio would tell us. We decided to have an amnio done so we would know exactly which chromosome disorder our baby had, and to see what lied ahead for us.
Waiting the two days for the results was very hard. Josh and I went through so many different emotions. We received the call on July 10th and the FISH results showed that our baby had Trisomy 18. We were crushed. How could this be happening to us? This chromosome disorder was incompatible with life. We were given the options to terminate the pregnancy or to carry to term. Of course we decided to continue on, this still was our baby no matter what. I met with my doctor the next day and told him our decision. Josh and I had decided we wanted to know the sex of our baby, so we could decide on a name. Our doctor told us we were having a boy! Josh was happy he, had guessed it was a boy. I let him pick out his name. We named him Bryce Edward.
The next months to follow would be tough for us. Our family and close friends were amazing. They supported us in every decision Josh and I made, never questioning our decisions. It was hard when people would talk to us about our baby’s future. We didn’t even know how much of a future Bryce would have. I decided I wasn’t going to let the results change my pregnancy. I loved every minute I was
pregnant. I loved feeling Bryce kicking inside me. If these were the only memories of him we would get, I wasn’t going to waste any of them.
We went to the doctors every two weeks, as I wanted to make sure our babies heart was still beating strong and it helped me not worry so much. Our midwives were amazing they helped us in so many ways they don’t even realize. They never changed the fact that our child had Trisomy 18 but never made us feel that what we had decided was wrong. They made us aware of things we should take care of before he was born but were also positive and supportive. Bryce’s pediatrician was also amazing, he would check in with us even before Bryce was born to answer any questions or to just check and see how we were doing. The one thing you have to make sure of is the people that you have taking care of you and your baby are all on the same page with you and your decisions.
I was due November 29th Josh and I made the decision to be induced on Monday the 24th. We decided this because we wanted to make sure the doctors we were comfortable with and Bryce’s pediatrician would be there when he was born and with Thanksgiving near my due date they might not be around. We had to go to the hospital the night before to make sure there would be a bed for me and also to start the induction process. Josh and I were so nervous we had looked forward to this moment for the last 40 weeks and now it was finally going to happen. We were finally going to meet Bryce!
Josh, my sister Rhonda and I headed to the hospital Sunday the 23rd, we had to check in for 6pm. I was hooked up to the baby monitor right away and they saw I was already having small contractions so nothing would start until the next morning. What I thought was Bryce pushing against the sides of my stomach were actually contractions. We tried to get rest in between visits from the nurses and next thing you know it’s 7am and time to start the induction.
The PITOCIN was started and I progressed well. Josh and Rhonda would watch the monitor and tell me when I was going to have a contraction (like I didn’t know). They would get really close and the nurses would hold off on increasing the dose. I was just so amazed at how they controlled the contractions. They wanted 5 every ten minutes and we had that quickly but the main thing is you want them to get stronger and flat line on the screen. The doctor’s would come in and check on me every few hours and see how we were progressing and check for dilation. At one point I was 2cm dilated and 80% effaced.
Around 4 p.m my doctor came in and checked again, he decided to break my water and see if it would speed things up. Almost immediately after my water broke, Bryce’s heart rate went from 140 beats to 60 beats per minute. I could sense something was wrong, the nurse was rushing around and got the oxygen mask and laid it close to my face. Josh was right beside me watching the monitor’s. My doctor rushed in and told us we would have to make a decision fast, as Bryce would probably not survive natural birth, so did we want to have a c-section or continue and see what would happen.
The decision was easy for us. Bryce had fought so hard and we were not going to give up on him. Things got crazy after that, Josh was taken to get changed to go to the operating room. Our midwife and nurses came flying in and started unhooking monitors and rolled me away to the operating room. I had a spinal so that I would be awake the whole time, if Bryce was only going to be with us for a short time I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss a minute. Josh was brought in and surgery was started. At 4:46 p.m. November 24th Bryce was born. We didn’t hear anything at first and Josh and I were so nervous, then Bryce let out a little cry. To hear him cry was everything we hoped for. I can’t find the words to describe how I felt that moment.
He was brought over to Josh and I. We were both amazed, here was our baby. Bryce and Josh headed off to the nursery. I was so excited when they finally came back to the room. I wanted to look him over and hold and kiss him. He was so beautiful! Bryce weighed 4lbs. 8 oz and was 17 inches long. With all of our family in the room Bryce was Baptized.
Bryce was so tiny and couldn’t suck on a bottle very good, so a feeding tube was put in. Over the next few days we would learn how to do his feedings. Bryce slept in our room with us at all times. Everyone was surprised at how well Bryce was doing. With Trisomy 18, you don’t know what to expect until they are born. Bryce’s organs were all working. He had a heart murmur and our doctor had an echo cardiogram done. With those results it showed he had a hole between two of his valves, but we were told that could close as he grew and that we would follow up in a month.
We were released from the hospital on Thanksgiving Day. We couldn’t wait to get him home, though I was very nervous Josh was amazing. He was very comfortable doing the tube feedings and helping me to get use to doing them. Family and Friends were welcome at all times. We wanted everyone to finally get to meet our little man. We couldn’t help but take tons of pictures of Bryce. He was so handsome. I was nervous when Josh had to go back to work, but he was able to come home at lunch and we had family close by, and Hospice would call or come to check on us.
The days and weeks flew by so fast, but we enjoyed every minute of them with Bryce. We were lucky and had 28 wonderful days and a lifetime of memories with him. It’s amazing how one person in a short time changed so many peoples lives in so many different ways. He will be in our hearts forever. Our little man, our hero and our Angel.