Thursday, October 2, 2014

Oliver John Eliuk

On September 30 at 7:15 in the morning we met and said goodbye to our tiny little boy. We named him Oliver John Eliuk and at 22 weeks gestation and just over one pound.... he was perfect. 

Oliver's story has been a difficult one to document but one I thought was important to remember. Not only so that I have something to look back on when I miss him the most.... but so that those families who are faced with the same impossible choices we were are able to gain some insight and maybe some comfort from our experience. 

I am now a mother of three and I am proud to say that. His story begins here. 

September 15, 2014 ~

I don't even know where to start with this story. 

Going into our ultrasound on September 5th I was excited. So excited to have the tech put the baby's gender in an envelope for us to reveal at a later time. Excited to see our little nugget and how he or she was doing. I could not wait to hear that everything was great and we were almost half way. I could not wait to share the ultrasound pictures of our sweet little one with our families. 

I followed the technician into the room as Dave waited in the waiting room. I climbed on the bed and spent the next half an hour or so casually talking with the technician about our excitement over this third baby and how our kids are really happy about having another sibling.... especially Sydney. I spoke with the tech about what an interesting job she has but how it must be really difficult when you see something bad on the ultrasound and can't tell the parents. She agreed that it is hard but ensured me that they are well trained or those situations. When she had taken all of the necessary photos she called Dave into the room and showed us our tiny baby. Baby was kicking and waving like crazy and Dave and I were so exited. It was incredible to see our little nugget and I couldn't help but comment several times about how cute he or she was. It was just another moment that bonded us even further to this little being. We were happy. 

I honestly thought that everything would be fine when we left that office. Aside from a small but normal hiccup here and there, we have had two perfectly healthy kids and pregnancies. Unfortunately this one will not be easy or normal at all. 

When I went to Lethbridge to visit my family last week I received a call telling me that I need to make an appointment to see my OB right away. I knew it was bad. I could feel it. The office is only open during the week so I called while driving home on Monday morning and waited for Margie (my doctor's amazing nurse) to call back when she had a moment. Luckily that call came after I had gotten home.

"Stephanie, I have some results from your ultrasound that we are extremely worried about. It looks like your baby is missing half of it's diaphragm. We can't see it on the ultrasound. I am so sorry to have to tell you this over the phone...." 

Margie was incredible with me. I immediately started sobbing and Dave tried to take the phone from me to finish the conversation but I would not let him. I asked the question that every other mother would have asked.... Can the baby survive this?

"I don't know.... I wish I could tell you more but I promise we will get you in to see the best specialists. I just don't know if the baby could survive as it gets bigger..."

I honestly don't think I have ever been that shocked, sad and scared at the same time. Our baby has only developed half a diaphragm and we have no idea what this means. We have no idea if this is an immediate death sentence or if there is a chance of survival. We don't know what to expect or how we will get through this. We don't know how we will tell the kids...

We have two appointments with specialists in the morning. The first is with a Genetic Counselor and the second is to perform an Amniocentesis. I am terrified and hopeful when it comes to learning the test results. I can only hope for the best and lean on Dave for his support. 

This whole thing has made me feel the strangest rush of emotion. Obviously sadness and fear top the list. But there is also the feeling of guilt. I pushed Dave to have a third baby and I am the one who is being trusted to grow and protect our child. I also have this overwhelming feeling of dependency. Whenever Dave has been away from me this last week I feel anxious. He has been my rock and protector and has kept me sane and reassured. I do not think I would be where I am without him. We are going through this together and he has made that abundantly clear. 

The uncertainties are almost debilitating.

Mrs. E

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