Thursday, November 08, 2007

Our Future Angel

The past two days since Boydee and I arrived were all visits to doctors, hospitals and check ups.

The day after we arrived (Nov 6), we went to my OB-GYNE, Dr. Artenos, where Roc had made an appointment for us. When he looked at my ultrasound, he was dumbfounded. He said "Uh-oh! This is very, very bad! You have no fluid at all! I don't know how you managed to fly all the way here." He said our best bet was to go to USC County because if he admitted us in Glendale Adventist, it would cost us hundred and hundreds of dollars and he still wouldn't be sure of our baby's fate. There, they would be able to give us the best care for me and the baby because they have all the experts there.

So, Boydee and I went to LAC+USC Women's and Children's Medical Hospital right after our visit, hopeful they might be able to give us definite answers as to what was really wrong, and how best to save the baby. When we went there, I was subjected to further ultrasound scans. I had three ultrasounds that day, but still same findings but no definite answers nor solutions. We were asked to go back the next day where the Genetics Director in the OB Department would do the tests and give her diagnosis.

The next day saw us staying in the hospital the whole day, mostly waiting for our turn with the Doctors. But at least, we got our answers. Dr. Giuliana Songster, head of Genetics Clinic, conclusively said that there is a problem with the baby's kidneys. It was not passing urine and by this time, I had absolutely no water in my uterus. The baby is surviving only because of me. On his own, he can not survive especially since at this stage, he would need the fluid for the crucial development of the lungs. To be without water for a known two weeks was already damaging to his development. Moreover, to be without water this early, there wasn't much intervention they could do because our baby was just developing. We asked about amnio infusion - putting water in me to at least give our baby time to develop, or steroid injection - to hasten development of the lungs, but the doctors all said that our baby was just too young and too small.

The options offered to us were: to continue with the pregnancy, meaning wait it out, or terminate the pregnancy. We asked if the baby had a chance at all of surviving. She said hardly any at all. We asked if she's ever handled cases like this. She said, yes and not one survived. Continuing with the pregnancy posed risks for me - diabetes, hypertension, a possible caesarian operation again, and all for a known outcome that's not happy. Given those facts, we were leaning towards the second option. They said it was safe and the most logical thing to do. They said that if there was the slightest chance our baby would survive, they wouldn't even suggest this, but that realistically and medically speaking, a few hours of life would be the longest that our baby could spend, IF ever he would still be alive by full term.

If we opted for the latter, we only had a window of 6 days to decide since the hospital only performs that procedure for mothers who are a maximum of 23 1/2 weeks pregnant. They asked if we wanted to talk more extensively about the process. We said yes.

We were endorsed to Dr. Ronna Jurrow, who explained the procedures to us and the options as to where we may have the 'termination' procedure done. She suggested Eve's Surgical Center, or their own hospital and assured us that she'll personally make sure we will be well taken care of.

The Doctors at USC County were very humane despite the sad news. We truly admire and commend them for really taking time to explain and show that they care. Dr. Songster was especially sympathetic and consoling. So were Dr. Ishimaru and Dr. Phatak. They've put concern and 'humane-ness' in their profession. There should be more doctors like them.

On our way home, we were faced with a BIG decision to make. But one thing was definite. Our baby won't be staying long with us. We don't know if he/she would've been a son or a daughter; or what life he would have made for himself because he wouldn't be alive long enough to live it. What we do know for sure is he/she will be a future angel. As to when, we would have to think about it that night and in the next few days.

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