Finding Out Baby Has a Heart Defect

In July of 2019, I discovered I was going to be expecting a baby! Never did I anticipate that my baby would have a defect, let alone a heart defect.

I am not a person that enjoys pregnancy, and the beginning stages of this pregnancy were different than my last. As standard, I struggled with coffee as I usually do at the beginning of my pregnancies. I LOVE coffee, but I think it is a warm drink in the morning that I miss the most during those times. Then, the sugar cravings I had! I could never get enough Laughy Taffy – and the bar kind, not the rope kind. Oh, and skittles, I didn’t care what kind they were, just needed them with me at all times in case it hit.

First Ultrasound Baby with Heart Defect
Our First Ultrasound Picture


Before the sugar cravings became so intense, I was trying so hard to eat right, but when the bloating would not stop, I lost willpower. The pregnancy continued, and all was well. Come November, it was time for our 20-week ultrasound. Jeremy was not able to come with me during this appointment due to a load of pigs going out. During the ultrasound, it was quiet, the Tech kept asking if I was seeing the doctor afterward. Instantly, you get a feeling that something isn’t right.

When it was time to see the doctor, it was quick. You could tell there was something more going on, such as someone being in labor (small-town hospital), but he didn’t say much, didn’t seem to have much concern, and I went to work.

Later that day, I had a missed phone call from the hospital. No message was left, I knew something was up. What doctor’s office calls and doesn’t leave some kind of message?! I knew if I saw my phone ring again, I need to take the phone call, no matter what I was doing. When I got a phone call back, I was informed my unborn baby had something wrong. Any parent who has been in this situation will be able to relate to the next part. I couldn’t hear what the doctor was saying.

Heart. Defect.

Don’t Panic.

Rochester(Mayo).

Sometimes this is nothing.

Please try to not worry.

I was crying but trying to hold myself together. This OB knows Jeremy and me well. We are laid back and love to joke. I don’t get very emotional. He told me we would be in touch, and if I had any questions to give him a call. He was very sorry for the news, and we would talk soon.

A heart defect.

I hung up the phone and was just numb, shaking with fear. Tears rolled from my face, and I wanted to wake up from the dream. I mean, this happens to other people, these kinds of things don’t happen to me. But the harsh reality was that it just did.

I tried calling Jeremy, no answer.

I tried again…no answer.

I sent a text something was wrong with the baby…no answer.

Really?!

The baby has a heart defect! Answer me!

Finally, I was able to get through to him. When he answered, I could tell I had interrupted him during a stressful project as he was a little short with me. (No hating on him here, he is a busy farmer, and we all have done this!) I asked him, through my sobbing, did you see the text I sent? Instantly, he responded back that he hadn’t. I kept pushing through my tears that something was wrong with the baby – something wrong with its heart. It had some kind of heart defect.

He was just quiet.

He asked if they had said anything else.

I couldn’t even remember. I heard heart defect and that is all I could remember.

All I could remember was that Rochester was going to be calling me to set up an appointment. Quiet and calm, he said everything will be alright, and we will talk about it when you get home.

I dried up my tears and walked into my boss’s office. After all, I had only been at this job for three months, but my boss had been great so far with everything.
Then, I walked into her office, and she got up from her desk.

“What’s wrong? Is something wrong with the baby?”

“Yes, it has something wrong with its heart.”

Full-on sobbing

She came and gave me a hug, and I let it out. It was what I needed at the time, and I was thankful for it.

I somehow managed to get through the rest of the workday, with my mind going a million miles a minute. A heart defect.

I had so many questions, but yet no one would be able to answer them.

What does this mean?

Are they going to die?

Will our lives be “normal”?

What does the future hold?

Why is this happening?

Why, Why, Why?!

When it was FINALLY time to go home that afternoon, I was so relieved that work was over. I went straight to see Jeremy as he always picked up the girls after school and daycare. As the girls were switching vehicles, I went into the feed room. He was standing there, and I just started to cry.

He came and gave me a huge hug, where he reassured me everything was going to be okay. No matter what happened, we were that to stand at each other’s sides, and we were going to get through it. The feeling I had after that was so calming. I was still scared, but I wasn’t afraid anymore. Everything was going to be okay, and it was in God’s hands.
We just had to trust the path we were on.

The next months were filled with appointments, planning, preparing, fear, and uncertainty.

Now, there were still plenty of difficult days ahead, but it is always good to know you have someone else there with you for when things get hard. Whether it is a significant other, sibling, parent, or a friend, these people are irreplaceable on tough journeys. Again, Jeremy was my voice of reason during all of this. I tend to have a lot of anxiety, and he is almost exactly the opposite. We were the right balance through the whole thing (and still are!), and it brought us very close to each other. I am not sure if this is a rare thing to find in these kinds of journeys.

Did you have someone there for you during difficult journeys in your life? Someone you could be candid with? I would love to hear about when you found out about your babies’ diagnosis or a tough journey you have encountered.

~Jessi

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