Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Baby Brother

I know I haven't been keeping up with the blog lately. I've been so busy between baby appointments, helping kids with homework, and of course football practices and games. But now, I find myself with a few minutes to spare. I almost feel like a "visitor" to Sophia's blog. Here's to hoping I can come in at least once a week to update.

I'm sure you are all wondering what's up with the title of this post. And I'm here to share that news with you all!

As some of you may already know, one day after Sophia's 1st Heavenly Birthday, we received a positive home pregnancy test. This was not something we were trying for, but we weren't exactly preventing it either. While I stared at the test window, my emotions got the best of me. Within just a few short minutes, there was a faint positive. I must admit, I bawled like a baby. It was a mix of happy tears, sad tears, excited tears, etc. Most of all, I was afraid of what people might think. I really need to learn that it doesn't matter what other people think. This is OUR life to live, not theirs. I was afraid that people may think we were trying to replace Sophia. I was afraid that Sophia may feel as if she's being replaced. There were so many things running through my head at full speed.

The first 10 weeks were the hardest. I couldn't wait for that 10 week scan so we could hear that baby was developing perfectly. We had our first appointment at 8 weeks. It was a struggle to pull myself through the doors of the Women's Pavilion at Geisinger Medical Center. This place held many memories for me. The most recent memories were those where I was told that my unborn baby girl had a fatal birth defect (Anencephaly). I replayed the memory through my head, along with the memory of leaving that same hospital with empty arms. I sucked it up and walked in (but not before having an anxiety attack). During our appointment, I had asked for an ultrasound. Thankfully they planned on doing one, just to find out how far along I was. My dates matched! Baby Bean (as we nicknamed him during that ultrasound) was measuring just 1 day ahead. I was overcome with joy while laying there watching a little heart beating. So many women take that for granted. In previous pregnancies (before Sophia), I was one of those women. But now I knew what it was like to look at an ultrasound and see nothing but a lifeless body on the screen, no heartbeat in sight.

Our next appointment was scheduled for 2 weeks later. This appointment would be the one to tell us if Baby Bean's neural tube closed. Those 2 weeks seem to have gone by so slow. Before we knew it, it was time to go. Baby Bean was no longer just a "bean", but a miniature baby. The tech told us everything looked perfect. Bean was measuring a few days ahead and everything looked great. We met with one of our doctors afterward and he gave us the same reassuring news. I couldn't wait to get home and show the kids the pictures!

Next appointment was a couple weeks later. We had the blood drawn for the Quad Screen. I figured that we had nothing to worry about because we had the First Trimester Screen done and everything came back fine. Well, little did I know, the Quad Screen results came back as positive for an ONTD. I felt my world crashing down around me all over again. How could this happen? I had myself so worked up and scared that I started breaking out in hives all over my hands and feet. Angel decided to call MFM and see if they could get me in sooner. The secretary passed a message on from the doctor saying we might as well wait until our scheduled scan so they can see things more clearly. These few weeks went by so slow. I wanted to know things right away. Over those few weeks I had prepared myself to expect some bad news.

The big day was here. September 19th! Time for our scan. According to the paper I received in the mail, we were to be in the same room as we were in when we received Sophia's diagnosis. I was relieved to find out that room was already taken. Soon after, the scan was underway. I couldn't believe how much Baby Bean had grown since our last scan. First things first, the tech checked out Baby Bean's head. She measured everything and it came back right where it should be. Everything intact! I couldn't be happier. But this wasn't the only thing that had to be checked out. We were able to see little hands and feet, legs and arms, and an adorable little face. We were also able to hear the heart beat. I love this sound! She measured it and it came in at 159bpm.

After just a few minutes, she was asking if we wanted to know the sex of our baby. This is one of the moments we had been waiting for. I said yes and immediately turned my head to look at the monitor that was hanging from the wall. Before she could say anything, I looked over at Angel and said, "It's a boy!" and she agreed. We were expecting our 4th baby boy! From there she went on to look at a few other things. After that, she was trying to get a good shot of his spine. He just wasn't having it! She had me roll over onto my left side to see if that would make him move. And boy did he move! He started rolling around. As soon as she was able to get the shot she was looking for, he decided to hide his little hiney in my ribs. His spine looked perfect but we were unable to see the tail bone area. Soon after, the doctor came in the room to explain to us why our Quad Screen results came back positive. He mentioned about not being able to see the tail bone area but that he wasn't overly concerned. I couldn't be any happier. Our results were a false positive. All that worrying for nothing. Preparing myself for the worst news imaginable just to be given the best possible news.

I couldn't wait to leave the hospital and get home to tell my family, my kids especially. My boys were so excited. My daughter a little less so. It took some talking to get her to be a bit excited about our newest addition. I explained to her that now she doesn't have to share the title of Princess with anyone other than Sophia. Mercedes is our earthly princess and Sophia being our Heavenly Princess. Now she says she is pretty happy about expecting another baby brother, as long as she can help take care of him.

Now our countdown is on. We are officially 21 weeks today. Only 19 weeks to go. I sit here and look back at the last 21 weeks. Some of those weeks drug by, while others seem to have flown by. I'm excited and overjoyed to meet our precious Mateo Alexander. I'm finally at a comfortable stage in my pregnancy. No more morning sickness. I'm finally at a position where I'm enjoying this pregnancy. I'm loving the feeling of Mateo moving and kicking around. I love watching my belly grow as the weeks continue to slip by. Some days I wish it were February. Other days I wish I could stay pregnant forever.

Our family is nearly complete. Our family of 8, one of those 8 watching over us from Heaven. God, how I wish Sophia was still here with us. But I know that just because she isn't here in a physical way doesn't mean she isn't with us in a spiritual way. She watches over us daily. I miss her so very much....