October 31, 2004
One of the things that was very different with this pregnancy than with my first pregnancy was I just felt like I couldn't get excited about it. I felt bad about that and tried to be excited but I just couldn't believe I was pregnant or couldn't believe I was going to have a baby. This bothered me. I kept wondering if something was wrong with the baby. Something just didn't feel right. But, I thought, well, maybe it's just that my hormones are out of balance or something.
I went for an ultrasound when I was 18 wks. along.. I remember saying before I went, “I hope nothing’s wrong. I hope the baby’s ok”. (I never had thoughts like that with my first pregnancy.) It’s like I sensed all along that something was wrong, but I just didn’t have any proof of it so I hoped my feelings were wrong. And I honestly thought everything would be ok regardless of all the strange feelings I was having.
When I went in for the ultrasound, the technician pointed out different parts of Luke’s body and said his heart was fine, his stomach was full so that meant he was swallowing, kidneys were working fine. I was sooo happy and “excited” finding out we were having a boy and seeing him move! He was kicking and moving. I could see his fingers and his little feet. I was so happy and finally felt excited and like he was really going to be alright! It was such a relief to see him on that screen after wondering for four months if something was wrong.
Then she said his head was down really low. I said something like, “Does that mean something’s wrong?”. (I’d already asked her those kind of questions throughout the whole ultrasound. I had been worried ever since I took the first pregnancy test.) She said, “No, it just makes it hard for me to see it.” Then soon she was finished with the ultrasound and she said, “Who’s your doctor here”. I told her. Then she said, “Do you have a check up today?”. I said “No….WHY?” (I’m not a total idiot. I was beginning to realize these weren’t the questions I should be hearing.)
She said “because I do see something wrong. I think there’s something wrong with the baby.” I think at that point, adrenaline starting shooting through my body. She brought in another nurse and she was asking me if I could go in the next day to see my doctor because there were no doctors in that day. I said. “Well, can you tell me what you think is wrong?”. She said., “We’re just not seeing what we’d think we’d see.” Then they took me to the front desk and they quickly disappeared back into the files with my ultrasound pictures. The girl at the desk was as cold as ice. I asked her, “Is there another doctor who could look at the results today?” She said no. I left and burst into tears.
I didn’t even try to figure out what could be wrong with Luke. I didn’t want to torment myself any more. I couldn’t help thinking though that the technician never commented on his head and I kept thinking “it must be something with the baby’s head.” I started praying that Luke’s brain would be formed. (even though I’d never heard of anencephaly and didn’t know what was wrong, it only made sense that if it was something to do with his head, it must be that his brain hadn’t formed properly.)
My mom went in with me the next morning. They took us back to this room with information packets and pictures all over the walls. I thought something like, “Oh, this is bad.” I felt like I was a kid waiting in the principal’s office. When my doctor came in, she said basically that it was really bad news then told us Luke had anencephaly.
I wanted no talk of my baby dying. I just wanted everyone to pray for a miracle. I believe in miracles! And I thought I had to find out what caused this so I would know how to pray about it. I went home and got on the internet. I was so exhausted, not only physically but emotionally too.
Then I started having strange thoughts and feelings like maybe my baby wasn’t really alive and maybe people would think I wasn’t really pregnant anymore. I wondered if people would think I shouldn’t act pregnant anymore.
I joined the Anencephaly Blessings From Above online support group and as I read the posts and looked at the information on there, I began to realize that others had prayed for their babies to be healed and believed, but didn?t get the miracle they had hoped for and I had to accept the fact that there was no guarantee that my baby would be healed. Reading the posts on there actually gave me hope though because I began to realize that even though my baby had anencephaly, he was still very alive and the women in the group helped me to realize that there were things I could do to enjoy my time with Luke and to remember him. This was very comforting to me.
By the time I was in my last trimester, it was evident that I had polyhydramnios. This is a condition where the amniotic fluid builds up because the baby is unable to swallow. I measured 40 weeks size at my 33 week check up. The day after that check up, I started having a "bloody show". The next day after that I was having contractions and went into the hospital. The contractions stopped so my doctor sent me home. That night I was in a lot of pain all night and didn't sleep at all. Then at 7 am the next morning, October 31, 2004, my water broke. I got to the hospital at 8:30 am and Luke was born at 12:32 pm (four hours later).
The nurse handed him to me right away and said "There's been no respiratory and no heart beat.". I said "No heart beat?" (we've got it on tape, otherwise I wouldn't have remembered asking that.). Then the other nurse said "let me try" and she listened and heard a heart beat! Oh, thank God! Luke's heart kept beating for one hour. A few weeks after Luke's death, I learned from friends in the ABFA support group that Luke actually was breathing. I wish I would have known that while he was alive.
I'm so thankful we had Luke and that we got to hold him and spend time with him. He was so beautiful! We'll love him
forever! He had blue eyes, brownish blond hair, weighed 2 lbs. 9 oz, and was 13 ¾ " long.
We will never forget our second son, Luke Daniel. We know he is safe in Heaven with Jesus and look forward to seeing him again one day.
Last updated 11 October 2007