Friday, September 16, 2011

One Unique Little Baby

Have you ever experienced a life-altering moment? A moment that you knew your life was about to change forever? In the few seconds it took those two pink lines to show up, I went from being scared, to nervous, to excited, to knowing that nothing would ever be the same.

March 13, 2011. It had been one month and four days since my husband returned from a year long tour of duty in Afghanistan. We both knew we wanted a baby, however, we had tried for a while before he left and on his two week leave, so we both assumed it would take a while for us to get pregnant. We assumed we would have months to adjust to him being home before we began growing our little family. We were wrong. One month and four days after he got back I found out I was pregnant. Zed didn't believe me or the positive pregnancy test so he made me take another one. 

April 11, 2011. I went to the hospital and took a blood test. During that first appointment, I also filled out paperwork and was told I would come back on the 28th to hear the heartbeat.

April 15, 2011. I made an unexpected trip to the hospital because I was vomiting nonstop. They did an ultrasound to make sure my body wasn't aborting the fetus and I got to see my tiny baby for the first time. The little jellybean was bouncing off my uterus walls, literally. The doctor said I must have one happy baby because he/she had a high heart rate and was moving a ton. I was told I was 8 weeks and 5 days pregnant. 

April 28, 2011. I met my midwife. I was still nauseas and vomiting quite a bit. I had lost 1.8lbs. 

May 10, 2011. I had to go to the emergency room because I was vomiting so much. I received 2 bags of IV fluid for severe dehydration. I was miserable. I was only 12 weeks pregnant and already I was ready for November 20. I loved my sweet baby, and the thought of holding my precious little one is the only thing that got me through the vomiting, the aching, and the hospital visits. 

May 26, 2011. At my checkup I found out I had lost more weight. I was down 5.5lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight.

May 28, 2011. Today was the big day. We got up early for our appointment in Nashville, TN. We were going to Focused 4D Imaging to find out what our little jellybean was going to be! I was so excited, but I was also absolutely positive I was carrying a baby Zayden Odith McLanahan. I was wrong. After a good, long 45 minute ultrasound we finally got a picture of jellybean's princess parts. We were having a beautiful baby girl who we had already named Wendy Lee. Zed and I picked out baby names way before we got pregnant. When we were only dating we decided if we ever got married and had a little girl, she would be Wendy Lee. Wendy was Zed's mother's name and Lee is mine, my mother's, and my great-grandmother's middle name. I later found out Lee was Zed's sister's, aunt's, and great-grandmother's middle name. Our boy name, Zayden, was picked out while Zed was deployed. I wanted something odd and something that started with a Z. I am now very happy we had a baby girl because several people have named their baby boys Zayden. 

June 9, 2011. I was 16 weeks pregnant and I had lost 9.8lbs. At this appointment they gave me another bag of IV fluids. They kept telling me my baby was fine, and I was only experiencing morning sickness, but I knew something was not right. I should not have been this sick, all the time. 

July 18, 2011. I had my "20 week ultrasound". I was really 22 weeks pregnant. At Blanchfield Army Community Hospital they do one ultrasound during your pregnancy. They do it at around 20 weeks. The only reason I had one at 8 weeks was because I was so sick and at 14 weeks because we went to Nashville and paid for it. 

July 21, 2011. I had a checkup and I received the results from my ultrasound. They said my baby was measuring a little small and that they found something. Coming from a doctor, the words "found something" completely fills you with dread. The midwife said my baby had Choroid Plexus Cysts. CPCs are a somewhat common finding in pregnancies and usually disappear on their own by 32 weeks, that's what we were told. Zed and I were given the option of a second ultrasound at BACH or we could go to a maternal-fetal specialist in Nashville. Zed was quick to say we were going to Nashville. As we left the hospital that day, I will never forget that feeling of dread. My heart was heavy as I called my mother. I told her what the doctor said and read off a list of statics the midwife had printed out for us. I kept telling my mom, it was fine, I was fine, Wendy was fine. But all I really wanted to do was cry. 

August 4, 2011. This was my first appointment with maternal-fetal group in Nashville. They did an ultrasound. We then talked to Dr. Mayor-Lynn. Wendy was measuring about a week behind and the CPCs were still present as well as fluid around her heart. Dr. Mayor-Lynn told us we had about a 1% chance of having a baby with a chromosome problem. 1% doesn't sound bad, but when you think about it, that means one in one hundred babies. We wanted to know for sure so that we could prepare and give our baby the best chance possible. I had an amniocentesis that day. We were told if the baby did have a chromosome abnormality it was most likely Down Syndrome or Trisomy 18. Those are the two most common with CPCs. Down Syndrome we could handle, Trisomy 18 we were told chance of survival was low. Most Trisomy 18 babies are stillborn, the rest usually don't make it past a year old. I was heartbroken. This was my baby and I couldn't do anything to help her or fix her. And on top of me feeling sad and helpless, I was hurting, physically, from the amnio. I was cramping and my belly was extremely sore.

August 12, 2011. At 25 weeks pregnant I was told Wendy had a problem with her 7th chromosome. They were doing further testing and we wanted to test mine and Zed's blood to see if we were carriers.

August 18, 2011. Zed and I went back to Nashville to give our blood samples. We still didn't have final amnio results. We were in limbo. We didn't know what to think or how to feel. All I could do was look up stuff on the Internet and that was scaring me to death. All I kept reading was mental retardation and leukemia. 
August 25, 2011. I was 27 weeks pregnant and we were heading to Georgia for my baby shower. We were stopping on the way to have yet another ultrasound. This time, they said I had too much amniotic fluid and would have to come back weekly for ultrasounds. At this appointment I also had 3D pictures done. When we left, I cried for the first time. She was beautiful and I was terrified that she wouldn't survive. I wanted Wendy so badly. I didn't know what to do or how to feel. Not long after we left Maternal Fetal Group, BACH called to tell me they wouldn't be seeing me anymore and that I would be finishing my pregnancy out with the specialists at MFG. I was happy about that, knowing Wendy and I would both have better care in Nashville than we would at Fort Campbell. 

September 6, 2011. We had been back from Georgia for a few days. I had went grocery shopping and cleaned my house top to bottom. I was cramping some and having Braxton Hicks contractions. I decided to take a warm bath because that always helped before. As I was getting undressed, I noticed some fluid leaking down my leg. It wasn't a lot so I didn't panic, but I did call my doctor. I had an appointment scheduled for the next morning. I asked if I needed to go to the hospital or if it would be okay to wait until the morning. My doctor called back a few minutes later and said just to be safe I should go to the hospital. They put me on the monitor and watched me for a few hours. They said I was having some irritabily but not full blown contractions and I wasn't in active labor they wanted to do a quick test to make sure my water hadn't broke and then I could be on my way. Well, instead of the nurse coming back to discharge me, the ER doctor came in and told me my water had broke. Zed actually said, "shut the ____ up". The doctor said I would be camping out at the hospital until I delivered. Zed was drilling him with questions. He was wanting to know would Wendy be okay if she came now. I was just trying to breath.

After 8 weeks of waiting, the results are in. However, I feel no better about it now than I did the day I had the amniocentesis. Wendy is missing part of one of her 7th chromosomes (the other 7th is fine) and she has a part of the 10th chromosome in the missing place of her 7th. You're probably thinking, "At least you know what is going on..", unfortunately, that's not the case because there are no recorded cases of any other child having the same genes as her displaced. Therefore, we still have no idea what to expect. The geneticist said that most cases of chromosome translocation the kids had mental delays, funny facial features, growth problems, and problems breathing. She said we will have to wait and see how Wendy is once she's born and deal with the problems then, but for now we need to keep her in utero as long as possible because premature birth can worsen any symptoms she will already have. The survival rate is not known either since there are no other cases. Also, once we go home, there will be a person who comes once/twice a week or as often as necessary (if it's necessary at all) to work with her from the time she's a month old- helping with exercises for muscle development, etc. No matter what, Wendy will be loved, but it's very frustrating not knowing the challenges we will face.

As for me- it's my 11th day in the hospital. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes today. I think it's ridiculous because I have no symptoms of it (extreme weight gain, big baby, high blood pressure, etc). They are testing me 4 times a day- when I wake up and after every meal. For breakfast I had a regular diet breakfast- bacon, eggs, biscuit, jelly, and orange juice. My blood glucose reading was 108. I had a regular diet lunch- turkey and gravy, dressing, roll, butter, and cherry cobbler. My blood glucose was 113. It's supposed to be under 120 after I eat the diabetic meals. (I didn't get my first diabetic meal until this afternoon.) So in reality the only time my blood sugar is high is when I drink that insanely sugary cola. And I'm kind of angry they are making me eat 2000 calories a day- when I am used to only eating 1600 (I only ate 1200 before I got pregnant.) So now I feel like I am overeating because I have to have 3 full meals a day plus 3 snacks, and I have to eat all of it. On the bright side, I'm 30 weeks and 5 days- so I probably will only be here 4-5 more weeks, and I'm already a week and a half down. Another positive is my IV stays unhooked until time for my antibiotics so I am able to wear normal pajamas now.

Today has just been rough- with the diabetes thing, Wendy's test results, and my contractions have been awful. But today is almost over, and after all tomorrow is another day.


  1. Jamie, Always remember that if God brings u to it, he will help u through it. He is giving u and Zed a precious little girl. Or better yet, He chose u and Zed to be her parents. Wendy is going to be perfect, and when u get to hold her in your arms you will see how all of this was worth it. You and Zed are going to be wonderful parents and I know your going to be fine too bc your a strong woman. I will continue to keep you Wendy , Zed and ya'lls family in my prayers.

    Keep up this awesome blog please bc I think about u and Wendy and this will keep me from Facebook stalking. Ha ha

    Many prayers & blessings,
    Katie B. Aston

  2. Thank you Katie. Hope you and your famiy are doing great. And I meant to tell you after seeing you at the Mexican restaurant, your little girl is absolutely adorable!!