This is a first on my blog. Yes friends, my very first guest post....and I'm really excited to share it with you. Even better? It's a male perspective! It's not often that you hear from males in the blogging world and sometimes, it's a little refreshing. My friend Kyle is funny, light-hearted and a really great writer. I'm super excited to share this post with you.
He's working on a book right now and I'm hoping to share more bits and pieces with you. His wife Melinda is also a great friend of mine. They are due with their second baby (a boy!) in the next few weeks, and Kyle is referencing this pregnancy throughout the story. Enjoy!
As a pregnant man you have a ton of responsibilities. Um, wait I will come up with one. Ah, worrying. Worry about money, how are you going to afford the doctor’s bills, daycare, insurance, much less diapers, and most of all the little peanut inside your wife’s womb. There are so many unknowns, boy or girl, green eyes or blue, are they healthy?
As my wife and I found out, all of the other things we worried about were inconsequential comparatively to that last, the baby healthy.
I am a planner. So, we had a budget set, names picked out and even the timing of the birth decided. Since my wife works for a school district we even planned our conception according to the birthdate that would suite us best, Spring. If our little guy or gal was born in April or May the maternity leave would transition right into summer, in other words 4 month off, paid! So, when July rolled around it was go time. Just as we planned it we found out August 9, 2014. We nailed it! Boom, I got her pregnant! Everything was going to according to OUR plan. However, our plan was interrupted.
During a routine Doppler exam, listening to our baby’s heartbeat the doctor notice something. Something that hadn’t been there before. As he quickly grabbed the nurse and instructed, with a firm tone, to “call the Northwest Children’s Cardiology and make an appointment for the soonest available time,” the nurse hesitated. His response couldn’t have been more imperative “You have 2 minutes before they close to get ahold of them. Why are you still standing here? Go!” My wife already in tears was told that our son’s heart was skipping. Every 8 beats there was an arrhythmia. But, in our doctor’s normal candor he told her, “It’s nothing to worry about yet.” Yeah right.
She was sent home with some literature on a condition called PAC (Premature Atrial Contractions). There is a ton of information on the internet about PAC’s, fortunately, we took our doctor’s advice and avoided google. Instead, we read the medical journal he suggested, which informed us that this COULD be normal and does occur in most pregnancies, but goes unnoticed. It can be caused by stress or too much caffeine. It can also be caused by a malformation of the heart in the fetus. Our worries we feared were warranted.
In the medical journal there was an excerpt that I took particular notice to “the condition may only last for 2-3 hours.” What were the chances that we hit the lottery and the doctor was monitoring the heart during the 2-3 hour window when this was occurring? Evidently pretty good.
This happened the day before I was leaving for a bachelor party weekend and was not going to leave my wife alone to worry about this on her own for 5 days without me. Other than the responsibility of worrying, as men our other job, is to make sure that our wives are taken care of. Although I was totally freaking out I lifted my head high, told my wife that I was confident everything was going to be fine and I was sure that it was an anomaly. I wasn’t sure. But, I grasped onto that phrase from the medical journal and scheduled a follow up appointment with our doctor the next day. Then, I prayed.
Our doctor’s face as we entered the exam room was stiff with a plastic smile. Usually, he is excited to see us, he jokes as we go through the routine exams. This day, he looked like a figurine from Mother Truseaux’s Wax Museum. I imagine he thought that I was torturing my wife by making her listen to our baby’s condition again. And he shrugged off my suggestion that the arrhythmia not be consistent according to the article he had us read. As he placed the Doppler on my wife’s protruding belly I closed my eyes.
I shut out the world as I focused all my effort listening to each swoosh coming from the speaker of Doppler wand. A typical fetus heartbeat at 6 months is between 120-180 beats per minutes. Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh, I started counting.
Trying to keep an 8 count at 160 beats per minute felt like trying to keep track of a hummingbirds wings. But, I never heard it stop, there was no inconsistency. I finally took a breath and looked at the doctor. He was confused and stuttered through an explanation asking my wife to confirm what they both had heard. I didn’t care, I had done my job.
A week later our pediatric cardiologist confirmed the results, our baby’s heart was perfectly formed. We shed tears of relief. Although we had agonized of what could be wrong and prepared ourselves for bad news. Our worries were not as we feared, all we had was bad timing.
See what I mean?? He's good! Thanks, Kyle! We are all praying for that sweet baby boy! And for a healthy and smooth delivery for your rock-star of a wife!
I also am excited to share that I was a featured blogger on last week's "Waiting on Wednesday" linkup. Please check Holly's blog. She's a total inspiration!