Tuesday, August 2, 2011

First Milestone

Tomorrow marks Brayden's 6 week Heavenly Birthday. It also happens to be my birthday...which I'm afraid is going to be very hard on me.  Every Wednesday since the day he was born has been extremely hard. Each week, I find myself watching the clock all day. From the very beginning I have dreaded this particular week. We are supposed to get Brayden's stone in sometime this week...I know that's going to be very hard. Also, something about Brayden not being in my arms for 6 weeks scares me. I guess I don't want to believe that he's really gone. I am still very numb to what has happened. I didn't expect to lose Brayden the way we did. I know that he is in the arms of Jesus, much better than my arms, but the selfish side of me wants him here. I would do anything in the world to just hold him one more time. I have been looking through his pictures over and over tonight and thought I would share some of them with you all. This blog has been very therapeutic for me and what an awesome thing to know that so many of you have prayed for my precious baby boy. Your prayers were answered...my baby is completely healed. I thank God for that. I also thank God that so many of you recognize Brayden's life. That means more to me than anything.

                                                                  Sweet angel

                              Bryce loved holding Baby Brayden. He asks about him all the time.
The things in this life that I have taken for granted...I just realized that this will be our only complete family picture. I'm so very thankful for this memory.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July

I went to Brayden's grave for the first time. It was harder than I thought it would be. We told Bryce we were going to see baby Brayden, which was a huge mistake. When we got there he was looking all over for him and then cried when we left because he wanted to "see baby Brayden." I'm going to have to be more careful how I word things. I can tell that Bryce is trying to comprehend everything. To be honest, I'm still working on that too. I'm at a loss for how to make him understand...I just keep praying for the right words to say.
Later, we were on our way home from my parent's house and we could see fireworks everywhere we looked...it was beautiful! It made me think about what Brayden was seeing at that moment. I smiled thinking that nothing could compare to what he was seeing. Then I started thinking about what the word freedom now means for Brayden. Brayden is free from the heartache this world brings. Brayden will never know disappointment, pain, or sickness. I'm thankful for that thought because it gets me through to another day. I told Marcus that I don't foresee a time that I will never hurt as bad as I do now. I miss Brayden so much.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sweet Baby Brayden

I can't believe that it has been one week since I held my sweet angel in my arms. This past week has been a whirl wind and I feel like I can't catch my breath. I'm trusting in God but the hurt I feel is so deep that I can't comprehend it. I wanted to let you all know how we got to this point.
Last Tuesday I noticed that I hadn't felt Brayden all day. I told Marcus that night but we both weren't too worried because he's done that to us before. The next morning, I was shaking my belly trying to trigger some movement from Brayden. When I didn't feel any I reluctantly called the doctor. (I really didn't want to call because I knew everything was fine) When I spoke to the receptionist she told me to come in right away. I called Marcus at work, told him what was going and he picked me up at home. We dropped Bryce off at my sister in laws and headed the doctor. The whole way there we both weren't worried or nervous because we felt that everything was fine. I wish that would have been true. When we got to the doctor's office the nurse  put the Doppler to my stomach. Usually when they do this his heart beat picks up immediately. The nurse kept going around and around my stomach--no noise. Marcus and I made eye contact and in that moment my heart began to break. They sent us to ultrasound and when our sweet ultrasound tech walked in I started sobbing. She tried to comfort us saying that sometimes babies change positions...but when she put the wand to my stomach I saw her flip a switch to page the doctor. I put my hands over my face and sobbed...then I heard "I'm not seeing a heartbeat."
Our baby was gone. I know that Brayden had a lot against him, but I just didn't expect to lose him. At least not this way.I delivered Brayden Wednesday, June 22 at 8:38 pm. Brayden weighed 4lbs, 3 ounces and was 16 1/2 inches long. Words cannot describe how beautiful this baby was. Brayden was completely perfect. No abnormalities to be seen on the outside.
We had a beautiful funeral for Brayden. Every mother wants her children to be complimented and what a joy it was for me for people to tell me how beautiful my baby was. He looked like a baby doll in his blue gown and chubby cheeks.
Tonight, I am desperate to hold my baby just one more time. I cannot describe the heaviness my arms feel without my baby in them. I am still in a state of shock. I keep telling Marcus that its too much for me to allow myself to even think about. We are both hurting so bad, but we have great medicine with our precious Bryce. (Who by the way, got to hold his little brother.) The only prayer that I can manage to say these days is God see me through. I'm not sure what else to pray right now. My mom told me to take it one day at a time, but really I'm taking it minute by minute. I miss my baby so much.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

34 Weeks

Just wanted to give a quick update and also ask for your continued prayers. I spent several hours yesterday in labor and delivery because of my blood pressure. I was allowed to go home but the doctor wants me on bed rest. (This is not possible with a 2 1/2 year old...but I am taking it easy) I have to now see the doctor twice a week. If my blood pressure does not regulate he thinks it's best to go ahead and take Brayden. I don't feel well and my pressure is high, but I want to hold on to him a little bit longer. Please pray!
My next doctor's appointment is Thursday morning.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

32 Weeks...

I have to apologize for not updating in awhile. Writing this blog is extremely therapeutic for me but it also is emotionally draining. I have never gone back and reread anything I have written because its hard enough writing in the first place. Sometimes it feels as if I'm watching this situation happen to someone else and not to me.
Can you believe that Brayden has now made is to 32 weeks?! If you serve the God I do then I'm sure you can...but what a miracle baby he is already! We were able to get a 4D ultrasound done of our sweet baby. He's beautiful!! I would like to say that the last few weeks have been uneventful, but I can't. I was actually sent to labor and delivery for a few hours, but God had another plan for our baby. :) We just had a check up Monday. Brayden's heart rate sounded good, my blood pressure could be better, and I measured 30 weeks. Measuring 30 weeks is also a miracle because the week before I only measured 28. He's growing! Last week they estimated that he weighed 2 lbs, 13 ounces.
I would like to ask for your continued prayers. Please pray for Brayden's healing, my blood pressure, and  emotional well being. I have not been sleeping too well these days. My heart breaks a little more each night knowing that I'm one day closer to possibly having to say goodbye to Brayden. The thought is more than I can bare. Also, I will spare the details but the doctor believes that "something is happening" as far as labor is concerned. I have been told this several times before, but I am believing that I will carry Brayden full term.
Our next appointment is June 20th.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

28 Weeks

I'm sorry I am just now updating about Monday's appointment. For those of you who know me best,  know that I am just "tired." It seems that the only good news to report is that Brayden is still with us. I cannot believe that I am already 7 months pregnant. In one way it seems that I have been dealing with this forever, but now that his due date is approaching, I feel that it is going by way to fast. Truth be told I'm just not ready to bury my baby. I realize that God is still in control and that there can still be a miracle. I feel my miracle is going to be getting to meet sweet Brayden. I'm so thankful that God has allowed him to defy all statistics that he wouldn't make it past 18 weeks. I just cannot stand the thought losing him. I am scared to death of what the day of his birth is going to bring us. Although there are other emotions I feel that day will bring, scared is the biggest one that jumps out. It's amazing what can hurt you when you are going through something like this. For mother's day, Lisa made some pictures of Bryce and put it in a frame for me. I loved it! But as I was looking at the others, it hurt me to see a friend's gift. Her children have the same age difference as Bryce and Brayden. It was so precious to see them in their pictures with their arms around each other. It struck me that I may not ever get one of those pictures. I know I probably shouldn't think that way, but those are the things that pop into my mind everyday. I cannot believe how much of my life that I taken for granted. I took for granted bringing Bryce home from the hospital. I wish I could go back and live those moments again. I don't think Marcus and I would have minded as much not getting ANY sleep with a newborn that had his days and nights confused. I would give anything for Brayden to be able to keep us up at night.
 Prayers needed.
"For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, 'Fear not, I am the one who helps you." Isaiah 41:13

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

I had the best Mother's Day yesterday. I spent the day thanking God for giving me my amazing Bryce and also allowing me to be with Brayden this year. While most of the day was spent with my wonderful family, I did experience moments of sadness.  I kept thinking about what this day would mean to me next year. Would I be spending time with Brayden here on earth? There are so many unknowns. Sometimes, the thought of everything that is supposed to happen hurts so deep that I can't even comprehend it. For example, last Saturday Bryce and I went to a farmers market. Bryce was loving naming all of the fruit he saw (he LOVES fruit) and the owner was asking me all about him because she has a grandson around the same age. As I was leaving, she noticed my 28 week tummy and said "Oh, when is your other baby due?" I told her. She then said "Do you know what you're having?" I replied and then she said, "Aw, now this one will have someone to play with." I just smiled and agreed. It didn't make me sad, it was a feeling that I couldn't explain.  It just felt normal to agree with her, so I did.
Today we have our doctor's appointment. I didn't go last week. I have been feeling good movement and I just didn't want any more bad news since we had enough around us with the devastation the tornadoes left behind. I am anxious to see my sweet Brayden today. I will update later.
Please keep the prayers coming!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

26 Weeks

I'm sorta at a loss for words today. Yesterday's appointment was different. We didn't get to see Brayden because they only checked for heart tones. That saddened me because I love seeing him every Monday. Also, this week I came prepared with a list of questions to ask my doctor. I have questions every week but because I get so emotionally charged, I always forget to ask them. My doctor sat down with me for almost an hour yesterday answering all of my questions. It was great to get to talk to him for that long. He explained to me that a lot of things that are wrong with Brayden weren't explained in depth because they weren't expecting him to make it this far. Also, he said it is hard for him to deliver such bad news to mothers. I can understand that. I told him that I am the type of person that needs all available information. Good or bad I have to know what I'm dealing with so that I can prepare myself and so I can know what to pray about. 
One of my major questions yesterday was how is it that Brayden still has a normal heart rate if his heart is really as abnormal as they believe it to be? He told me basically the cord is providing him with circulation. In other words, I'm providing Brayden with life support. The Dr. also told me that after birth, once the cord was clamped, that given his heart condition, it would probably not be able to keep beating. 
When the Dr. was telling me this, Brayden was kicking and moving all around. It was a strange feeling. How can a baby that is so alive right now not make it? I'm trying to remain strong. There is no way that I will ever give up on Brayden, but I feel so defeated today. 

"Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings." (Psalm 61:1-4)

Friday, April 22, 2011

A thought...

I was just doing some research on one of the conditions the doctor's told us that Brayden had. I felt called to share with you something that I just read in this particular medical journal:
"In some cases where severe defect is detected early in the pregnancy, a therapeutic abortion may be considered."
Excuse me? Do those two terms, therapeutic and abortion even belong in the same sentence?? I have had my share of heartache trying to get others to see the value of Brayden's life. The fact that he is ALIVE should be all the convincing one should need. Aren't we all going to die one day? Brayden is not dead, he is a life, a precious baby that we will always be thankful for. I feel this world has become so that we look more at what is convenient and not what is right. There is no easy solution for Brayden. Of course I wish Brayden was completely healthy, but that doesn't change my love for him or God's love for him. What I know to be true today is that therapeutic abortion or terminating a pregnancy are both generic terms that try to cover up what is really being done to one of God's children. What I know to be right is that God is still knitting Brayden together, God hasn't had the final say yet,and finally Brayden is still alive and we should all praise God for that. Happy Easter everyone.

James 1:17 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Psalm 34:18

I felt like God was up to something today...
On my way to our doctor's appointment, I felt such a burden on my heart. I asked God to please help me because I am so tired and I just don't know how much more I can take. I say this because it seems that every time we have a good week, it's followed by a bad one. We love this baby so much, and I KNOW God can heal him, but with every appointment, I feel like I have to justify his life to the medical profession. It's heartbreaking to love someone so much while others don't see his value.
Nonetheless, while Marcus and I were waiting, a lady sitting behind me said, "Excuse me, are you pregnant?" I turned around and told her yes. She then went on and on about how exciting it is to get ultrasounds, asked me if we were finding out today what we were having, etc. etc. This is the first time I have had to have a "pregnancy conversation" with a complete stranger. She then asked me how far along I was and when I told her 25 weeks, she couldn't believe it. "You're so small, you look like you're only a few weeks pregnant." I'm not into traumatizing people, so I just thank you and turned back around. (Okay, God...that was really painful.) What was even more painful was the look on Marcus' face. The lady couldn't see his reaction because she was behind us, but I have never seen the look of pain so intense on my husband's face and I hope I never have to again.
We were finally called back to ultrasound. Our usual technician did not see us today. Brayden's heart rate was great. He really doesn't like to have his picture taken, today he poked his bottom lip out. He is measuring 2 weeks behind. They estimated that he weighs 1 pound, 3 ounces. They are still only seeing 3 chambers in his heart, instead of 4. (Please pray specifically for God to heal his heart.) After the ultrasound, they put us in sub waiting by ourselves. Finally, our nurse came in and sat with us for a minute. She told Marcus and I that they have never had a trisomy 13 patient make it to this point. (Thank you, Jesus!) Then, Marcus said, "I just know we are going to get to see this baby alive." When he said this, I began to sob. Not because I don't believe it, but because I knew our nurse didn't and I knew she was going to tell us that. I was right, our nurse responded, "I know you can't answer this but, do you really want to see him suffer? He's going to suffer if he survives birth." This is the point where I broke down even further. I haven't cried at the doctor's office since we first received news of Brayden's diagnosis. I can't explain it, but I usually get into this zombie like state where I don't ask any questions or say much of anything at all, then I just let it all out on my way home. I couldn't help it today. How could a mother answer that question?? No, I do not want Brayden to suffer and yes I want him here. Is there any fairness in this situation? No. I won't go into the details of how they believe he will suffer, because I don't believe them. They have told me a lot in the last 25 weeks that has turned out to be not true, so I'm putting my trust in God.

"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

Monday, April 11, 2011

24 Weeks

"Faith is to believe what we do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what we believe."
-St. Augustine

Our journey with Brayden has brought us through many highs and lows. I am thankful that today's appointment brought us to another high point. I am still having contractions, but they are not as regular or intense as they were last week. God is definatly at work. During our ultrasound today Brayden played with his toes. He also put his hands on his knees. I told Marcus it looked like he was already a ball player.
I don't want anyone out there to believe that Brayden has been given a death sentence. Obviously, God has the final say and He hasn't made it yet. Throughout this journey, I have had moments of doubt. I think it is human nature to have doubts in things that are unseen. But, I also know that there is always the chance for a miracle. It may not be in the way that I want it to be, but there will be a miracle for my Brayden. Many people may not realize, but it is a miracle that he is still with us now. My doctor has never had a trisomy 13 patient past 24 weeks. Today, I am thankful for the realization that one way or another Brayden will be healed. If it is God's will, Brayden will be healed here on earth. If not, although tough to accept, he will be healed when he enters heaven. Either way, I praise God for Brayden's healing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

23 Weeks

We didn't have a good day yesterday. Around 8:00 yesterday morning, I was sitting in my classroom and started hurting. The pain stopped for about 20-30 minutes and then it happened again. When the pain came back, I started getting really nervous that something was going on. I told a fellow teacher about it and she told me if it happens again I should call my Dr. Well, the pain did happen again and then again...every 20-30 minutes. I finally called the Dr. and they had me come in at 1:00 yesterday afternoon. Turns out that I am in early labor. Brayden's heart rate was great-149. He is still holding on strong, but its my body that's giving up. I'm very angry about this scenario. This is not what I envisioned for him. The Dr. told us it could be tomorrow, days, or even weeks, but labor has definitely begun. They sent me home with some pain meds for contractions. Needless to say, I am scared to death that I'm not going to get to hold my sweet baby alive. It shouldn't have to be this way. I have prayed and prayed for God not to let this end this way. I don't have much else to say today....just pray. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

22 Weeks

"But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love." Psalm 33:18

God never fails us. My hope for Brayden is in Him; not my doctors. 
Yesterday was a day that brought me closer to God. I could feel God's grace all around. During my appointment, I had some powerful prayers going up for Brayden and I could feel every one of them. I have never know peace like this before. At the start of the ultrasound Brayden's heart rate was 120. This made me a little nervous at first, until we realized that he was asleep. Then, we saw (and I felt) Brayden make a big stretch. Apparently we disturbed the sweet angel's nap. From that point forward Brayden was wide awake and giving us a good show. We have a fantastic ultrasound technician that we see every week. She took time from her schedule yesterday to switch the ultrasound over to 4D. She just kept printing pictures for us because Brayden's face was so distinct and so darn cute! Needless to say, I have lots of pictures to put in Brayden's first album. During the ultrasound I said, "Ah, I can't wait to hold him." At that point my ultrasound tech started to cry. She then shared with Marcus and I that she lost a son when he was 6 years old. She also said that she  really feels for us and she doesn't understand why things like this happen. I ended up hugging and comforting her, which was a great change for me. I love caring for others and at times I'm not sure how to let people do the same for me. I ended up suggesting books that have helped me and talking about heaven with her. It was great for me to be able to do that. We did not receive any new news yesterday, which is actually a blessing. Brayden is our little fighter and I think he knows that we are all fighting and pulling for him.
Thank you for your continued prayers~

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pray for Brayden

"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them." Matthew 18:20

Today we have what has become our routine doctor's appointment at 3:00. I expect all that they will do is check for Brayden's heart beat. I am believing God can heal Brayden. I have prayed and prayed for God's will to be done and now I pray that God will heal our little boy. Although I don't expect to hear anything new today, I would like everyone to pray for Brayden at 3:00. God is working. Please pray for this sweet baby.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philip 4:6-7)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Team Brayden

I just received an e-mail from a sweet friend of mine that ended by her writing "Team Brayden!" I absolutely love this idea. I have been so humbled this week by how many lives our sweet Brayden has touched. His life does have meaning and does have a purpose. I have been so blessed that God has chosen Marcus and I for this journey. What an amazing gift Brayden is to us. It is such a great comfort knowing that he has been a gift to others besides our family. I will admit that this week has brought me to the lowest point of sorrow. I have never known heartache like I have known it through this journey. But from this pain I am starting to get a renewed sense of purpose. I know that the sorrow and pain in my heart will never go away, but I also know that God is working. 
When we first received news of Brayden's diagnosis, I had a pastor call me. During this conversation, he prayed that whenever I was feeling abandoned or low, that someone would reach out to me. My friends, God has answered this prayer. I praise God for all the he has given me. 
I hope to hear how many of you are on "Team Brayden."
Thanks again for all of your prayers and support. Please keep praying for our special miracle. Our next doctor's appointment is Monday at 3:00. I would love for everyone reading this blog to take a moment and pray for Brayden at that time. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

21 Weeks

"The Lord will either calm your storm or allow it to rage while He calms you."

We were so optimistic about our sweet baby last week. I had what I thought was a good ultrasound. We were able to get pictures of Brayden's sweet little face. We were also able to see him suck his thumb. So precious. Our Dr. was on vacation last week, so after the full analysis ultrasound we were sent home with lots of pictures and hope. In the back of my mind I knew that this week's appointment would probably not leave me feeling as hopeful; I was right.
Yesterday, we went in for our weekly check up. Brayden's heart rate was 146, which in normal. After the ultrasound, we met with our Dr. to go over his findings from last week's analysis. We were told lots of devastating news yesterday. I'm still not sure how to take it all in. This is what the full analysis showed:
He told us that Brayden has a condition where the fluid in his spinal cord is not draining. He also has fluid in his bowels that shouldn't be there, fluid on his brain, and excessive fluid in his kidneys that have caused them to swell. Last, he told us that Brayden has one large ventricle in his heart and only a partial ventricle on the other side. I just sat there, taking it all in. Nodding when I was supposed to all the while getting more and more angry.
I am angry that I have to be given signs and symptoms of preterm labor as something that is going to happen. I am mad when people all around me have "normal" pregnancies and I don't. On my way home yesterday I had the overwhelming urge to scream at the top of my lungs and ask God why this is happening. I'm thankful that I have a God that can handle those sorts of times. God began to whisper to me that he knows what sorrow feels like. God watched his son, Jesus die on the cross for us. God knows what it feels like to grieve and I know He is grieving along side with me.
Brayden needs your prayers. We are thankful for all the support we have been given over the last few months. I know that it is only by your prayers and God's grace that I have been able to function lately. Thank you and I am so thankful for our Brayden.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

18 Weeks

Yesterday we went for our routine ultrasound. From the very beginning of the appointment, I was feeling optimistic. I'm not sure why, but I felt very calm. Brayden had the hiccups during the ultrasound. Poor baby! He was bouncing all over the screen. I have to admit, that one of my biggest fears throughout this entire ordeal, was that Brayden's face would be deformed. I know in the grand scheme of things, that may not seem like a big deal to some, but it was to me. Yesterday, we had a prayer answered! The ultrasound tech said that his mouth looked great (no cleft palate!) and he had the perfect little nose! We were able to get a great picture of his side profile. He has such a sweet face. God is so good! 
We did get some bad news  though. Brayden has some fluid on his brain. She said that there wasn't much, but there was some there. (I'm not sure exactly what that means.) He also has some "spots" on his heart. We will know everything next week. We will have a full analysis by ultrasound next week. Some people have questioned why I want to know everything. This is my baby, and I need to prepare for him. I want to know what is wrong and what is not wrong so that I can put some of my fears at ease and so I can be prepared when I get to meet him. Also, my doctor noticed my good mood yesterday. He was very quick to remind me to not forget what the final outcome was going to be. I wish that everyone could let me enjoy my little victory and allow me to be happy for a moment. Those type of comments strip my joy away and I don't want that to happen. I praise God for Brayden and I'm so thankful for him.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Prayer

I found this in my mailbox at school today...this sums up everything I need from God. I am so blessed to work with such Godly people. I am thankful to whoever wrote this for me.

Lord, I ask in your name that my child be healed.
I am willing to accept your decision no matter what it will be. I am willing to take on the responsibilities for caring for this child. I am willing to give this child love and understanding no matter the cost.

Please Lord help me accept the reality of what has happened without explanation or warning. Help me face that this is not my fault and that I was given a special task to complete here on Earth.

God give my child the strength to make it through another second, minute, hour, and day as each moment is a blessing and triumph from Heaven.

God, may you give the strength and compassion to the caregivers and nurses that take care of my child. May you keep my child protected and free from all injury and pain.

Please take away the guilt and burden from my heart dear Lord. It is heavy and I feel it is all my fault. Take it away Lord. Jesus please give me the strength that I need to communicate with the doctors and nurses.

As you see dear Lord, I am at your mercy for the life of my child. Please leave him here on Earth and know that I will provide all the love and understanding that this child needs. I accept the challenge and will be your humble servant. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

15 Weeks

We had our weekly check up today. We usually go on Monday's but Bryce has been sick this week so we had to reschedule for today. Brayden's heart rate was 143 today. It was 163 last week and 180 the week before. We're not sure exactly what this means, if anything. 143 is still considered "normal." We had to bring Bryce to our appointment today because he was too sick to stay at Lisa's. We have never brought him before, and probably won't again if we can help it. He did really well, I just want to protect him from such grown-up things. Our Doctor was amazing and let us leave right after the ultrasound. We will meet with him next week. Our ultrasound tech was very sweet today. We were asking her questions and I told her that I have a lot of questions that I want answered. We know that Brayden has trisomy 13, but what does that mean for him? I want to know exactly what is wrong with my baby. Even though that will be painful, I have to know in order to settle some of my fears, or worse, confirm some of my fears. When I told that to our ultra sound tech, she looked at me and said, "I'm beginning to see some changes, but we'll talk about it next week." One might read that and think that could possibly mean good news, but the way she said it scared me. So now, I await to hear this news next week. I am preparing myself for another traumatic Monday.
"As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things." Ecclesiastes 11:5

Friday, February 11, 2011


I have so many of them. Sometimes I hate myself for asking them repeatedly. As a Christian, I know I shouldn't but it's hard not to. "Why me God? Why our baby?" I always answer these questions with "Why not us? Why not our baby?"Those answers make sense in my mind, but not my heart. Over the last month I have questioned whether or not I will ever be able to be happy again without feeling guilty. We are closing on our brand new house today. What a blessing that is in the midst of a storm. Even so, I am not overcome with joy. A few weeks ago I brought my Aunt Cindy to see our house. I was showing her around saying, "This is going to be Bryce's room, this is Bryce's playroom, and this will be a guest room." Then suddenly, sadness overcame me. I thought to myself, where is Brayden's room? I'm carrying a child that will never have a bedroom in our home. It made me feel guilty, angry, and sad. I don't want to give anyone the impression that I don't have faith that God can perform a miracle and heal Brayden. There is nothing that my God cannot do. However, what I didn't share in the first blog is Brayden's prognosis. Both of my Doctors have given him the same exact odds: Statistically, he will not survive birth. Based on his abnormalities, if he does survive birth, they give me a few hours at best with him. How unfair.
Then there are the questions that I have received from other people, including nurses and doctors, that rip me to my core. "Why are you doing this to yourself?" "Don't you think that this is going to make it harder on everyone else?" (They are referring to my decision NOT to terminate Brayden) I wish that I could have stood my ground and ministered to these people. I wish I could have said that I serve an all-knowing God that would take my baby when he was ready...but I couldn't. It was all I could do not to cry so I simply said "I just can't." 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Our Trial Begins...

I thought that this blog would help answer some questions that some have about our situation. I also thought it would help me understand my own feelings about our situation.
On December 2, 2010, I found out that we were expecting our second child. Marcus was at work when I found out. After I called and told him the news he called me back about an hour later. I'll never forget how excited he was. "I can't stop smiling, Deana." We did not plan on this pregnancy, but from the very beginning we said that it's all in God's timing, not ours and we were ecstatic! On December 27th, we went for our first OB appointment. We were both so excited. I remember saying that I couldn't wait for Christmas to be over (so not like me) so we could go to the Dr. to see our sweet little peanut. I never thought that anything could be wrong with our baby...that thought never crossed my mind. Our nurse, Cathy was conducting our ultrasound. For whatever reason, as soon as I saw our baby on the monitor, I felt uneasy. I can't explain where the feeling came from....after all, I had no idea what exactly I was looking at. Our nurse never really let on that something could be wrong. A few moments later  our Dr. walked in. He said that they saw what may be a separation. It was probably no big deal, but they wanted me to come in for another ultrasound Monday morning. I simply nodded in disbelief at everything he was telling me. As Marcus and I left the Dr.'s office, I broke down. I just knew in my heart that something was terribly wrong with our peanut. Monday morning we arrived at the Dr.'s office. I have never been so scared in my life. This time, we has an ultrasound technician perform our ultrasound. She was so upbeat and positive. This time, the baby looked great to us. They put us in sub-waiting after the ultrasound to wait on the Dr. While waiting, Marcus and I giggled and looked at the pictures of our new addition. We were full of hope that nothing was wrong. Several minutes later we were called back into a room with our Dr. The first thing he said was that there was no separation. I looked at Marcus and grinned, knowing that we were going to be okay. Nothing could have ever prepared me for the next thing our of our Dr.'s mouth. "There is no separation, BUT your baby has a fluid filled tumor on the back of his neck called a cystic hygroma. This is usually an indication of a chromosome disorder or major heart defect." Suddenly, I couldn't breath. Did he have the right chart? I am the queen of easy pregnancies, this kind of thing doesn't happen to me. I can't tell you how long our sweet Dr. talked to us, I zoned out several times in disbelief. The next thing I knew we had an appointment for the next morning with a specialist out of Birmingham. The next 12 hours is a blur. I have no idea what I did for the rest of the day. I spent it crying, screaming, and being in total disbelief. The next morning, Marcus and I woke up at 5:00am. (Although we never really went to sleep.) We dropped Bryce off at Lisa's and headed to the specialist's office to basically find out our fate. The Dr. was very knowledgeable, but like any good specialist, nothing was sugar-coated. He gave us a huge percentage that our child would have down syndrome and/or a major heart defect. Then, I had an amniocentesis done. We would know the results in 48 hours. The next two days were the longest days of my life. The day our results were due, I called the specialist's office twice. The nurse assured me that the second the fax came through, she would call me. I had just gotten my students in and settled after lunch when my phone rang. This was it. I stepped outside and answered the phone. When I said hello, I realized that it was not the nurse calling, it was the Dr. I knew then we weren't going to hear good news. "Mrs. Sanders, you're baby has trisomy 13. He will not survive, he is 'incompatible with life.'" My heart stopped. I had never even heard of such a condition. How could our sweet baby have such a horrible thing? "I know you probably can't think of any questions right now, but you can call me if you do. You're baby is male." That was the last time I have spoken with our specialist. I thought that he delivered the news terribly, but looking back, how can you tell a mother that she is carrying a baby that she will never get to see grow up? We were having another baby boy and he was going to die? It didn't make sense. I immediately called Marcus. His only response was, "Deana, don't tell me that, there's no way..." We were in shock. Needless to say, I had to leave work. I thank God for getting me home that day. Even though now I have lived with this reality for a month, it still doesn't feel real. And now, my reality is going to the Dr. every Monday to see if my baby is still alive. No mother should have to wonder if this is going to be the week when she will have to say goodbye to her baby. I have never met this child, but he is mine. I love him more than anything and I am desperate for a miracle. We have decided to name our baby Brayden James. I knew that I wanted another "B" name like Bryce. I thought about Benjamin based on its meaning, "one who brings sorrow." But then I thought, babies bring joy, not sorrow. So I chose James as his middle name because that is Marcus' first name and also because it means "peace." How fitting, our baby will be at peace.