Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This is the way Walk ye in it...

Today as we start our journey into the world of Blogging I am reminded of a verse in Proverbs 16 "A Mans heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth His steps" I know that the Lord has directed me here to share the story of our 4 precious ones, as well as sharing in the stories and lives of others. I am excited to start the journey that God has put before us.

Our precious four.....

It wasn't until recently that I realized the footprints left on a heart by the children that you are given. Almost 4 years ago today we had our 16wk appointment with our first precious one. Expecting the normal visit I was just starting to enjoy my pregnancy.
As I lay down to hear the baby's' heartbeat, the doctor seemed to not find it as easy this time. In my heart I felt as though something were dreadfully wrong with my child. The doctor was very positive that the baby was just to small still and just hiding from her.
It just so happened to be ultrasound day at the office and I was fit in just to get the heart rate checked. Within minutes I was in and seeing the first pictures of our little girl. The next thing that I remember is the technician was doing a blood flow scan and I asked " is that the baby's' blood flow?" I could tell by the cold look on her face that the answer wouldn't be good. Nothing could have prepared me for her answer. "Well dear .." she said "that is your blood flow" I interrupted "well... does that mean what I think it does???" her next words I really don't remember much other than something was said about being so sorry for us and that we needed to move back into the examination room.

The following days were the most difficult that I thought I could have ever faced. I carried the baby a week and a half before we miscarried. That week I begged God for the Doctors to be wrong. When He didn't really answer the way that I thought He should, I questioned God.I tried to do the right thing and look like I was doing just fine with it.But inside my heart became angry that I couldn't have the baby. I focused on thinking "we will just have to have another baby" when that wasn't seeming to happen, agaso hypocritical I became angry. Several months down the road I met a very sweet and helpful lady who was instrumental in helping me realize the OK grief ,and the anger that comes with that grief.She also taught me that sometimes its God who has to grab your heart(not others just telling you that you need to change).

As time went by my heart started to heal and it all became easier. I became very busy with my job and with my church, enjoying my life with my husband and my ideal vocation Well, continuing our story. Approx. one and a half years after losing our first child we found out that we were blessed again with a baby on the way. My heart was thrilled with this precious gift.Excited about the new life that God had given us, I was also filled with concern for the life of our child.

On September 20, 2006 after a very normal pregnancy, labour and delivery we welcomed our Precious #2 into this world. I am thankful for my beautiful Isabella - which means consecrated to God. Over the last almost 2 years she has been a joy and a blessing to our hearts. We thank God daily for the blessing of Bella.

Last year we found out that we were expecting number 3!! I was excited and very nervous at the same time. " I am going to have 2 under 2!!!" I was thinking that it sounded just a bit intimidating. As I was taking all of the normal steps to prepare for the changes ahead it wasn't long until I discovered that we would be losing our precious baby # 3. Ironically this was just after thanksgiving. There want a single part of me that felt thankful. I just kept thinking "not again, are you kidding?" As the days past and tests followed to be sure that I was fine after the miscarriage I just kept thinking well, it will be OK, we can try again. I busied myself convinced that I was fine with loosing this baby. After all, wasn't I just freaked about having '2 Under 2!' anyway? To be honest I just didn't give myself time to think about anything relating to children. Hiding in my busy little world I insisted that I was perfectly fine.It wasn't untill later that I would realize my hiding was a poor substitute for hiding in the arms of Jesus.

Three months later I again was telling my husband "I cant believe this... we are pregnant!!" I was excited beyond belief, with almost the equal amount of anxiety. Would the baby be fine? Would we make it to term without a hitch? Because of the pregnancy coming closer to the previous miscarriage the doctor didn't see me right away. Rather we drew blood every 3 days to watch the hcg counts. Hoping that they would rise, giving the sign that everything would seem to be normal.

At least 1-2 months later I celebrated the end of all the needles ( I am absolutely no good with them.. before this I had thought of not getting our life insurance policy just because it would involve a needle!!LOL).Well, we went to all of our appointments on schedule. Things seemed to be going good. Each day that was free of complications I breathed out a giant sigh of relief. Until one day at work I started feeling some pain. After checking with the Dr. we decided with the previous history to go in for an ultrasound. I know weird, its not every day that a Dr. thinks of just doing one that quickly. They asked me to come right away. Well with that kind of notice my husband could not go, so my very good friend was sweet enough to go with me. What a blessing that was to have her with me!

So you all who have had children know the drill, drink the giant thing of water, get to the waiting room, see the waiting room full, feel like you are going to explode if you move just a inch. Waiting anxiously until your name is called.

After all of the above I was called back. Excited to see the baby, and nervous at the same time I awaited the moment to see this beautiful baby. "Can I see the baby?" "well.." the technician replied "I just need to look here some more". Well the "some more" time line was more like 10 min. I was getting worried, so I decided to ask yet another question. "Is the baby ok?" Nothing could have prepared me for the next statement that was given to me. "I will need to go get the Dr. to take a look at this first." My heart dropped. As tears were starting to flow I said " You know I really just would like to see the baby. I do not care what is wrong, or what it looks like. Its still my baby no matter what, is there anyway that I could just see the baby?" A very understanding technician turned the screen and was showing me the different parts of the baby. She was waiting for my response. All I could do was look at the baby and think, something isn't right, God this baby isn't ok is it? As I looked up I saw her almost in tears herself. " The baby has something on its head, doesn't it?" She nodded and said that was her concern but needed to be confirmed by the Dr. After confirming her thoughts they called my Dr. and said for us to go right there. ~ Praise the Lord I had my dear friend with me, I KNOW that I couldn't have driven across town safely by my self ~

Soon at the Dr. office we found out that there was a cystic hygroma on the back of the head all the way to the bottom of the neck. Usually resulting from a chromosomal abnormality. I was told that the baby was likely to not make it past 18-20 wks. And given the option for an abortion repeatedly. And REPEATEDLY telling the Dr. "this is a life, no matter how small, this is my baby and a life inside of me. That will never be an option for me" After getting past all of that we were referred to a specialist as well as a genetic counselor.

The next several days as we waited for the specialist appointment I was shocked and grieved by the thought of yet another loss.I just kept begging God for a miracle. The appointments confirmed the earlier finding. We were given the options of many tests that could compromise the life of the baby.

Several appointments passed, and with each our light of hope was growing stronger. Things were not seeming as bad, and with each passing week the baby had better chances of survival. Our hearts had become encouraged and actually we started looking forward to our Dr. appointments.

Week 16- We had yet another ultrasound and we were excited to hopefully find out what we were having. As well as any improvements in the condition of our child.

As the technician started the ultrasound I could tell that the hygroma had not improved. My heart sunk, but I just kept telling myself that we could handle a special needs child. I already had such a love for special needs, and I knew God already knew that. I came back out of my short daydream long enough to hear the tech say "I am having a hard time finding the heartbeat" The room went black and instant grief and heartbreak began to sink in. I remember her saying "don't panic, we will try with the Doppler" as she did I tried sooo hard to listen, hoping that she was wrong. It was turned on for about 10 seconds, which felt to me like an eternity. I can not describe the heart ache and breaking that I felt that day. My beautiful baby, my dream of holding him in my arms around Christmas time. My Bella having a baby to love... all of those dreams at an instant halt.

The next day we followed with our regular scheduled appointment with my Ob (of which is the best ever, I have seen her since I was in Middle school - wouldn't have anyone else deliver my children!). That day we also had another ultrasound to confirm before we started the induction process. We scheduled the delivery for the next day. To tell you the truth at the time things felt like they were going so fast I could barely hold on.

The following day we were at the hospital bright and early. I am so thankful for a hospital that confirms the true life of a child. The sanctity of life at conception. At 4:26pm we delivered our beautiful baby boy. We were so blessed to be able to hold him and spend as much time with him as we needed. Right after delivery it was discovered that our son had not only the cystic hygroma but an abdominal wall obstruction (his intestines were outside of his body). I just kept thanking the Lord. Believe it or not I had such a peace that our son was with the Lord and being held by Jesus. If I wanted to have the heart of a loving mother, how could I tell my baby "no, I want to hold you, you cant be held by Jesus and have the experience of never felling pain" That was my comfort over those following days. My son has NEVER known this crazy world, pain or sadness.

The Lord also allowed us the opportunity to meet a Nurse who was seeking for answers regarding life and death and your relationship with God. I think she and I talked for almost 2 hours. Since I was her only patient I truly feel that it was the time and the place that God wanted us to be in.

We were also given the opportunity to name our son. We had a set names for a boy or girl, but those went out the window. We wanted something that fit our heart toward him as well as what God was doing in our lives. As I was looking through names I came across "David - beloved of God or Beloved" Considering that is what my husbands name, Darrell, means I thought that it was perfect. We also gave David his middle name so that he would have the same initials as daddy.

Since David was not yet to 20wks of life we were not required by law to have a public funeral. What a blessing it was that the Hospital offered a communal burial and service. That was the hardest thing I have ever done or gone through. My heart not only ached over my child, but my heart broke for the other mothers experiencing loss of their own all so unique and individual.

I met another mother there that day that I know God wanted us to meet. We have yet to connect but I know some day we'll get together.

There has been so many people that we have been blessed with as friends that have been a blessing and encouragement to us during our times of loss. Thank you to all of you. I especially want to thank our dear friends who watched our daughter for us as we went to many of our appointments. We would like to say a huge thank you to the churches that have prayed for us. We know that without prayer we would not have made it through.

Thank you to a dear brother in Christ who every week asks how we are doing. His comment to us is always " I know that you think about him every day, and its easy if you aren't the person who lost a child to forget about it. I just never want to forget about him." I am telling you all right now that that is the most affirming thing for you to say to anyone going through something like this. To know that others see that your child was a person and that its a true loss. THANK YOU THANK YOU to our dear friend for his love and compassion.

If you have made it this far, thank you for sharing in our story. We hope through this blog to be a blessing and encouragement. We welcome comments, emails , posts ect.... (still not up with the bloggy lingo). We would love to hear from you and share in your story as well. We look forward to getting to know you soon!

~ Michelle