Friday, July 24, 2009

Cana Lynn Milbrandt : From 15 weeks to 22 weeks

After the last appt showed her heart rate @ 163, Dr. Laden recommended we make an appt with a fetal specialist at the medical center and also schedule an echo-cardiogram. (i've seen this EKO and ECHO---we'll stick with ECHO for the remainder of her story.) I was almost 16 weeks along when i got a call to schedule the echo but when i asked if i could hold off a month because the appt was going to be intensive and long and we'd need babysitting all day for Travis, they told me no problem. We would call back at the end of June when my grandma, Travis' Lola would be here. (this is Lola with Travis on his bday-May '07)

In between appts w/ Dr. Laden showed no changes, heart beat was always good. Growth was always behind. She showed to be around 17%. Arms and legs were short. Looked to be a kidney issue. But heart seemed to be pumping well.

So when we knew Lola's arrival date, (early july) I called to schedule the echo and specialist ultrasound. And this is where i was faced with the world's view on my baby girl for the first time. Even now, as i type this...almost 1 year to the still makes my heart sink, my stomach flip flop.

I spoke with a woman at the Baylor Clinic (obstetrics and gyn) and she was the coordinator for that office/specialist who would perform the high end ultrasound. I had to go to a different office for the echo. It was a bit confusing because I had to coordinate the appts and try to make them the same day for the drive and parking fees. It went like this:

me: Hi, my name is Christina. I was told to call you to schedule an appt for an ultrasound, referred by Dr.Laden in the woodlands.

she: ~ is pleasant, goes to get my file..when she returns
she says : can i help you?

me: well, i was just told to call you to schedule this. I'm......not quite sure what you mean.

she:well, you are 22 weeks, right? I mean, why didn't you do this last month? You called us a month ago, that would have put you at 15-16 weeks. You know abortions aren't legal in Texas after 22 weeks, right?

me: *stunned silence

she: *she's starting to sound irritated with my "irresponsibility" and says "you know, you are showing signs of Trisomy 13 or 18 and those babies don't live outside the womb. If you proceed with this pregnancy, you are going to have to have a c-section. do you REALLY want to be cut open for a baby that isn't going to live?"

me: Can i please make my appt for the ultrasound? i was told there was no problem for me to schedule this at this time in my pregnancy.

her: *exasperated..."sigh...okaaay."

When i hung up with her, i cried. I cried for my hurt. I cried for the realization that it was going to be us against the world. WE would be her advocates. WE would FIGHT for her life. And we could fight FOR her..and AGAINST the world.

I remember kind of laughing at satan.."oh you are going to have to work harder than this, little man. You are going to have to work a lot harder to defeat me..."

But i DID feel defeated. and alone. And sad. so sad that other women had chosen that option. How could we give up the best 9 months and the best 27 hours God gave us in our daughter's life?


  1. I'm glad that you chose to give your daughter life. It was never a question for me either.

    I don't know how anyone can treat a mother that is facing such difficulty like that. I hope that at some point, God speaks to that person and changes their heart. They should not be working with patients with that attitude. We had someone that treated us very poorly (a doctor). We reported her and never went back. I don't understand how anyone can be so cruel.


  2. Wow, Chris, that is disheartening to hear how your pregnancy was treated. Unbelievable.

  3. It's amazing how others, outside of the situation, treat you when they know you're carrying a dying baby. We are very fortunate to have an OB that is Christian, and does not perform abortions for any reason. That has been very helpful to our situation.

    However, the first question out of the geneticist's mouth after she gave us the diagnosis of Trisomy 18 was: "Do you want to continue the pregnancy?" How could I not want to continue this precious little girl's life? I didn't ordain her life, and I can't take it from her. Only a sovereign God can do that.

    Thanks again for sharing your story. It helps me to continue to fight for Johanna. Praying for your family.

  4. Oh my. I remember when you called to tell me about this. I was just thinking about it on Monday. I remember sitting in the car in the parking lot of the library just beside myself. It is wonderful to read about Cana but I feel so lucky to have been an ear for you and to have gone through this with you.

  5. I cannot believe that woman said that to you over the phone. The nerve of her!! I knew without a doubt that I would carry Carleigh to term. My doctor was supportive of what I want but the MFM specialist was definitely in favor of termination. I kept my mouth shut but I really wish now that I would've given it to him good. It's no wonder parents choose to terminate when so many doctors stick it in their heads as the best or only option.