I had an awesome post all typed up. It’s gone. Evidently I didn’t, in fact, save it to drafts.
To continue on Lucy’s story…
In July (while submerged into getting our oldest ready for the convent) we had our “big” ultrasound. As is our tradition, we brought all the kids with us. It’s nice to share the journey with them and makes them feel more involved in getting ready for their new sibling, and really? Who doesn’t like to see a sweet little baby swimming around in there?
We were all fully expecting to be told we were, in fact, having another boy. It’s what we did. God gave us two amazing daughters, early on, and He was wanting us to raise sons now. We’d gotten used to the idea. The volume in my home is loud, to say the least, and not a little messy at times but we’ve come to terms with that and just figured on welcoming another boy into the mix. People kept asking what we were hoping for (of course we always said “healthy”) and we would respond with “doesn’t matter, either way we’ll probably have a boy!” and give a bit of a giggle.
Imagine our surprise when the ultrasound tech told us it was a girl. I didn’t even know what she was looking at, completely oblivious. When she pointed it out to me like I was an idiot I just looked at her and said “check it again, I don’t believe it.” She, very kindly, did, and crazy enough, it was still a girl!! I looked at my husband with tears in my eyes and said “ummm, I think you’re broken!!” Everyone wanted to know what her name was, but the thing is, we don’t share that information until it’s on the birth certificate, period. It’s another weird family thing we do (mostly because I just don’t need other people’s opinions on the matter) and we’re fairly adamant about it. All I wanted to do was rush to the store and start buying every single pink, ruffly thing in existence. We did have to finish the ultrasound first, so I laid there with goop on my belly watching our little girl (!!!!) swimming around and crying tears of pure joy. Everything looked great: heads, legs, arms, belly. We couldn’t get a good shot of fingers or toes, she had her hands and feet up by her face, and for some reason we couldn’t get a great shot of her heart, even with me turning on my side and trying a different angle. We all wrote it off as just baby being in a wonky position and didn’t think anything else of it.
The perinatologist came in to talk to us after the ultrasound (I had to have one because I’m old) and let us know all was well and he just wanted to see me in a couple of months for a follow-up growth scan, just to make sure my old-lady body was able to nourish and maintain a pregnancy like it could fifteen years ago. I agreed, happy to get another peak at our newest little girl, and set up the appointment.
I look back on this particular time and marvel at how simple and easy it seemed and how incredibly confident I was that the baby was fine. Practically Perfect in Every Way. Goodness, to hear me talk, I was carrying Mary Poppins herself. I was a bit irritated when they ended up scheduling me for two ultrasounds, instead of the one. Why would they do that? There’s nothing wrong, after all, I have healthy babies, always have. She’s fine. I’m fine. It’s all good. I managed to talk my way out of one the ultrasounds and just kept the one in September. There was no reason I could even begin to fathom that would make it necessary to be required to peak at her more than that and I’m a busy mama, lots to do and people to take care of. Everything was fine. Then, I just concentrated on planning a short vacation, keeping hydrated (summer in Oklahoma after all) and getting our oldest completely ready for the convent. Sprinkled in there were little shopping trips for various baby things, little outfits with sweaters and jeans, pink and lace and ribbons, all the good stuff. Life was perfect and amazing and busy and I was oblivious to the fact that our beautiful little girl was beginning a battle for her life.