**Before you read I do feel it’s necessary to put a warning. If you are sensitive, fearful, or easily triggered by traumatic pregnancy and birth stories please do not continue. It is not graphic in nature but I do share my personal story that some might be upset by.
It was February 8th, 2011. The day before my 24th birthday and I was 24 weeks pregnant with my first child. My husband and I were so very excited. Full of blissful first-time parents’ hopes and dreams. Everything had been run-of-the-mill so far in my pregnancy as I went to my routine monthly prenatal appointment.
I was patiently waiting in the corner chair of my doctor’s room and feeling the awe-inspiring kicks of my baby. I can vividly recall my doctor walking into the room and sitting on one of those little black leather swiveling stools that often frequent doctor’s offices. She looked up and me and with a very gentle smile asks “Katie, is Ed available to come in today?” Alarmed, but trying to remain calm I nodded my head. She left the room as I opened my cell to call my husband. Fortunately, he was working in town that day and after a few quick words, he was on his way. He probably drove 100 km/hr through the city because in no time flat he was beside me in the doctor’s office.
Again, the doctor walks in the room, sits on that stool, looks me right in the eyes, and says, “We think there might be something wrong with your baby.” Nothing in this world can prepare you for those words. Nothing. At that very moment, that very instant, all of our hopes and dreams felt ripped away. Stolen. Our doctor let us know that she had already arranged for us to get further testing down at the provincial women’s hospital with a whole slew of professionals that very next week. We left the office that day with a reassuring pat on the back that this was most likely precautionary, everything should be okay, and a list of appointments a mile-long.
The week flew by with packing and crying and worrying and before we knew it we were off on the 11-hour drive down south to Vancouver. I was in no state to drive and my husband had never been that far south in BC so my dad, bless his heart, offered to drive us. We arrived the next morning bright and early at the BC Women’s Hospital and started our seemingly unending list of specialist appointments. First up, an in-depth ultrasound where we learned that our beautiful baby was a boy 💙 and got to watch him kick and hiccup on the monitor. Paperwork, Geneticist, paperwork, Perinatologist, paperwork, OBGYN, paperwork. It was a whirlwind of questions and tests with no answers or time to digest.
Finally, after a long and exhausting day, my husband and I were ushered into a waiting room full of other expectant couples. Some rubbing their bellies in unaware awe, some with that worried expression that I knew mirrored my own. Eventually, our name was called and a nurse holding a clipboard lead us down a hallway and into a room where we were greeted with the smiling familiar faces of the specialists we had previously met that day. They were sitting around a circular table and gestured to the two empty seats. They acknowledged what a long and tiring day they were quite sure we had had. And then the head Perinatologist looked up from his tan chart that had my name on it and very gently said “Katie, there is something wrong with your baby. And we’d like to keep you overnight to run some more tests tomorrow.”
And my world crashed.
Taken right before we left for Vancouver. I was 24 weeks pregnant.