Friday, April 10, 2009

Letter from Kathleen...

I received this letter from Kathleen today with some good and bad news. I will let you read it for yourself. She is nearing the end of her pregnancy and I will never stop praying for miracles. We know they are out there and God knows His plans for His precious children.


I met with two new doctors on Wednesday and I have good news and bad news.

Good news - I was able to switch doctors and I will now deliver at a different hospital with more options. The new doctors in Fort Worth have been so compassionate and friendly, considering the situation. The "old" doctors I have been working with are just so darn negative and I have always felt like they have just wanted this pregnancy over and done with. The new doctors have been more open and honest with me, and have actually reached out to physically touch me and sincerely let me know how sorry they are that I am in this situation.

Bad news - My baby's abnormalities are worse than they have been telling me. I have been working my tail off the past couple moths, trying to seek answers and find medical intervention for possibly extending her life. the neonatologist started talking to me about things I hadn't been told, and when we went over the latest sonographer's report from the new doctor, it was extremely detailed, more so than from the first couple of sonograms. We have learned that her hernia is on the OTHER side, which is worse and there are more stomach contents shoved up in her chest cavity than we were originally told. The doctor also explained about weight requirements and such that have to be present before a CDH surgery could even be considered. Our baby is severely behind in growth at this point, which is not good. We also learned that the hole in her heart is not a small Atrial one, but rather a large Ventricular one, which is worse. If our baby is ever stable, there is a procedure they could do, but again, weight and growth is a requirement. If the baby is too small, then the equipment will be too big to insert into her tiny body. And to top it off, she has a splayed cerebellum. Essentially, that part of her brain is filleted open, which is not good at all. She may have some primitive motor function, but barely. You know, if the doctors had been straight forward from the beginning, it sure would have made our choices at delivery easier. Maybe they didn't know what they were doing. Maybe they didn't want to tell us all the gory details. But with me, the one thing I can control is educating myself about what exactly is happening to my baby. I am beginning to wonder if the first people should be doctors at all. I am still a human being, and a pregnant one at that! Do my feelings and emotions not matter just because I am carrying a lethal diagnosis? Absolutely not!!

Sorry for the venting, but it helps. At least now I will be surrounded by positive people when such a negative thing is happening. It was not my choice to have a T18 baby, but it is my choice to do what is right for my baby, whatever the outcome may be. I think now, having this new information, I can hand over my pain without feeling guilty that I hadn't tried everything humanly possible. The doctors have agreed to bring the NICU team to my room, as opposed to taking her away after she is born. They have promised me a full assessment, which is something the other hospital would not promise. We have talked about pain meds if needed and they have told me they will do everything possible to help her have a painless death if that is the way it will go. The previous doctors did not believe in pain medication. ??? I can't quite understand the difference in protocol. It truly amazes me.

Anyway, I thought I would give you the latest update and let you know I hadn't forgotten about you. Believe it or not, I actually slept well last night - the first time in months. Maybe I am already starting to let it go. Here's to a new day!



Brenda said...

Oh Cathy,

How can I reach out to Kathleen? Bless her heart.


Penny said...

Does Kathleen have a blog? I am so sorry she is not being treated like the Mom that she is. How can we trust our doctors when they show no compassion for us?
If you communicate with her please let her know that we are praying for peace in this situation and praising God for the new doctors. Praying that they give her every possible option for her precious baby. We are praying for a miracle here......... I know they happen every day.

Praying that Annabel is doing well and blessing everyone with her vibrant smile!

May said...


I read this birth plan from Jill's blog and thought it really well thought out...she's open to sharing it. Good as a starting point for Kathleen to pin things down with the delivery hospital.

my3sons said...

I am just horrified that these people practice medicine. If they can make such mistakes reading the ultrasound, who knows what else they have told other parents that wasn't true. I pray that Kathleen finds peace in all of this and gets the care that she and her baby deserve. It sounds like she is in the right hands now and they will treat her and her baby with respect! Thank you for the update.

Kelly said...


please let kathleen know that our thoughts are with her and her family.

Laurie in Ca. said...

My prayers continue for Kathleen and her sweet baby girl. I have been praying for a miracle and will continue as miracles are in Gods hands and He holds this precious baby. I am thankful that Kathleen is getting the information she needs to help her heart feel she is doing what is best for her baby. Thankful for new doctors with compassion on this unknown road she travels. Praying everyone does their very best for her and the baby, it is what God asks of us all, to do our best. Love you Cathy and thank you for keeping us informed. Hug Annabel for me.

Love and Hugs, Laurie

Cathy said...

I am going to ask Kathleen if she minds me posting her email address since so many want to pass messages along. Will let you know.