Call me crazy, but toward the end of my pregnancy with Jameson, I was so excited to give birth. Labor day could not come fast enough. I just couldn’t wait to meet my baby! Most people are terrified to give birth for the first time, let alone be told that there was a chance of the baby not making it. Not me, I was not scared at all. I just knew in my heart that it was going to be alright! I am not gonna lie though, it did help that we had 4D growth ultrasounds each month after we were labeled high-risk. At each appointment we could see how well he was doing and just so adorable he was getting.
Hello World, my name is Brooke Davis. I am starting this blog to give my son a voice (because he is still a baby), find other families like us, and to allow others to share in our journey. This is my very first post and it is a little long, but bear with me, it explains the beginning of our story. Future posts will be much shorter, I promise!
On April 12th 2012, my husband Jim and I welcomed our son Jameson. It was the best day of my life! I was finally a mom. However, it could have potentially been the worst. The worst, because we were unsure of his health and survival upon being born.
Our story really begins in 2009, when I became pregnant with our first baby in April. Sadly, that pregnancy ended 9 weeks later. My doctor did not find a heartbeat at our first appointment. I was devastated, a miscarriage really? How could this happen to me? In those short weeks I had already fallen in love with that baby. I was hesitant, but soon became eager to try once more.
That September we were pregnant again! I was extremely happy and terrified at the same time. I did not want to go through another heartbreaking loss. Despite the fear we told the world of our pregnancy. Our first doctor’s appointment was horrifying, I was so nervous I was shaking. Unfortunately, that ultrasound did not go the way we wanted either. No heartbeat. Again, how was this happening to me? I was beyond devastated.
My OB was wonderful, he told me that we would get to the bottom of this. He ordered a series of tests to find a possible culprit. After being poked and prodded, I was diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder called Prothrombin 21210 gene mutation or factor II. Luckily, I was told I am heterozygous, a carrier of only one gene making my clotting disorder less life threatening. It did however, possibly cause a blood clot in the uterine wall cutting off the life support to each embryo.The diagnosis was great news in that this could be the problem and it was treatable. I could finally move forward, feel excited about getting pregnant again, and that the next time, the 3rd time is a charm!
I was immediately put on a baby aspirin regimen to help thin my blood to prevent future blood clots. That did not go well at all. Turns out I am deathly allergic to aspirin. This was not good, it was my hope for treating my clotting disorder. The only other treatment was much more harsh, daily injections of blood thinners. After two E.R. visits and over a month and a half of treating a terrible allergic reaction with steroids. I decided I needed a break. A break from doctors, pregnancy disasters, and heartbreak. We put all baby thoughts on hold. We were going to have a fun summer and try again later, much later.
Surprise, I became pregnant at the beginning of the summer. Apparently we did not do a very good job of “taking a break”. But none the less, we were beyond ecstatic!
After the initial overwhelming joy I began to feel terrified again. My doctor gave me the choice to either go along with this pregnancy naturally as I had before, or try the blood thinner injections. I was determined not to loose this baby, so I chose to do the injections.
My pregnancy started off a little rocky, I bled daily for the first 13 weeks. Luckily, it was just one of those things and did not affect the baby. Thank goodness! After that it was smooth sailing, no more nausea and I felt the baby kick by the 17th week. I was over the moon!
When we hit 20 weeks our extreme excitement and happiness took an abrupt turn for the worst. At the end of our mid-pregnancy ultrasound we were told (2 hours later) that there was something wrong with the baby and that my doctor would call me later. I was shocked, I saw the baby, he looked perfect. What was she talking about? They did not elaborate with any details and sent us home in complete and utter shock. We waited for 7 hours in agony for my OB to call. He said that there was something wrong with the baby’s arms and that he did not know what but it could be Amniotic Band Syndrome or ABS. He then scheduled us with Maternal Fetal Medicine at the Hospital for a follow up ultrasound to make sure. My mind was spinning. I still had NO answers. Did my baby even have arms? I did not know. That was probably the worst day of my life.
We had to wait a whole week for the follow up ultrasound. In that week I prayed to God several times a day hoping that it was all just a mistake.
Before the ultrasound, we were sent to a Genetic counselor, where we were finally told that our baby did indeed have arms, they just both stopped at the elbow. What, both arms? Are you kidding me? Because it was so symmetrical, as far as they could tell, it was not ABS, and they feared that he could have a different more severe genetic syndrome. A syndrome that could cause many health issues and even death. I cried so much that I could not even talk a word during that entire meeting.
At the ultrasound appointment they confirmed that he had no forearms or hands. They loaded us up with information on all possible horrible syndromes, but ultimately they had no idea what caused this anomaly. Giving us three options, to terminate, (which I immediately turned down), do an amnio to see if “maybe” they could find a cause which could endanger the baby, or continue the pregnancy as we were and hope for the best outcome. We choose the last option with out a doubt that it would be the best.
At 40 1/2 weeks I delivered a healthy 6 lbs 13 oz baby boy. Despite having been born this way, he has no syndromes, no health issues, just a fluke accident that is isolated to his lower arms. We are so blessed that he is our beautiful and amazing son. Our journey however, has just begun and we face many challenges ahead.