Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Isabella's story

Isabella Shirlene Jaffe, my second born's birth story is a little more fresh in my memory so may be a tad bit more detailed.  My husband and I had just upped and moved 900 mile away from all our family and friends to live in Staunton Virginia, one of the most beautiful and scenic areas in the country, hello skyline drive!  We had moved there because Dov was going to be upgrading the water treatment facility in nearby Stuarts Draft.  I had a sneaking suspicion that I might be pregnant the first week we were there but it wasn't till the end of the second week that I decided that I wanted to know for sure. 
Things were very uneventful for the first 11 weeks.  Baby's heartbeat was strong and I made a trip back to Massachusetts to let everyone in on the news.  I was scheduled for my nuchal translucency ultrasound at 13 weeks and was eagerly looking forward to it since that was when we found out the sex of our first born Noah.  I could hardly wait the day of the test, I layed there while the doctor measured and remeasured and then remeasured all the while thinking that this is taking a little to long.  About 45 minutes later he said OK lets go to my office and have a talk.  I remember sitting there while he looked at all the pics that I could not wait to get my hands on.  "Well I wish I had better news for you."  Here comes the sinking heart, the racing pulse, the instant headache.  "Your daughter has a lot of fluid behind her neck.  We like to see below 2 at this gestation and hers is 3.6."  Not so bad I am thinking...I was wrong.  "This puts your risk of Downs syndrome at 1 in 24 and Trisomy 18 at 1 in 700." 
I remember saying thank you and scheduling my next appointment but inside I think I was literally dying, or at least wanted to.  I immediately got home told my husband that we were having a girl and she probably had Downs syndrome then going into my room and staying there for ohhh I don't know like a week.  I had made the decision that I would have the CVS done (similar to a amniocentesis) so we would know one way or the other.  After a two week wait the results came back that Isabella did not have Down syndrome but that they wanted to take a good look at her heart since the fluid can be due to a deformed heart.  Well great bring on another 3 week wait for my fetal echo, which went very well, no heart defects found.
All this scary prenatal testing had spun me into a complete and total wreck.  It did not matter what the tests said I had become convinced that she had some genetic defect that they didn't find.  It turned me into a depressed, crazy hormonal basket case who could easily spend hours researching what it meant to have a increased nuchal translucency.  Two psychiatrist and 6 months later I went into labor on March 3 2010 while enjoying some Jersey Shore.  I was terrified that at the moment of birth they would notice something and my life would be forever changed.  I put on a brave face but inside I was so nervous.  Her labor was easier then I could have imagined.  I was at the hospital at 3pm she was born at 9pm.  She was perfect, well except that she had a large salmon patch (infant vascular birth mark).  They did hear a loud murmur the night she was born so she was closely monitored for that but two days later she came home and has been as healthy as a horse since.
It is amazing how having something like that can make you become so much more attuned to other peoples feelings, and suffering.  I still frequent the babycenter boards and try to bring comfort to moms who have just had their pregnancy rocked with bad testing results.  It also made me really see what a lucky woman I am to have such a supportive and wonderful husband.  He never believed for one second that his baby girl was anything less then perfect.  He kept me as grounded as he could and put his feelings in the background so that I wouldn't see his fear.  I know I have thanked him before for that but babe thanks again.  You said that no matter what we could deal with it and you know what you were right, we can deal with anything together.  I love you.

two hours into labor about 10 minutes before epidural.

View from my room...the two mountains in the distance I kept saying looked like boobs?...who knows.

Here she is!

She looks massive here 8lbs 5oz 21 inches long!  Bigger then her Brother.

Getting ready for her first bath.

All clean.  I love how she is holding the cord. 

Daddy with his baby girl

Just love it!

My little Humpty Dumpty!

My pretty little girl!  Always keeping it interesting.