I'm a 42yo online communications & IT consultant, and ex recording artist, from Melbourne, Australia.

After much searching, I finally met the right man. Then I got pregnant at 41 - baby boy was due 20 April 2010.

It was to be quite a journey. We discovered via ultrasound that our baby had some health problems, namely a hole in the heart, hypospadias and IUG growth issues.

Then I became very ill with pre-eclampsia, and was admitted to hospital at 34 weeks gestation.

Our baby Charles was delivered prematurely on 16th March 2010 weighing a tiny 1460g (3.5 pounds). He spent a month in hospital before coming home.

"I believe there's a problem..."

I'm having my usual fortnightly scan (because baby is small - see previous post). I'm at 26 weeks now. I'm here alone - as we thought this scan would be routine, my partner is at work.

Cheerily I ask how much baby boy has grown this past fortnight.

The radiologist is frowning and looking closely at the screen. He focuses in on the heart and looks again.

I lie there and try to keep still. The radiologist enlarges and enlarges, until baby's teeny little heart is maximised across the screen. I see the four chambers of the heart pulsing. From my recollections of school biology classes, it looks like a normal heart. Doesn't it?

The radiologist has switched on the colour part of the ultrasound, which shows blood movement and so on, and I can now see colours moving across the heart.

Finally the radiologist turns to me.

"I believe there is a problem with baby's heart", he says.

OK, keep calm.

"He appears to have a hole in his heart. I'll do you a drawing so I can explain better."

Stay, stay calm. Make sure you take it all in and ask the right questions.

He tells me baby has a medium sized hole between the two lower chambers, and shows me on a drawing, but tells me that he will have to bring in a cardiologist for a specialist opinion.

If confirmed, baby will require heart surgery at some point after his birth.

He also tells me that baby appears to have a condition called Hypospadias, whereby the penis and urethra haven't formed properly and the penis opening is in the wrong position.

This will also require surgery after birth.

I am still trying to be calm, but now I just start sobbing, and have to be taken out to a quiet room to calm down by a clearly upset radiologist, who didn't want to have to tell me this and feels for me.

I'm devastated. My baby, who was so much wanted and so long waited for, is too small, has a heart problem, has a penis problem. What else is coming? My poor little one - what will his first months be like?

And as his mother, what did I do wrong?

10 comments...:

april said...

Oh honey - you did NOTHING wrong, nothing. It just happens sometimes. And it isn't fair. And as sure as I am you'll get through it, now must be so hard for you, I would be terrfied. your little one will be born, will have surgery and will most very likely grow up to be well, happy and healthy. If there was any chance of not, they would be telling you.
You are in my thoughts and you do not deserve the guilt.

emlykd said...

Oh my! Thank u for sharing! This kind of news can't be easy to bear! My thoughts and prayers are with u and ur baby boy.. I don't know if this helps, a friend recently had a baby. They predicted all sort of problems but when she was born they weren't as bad as they had predicted! It will make all the difference when u hold ur little man in ur arms! Xxxx

Taryn Rucci said...

So sorry to hear this. I wish I could offer some words to help. All I can say is once you hold your beautiful boy in your arms,his health troubles will be a million thoughts away. Do not blame yourself. xxx

Seraphim said...

Nothing! Nothing! Nothing! You did nothing wrong. Your little boy is already so loved and beloved by so many people. Some complete strangers. And he will receive great care and I hope and pray everything will be fine. xxx

41BabyProject said...

I shed a tear as I read these comments -
thank you all for your prayers, reassurance and kindness :-)

Means a lot to me - really.

Suz said...

thinking of you. My "small" boy - born at 2.3kg only - is now a whopping 3 year old a head taller than most peers! It's hard not to worry though i know. Be kind to yourself xx

Sharpest Pencil said...

You know our story so I wont expand here but know that you are in good hands and you are going to be an amazing mum.

Your baby will be cared for by doctors and by nurses, by surgeons and by specialists who will do all the medical procedures he needs but you will love him, care for him and nurture him till adulthood and beyond.

My little bubs went through 2 months of intensive care and surgery in just the first 2 months of his life. He had more surgery a year later and so much invasive testing and screening but he remembers nothing of it at all. All he knows is that he is a much loved and wanted child. Your baby will know that too

Nomie said...

You have done nothing NOTHING, wrong. The love you have for your baby boy is amazing, and visible through your words. Your baby is in good medical hands, and already feels the love you have for him.
You are in my thoughts.

Megan said...

Agree with all the comments here. Nothing more I can add really, other than - thinking of you. Mother Guilt is a terrible thing, but really - it is not your fault. xo

Kallie said...

I've given birth to a son who spent 3 months in hospital due to prematurity and lack of growth, faced the possibility of heart surgery (wasn't needed) and watched him have an operation at 2 months (weighing all of 1.5kg) and I also have another son who was born with hypospadias. I didn't see him through his surgery as he became my son afterwards but he's 5 now and the surgery was successful. To the unknowing he appears to have been circumcised and he did need to have follow up visits to ensure that the repair to his urethra was successful and he pees straight but he seems to have no bad memory of his surgery and presumably all will work as it should in his future years. You will cope with it all because you can. I would never have thought I could have dealt with all I have but as long as I didn't think about what might have been coming it wasn't too hard. Just one day at a time and you & your baby will be more than fine :)

Liz_is

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