Where to start? When I pictured my life I pictured myself, as married with children, a house, friends and even a dog. A typical dream of a young girl. A happy ever after story with no major life challenges. The day we decided to have a baby my life changed. The excitement (also, thinking, what have I done!) and keeping the secret of being pregnant from everyone. Only a secret between me and my love. What an exciting blessing!
The day came when we shared our joyous news and sharing the excitement begun. One night I started having cramps and realised I needed to go to the hospital. I knew it was going to be fine but didn't know what was wrong. We shouldn't have had to wait so long but four hours later a scan was completed and it showed the little baby to be fine. What a relief! A follow up with the early pregnancy unit the next day confirmed the baby was growing well and nothing to worry about.
I excitedly booked the eighteen week scan with no worries at all. The day of the scan came and my husband and I were excited but nervous. We arrived early. I sat waiting hoping my bladder would not burst. We went in and the room was dimly lit and the scan begun. The lady, who I remembered had glasses started the scan and didn't say much but I wasn't worried. Then she said she wanted to ask the radiographer's opinion and quickly left the room. I instantly started to feel sick and asked my husband what's going on and he didn't know either. Butterflies overtook me, my hands became moist and I silently trembled. Fear was closing in. I started to panic. The lady returned with a man who said he just wanted to have a look at our baby.
That was when our life changed forever...
I said what's wrong?
The next moments are a bit of blur. I felt sick, my hands shook, I sweated and tears streamed my face. I was no longer lying there but watching my life unfold with no ability to control it. Fear engulfed me.
The radiographer said that our baby had spina bifida and arnold chiari malformation. I had only read of spina bifida on the vitamin bottles but never arnold chiari malformation. I remember asking only would I make it to full term and he said that he didn't know and I needed to make a plan. The man with the beard said, "if it was my daughter I would make a plan". I can't remember what happened next only that the lady said that she needed the room for someone else and so we had to leave. We sat outside for a time, I don't know how long but I just wept.
The only contact we were given was go to our GP or contact the early pregnancy unit at the hospital otherwise we were on our own with no understanding or support or even help.
Our first stop was to visit my mum and dad as they were excited about the scan and would be wondering. So we made a visit. I ran into the house looking for my mum. Dad was concerned and I left him with my other half frantically searching for my mum. She came up the stairs and and I remember her holding me and then we all sat down and it was quiet.
What were we to do? We had no direction and no help! I rang the hospital doctor and left a message and a nurse called back several hours later and said I would have to wait at least a few days to get an appointment. At that point I said no this is not good enough, I don't understand, I don't know what is wrong, I must see someone. So that afternoon we met with a short, skinny, emotionless doctor and I remember the first question. Have I considered an abortion? How could she! I don't even understand what is wrong and you are trying to kill my baby! She contacted a private obstetrician in Brisbane. Thank you God, we got an appointment a couple of days later.
I just didn't understand.