Day 26

I’ve gotten used to our Friday checkups. Tiny Baby has been active enough that I’m not afraid of getting bad news, and I like getting to have a quick ultrasound and see the heartbeat every week. So I expected our visit today to be routine.

When Dr. L came in, he said he’d reviewed the images from the very first ultrasound – the one that got me referred to the perinatologist – and thought he, like that first sonographer, saw the baby’s full bladder. Obviously if there are no functional kidneys, there won’t ever be anything in the bladder, and it was something Jarom had wondered about after the second ultrasound, which found no kidneys, stomach, or bladder. The perinatologist was very final about his diagnosis, so I assumed the first sonographer was mistaken. But Dr. L wondered about the conflicting information, so he recommended we get another ultrasound done by the perinatologist.

He said that most likely, we’ll get the same diagnosis, or maybe a new diagnosis with the same outcome – but different risks for the future or different courses of action we may want to take. Of course, no matter the cause of the lack of amniotic fluid, the baby still can’t live.

But for one brief minute I got my hopes up.

For one brief minute I thought maybe the specialist was wrong, and things could somehow be fixed.

For one brief moment I wondered, What if Tiny Baby will live?

Hope is a terrible thing. Even though I can tell myself that this ultrasound won’t change much, if anything, some tiny part of me incessantly wonders, What if? What if?

I’d thought of a question a few days ago that I planned to ask today. After the recommendation for another ultrasound, I thought maybe I should wait until next week when we were sure that things would go ahead as planned. I asked anyway: Will it make a lot of difference that the baby is breech?

Yes.

The baby’s head can get stuck, in which case, if the baby was alive, they might die before the body is completely delivered.

Or the baby’s head can get stuck and I’ll start bleeding, a lot, in which case they would essentially do a partial-birth abortion in order to stop the bleeding. Normally they’d do a C-section, but since the baby has no chance of survival, they want to minimize the risk to me.

Waiting until the baby is bigger might help. Or it might not.

I didn’t know I could feel this horrible.