Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hangin' On- First Post

Starting  a journey of this magnitude deserves a special place to write about it. I didn't want to keep it going on FB, as that is usually about more trivial events of our lives. I didn't want people to have to fish through statuses and notes, so here is our new blog! I'm not a big blogger, but I'll try my best to give updates for the ones praying for us, loving and supporting us. We also have many family members living all over the world from AZ to GA, MO, TN, NC and SC to VA, PA,NY, OH, and all the way to Germany and Russia. Yes, big family and proud to have their support. Just hope I didn't leave out a state :)

As for the name of the blog... God is in control. We are His children. My children, I have REALLY come to realize, are HIS. I am surrogate for Him, whether my children are here for 90 seconds or 90 years. And I hope in reading this, many more people will come closer to Him. We are God's family!

I will start with what I wrote on FB:
Excited to have our third child, we entered the 20 week ultrasound (Thursday, Feb. 16) with courage not to find out if our baby is a girl or boy. And always in hopes that any child we have is healthy, first and foremost. We have one of each already and felt prepared for holding to our decision not to find out. The u/s tech (W- short for her name) was excited for us and started as normal. In just the first couple of minutes, the tech had to leave the room. She didn't say much, if anything at all to us on why she was leaving. More like, "be right back." 1-2 minutes pass and we know whatever it is, it isn't going to be good news. a few more minutes pass, and a nurse (K) comes to check on us. At this point we've already started to worry and cry. She asked if we were ok. Not knowing what she knew I laughed it off and said, "not really, she (the tech) left a while  ago and as long as she comes back without the doctor..." She was sweet enough to lie and said there were "computer problems, she'll be right back", before she left the room.

At this point, knowing down syndrome is in our family, I told Kirk, "I'll be relieved if she says DS. Anything else will be hard." We have many friends through church who have beautiful down syndrome babies with such life and character. On the other hand, I've heard so many stories of other conditions that aren't so happy ending. One very recent story, but the parents have so much faith in God, that it gives others hope.

Couple more minutes (probably at least 10 in total after the tech left) she came back with our doctor (Dr. G). The news isn't good, as the doctor starts telling us about Anencephaly. She then asked if we had heard anything about it before. This is where I start realizing that God has already started to prepare my heart. Just the day before, while Kristen was at school, I was doing laundry in front of the TV with Drew in my bedroom. On TLC's "A Baby Story", there was a woman who mentioned this condition with her child, but was having a second child afterward, which was the birth story they were filming. Obviously I wasn't thinking anything about it then, but took peace in the fact that I knew what the outcome could be before the doctor had to explain it to me.

Anencephaly, in my terms, is the lack of development of the baby's skull and the under development of the brain. Doctors told us straight up, fatal. Later we will find out that there are some very rare case, of young children still alive with this condition. More on the actual term, I'll let you decide if you want to look it up and learn more.

So to double check what the first tech was showing our doctor, she sent us to a specialist to confirm.

We had Drew with us till this point, but wonderful friends picked him up for us and picked up Kristen from school for a play date. They were taken care of for the day.

At the specialist is where we decided we were finding out if the baby was a boy or girl. We needed some good news to hold on to.

SHE'S A GIRL! Kendall Mackenzie!

My mom was showing up by this time for support, and we went back to my doctor to talk about what our next steps are. She gave us all our options and answered our questions we could think of off the bat. At this point we had already had time for some crying, maybe some shock (more Kirk then me), and strength to hold back some tears when needed. My doctor has been great and has stretched her arms out for us and has let us know that we can get in touch with her for anything at anytime, literally.

On the way home I think of another question I didn't ask, which was if organ donation was a possibility. I called her back when we got home. She said she hadn't seen first hand too many of these, and she needed to call around to find the answer for us. She returned my call and confirmed that it was a possibility, if all her other organs grow correctly at full term. This gave me more of a peace. If our out come turns out the way it is expected, then we can have the opportunity to maybe save another child's life.

As soon as we get home, we have our family flooding (4 people) our house with love. And the first thing we want to do is call our Pastor. I knew from a previous spot in my family's life, that our old pastor (Pastor Phil) was at our side through some tough roads when my grandfather was sick in the hospital and about to pass away. It was comforting to know that he and the church would really be there for our family, and I knew that is what we needed this time. Pastor Bob came straight over and gave us words of wisdom and strength as best as he could. The family prayed over us with him. He gave us his love and spoke with us (b/c I asked) about future funeral preparations. Never thought I would be asking those questions.

That night, the kids came home and Kirk and I were somber about talking about our decisions we had to make. My mom spent the night and helped with the kids the next day before taking them to her house for the weekend. This is allowing us to grieve, talk, and have some quiet time with the Lord before getting back on a normal schedule next week.

Thursday night we slept 3-4 hours, and were wide awake afterwards. I decided to get up and finally felt able to do a little research on the internet. This is when my heart started to know what we had to do. And after some emails from friends, then talking with Kirk, we knew that carrying our baby girl full term was the only way to go. And the only way we would be able to spend as much quality time with her as possible.

So, I think that is where we are now. We are waiting for Monday to come. We will meet with Dr. G again then and talk about what is ahead of us. How often we'll have to go. How often to the specialist. How many more tests they will have to do on me. How often to take my blood to count white blood counts and make sure that my body is holding up health-wise.

We also will have to prepare to speak with our children. What to say, how to say it, when to say what?

So for now, we ask all to PRAY. God is in control. We know He can preform miracles. But now our faith will be tested on how much we believe that can really happen for us. Going full term will allow Him the "room for a miracle" (Angie Smith of Selah).1) Pray for that miracle first, because God is so good! Then you can pray for all us. 2) First our health through the pregnancy. If anything happens with our (mine or Kendall's) health before full term, we will have to go in to give birth early. 3) Pray for our marriage. This will be a trying time, but we know together we will be there for each other and be able to give each other strength. We will also always need our communication lines open; no bottling up our emotions and hiding from each other. 4) Our family as a whole with our children and extended family. All the rest of the miscellaneous things. And 5) for things to come. That we do not worry and truly give it to God. And deal with things as they come.

Many friends have already said how strong I am. And as I would in there shoes, say "I don't know if I could do it, if I was in your shoes". I leave you with a link to a Selah song. For it is not of me, but God using me.God's strength coming through me.The lyrics are below the song on the link.

And on a good note. We have started to look forward to the wonderful things we have to look forward to. Any time we will get to spend with Kendall. little footprints on the hospital paper, and my first pregnancy photo shoot with all of us there.

Thank you for reading the beginning of our story, God's story.

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