Breaking Bad News: Part 4
photo above by Scott Simon
Below you will see one of the handful of "Baby E Updates" I sent to close friends in family upon learning the news about my abnormal ultrasound. As you will see, I did my best to deliver the news as objectively and clearly as possible, allowed room for questions while reinforcing that we may not know answers, and always ended on a personal and positive note. Looking back, I'm glad I wrote these. There was so much information coming at us from so many directions, and these notes helped me to keep it clear. I was also able to stay very focused on what I wanted as far as a birth plan and I could assume control of at least delivering the information at a time when I felt I had none.
Dear Family and Friends,
As we approach the arrival of Baby E, we are happy to send out one last update for you. Health wise, not much has changed with Baby E which is great; this means nothing has gotten worse. To recap, Baby E has two enlarged kidneys, one of which is completely full of cysts, and the other which has what looks like one cyst, but could be something else. The kidney with many cysts is not expected to function, and may eventually dissolve on its own over time. The good news is you only need one kidney. Since the other kidney does have an abnormality, the doctors do want to assess the baby very closely after birth. Both sides of our families have some history of kidney cysts, but because the timing of the onset is not clear, what Baby E has may or may not be hereditary.
Also, the thickness of Baby E’s heart muscle is slightly high, signifying that it is working harder to pump blood. As of now, we do not know why. Cristina had extra blood work done to test for chromosomal abnormalities to look into a possible underlying cause for both the kidney and heart issues, but all the results came back normal. The kidney and heart issues do not seem to be related as of now. There had also been some reoccurring arrhythmias, but those seem to have cleared themselves up once Cristina completely eliminated chocolate and caffeine from her diet (womp womp).
Because it is important for the baby to be assessed after birth, Cristina is scheduled to be induced. This eliminates the possibility of going into labor and delivering when none of the specialists are at work. We are happy to announce that you can expect for Baby E to arrive sometime on Wednesday March 23rd. Immediately after delivery, Baby E will go to the NICU, and once stabilized will be transferred (most likely the same day) to the Children’s Hospital NICU.
There are very strict protocols on visitation for NICU babies to protect all of the babies who need the extra attention. Chris and Cristina will be allowed to visit first. Later on, depending on not only how Baby E is doing, but how the rest of the NICU babies are doing, they can allow visitors one at a time. Chris and I would like to have immediately family for visitation only on delivery day and while Baby E remains in the NICU.
When Baby E is stable and ready to come home, we will let you know when we are ready to receive visitors. We’ve been told that the best case scenario would be a 2 week stay in the NICU. It is very important to us to request that visitors have their latest Tdap vaccine to protect Baby E from the whooping cough. If you have not been updated, we will have to ask that you wait to visit until Baby E has recieved his/her vaccinations for it.
We are so excited to welcome Baby E into the world and into our wonderful families. Please be patient with us as we navigate our way through this uncharted territory. We love all of you and can’t wait to introduce you to our baby, but we also will have a lot on our plate from the start and need some time and space to take it all in. We will keep you posted on how mommy, daddy, and baby are doing after delivery! We can’t thank you enough for your continued thoughts, prayers, and support.
Lots of Love,
Cristina, Chris, and Baby E