Let’s take a step back and start from the beginning…
In late 2015, I was diagnosed with PCOS, for those of you that don’t know what that is, it stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS in a nutshell causes many symptoms ranging from infertility, ovarian cysts rupturing, to insulin resistance, weight gain, and can lead to other serious health problems if not monitored and treated properly. For me I had multiple cysts that were painful and some ruptured, I was overweight and unable to lose the weight no matter what I tried. Which lead us to think I was having problems with fertility when for 3 years of using no protection or birth control we never had a positive test and no pregnancy.
In October of 2017 we were deep into wedding planning, our wedding was March 24, 2018 and fast approaching. I had been seen by my OBGYN for my annual that July of 2017 and were discussing wanting to start a family after the wedding. I was prescribed Clomid to start using after the wedding to see if that would help us get pregnant, I was told if the medication didn’t work, my next option would be surgery to remove cysts. So thinking well we will have to take medication and or have surgery we didn’t use any form of protection, but we weren’t actively trying to get pregnant either.
In late October 2018 the family went to watch my cousin play football at his college in Iowa. The whole weekend I remember being tired and thinking I was coming down with a cold because I just didn’t feel myself and I was all nasally and sounded sick. On the 5-6 hour drive home, I slept the ENTIRE way. Which for me was highly unusual due to my anxiety in cars from a previous accident 10 years prior. I didn’t think much of it because I was feeling sick and just figure I was exhausted from the weekend.
I went to work that Monday and was still feeling off, I wasn’t sick feeling anymore just extremely tired and I had realized on my period tracker that I should have started sometime around that weekend. I messaged a friend about it who encouraged me to test. She said the worst it can say is negative. So before many people got to work, I took a pregnancy test I had in my purse. And to my huge surprise I saw my first ever plus sign.
I didn’t believe it, so I went to the grocery store next door to my office and got a digital one, went straight to the bathroom and took the test. Sure as shit I was pregnant, the word pregnant up in that test window and I got weak in the knees. I couldn’t fucking believe it. I WAS PREGNANT!!! Then I remembered shit… I just ordered my wedding dress and they don’t take returns. I immediately texted my maid of honor and said “Well I’ve got some good and bad news” I said “I’m pregnant, but now idk what to do about the wedding”. At that point I would have been smack dab in the middle of my 6th month of pregnancy on my wedding day. My biggest concern was my dress fitting. Thankfully that all worked out.
I went to get the ultrasound done and blood work and let me tell you… seeing that tiny little dot on the ultrasound and seeing the heart fluttering was the best moment of my life at that time. I was a paranoid first time mom researching everything, checking everytime I went pee to make sure I wasn’t bleeding, watching everything I was doing asking my doctor a million silly questions. Then it happened, we went for our 20 week ultrasound and they had found a cyst in her skull (later we were told Hydrocephalus), we were sent to a MFM (or maternal fetal medicine) doctor for more extensive testing.
He confirmed the cyst, and also said that she absolutely had Trisomy 18, she would have not a good life and that she probably “wouldn’t make it the entire pregnancy” I was heartbroken, we had wanted a baby so bad. I wanted a second opinion, I didnt care for that doctor’s bedside manner and his demeanor was not very friendly for a doctor who tells women their unborn children have issues. He referred us to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital Fetal Care Institute.
Our first appointment was two… yes TWO days before our wedding. We did ultrasounds and met with Dr. Alan Fisher. He gave us the unfortunate news that Emma did indeed have hydrocephalus, and he thought she probably had Trisomy 18. That was a soul crushing appointment. But I will never forget what Dr. Fisher said.. he mentioned doing some basic genetic testing to see if she had any of the Trisomies or some other syndromes. His exact words were “I do definitely think that she has Trisomy 18 based on what I found, but don’t quote me, because I’ve been fooled by mother nature before”.
We held on to hope with those words, a week after our wedding we found out that the test came back “Low Risk” meaning that they did not think she had any of the trisomies or syndromes they had tested for. That was music to our ears!!!! We were so happy and so hopeful for what was to come. There will be more to that in the next post, here are some cute ultrasounds and wedding photos to lighten the mood 🦋🎀🌻👼