NOTE: Parts 1 and 2 were posted previously. To follow the story chronologically, you should read these posts first:
After the phone call from the Genetics Counselor informing us that the most recent barrage of tests came back, yet again, inconclusive, there was nothing more to do. They had no more tests to offer; they had no real options.
Selective reduction was NOT an option.
So, life went on with us not knowing what was happening or even if something was in fact, wrong. We were cautiously optimistic and decided together that there was nothing more that we could do and we were going to be HAPPY about this pregnancy.
We bought pink paint, wallpaper, and 2 cribs, 2 mattresses, 2 dressers, 2 changing pad, 2 crib sets, and ten million and seven diapers. We were ready.
We registered at Babies ‘R’ Us and used the hand-held scanners to zap away our fears and replace them with images of perfect baby pictures that we saw all over the store. THAT was going to be us. Everything was going to be OK.
Life was good and Val’s belly was growing and she felt the best she’s felt in her life. Her smile was infectious; her contentment was tangible. I had never seen her so happy.
To be safe, we had weekly sonograms to make sure everything looked just as inconclusive as before.
(To clarify, we had the best medical care available anywhere in the world. The medical team that followed our case was world-renowned. The human body is a remarkable thing and can stump even the most advanced scientific research. And unfortunately, we fell into that category.)
All checks were in place and the twins were monitored very, very closely for any indication of distress. But all remained quiet and they continued to grow and show all the ‘normal‘ signs of development. We remained in close contact with the entire medical team throughout the pregnancy and at any sign of concern, it was expressed immediately (it did help that Val works in the same hospital). We weren’t taking any chances.
Life went on and we became more and more convinced that everything was going to be ok – that if something was really bad, we’d know by now. And the doctors assured us that everything was moving along just fine.
I had a trip coming up to Toronto and asked our doctor if there was any reason that I should not go. It was only for a few days and Val was only 27 weeks along (for those of you who don’t know, a full term baby delivers at 40 weeks). We were assured that there was no reason at all that I should cancel my trip. All would be fine.
On the second day (a Friday), Val called me on her way into work to check in. She said she was feeling just fine but had some very mild discomfort that she was going to talk to the nurse practitioner about when she got to work. It was no cause for alarm and she would call me later after she talked to her.
Luckily, the NP squeezed her in for an office visit and Val popped on over for a quick check-up. All was fine and there was nothing to worry about. So Val went about her business at work.
Later that day (as we found out later), Val’s Nurse practitioner was leaving work for the day and was walking to her car in the garage when something began to bother her. She couldn’t put her finger on it but she just ‘had a feeling’ that something wasn’t right. She called Val’s cell phone and told her to go to the ER and get a steroid shot as a precaution (steroid shots are often given to patients in jeopardy of pre-term birth to help boost lung development which is one of the last organs to develop in a baby). This was just as a precaution.
Val called to tell me and I became very uncomfortable. But the doctors assured me that there was no reason to return and that “there will be no babies born today.” Regardless, I planned to leave the next morning on the first flight out as it was already 4pm and getting a flight out now would be difficult. Plus the doctor was sure that all this was a precaution.
Val sounded fine and didn’t seem overly concerned. I told her that I was going to look at flights and try to come home in the morning. I told her to call me when she got home so I knew she was ok.
One hour later, 5pm, my cell phone rang from a frantic mother-in-law:
“Kip, Val is having an emergency c-section right now!!”
My heart jumped out of my chest.
Tears rolled down my face…
“I’m on my way.”