Saturday, January 9, 2016

A New Mindset (Kevin's Story, Part 8)

It had been just over a week since we had received the worst news of our lives.  I was 25 weeks pregnant and we had recently announced to our friends and family not only our baby's name, but also the fact that he wasn't expected to survive.  We had chosen the name Kevin Landry at the beginning of the pregnancy.  I had known that if we had a boy I would name him Kevin after my dad.  Now the name seemed to have more meaning than ever.

It was the day of the 3d/4d ultrasound that Scott had scheduled back in November as a birthday gift to me.   It had been meant to be a family event.  All 6 of us were going to go and we would let the boys learn if we were having a boy or girl.  I had been talking it up to them for 2 months and we were all excited.

With Kevin's diagnosis, everything changed.  Scott and I were just as excited as ever to see our baby but we were worried about taking the kids.  We knew that with the Pallister-Killian Syndrome diagnosis it was possible for him to have any of an array of physical deformities.  They were still trying to process the reality of what was happening to their baby brother and I felt that it was too soon to possibly expose them to anything like that.  Scott and I decided to go alone and find out what we were dealing with.  We could always show the boys the photos and dvd at a later date when we'd had time to explain anything we had seen.

Scott had called ahead to let them know our baby's issues so we wouldn't have to explain things when we got there.  If there were any outward physical defects we didn't want the person doing the ultrasound to be caught off guard.  

Getting to see Kevin that day was one of the most special moments of my life.  There was absolutely nothing that made him look like he was different from any other baby.  He looked perfect. If we hadn't already received his diagnosis we would never have believed that anything was wrong.  It was hard to watch this perfect, active little guy on the screen and believe that he wasn't going to make it.  It was surreal. The ultrasound tech was awesome and spent extra time with us.  She took her time to get the best shots and gave us photos that we will treasure for a lifetime.  She also threw in a stuffed elephant that plays a recording of his heartbeat.  I knew all of these things would be a comfort in the days to come.  I was and am so grateful for modern 4d technology that allowed us to see our baby in life.

It was like a switch inside me flipped that day.  My focus up until this day had been on how awful and unfair this was.  I had never for a second considered not carrying Kevin for as long as I could but the thought had been equal parts horrifying and scary.  How could I carry this baby only to turn around and give him up?  Seeing Kevin's face changed everything.  For some reason I was chosen to carry this wonderful, special, little boy inside me.  I didn't know why or for how long but I knew that no matter how short his little life was I would do my best to make sure that he was loved and remembered.   That I could give him.   

Scott and I went out to dinner afterward just like we had planned 2 months before when the appointment was first scheduled.  Seeing our little boy so beautiful and full of life had lifted our spirits.  For the first time in ages we were able to taste our food and even smile.  We knew that our little boy was worth all the difficult days that lie ahead. Every moment with him was precious.  We knew we could do this.  We could do this for Kevin.

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