On November 24th, 2017 I found out my ultimate dream was coming true. In April, Aaron and I would welcome a daughter into our family. I can’t describe in words the joy I felt in that moment the ultrasound tech told me it was a girl. A thousand dreams flooded my mind…. little girl dresses, tea time and tiaras, tutu’s, pig tails, ponies, ballet slippers, mother daughter excursions like baking or going to the craft fair the list just goes on. The next day which happened to be Thanksgiving, I woke up feeling extra blessed. We were so excited to share the amazing news with our family on such a fitting day. The next week or so we spent living on cloud nine while imagining how our lives would soon change as we welcomed our daughter, Audrina Marie Rakow into the world.
Monday, December 4th it all came crashing down on us. My level two ultrasound revealed a few markers for skeletal dysplasia. The ultrasound tech said, “it looks like a lethal type of dwarfism”. I jumped out of my skin and into shock. This can’t be real, I’m in a nightmare and I just need to wake up. I can’t even process the information. Doctors refer us to specialists at Abbott Northwest to get a second opinion. We stayed hopeful for two days and then our hearts dropped after meeting with specialists in the cities. Doctors seemed to confirm what St. Cloud had found and suggested we do an amniocentesis. We moved forward quickly hoping to get some answers.
The next month was an emotional roller-coaster from hell. We remained hopeful that Audrina would prove the Doctors wrong. We prayed, oh god did we ever pray. I tried to keep the faith and imagine her with us despite what the experts were saying. Our faith train fizzled out after receving the most heartbreaking news with the genetic councilor at Abbott Northwest. The results from our amniocentesis came back positive identifying the FGFR3 genetic mutation code consistent with the diagnosis for Thanophoric Dysplasia. Our worst night mare.
The condition would mean our baby girl would likely die of respiratory failure at birth. Even now after months of processing and grieving, I still cry at the thought of meeting her and feeling so helpless knowing I have to let her go. I know the next few months are going to be tough, and even harder after we have to say goodbye. Right now, all I can do is enjoy her kicking inside me, and love her while she is here with me. Inside there, she is safe, loved and free of all harm. She is a blessing regardless of the situation I face. Even though it would be so easy to be angry with God, I can only thank him for giving me a daughter. Audrina Marie Rakow, my angel baby. My dream really did come true, just in a different way. We will still love her for a lifetime. Even though her time here on earth will be short, our love for her will be eternal.