Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Day The Moose Was Born

I cannot believe that in 30 minutes my little baby will be 1 year old!

Seems like yesterday.

I had the worst pregnancy with Moose.  I don't do pregnancy well anyways, but this pregnancy was just awful!   Without giving a complete medical history of myself, the following is a list of the various ailments that plagued me for the ENTIRE nine months that I gestated the Moose.
                        Hives (due to the fact I was told my baby might not have a head)
                        Severe Hypotension (low blood pressure)
                        Fainting (due to the low blood pressure)
                        Pregnancy-induced Tachycardia (high heart rate)

I guess I should explain the 'baby not having a head part'.

When I was around 17 weeks pregnant or so, I had the ole Quad Test.  Blood was taken from my arm and tested for several things, one of which was AFP (Alpha Fetal Protein).  This is the test that usually gives a woman her personal odds of her baby having Down Syndrome or some other abnormality.  I had this test with both of my other children so when they asked me if I wanted it with Moose, I looked up from the bag of Sea Salt and Vinegar Chips that I was stuffing my face with and said, "Sure - oh, and could the Dr. sign this parking permit pass for my work?  I'm trying to get the parking office to let me park closer to the entrance of my building."

So a week or so goes by and I completely forgot about the test.  I was scheduled to have my Anatomy Ultrasound (the big ultrasound) that next week, so when my Dr.'s number showed up on my phone on that particular day, I thought it was a reminder call for my next appointment.


Turns out that my test results came back and while I had like a one in a billion chance of the baby having Down Syndrome, I had like a 1 in 6 chance that it didn't have a head.  (Or Spina Bifida or another neural tube defect)  That is not the best news to receive as you are about to merge onto the highway at 70 mph as you drive home from work.  I became hysterical and called my husband and after five minutes of him saying, "Okay, slow down - now what happened to your head?", I was finally able to convey to him that my head was not the head in question, but our precious baby's.  To which he replied, "Where did it go?  It was there at your last ultrasound."

I must point out that my husband is one of those individuals who's thoughts run in a logical-only kind of way. He doesn't express a whole lot of emotion, except when it involves the wasting of food or money.  So, again - after five minutes of me telling him everything that the Dr. had told me - he said, "Umm, so how does that happen; that a baby wouldn't have a head?  How would that test know that exactly?"

So, I let my husband go and called my mother who gave the appropriate response.

The Dr. moved my ultrasound up to the day after the next and as it turns out, it takes exactly that long for my brain to effectively convince my body that the best way to deal with this situation is to have a ginormous allergic reaction - complete with hives.

Two days later, I sat - itching - in a room with my husband, both of our mother's, the Genetics Dr., and a poor medical student who kept offering me something to drink.  (I think so he could leave the room.)  Now, don't ask me why, but before we could have our ultrasound we had to sit down with this Dr. and go over our family histories, our medical histories, our mothers' families histories.......a lot of history.  After an hour, the Dr. then proceeds to draw us a diagram.....showing us that there is nothing on either side of our trees to explain why our baby might be missing its head.  Both family trees - all heads accounted for.

Well that was helpful; I mean, I never knew that my mother's mother had a tilted uterus before.  Good stuff to know.

Into the ultrasound room we go and as I climb into the chair thing, the Dr. starts to leave the room and says, "Ok, so the tech will do the ultrasound and then afterward, I will come in here and let you know what I see and if there is anything wrong."  Well I would hope that even I would be able to see or rather not see a head.  Does he really need to confirm that?  But, it could also be a number of other things and there is no way I was going to go through the whole ultrasound and then have the Dr. give me bad news.  I think that's pretty much word for word what I said.  He decided to stay and give me a play-by-play of what he was seeing as the ultrasound was taking place.  Good idea.

The ultrasound starts and I could barely look at the screen.  Luckily, Moose was in the most perfect position  for the Dr.  He was curled over in a ball - showing every little detail of his beautiful, perfect spine.  And attached to that beautiful, perfect spine was the most beautiful, perfect head I had ever seen.

The baby is perfect.

Everyone was so happy and so relieved that no one even asked what gender the baby was.  The tech almost even forgot to look for it.

Now, I need to point out that I had 3 kids; a daughter, a son, and a step-son.  So - two boys.  I will not even apologize for hoping that this one as a girl.  Anyone who knows my sons totally understands.  I had gone to the ER when I was around 15 weeks pregnant due to some stomach pain I was having.  The ER Dr.  gave me a quick ultrasound just to make sure the baby was doing ok and after begging him for ten minutes, he looked at my baby's junk and said, "Yep, it's a Girl; I see the 'hamburger'."  I had been beyond thrilled, crying tears of joy.  My husband's reaction was to say, "Why did he say hamburger?  I've never heard it called that.  Wouldn't taco have been more accurate; I mean, I've heard it called that before."  He also said that he didn't believe the ER Dr.  My husband told me that this baby was going to be a boy and he wouldn't believe otherwise until my OB-GYN told him so.

He cursed me.

Flash forward to that day in that ultrasound room and when the tech said, "Oh - I almost forgot, do you want to know the sex?", I said, "Sure - oh, and can I sit up a little bit; my blood pressure is a little too low and I'm feeling faint."

She said, "Here we are."  I look up and all I see is this big baby penis on the ultrasound screen.  I totally forgot that I should be beyond grateful that my baby didn't lose its head and was - instead - beyond shocked that it had grown a penis instead.

Everyone is laughing and crying (tears of happiness and relief) and congratulating me and my hubby and my reaction was, "How did he grow a penis?  He didn't have one a couple of weeks ago?  Does that happen very often?"  I just refused to believe that I was going to have 3! boys.  I was in such disbelief that for weeks afterward, I was convinced that my baby was actually a hermaphrodite -which accounted for the 'hamburger' that I swore had been there.

My Dr. determined or rather declared that since the baby was structurally fine, than my placenta must not be and that I should have monthly ultrasounds to make sure that he was growing appropriately.

That turned out not to be a problem, as Moose grew so well that eventually he was measuring a week or more ahead.  He became, 'the big guy' instead of 'the little man' and finally became, 'The Moose'.  I knew the Dr.'s were even taking note because at my very last ultrasound (before he was born), the Dr. actually checked my C-Section scar just to make sure 'it was holding up'.

About ten days out from my scheduled C-Section, I started having contractions.  They would start and stop, start and stop.  And they were really painful.  I decided that at my next Dr.'s appointment I would ask my Dr. about it.  That Monday, I lay back on the exam table and before I could ask her if she thought it was contractions that were causing my pain, she dispelled that by telling me that my uterus was in danger of erupting and I needed to go straight to the hospital.  I frantically started calling everyone including my husband who had actually just went to sleep.  (He works graveyard.)  So, after five minutes of me calling him over and over again, he finally answers the phone and then proceeds to say, "Huh.....oh......yeah, I'm awake.....ok, well call me if they keep you.....night."  I had to call him back again and spend five more minutes making sure he really was awake and reminding him to make arrangements for the dogs.  After which, I hung up with him and a short while later, my mother-in-law called me and said, "'T' called me - now, what's wrong with your dogs?"

Exactly 1.5 hours later - from the time I walked into my Dr.'s appointment - I was laying in a hospital bed, my whole family was crowded into the tiny triage area and my Dr. was gowned and masked.  We were excited, anxious, and..........still waiting on my husband to arrive.

He finally strolls in and leisurely begins to put our bags down and hug various family members.  My Dr. is standing in the doorway to the triage room - tapping her bootie-covered foot.  It's time to go.

Exactly 2 hours later - from the time I walked into my Dr.'s appointment - 'The Moose' came into this world.  May 2, 2011.  Ironically, the Moose was not a moose at all; weighing 6lbs. 13oz and only 20 inches long.  My smallest baby by far.  We decided to call him Moose any ways.  His birth turned out to be just as troublesome as my pregnancy.  He ended up with PPHN (look it up) and had to spend a week in the NICU.  Moose ended up coming home on me and my husband's 2nd wedding anniversary.

I cannot believe that was a year ago.
I cannot believe how lucky and blessed I am that he did in fact have a head.
I cannot believe I ever thought he was a hermaphrodite.
I cannot believe I thought I wanted a girl.

But mainly - even with him being my fourth child - I cannot believe how much I love that little Moose.

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!    




  1. What a great post, though certainly not an easy life to live in the making of said post. I can only imagine the hives. And yes, it is always nice to know that all heads are accounted for, even if they seem not to be always using the brains they house (at least in our families!).

    Luke was a girl until 12 weeks. Even I thought so (gut feeling, but apparently that one WAS wrong!)...at 14 weeks, our MFM said, "Well, where the heck did THAT come from?????" and though we all knew, ha ha, we also wondered. It's that fast! And amazing.

    Happy, happy birthday to your littlest one. Crazy how it flies, isn't it? Also, thank you for your comments on my blog. I loved, especially, the last line. Yep!

    1. Wow! I'm really flattered that sent me a response! I know you have a lot of people reading your blog and it probably is pretty hard to respond to every comment. I'm relatively new to the blogging world, so I have all of 4 followers! I have to tell you that what I wrote about in this post was exactly how I found your blog and so many others. I was terrified beyond belief (before I knew he was okay) and started looking up anything I could find about it. So, that's how I found a baby loss blog and then another and another. I think all of you guys in the 'community' are so amazing and so beautiful. I don't know how you view yourself or other BLM, but I wish you could know how people (like myself) view you guys. I promise you that you have a lot of followers who probably never leave a comment or click to 'follow' your blog, but who read it everyday and hope and pray so hard for you and other BLMs. When a rainbow is born, I smile all the day and when one is lost, I'm standing outside too wanting to shout to the sky that I demand to know why this world can be so fucked up. I often hear a lot of BLMs say that people on the 'outside' do not understand what they are going through and can say some pretty tactless things. That can be so true and so sad. I probably use to be one of those. I have to say though that your blog and countless others have really changed me as a person....afterall....a person's a person no matter how small.