there goes my hero

I believe that the things in life that define us are not the ones where we freely chose what will happen but the ones when we are forced to react to the things outside our control. These moments change us. In seconds, minutes, hours, they shape who we are as people. The decisions and choices that come after these life altering events mold our future, they define our character.

Having a child is always one of those moments. Whether you have been trying for years and years to get pregnant and one day your miracle is finally granted or you didn’t decide to have a baby at all and now find yourself face to face with the reality that you will be a parent. This event while entirely under our control to initiate is one that comes with such vast and far reaching consequences that I would hesitate to say that anyone knows exactly what they are getting themselves into…even those of us who are repeat offenders.

When Chris and I decided that we wanted to have a second child we were certain. We loved Evey to pieces. We absolutely adored her and felt it was time to expand that love to include two kids. It wasn’t something we needed to discuss a great deal…it just was part of who we were. We would have more than one child.

It didn’t take long for the decision to become a reality and before I could blink I was 20 weeks along. We went in for an ultrasound and everything was perfect. After a little convincing I managed to get Chris to agree that we weren’t going to find out the sex of the baby. What did it matter really? We’d done this before and no matter what it was, boy or girl, we’d love it just the same.

As I began the decent into the second half of my pregnancy everything was wonderful. I was healthy. I had relatively little morning sickness though I did have some mean heartburn but that was familiar to me from Evey. After three ultra-sounds and all the routine checks I was doing great. The baby was perfect.

On Friday, December 1, 2006 the weather was snowy and it was a cold blustery day. We were on day two of a snow storm that had kept us out of school that day and the previous day. We spent the morning outside with Evey making snowmen and snow angels. That afternoon I had an appointment with my OB. I was the last appointment of the day and the thought of canceling flitted across my mind more than once but the roads were clear and I was going to go. Chris was going to stay with Evey.


As I bundled up to get in the car I packed my cell and a book just in case the doctor was running late, as she was frequently apt to do. I got to the office at 4:30 and waited in the waiting room until 5:05, noticing that the baby had a bad case of hiccups when I got a call from Chris asking how things were going. He said Brad and Jen wanted to have dinner and did I think I could be home by 6:00. I told him probably and went back to reading. At about 5:15 I was called back to a room. Everyone profusely apologized for the delay. But it was no big deal, it would be a short visit.

After a brief conversation with the nurse and the traditional round of “How are you feeling?” “How is the baby moving?” “Anything out of the ordinary?” I waited about 5 more minutes before my doctor came in. I love my OB. She is what all OB’s should be. She’s sweet, understanding, thoughtful, and caring. She knows that for all it’s wonderfulness being pregnant isn’t all the much fun at the end, especially.

We chit chatted a bit and then it was time for the doppler. I leaned back on the table and she got me prepped with that disgusting gooey stuff. She put the doppler on my stomach searching around for the heartbeat. In 30 seconds the world stopped. It’s funny how a person can remain silent and still communicate so much. As she bristled to listen more intently I knew something was wrong. I wasn’t hearing a heartbeat per-say, instead I was hearing a whirring sound. This wasn’t the normal whir of the machine but a strange sound almost like a helicopter blade twirling.

With in seconds she rather sternly gave her leave of me and left to go confer with another doctor. Something was wrong with the heartbeat she told me. There was one but it wasn’t quite right and she rushed out the door. Ten excruciating minutes later she came back in.

“We are sending you over to the hospital next door for some testing. The baby’s heartbeat is too fast and I just want to have them run an ultrasound to make sure everything is okay. If it wasn’t after 5 on Friday we would do it here. Is your husband with you?”

With a calm that I can’t to this day explain I told her okay, no Chris wasn’t with me, hopped off the table, grabbed my coat, called Chris and told him we weren’t going to be able to go to dinner, that something was wrong with the baby’s heartbeat and that we were going next door to the hospital for an ultrasound. He asked if he should come up. Yes, he should come up.

I hate to leave this unfinished but as it’s much to long to post as one post I’ll be adding some each day until it’s finished. To be continued tomorrow…   ~Jen

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