Our second child was conceived eleven short months later despite oral contraceptives (oh wise college OB). We had planned to have a second child and this would not have been a big deal except our circumstances at the time were not ideal for welcoming another child. When Reyna was only 3 weeks old Seth unexpectedly lost his job and was still looking for work. We had bought our first home only a month prior and I am a teacher meaning a January due date was not favorable (and to be fully realistic monetary compensation in this profession is not huge even though the job itself is highly rewarding). After the initial shock and fear of how we’d manage, talked down by the ever level minded Seth, this pregnancy was embraced with great joy, just as our first.
The initial ultrasound was a bit quirky, but just that our baby looked a bit smaller than the 8 weeks we thought he would be (reflecting with all we know now, we probably had the right date). We had another at the newly expected 10 week mark and it looked good. At the 20 week ultrasound we learned our baby was a boy. We were thrilled. Kind of picturesque, at least in the new American style, working mom, two kids, stay at home dad seeking work in the tough economy. We could do this. Then the call no one wants to get because you aren’t supposed to get a call about your ultrasound. Logan had a cleft lip and possibly palate. We would need to see a genetic counselor and go in for a more detailed 3D sonogram with a perinatologist. The cleft lip and palate was confirmed despite no genetic history of this or any other genetic syndromes. Each visit we were told that the detailed sonograms looked great otherwise and we were given hope that the cleft lip and palate were isolated. Regardless we intended to carry to term anyhow so on we went.
At his birth it was immediately apparent that the cleft was not isolated. He was quickly whisked to the NICU when I noticed his eyes weren’t opening. The first few days were terrifying as they ran a ton of tests and specialists came to and from often with unsettling looks of surprise or bafflement. Gradually we were able to make sense of the variety of results. Some results were reassuring, others were heartbreaking. Over Logan’s 11 days in the NICU we learned that, along with the cleft, he was born without eyes, had brain differences, along with other non life threatening congenital defects (of which we were kindly notified were usually indicators of additional issues that could only be determined as he developed.) Despite all this we were beyond grateful that he was stable and we could finally take him home with us. We would later learn of other needs including aspiration, early fusion of his fontanels and growth hormone deficiency for which he needs daily growth hormone replacement shots until he is at least eighteen. Although he has a collection of separate diagnoses a specific syndrome has not yet been identified that encompasses his various symptoms. Despite his challenges he is beyond amazing, adored and my oh my is that boy loved. He is our little man.
So here we are. So much for the "ideal family", or even the modern day ideal family, but we are so much for family.