Ulog #1: An Unforgettable Prenatal Screening (freewrite)
Looking at today's freewrite prompt (screening), I can't help but to reminisce those moments which took me totally off guard. T'was an event so impactful in my life that I am going to enter it as my first #ulog. Yay! FINALLY!
I would say, not only was I unprepared but I was devastated. To say I was overwhelmed was an understatement. No word could totally define how I felt at that moment. And I also foresee this will not be just a 5-minute freewrite, because there were so many stories within stories here, if you are willing to stay with me, as these are my real personal stories, which I hold dear to my heart.
The first one was way back in the beginning of year 2013, at about 10 weeks in pregnancy, during the screening, our gynae told us that our fetus seemed not growing. It was not a good news coupled with the inability to view his heartbeat. My gynae tried to sound as positive as he could, but my mother's instinct kicked in and I was thinking of the worse, yet I tried to shrug it off my head. 2 weeks later, it was confirmed a miscarriage.
Six months later, I remembered I gathered all my courage and said yes to myself for "let's make baby again!". And how lucky were we, we conceived without labour.
At 30 weeks of pregnancy, during the prenatal screening, our gynae spotted abnormality. I was so scared of the worse. Then, we were told the baby had hydrops, meaning accumulation of fluid at around his lungs. And I Iearned new words. Hydrops - accumulation of fluid. Pleural effusion - build-up of fluid at the pleural space, the space between lungs and the chest cavity.
Good thing I was a Biology & Chemistry Degree graduate, so I could comprehend some of the terms although there were relatively new to me in pregnancy. I just want a healthy baby!
We were sent to another department for further screening to check whether was there other abnormalities on the baby; Down Syndrome or other diseases. Thank God the baby looked perfect. His eyes, fingers, lips, private part, legs were all beautifully formed. Oh yes, except his private part's balls (scrotum) were a little bit out of alignment, I forgot whether it was too up or too down, but the gynae assured us it was normal and would be automatically sorted out once birth. Yeap, it's a boy!
So what was wrong with the baby?
I had never been so worried in my life. It was a battle within. I was deadly worried yet my thoughts reminded me to be lively anchored to faith. God's faith of course, as I had nearly-to-zero faith at that time. Fear of the unknown was surreal. I could be traumatised by it one moment then forced to look at faith the next moment. It was gut-wrenching.
Then at 32 weeks pregnancy, one day, suddenly, I had severe pain on my watermelon belly. The pain was intense I literally felt the inner skin tearing. I had a high threshold of pain, so when I defined something as painful, it just meant freaking-going-berserk kind of pain.
During the next prenatal screening, I was told I had polyhydramnios, meaning, my amniotic fluid was much higher in volume than normal. That explained the intense pain from the inside. The fluid caused my already-watermelon belly to grow to an even bigger watermelon belly. Polyhydramnios - another new word I learned in my screening.
I remembered walking around like a penguin, still smiling eventhough painful, and many people thought I was carrying twins. They commented how lucky I was. Oh so I wished it was twins. But no. He was a baby with problem.
He had right-sided congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a deadly disease, his right diaphragm was not properly formed, causing other organs like liver, kidney and intestines to seep through and entered his right lung. Hence, all the hydrops and pleural effusion. Also, with all the organs cramping and sharing room at the right chest cavity, this caused his heart to be pushed to further left, making him difficult to swallow, thus the increased in amniotic fluid. So that was when I learned baby actually started drinking in the belly. They drink amniotic fluid!
My baby was born not to be cuddled, but to be wired and intubated immediately for intensive care. He went through surgery at 6-day-old and we were lucky he survived. Many did not make it due to either heart failure or pulmonary hypertension.
He is thriving now at 4 years old. Still combating many complications, but, he is alive till this day. He is partly tube-fed and learning to eat at the same time.
Indeed, you will never how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have. Until today, I am still at awe whenever I look at him. He is a miracle child. Truly, it is the work of God.
Thank you for being patience and staying this long with me, reading my personal story which means alot to me.
Our CDH Survivor: Jansen Zephaniah Wong
Photos are in chronological order
Thank you for reading 🙂
If you do not know what freewrite is, it is a plan by @mariannewest and @improv to just free flow write out our thoughts, where there is no fear of whether what we write is good or not. Just relax and have fun and write in that 5-minutes-time. Here is the introductory post. Come on, you can start joining and have fun too! ☺ And now we have @freewritehouse, yay! Have a visit and you will not regret it!
#ulogs is the idea by @surpassinggoogle (Sir Terry) where everyone can be a celebrity. #ulogs constitutes 'YOU', where you can share all about "You", everything constitutes "You". Sir Terry has been helping alot of people and he deserves a vote from us for his witness. Vote-witness for @steemgigs for Sir Terry HERE.
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