Finding out I was pregnant at 19 was one thing but finding out my little one had a birth defect, gastroschisis was definitely another. On September 26th 2017 I found out I was pregnant. As many of you can imagine or have experienced I was scared and extremely surprised as I was on the depo-shot.
I was quick to accept it, change plans for my life, and become extremely excited! My feelings soon took a turn when I received a call a few days after an ultrasound with my OB. I can clearly recall driving on my way to work in the evening and answering the phone. I was completely taken back by what she told me. She said that after examining the ultrasounds her and the technician came to a conclusion that my baby potentially has a birth defect called “gastroschisis”. My first reaction was startled and completely hurt even though I had no idea what the defect even was. Just the idea that my poor little one was dealing with something crushed me. She then proceeded to tell me that it’s not positive what he has and that I would be referred to a specialist with advanced ultra sound technology to double-check. I was told that gastroschisis was when the babies abdominal wall failed to completely close and that their intestine would be outside of their body due to the “hole”. She told me not to be alarmed (WTF of course i’m alarmed lady?!?!) and that there is no scientific cause(s) for the defect.
I continued to hear this the rest of my pregnancy which honestly only left more room for me to blame myself. Upon arriving to work I went straight to the bathroom and cried. I quickly googled the defect, big mistake, and made myself more upset. I spent much of time googling it, looking at images and reading into outcomes of other mommies. Although sometimes it caused me to get very emotional, hurt, and anxious I have found it helped in the end as I had educated myself and came in with multiple ideas of what to expect.
I later went to the specialist, perinatologist, and was told my baby boy, as I had now known the gender, indeed has gastroschisis. The severity of it would be unknown until he was more developed and I was further along. The defect and severity of it is unknown simply because it can worsen or remain unchanged. Many factors have to be taken into account such as:
- how big the “hole” in the abdominal wall is
- which intestine(s) is leaking out
- how many organs are leaking out, as although the intestine is out it is possible for other organs to come out as well
- if the organ(s) are damage, or in the case of an intestine if it is “tangled”/“coiled” up
I was never able to find out the severity of my precious baby boys case because my appointment to meet with my perinatologist and schedule a surgeon for him was on February 27th. My anxious little André decided he couldn’t wait to meet mommy and daddy and arrived on the 25th!
If you have any questions or need any support I’d be happy to help.