Our 1% chance: Our gastroschisis journey part 1 

I’ve sat down many times to write this post and I never know where to start. I’ve decided it’s time for me to get it all out, so without further introduction, let’s just jump right in. 

As many of you may or may not know, we are expecting our second little one. Another boy! That’s right I’m going to be a mom to 2 boys under the age of 2! Yikes! I couldn’t be more excited though! Well, actually I probably could…

 Like any other pregnant woman we had an ultrasound at 13 weeks to check up on our little bundle of joy and going in I never expected it to show anything, but that our baby was perfectly healthy. You’re probably guessing now, that that is not what the ultrasound showed. 

I had an appointment with my OB right after my ultrasound appointment so he could go over it with me. I remember sitting in the chair blissfully unaware that anything was wrong with our little boy. When my doctor came in the room I remember the look on his face and his words “Now we found something, but don’t freak out.” Don’t freak out?! Now i love my doctor but, come on dude… don’t freak out?! Yeah… okay. 

As he sat down he pulled up my ultrasound on his computer to show me exactly what it was they had found. He pulled up the picture of the baby’s tiny little belly and if I looked hard enough I could see what he was talking about. A part of my baby’s intestines were outside of his stomach. 

For those of you that don’t know, because I didn’t until this day. During about 10-12 weeks of pregnancy the baby’s intestines develop outside of their stomach, rotate and then go back inside the abdomen and then the abdominal wall closes keeping everything inside where it should be. In our baby’s case his bowel didn’t make it back in in time before his abdomen closed. My doctor told me they would check again at my 16 week appointment to confirm their findings and to discuss what our baby’s future would look like. 

I went back at 16 weeks and it was confirmed our little man had gastroschisis. Immediately my heart dropped. What did this mean? Was is something I did? Something I could’ve done to prevent it? And that’s when we were told there was only a 1% chance this would happen to our baby. ONE PERCENT. I was a little angry after hearing that. Why? Why did God pick us and our baby to have to go through this? 

Thankfully, as we have been told by multiple doctors, babies with gastroschisis tend to do extremely well. He will have to have surgery no later than 6hours after he is born to put his bowel back into his abdomen. Now this means he won’t be able to eat anything and will be receiving 100% of his nutrients from an IV till about 5-7 days old. He will have a NICU stay of about 2-6 weeks. But he should make a full recovery. 

I honestly didn’t know how to feel about any of it. This was good information right? Our baby would eventually be fine. While I am so grateful that in the end we will have a healthy baby it was hard for me not to be emotional. I won’t get to hold him after he is born, I won’t get to see him until after his surgery and even once that’s over we still wouldn’t be able to hold him for almost a week. A whole week without getting to hold my baby. 

As soon as I found out I was pregnant again I couldn’t help but think it was going to be just like when I was pregnant with Jaxon. Easy. I would give birth and he would never leave my side. 

Wrong. 

So wrong. 

I was now considered high risk and  it was serious enough that my doctor requested my husband stay back from a field training operation in California. That’s when I knew this was some serious shit.  I’m checked twice a week to make sure nothing is preventing our little man from growing normally aside from the gastroschisis. I will be induced at 37 weeks at a hospital in Denver where after he is born one of the best pediatric surgeons around will take him and perform his surgery. Then the real adventure begins! 

I will be writing future posts about delivery, our NICU stay and life after the NICU. Posts that will hopefully reach other moms out there who have a baby diagnosed with gastroschisis and are looking for answers. 

If you’re reading this I ask that you pray for us and our little man during our time in the NICU. This is something neither Avery or I have ever experienced and we know our baby boy will have to fight his first few days and weeks of life. 

In the end we know that this is God’s plan. Our baby will be okay, and our marriage and our family will come out stronger because of it. 

We only have 9 weeks till his arrival! So the countdown is on! 

Check back for updates and more as we navigate a wild 1 and 1/2 year old and a newborn in the NICU 2 hours from home (like I said, pray for us!). 

Thank you so much for reading, and if your a parent reading this because your baby has been diagnosed with gastroschisis know that we’ve been there and it may seem scary now, but everything will be okay! Have faith and know that your baby is a fighter too! 

LO