If you missed the first part of Hope’s Story you can read it here. Today we continue on Kelly and Alaina Hiatt’s Genesis 5020.
By Alaina Hiatt
Our doctor met us at the elevator doors, which seemed funny as we headed down the hall to a room.
No weighing or blood pressure for me that day.
Once we were behind closed doors, our doctor told us that she had been on the phone with the radiographer during our ultrasound and that our baby had a hernia, which meant that the bowels were growing outside of the baby’s body. The doctor told us this was how the bowels grow, but by this point of pregnancy they should have grown back into the body. She told us that the amniotic fluid could cause damage to the bowels, but that our baby had grown a sac around them to protect them from damage.
She said sometimes this could mean a chromosomal abnormality.
She proceeded to tell us that our care would be transferred to high risk doctors who would be better able to care for the baby after it was born. We left that day with an appointment in Toledo scheduled for the following week. We were shocked, and we were already grieving, but we believed our baby would just need surgery once it was born.
After a scheduling conflict, we finally met with the high-risk doctor one week later. The appointment began with a level-2 ultrasound. We told the tech what we knew and we asked that she explain to us everything she was doing. She was very helpful in telling us everything that our first tech had not—baby’s length, weight and what we were looking at on the screen.
When she finished, she took her printouts to the doctor, and then led us into a room to meet with him.
When the doctor entered the room, he shook our hands and introduced himself, and as he settled himself behind his desk, he proceeded to tell us that the ultrasound confirmed everything that had been seen before and that our baby would not live.
In the “caring and compassionate” fashion that we later came to expect from him, he told us our baby had no legs, anomalies in its hands and arms, and not a single normal functioning organ in its entire body.
He said he was sure the baby had some chromosomal abnormality and that this pregnancy should never have been, let alone made it through the first trimester to this point. He told us that the best way to proceed was to terminate the pregnancy.
Needless to say, we were blown away. We had been prepared for additional testing and care by doctors leading up to immediate surgery once the baby was born, but never had we even considered losing this baby we already loved and wanted so badly.
We told the doctor that termination wasn’t an option for us and that we would continue this pregnancy.
We asked him what kind of prognosis we could expect for future pregnancies. He said the only way to talk about the future was to know exactly what our baby had. We could wait and run tests after the baby was born, but the odds were that the baby would die in utero and it would be a few days before we went into labor, so we might not be able to get anything conclusive after the baby was born.
He suggested that we have an amniocentesis done that day. It was a hard decision for us to choose the amnio – I knew from my reading that there was always a chance that you could lose the pregnancy after an amnio and even with what we now knew, we weren’t ready to lose this baby. We decided to go ahead and have it done.
The ultrasound tech came back in to prep me and explain what would happen. When the doctor entered the room, I asked him if it would be painful, to which he promptly said no.
For my husband and I, it was awful to watch on the ultrasound screen and see the needle enter my uterus so close to the baby. And the doctor had lied—it was painful.
As he tried to draw fluid, he said he wasn’t able to get enough, so he pulled the needle out and tried again in another location. He kept jerking the needle in an attempt to draw more fluid, which was so painful, and he kept saying “Mrs. Hiatt—it only hurts because you’re fighting me! If you don’t start cooperating, we’ll get nothing from this!”
I wasn’t even aware I had anything to do with what he was doing at that point. Once again, he pulled the needle out and tried a third time to draw fluid. This time he was able to draw a little. As he finished, he was disgusted and told us that we wouldn’t get anything from the pitiful attempts.
We were told to schedule another appointment in a week.
What’s your Genesis 5020? We still have a few weeks of Hope’s Story but I would love to line up more stories that give God glory. Share yours at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com