I have not yet posted on this site, even though as you may have noticed this is the Herron Nest. To be honest I have been secretly stalking Jesy for many months now. Recording stuff she says and does to get a real perspective into pregnancy for a guy. I loved catching all her irrationalities and hormone swings and watching her apologize for sleeping all the time.
It is with unbearable sadness that I chose to break my silence now, but I feel like since this is The Herron Nest that you should get access to both perspectives of this story. Read this at your own risk. It is gut wrenching and near impossible to fathom. It will leave you confused, bewildered, sick, sad and angry. I know because I am going through all that right now, all at once. It’s amazing what only 19 ½ weeks will do to a man. It’s amazing the bond you can form to something you have only seen in a sonogram picture. Tread lightly here…
Let’s start Monday before leaving work. That is a crucial time for me you see. That was the moment I knew what the baby would be. I got a sign. I’m not hokey, I don’t buy into signs and crap, but this was too strong for me to ignore. As I’m getting ready to walk out the door to drive down to the hospital to meet Jesy to get the sonogram to tell what the sex indeed was, I spilled water on my leg. Dammit, I’m trying to get out of here and get down there to figure out the sex, I’m on pins and needles here, and living with Jesy it has almost been intolerable. She’s obsessing over it and I’m having to be the voice of reason, but I’m just going crazy on the inside. So, I go to the break room and grab a paper towel to dry off the water. It was one of those paper towels with the floral pattern on it. Well after I got down wiping down the water the dye had rubbed off on my pants. It was pink. There were green flowers, yellow flowers, blue flowers, red flowers, but the pink dye was on my pants. Girl, done.
So all the way down to the hospital I was blaring Abbey Road, feeling pretty damn good. So good that a Ford Focus (red hatchback, don’t think that I forgot, and now I’m pissed) cut me off twice in the span of 10 seconds and I wasn’t even pissed off. I just let it go, nothing was ruining this day for me. Cloud nine. Ten even.
Dr’s office. This is the point of no return. You’ve been warned. The waiting room was about 10,000 degrees and we got there about 10 minutes early, because you know me, I HATE to be late. So not only did we have to wait the 10 minutes but tack on an extra 30 for good measure. But finally we got to go back. I was originally going to launch into a tirade about the ultrasound tech here, but looking back I am sure she was petrified when she saw something abnormal. Because at first she was actually quite nice, she was a little quiet, but very nice. So once we were in the room I started to crack jokes too keep both Jesy and my mind off getting the sex of the baby. I knew we were both anxious and I knew she would be chomping at the bit. So in order to let the tech do her job I tried to distract. The tech didn’t laugh, they never do, so I just thought it was her doing the typical ignore me thing. But as I looked at her it was clear that something else was wrong.
She was looking at the screen like a 13-year-old boy stares at Pam Anderson. So focused and slightly bewildered. Jesy finally had enough and told the tech that we REALLY wanted to know what the sex was. The tech nervously said that they baby wasn’t cooperating, to which Jesy made the inevitable comment, “ oh the baby is being stubborn, I wonder where it got that from?” As she rolled her eyes not so casually in my direction. That is about when the tech abruptly got up and said that she had to go call the doctor and she would be right back. Wait, what? Seriously what the fuck just happened? So now we are sitting in the room staring at each other saying/thinking, what the hell is going on?
So after what seemed like 10 years, it was probably only about 10 minutes, the tech comes back in and tells us that Dr. Caligaris would be calling us back in this room. So we wait and quite quickly Dr. Caligaris called and Jesy answered. Neither of us thought to put it on speaker, we were just so anxious to get the news, any news.
Here is where my perspective is going to be pretty different. I got to react to Jesy’s face. To her one word answers. Can anyone imagine my wife speechless? (Let’s face it we have all dreamed of it!) To the tears welling up in her eyes. To her shaking voice. I knew nothing of what the Dr. said, but I knew it was bad. I knew it was as bad as we had both feared it was but hadn’t dared to speak it to this point.
Jesy hung up the phone and we just held each other crying, but I had no idea why. Then she told me. She might have told me a lot of things, but I only heard two of them. “Heart defect,” and “Not good.” Those where two of the sentences of what I’m sure where many more, but how can you not focus on those two things, right?
So there we stood, holding each other, crying, breaking down, destroyed. Something was very wrong and we had to go home and wait till tomorrow to find out what it was. And that is what made the first night so unbearable, the not knowing. Well the knowing something was wrong, but not knowing what or if there was anything that could be done.
Here again is where I will give a different perspective. Jesy skipped right to the next day. First it is important to note that the phone calls we made that night to people expecting to hear what the sex of the baby was were brutal. Everyone was so excited at first, it was heart breaking to hear other people get the same news that we were still just trying to process. Then to have to hear people try to come up with words to help. It was overwhelming the amount of support and prayers and thoughts we all got. I know that I will be thanking people for the rest of my life for all the support that they have given us through this. Just wait, I’m sure I mention it again.
And especially that first night, we just didn’t want to be alone at all. We went to John and Carol’s and my mom even trekked down from Middletown to be with us. Brian was there for comic relief as well. It was a nice distraction and I can remember not feeling near as bad when we left to go back home to get some sleep. I remember feeling optimistic, a very abnormal trait for me. I was thinking that there is still a lot of ways this could go. Maybe we go in tomorrow and the machine had a glitch, maybe the baby was just in a weird formation, maybe it was something a lot smaller than they originally thought and could be fixed real easy. There was hope and it was so strange for me to see the glass half full.
And then there was the morning. That was the first time we were alone. I had taken off work and her boss told her to stay home. We tried to distract ourselves by watching movies. We watched Toy Story 3, great movie, but not a great movie in our frame of mind. On top of that we were both sitting there knowing what the other was thinking but trying not to talk about it. We both just wanted to be at the Dr.’s getting this over with. And that was one of the WORST times. Just sitting there, by ourselves, waiting. Not knowing. It was excruciating.
Now we can speed ahead to the Dr’s Office. Although at this point it certainly isn’t speeding is it? Anywho, back to the Dr’s office, where it is again 10,000 degrees. Although this time I should point out that on the way to the Dr’s office I saw a guy out jogging with a pair of jogging shorts out of the movie Juno and his junk was definitely flying all over the place. Not a good start to the day, would you not agree? So again, back to the blast furnace of a Dr’s office. There is a young lady in there with us, she is a plus size lady and she was not wearing a belt of any sort. Her hygiene was questionable at best and I had the wonderful privilege of seeing her ass. Yup. She got up to talk to the secretary (administrative assistant) and while doing so her pants decided to try to run away from her ass and it got about half way to freedom before she caught it and yanked it back up to save my cornia anymore burning.
Strike two. Weiner flopping and now disgusting ass crack that I can only imagine is sweaty due to the super nova like heat in the room. I wasn’t liking where this day was going. It’s like getting lost is a bad neighborhood. Oh and were late again. Once again we were there at least 10 minutes before hand and didn’t get taken back until at least 30 minutes after when we were scheduled. It’s like dying a thousand deaths. We finally get to go back, expecting a more advanced test. Per Caligaris we were supposed to go through a level 2 test, but it was basically the same thing as before. We had a different tech, but she was still a tech, she took the same pictures and when it was all said and done got super quiet and left to go get the Dr.
God bless that Dr. This is going to sound terrible, but I don’t remember his name and I don’t think Jesy does either. I’m sure he quite frequently lives in anonymity because no one is going to remember that guys name, the guy that had to deliver this message to anyone. I think it was Dr. Von, or Van something, but I have no idea, maybe if I heard it again? But I digress, he tried so hard to be compassionate and he had just met us 10 minutes ago. And he knew that he made us totally uncomfortable.
When he came in he was quick to get to business and look over the tech’s shoulder as she was operating the sonogram. They were kind of whispering and kind of talking. It was so awkward and the Dr. even said something about it. I refused to look up. I could not see the pictures of my baby’s beating heart anymore. I couldn’t watch them point to it and whisper. It was making me sick to my stomach.
The Dr. finally turned on the light, I told him that if I was a cat I just burned through 8 of my lives. He didn’t really know how to respond to that. Sorry Doc, just my little defense mechanism going off there. Alright, time for some answers. Hit me Doc.
Oh he did. BEST CASE SENARIO: Baby has downs syndrome. Let’s pretend that he could have stopped right there. If this could have been the WORST case scenario we would have been golden. We love downs kids, we coach them, Jesy’s brother dates a wonderful girl with downs. Easy. Unfortunately, this is our best case and it comes with a lot more surprises. The baby also has three large cystic hygromas. One in the apparent “normal spot” at the base of the skull on the neck. One on it’s stomach which is hampering the development of the kidneys. And on over it’s heart.
I would say that the good Doctor came out swinging. That went down about as well as Marvin Frasier did against Mike Tyson. The Baby’s chance for survival…less than 1%. SHIT THE BED. Are you serious, what is that? It’s like winning the anti-lottery. For our baby to have all this wrong is so very rare according to both doctors that we talked to, it doesn’t make it hurt any less, but it’s a fun stat to throw around.
So we have been given three options at this point. None are good. Jesy will tell you that we have gotten noting positive from this whole disaster of a situation and I disagree. If we can get through this, if we can make this kind of decision, any other decision we have to make from here out will be easy. To quote from Due Date, “it’s all up hill from here.” I know, see the movie.
- Do nothing. Hope it goes away on it’s own. In less than 1% (again with that number) of the cases it is possible that the cystic hydromas will just go away and in which case it will more than likely be born a downs syndrome boy or girl, we still can’t tell. The other side to this is that if they hydromas don’t go away they can become larger and in essence take over the baby and kill it. Plus Jesy becomes more susceptible to toxemia, preeclampsia and mirror syndrome.
- Get an amniocentesis to see if the baby is indeed a downs syndrome baby. If it is, it is possible that we would qualify to be in a trial that would drain the hydromas every other week or every week in order to save the baby. Here’s the problem there. To do an amniocentesis there needs to be an amniotic sac with amniotic fluid, but there isn’t, it’s all inside the baby. So they would have to put a lot of stress and trauma of poking the baby to get the fluid for the next 20 weeks. And so far it doesn’t look like that will give us any better of chance at the baby surviving.
- Terminate. Sounds pretty cold huh? Pretty clinical right? Yeah, welcome to another one of my defense mechanisms. Really trying to keep as much of this as I can impersonal. Need to try to sever that connection where I can, because when this is all said and done it is going to burn like hell. And I mean that, it is going to feel like my insides are burning me from the inside out.
You like that? Pretty funny? How devastating is that? And what’s worse for me and I know she will never admit it, but I know Jesy is hurting ten times more than I am. I’m not trying to say that I’m not hurting, it is near unbearable for me some times, but she had to carry “it” around for 5 months. It was in her. I try and I can’t imagine pain worse than mine, but she has it, whatever that is.
We have not made a choice yet. We are weighing all of our options VERY carefully. We want to do the right thing, whatever that is. And thank you to everyone who has called, texted, emailed, facebooked or just spent time with us in the last couple days. You all mean the world to us. We have needed every “are you ok?” and “you can call us for anything anytime” and “we love you and we are praying for you” and even the “Miranda won’t answer her phone.” We have needed them all more than you know and I hope that you all realize how much all your support has meant to us. I have tried to reply directly to as many people as I could without my head exploding.
So if we haven’t communicated with you directly, we apologize and we apologize that this may be the way that you are getting briefed on the whole situation, it’s just sometimes it hurts to go through this mess.
Please keep throwing us your thoughts and prayers, we are still going to need them as we both are aware that there is still a tough road ahead. And to be honest I really don’t mind being selfish right now. Gimme, gimme, gimme.
Thank you all. We love you.