February 24, 2014. That day changed my life forever. I was currently 20 weeks pregnant. My boyfriend and I were waiting in the doctor's office to have the anatomy scan of the baby. He said that he didn't care if it was a boy or a girl, but deep down, I knew he wanted a girl. We are escorted to the table and the ultrasound scan begins. "I see the heart beating! Nice and strong!" "Look at the face!" "Here is the arm, and here is the leg." "Do you want to know the sex?" I look to Terry for conformation and I tell the tech "YES!" "Congratulations, you're going to have a boy!" I was overjoyed. I now would have one of each (I had a 6 year old girl at home). And his first child would be a son. Who could ask for anything more? But my joy was short lived...
I was escorted to the doctor's examining room for my normal check up after the scan. Terry was escorted to the waiting room. My normal check up never happened. I can remember her words as if she has just said them to me. "Congratulations, Danielle. You're having a boy! However, there is a slight problem..." I made her stop mid sentence. I didn't want to know. But I had to know! After about a 2 minute wait, I let her tell me. "Your son has an abdominal wall defect. I think it is something called gastroschisis, which means his bowels are outside of his body, floating around in the amniotic fluid, but I'm not 100% positive. I would like for you to go see a specialist." She then walks out. I send a tearful message to Terry that he needs to come to the examine room, NOW! He walks in to find me sitting on the table crying. I try to explain what is going on, but I am unable to. We wait for the doctor. She comes in with the number to the specialist. We made an appointment before we leave the office for 2 days later.
In those 2 days, I was on the computer, doing my research. I needed to know what gastroschisis was and what caused it. The side effects. Was it fatal. By time the appointment rolled around, I was ok. I did my research. This was something that wasn't that bad. At least he didn't have an omphalocele, which was still an abdominal wall defect, but so much more serious. An omphalocele is generally linked to chromosomal defects and can, at times, be fatal to the infant if it doesn't kill them while you are still pregnant. This appointment was going to be a piece of cake. Boy, was I wrong!
The doctor brings us in and the first thing to happen is yet another ultrasound. We are then escorted to a room where we waited...and waited...and waited. It seemed like it took her forever to finally come in. "Ms. Jordan, Mr. McCoy, I have looked at the ultrasound and I am sorry to say, it is not gastroschisis as it was first thought. We are dealing with an omphalocele." An omphalocele! Lord, please tell me that she just did not say it was as omphalocele! I would do anything if you would make her wrong! Everything that came out of her mouth after that, sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher was talking to me. I was devastated. Even in my state of devastation I had to make decisions. First, do you want genetics done to see if it effects his chromosomes? Sure, may as well. An amniocentesis was performed. "Ms. Jordan, you do know that abortion is always an option." This is when I finally spoke. Abortion was not an option for me. It went strongly against my beliefs. His life deserved a chance, even if he didn't make it. I had to wait it out.
For months, we went back and forth to the doctor's office for ultrasounds and blood work. We found out that there were no chromosomal abnormalities. This was an isolated incident. Thank you, Jesus! On June 25, 2014, Torrance Armond McCoy Jr. was born. His omphalocele included 10 cm of bowel and he was fully repaired at 22 hours old. They even were able to make him a belly button! This little boy is the love of my life and I couldn't imagine what my life would be like if I had decided to abort him like they advised me to several times! He stayed in the hospital for 2 weeks and he is now almost 7 months old. We are not totally out of the woods. We take it one day at a time, but I am truly glad that I gave his life a chance!
There are many different definitions of "parent" and a diversity of perspectives on parenting. One thing remains... good parenting is rooted deeply in love. This is our attempt to capture real stories from real people.