On January 8th, 2009, I found out I was pregnant. After several years of hoping and praying for another baby and after two previous miscarriages I was thrilled. We decided to tell our family right away and then told everyone else. I was only about 6 weeks along, but we were so excited -- finally a baby, after all this time.
We had several early ultrasounds at 6 weeks, 8 weeks, and 10 weeks, and each time we saw a good strong heartbeat and the doctor said "everything looks great." Because of my age, my regular doctor had referred us to a maternal fetal medicine doctor for an 18-week, level-three ultrasound. Not only would he check everything out thoroughly, but we would also find out if we were having a girl or a boy. After 2 boys and 2 girls, this baby would be our tie-breaker baby.
So on May 20, 2009, Brandon, the kids, and I all crowded into the ultrasound room and saw our beautiful baby on the big screen on the wall. The tech took lots of pictures and measurements and then told us we were having a girl. More dresses and bows. More pink and painted toes. More ballet shoes and tutus. I was thrilled (although I would have been just as excited if she had been a boy!).
The tech said the doctor would also be in to take a look and recheck measurements. When the doctor came in he made small talk for a few minutes and then he began to look at our girl. "Spine looks good, head looks good, umbilical cord looks good." And then he said these words, "But do you see this?" and went on to say that our baby girl appeared to have a hernia. At the time I remember thinking, "Hernia? That can't be serious. People have hernias all the time."
We would soon find out just how serious it was when the doctor explained that our baby had a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. It's hard to remember everything that happened on that terrible day. I remember sitting in the consult room hearing things like "neonatal intensive care," "surgery," "underdeveloped lungs," and "50% mortality rate."
That day began our journey with Anne Marie's CDH. We would have ultrasound after ultrasound to check on her condition. We researched CDH on the internet and visited hospitals trying to find the best place for her care. We, along with countless others would pray for her and beg God to heal her.
Anne Marie was born on October 15, 2009 and cared for by many amazing doctors at Children's in Dallas. After 37 days in the hospital Christ welcomed our girl into His arms. You can read more about her life by clicking on Baby in the labels section. A brief video is here.
I miss Anne Marie more than words can ever express and thank God that I have the privilege of being her mother.