Monday, June 20, 2011

Things are looking up

Today was a really good day! I told about 5 people at work about Judah and didn't cry. Normally, I can get out "He has..." before I choke, so hopefully this is a sign that I am coming around. At first I didn't think I would tell many people other than family and close friends, but I am starting to feel like I want to share. Looking back, I guess I felt ashamed in some way...and yes, I realize it is not my fault and I do not blame myself or Micah for any of this, but it felt like my pregnancy or Judah was devalued in some way. I was very worried about what other people would think about him but now I just feel like if you don't like it, then don't look. I didn't think I would want to take pictures of him and now I am kind of excited to plaster them all over the internet when he is born. I guess I realize now that he is worth just as much as any other child, if not more. I think it has helped to tell more people and hear how positive their reactions have been. I am still a little worried about the upcoming tests we have, I just want everything else to come back ok. I am going to just assume he has cleft palate as well, so then if he doesn't I will be pleasantly surprised, but I feel it is poisonous to 'hope' that he doesn't. I'd rather prepare myself now!

Also, I called the counselor at the Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists. Our appointment for the echo cardiogram is next Wednesday, the 29th. Hopefully we will have all good news there...She said she has been playing phone tag with the cleft specialists in Atlanta. Hopefully they will set up something for us soon because I am anxious.

Hopefully this isn't a fluke and I will have lots more days like this one! =]

Friday, June 17, 2011

A different path

I am starting this blog at the insistence of my Aunt Debbie and my mother...I had intended to start a blog for Judah, but never got it off the ground. Now I have a different reason compelling me to write. Originally, when they told me I should 'write it out' I thought it would be a terrible idea for me to journal what I was feeling about Judah and his 'complications', but as the shock has worn off and the grief has turned to acceptance I have realized what good can come from venting and sharing and the feedback and love we can receive from that. And so begins our story...

We found out on June 10th during our 20-week anatomy scan that it appeared Judah has a cleft lip. I am thankful that I am married to Micah because he took the news as a minor roadblock, just one of those things that we will deal with and everything will be fine. I did not handle the news as well. I guess I went through a little period of mourning, grieving the loss of the vision I had for this pregnancy and his birth. I saw things playing out a certain way and it just won't be that way anymore. I will probably never be able to breastfeed him naturally. He will need multiple surgeries and care throughout his life to repair and correct everything. It just all seemed really overwhelming.

We had an appointment with a fetal medicine specialist on June 15th. After a very long ultrasound they concluded that he does indeed have a unilateral cleft, so luckily it is only on one side. It may be possible to have a 3-D ultrasound to see if he has cleft palate as well, but most likely we will have to wait until he is born. The ultrasound will only really show anything if Judah cooperates, and given his behavior and penchant for putting his hands over his face it will not pan out. =] A cleft sometimes throws up flags that there may be other abnormalities or problems, so although everything seems to be fine it is 'standard procedure' to check out his heart, since that is the next most likely problem that occurs with a cleft. All his ultrasounds show that his heart looks fine but we have an appointment soon for a fetal echo cardiogram to take a closer look. We also have an appointment with some cleft specialists in Atlanta to discuss the logistics of when surgery can be performed, what we can expect, etc.

I felt a lot better after seeing the specialists because they did a 3-D ultrasound on him so we really got to see his face. Although you cannot see the cleft on the ultrasound, you can see the rest of his face and he is adorable. I read today somewhere that the child will get a lot of his feelings about his cleft from the parents...that their view and outlook on it will kind of set the tone for the way he sees things, and that really made me think. Yes, it was very upsetting news, Yes, it will be really hard and things will be a lot different now, but he is still our baby. He already has so much personality and we love him so much already. I just hope that everyone can look past his physical anomaly and see the baby we see. We are already halfway through this pregnancy and we have just been taken down a different path, but that's ok. It will still be really hard sometimes, but I feel like I have come to terms with it a little better now and would be able to share. I hope you guys will follow my blog and come on this journey with us.