It was the doctor visit that Julia and I had both been looking forward to, that 20 week ultrasound that was going to tell us what we were going to have: two boys, two girls, or one of each (the most probable selection and my pick). No sooner had we learned that we were going to have two girls did we get the unimaginable, horrendous news that one of them was very, very sick, and was probably not going to make it at all. Going from joy to heartbreak is what parenthood is all about, or so I’ve been told, but never did I expect it to happen so quickly or so unexpectedly.
One of our girls, Fetus A in the nomenclature of perinatology, has a failing heart. So weak, in fact, she is not expected to survive. Immediately, thoughts of how we would handle two babies, child care, strollers, car seats, all of that evaporated, and all that was left was the question that no parent wants to ask: will our child die? Not only that, will her death lead to the death of her sister, both of which we had never known except in black and white ultrasound photos?
Since that day several weeks ago, we have taken it one day at a time. Sonja Dygard Hunstad, Fetus B, the one that is doing just great, is still doing well, kicking so hard Julia can see her tummy move. Ingrid Victoria Hunstad, so named because we want her to be victorious and survive this sentence she has had put upon her even before she has been born, is hanging in there, although all of the experts tell us that her prognosis is grave and not improving.
This past Wednesday, Julia was admitted to the hospital. Julia has been monitoring her blood pressure throughout the pregnancy, and it had been creeping up. Because of the situation, her doctors want to monitor her to make sure it isn’t preeclampsia or worse. Fortunately, all of the tests have been negative, but it’s understandably not much fun for Julia to be cooped up, even in a nice place like the Mother Baby Center.
This is where we are now: talking with the doctors (who have been nothing but excellent so far) for updates, running labs, and waiting. We don’t always know what to hope for or what news is good or bad. What I do know is that if our girls are anything like their mother they are strong and they will do whatever they can to meet us, and that if things turn out for the worse, it is not for lack of trying.