July of 2016. We just moved into our “final” house in Fort Atkinson, WI. It is a great house, 3 bedrooms for the kids, finished basement, awesome backyard. Michelle was pregnant with our fourth. We took the 3 kids to the ultrasound as a celebration to “see” the baby and to get excited!
It was a Wednesday, I was very busy at work, but took some time to drive to the hospital. There was Michelle and our 3 kids. Michelle’s parents were nice enough to help bring the kids. In fact, her parents helped a ton, even thought we were 1.5 hrs away.
Michelle laid down and we were all excited. We didn’t want to know boy or girl yet (that was for the reveal party). We just wanted to see our very healthy baby growing! Then the tech started. Showing the feet, the hands, etc. All the fun stuff we were all excited about. Then the organs, and the heart…… long silent pause….. why is she taking a million pictures of the heart….. why is she looking worried.
We ask if everything is ok, She didn’t need to speak to tell us no. Just a simple lie is all she could get out. Something to the effect of that she just wasn’t getting good pictures. I’m not a poker player, but her words were not fooling anyone in the room. We knew something was wrong. We could hear the heart beat, we could see it moving, so why isn’t she (the ultrasound tech) smiling?
She kept leaving the room and coming back looking at the heart. She would not answer our questions, just that she was getting more pictures. Why more pictures is what I wanted to know.
Then it ended, our session was done. Nothing but simple words that our Doctor would be in touch. That was it. We knew something was very wrong. Then just like that, I’m back at work. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my job in Fort Atkinson, I loved who I worked with. Quitting that job is for another post, maybe multiple posts…
The next day went by, no news. I remember not sleeping much. Lack of sleep is something I was going to get use to. I was excited for Thursday night. By far and away my favorite thing in Fort Atkinson was slow pitch softball on Thursday night. I am not a good player by any stretch of the imagination. But for that one hour a week, I had friends outside of work. I will be forever grateful to that group of guys who were so sincere to me and listed to me for the months to come. We played for 1 hour, celebrated for a few after the win or lose. Winning the championship the next year was pretty awesome, but being able to talk our issues coming up was very helpful. Having people that listen is huge. Not tell you how it’s going to be ok, not tell you their stories, but just listen.
Then we packed up and hit the road for a Family Reunion in Southern Indiana. The Doctor called Michelle when we were in the car. There were concerns with the heart and all our treatment was being transferred to University of Wisconsin Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cardiac Unit in Madison. That was it. Time to try to enjoy a vacation.
I loved the family reunion, in fact, I’d like to go back to it. But it was horrible to let your thoughts wonder to what is going on with our 4th child who was due in just over 3 months.
We live in a small town, know almost no one, related to no one, have very few friends outside of work. What are we doing? We just bought an awesome house, we have an awesome family, but maybe now we don’t. Our child was going to need us, need us to be strong, need us to be brave, need us more than I ever knew someone needed someone. Our child was going to need us to fight for his life as we are going to be asked several times by Doctors if we wanted to abort our child. Being told by Doctors it’s ok to have a late term abortion. (much more on this later) He’s our child and he’s going to be great. But what if he’s not going to be great? What if everything isn’t going to be just fine?
Thank you for reading and letting me reflect. Please subscribe for e-mails when our journey is updated.