Before we officially met Luka, he was a very, very brave miracle of life. At around 10 weeks of fetal life, we had an ultrasound — actually at the whim of our beloved OBGYN Dr. Raghandale. I will never forget her walking out of the room after congratulating us on this first doctor visit for baby #3. As she was in the doorway walking out, she said, “let’s just get an ultrasound — for dating purposes” — those words exposed one of the first puzzle pieces along Luka’s story.
The next turning point was on September 9, 2013 when we had the ultrasound which — according to the tech — was just peachy, only to take a very serious turn in the opposite direction when the MD who does the official read of ultrasounds came in our room — and sat down. He informed us that Luka had a “cystic hygroma” which was typically associated with a genetic abnormality and that he recommended us to prepare for the worst and undergo genetic counseling and testing.
We were then ushered into a holding room for people who grapple with news like this (or worse) in the ultrasound area — and we refused to enter. That room was the same room we were ushered into on April 15, 2010 when Luka’s older brother, Maksymilian Gerard Conrad Fisher, was declared to not have a heart beat at 35 weeks of fetal age. It was only fitting that the room would be the same, since Maks was named — before he passed on — after Saint Maksymilian, the Polish priest who raised his left hand to sacrifice himself in a concentration camp during WWII. It also can’t be a coincidence that in every ultrasound Maks used or raised his left hand. When I was pregnant with him someone told me that science has proven that right vs. left hand dominance begins as early as the womb. Maks sacrificed for us all, we just didn’t understand it then, and still don’t completely.
After one of the most challenging weeks of our lives filled with so much prayer I was almost gliding through life in a meditative state, the results finally came for the genetic tests that would tell us more about what conditions Luka may or may not have. At that time, this test meant everything to us. Now I wonder what we would have thought if you had told us — or Luka — that this would be the first of hundreds of tests to get to the bottom of everything. The results were negative for several severe genetic conditions and it was recommended that Luka have many, many ultrasounds to monitor the situation. Oh, and on that phone call in my office at work, I found out that Luka was a boy. Just like Maks.
A few weeks later, Luka’s big sister, Maia, joined us for the ultrasound that would tell us if the cystic hygroma was still there, worse, or resolving. Maia had a cold which prevented us from sending her to day care, so we made it a family affair — of course, we had to bring SNEETCH, her favorite stuffed animal and Dr. Seuss character. We held hands, as sneetches do, and walked into the same ultrasound room with the same just peachy tech. The hygroma was no longer there. We would have many more ultrasounds to see if the hygroma continued to be resolved, as it did. Every time I heard a medical professional say, “resolved” — it just didn’t click with me. But prayer kept me feeling positive. And Luka continued to be very, very brave. And Maia continued to make us laugh — with sneetch, of course.