It's all Ben's fault.
No, just kidding. I guess he's only partially to blame. :) When we found out we were pregnant with our fourth, we were definitely excited. It had been 3 years since our last and we both wanted one more. On a whole the first half of the pregnancy was pretty standard: tired, cranky, sick. I was counting down the days until THE ultrasound. Boy or girl?? (We were both hoping for another boy - don't tell our girls) And sure enough- boy it is! Just like we ordered. But we also found out that things weren't quite right. There were some issues with his heart. And after a terrible visit with a doctor I hope never to see again we were referred to a specialist to find out exactly what was going on.
Complete AV canal defect. Yeah, that was my reaction as well. What??? To make a long description short, he only had one atrium (you're supposed to have 2. Who would have known?), one valve (again, there should be 2), and a hole in his ventricular wall. On top of all that, this is usually a sign of a genetic disorder. Talk about a "slap in the face, kick in the pants"...
The cardiologist assured us that they see this often and although it means surgery it does not mean our little man would need it right away. Six months, we were told, is when they usually operate for this defect. However, we needed to have extra ultrasounds and doctors appointments to monitor the baby and make sure things were going well. Suddenly, I'm told my baby has a serious heart defect and will need surgery before he is a year old and I'm thinking "Could this get any worse??" That was stupid.
At a 'routine' ultrasound we discovered that I had extra amniotic fluid. Not necessarily a big deal but in this situation most likely points to a greater issue such as swallowing problems for baby; meaning genetic disorder. Also meaning EXTREME discomfort for mommy. Discomfort soon led to pain and pain led to 'please let me just die'. I cannot begin to describe how I felt with so much extra fluid. I wish it on no one. This of course also meant weekly ultrasounds and appointments.
We also discovered at another of these infamous "routine" ultrasounds that it looked as though our baby had hydrops. Basically it's fluid in the baby's body that doesn't belong there. This is not a good thing at all and puts baby in a huge amount of risk. And this is right about the time he earned the nickname Rambo. (I do take all credit-or blame, depending on how you look at it- for that.) We knew he needed to be a fighter, and honestly, who doesn't like Rambo?? Thank the Lord, as the weeks went by the fluid in Rambo's abdomen disappeared.
This was by far the hardest pregnancy of all time: physically, spiritually, grammatically. But the Lord is faithful and we knew our little one was fearfully and wonderfully made no matter what that meant.