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.


  1. I don't know you, but none of that matters. Hold your head up and hold on. First, believe. Believe that God can and will do everything according to his purpose. Second, know that Brayden is okay. Whether that be growing inside of a blessed, strong, Mother or in heaven. There are no easy words to say because I have yet to even experience child birth, but I do know that the God I serve is able to do above anything we could ever imagine. Prepare yourself for whatever the outcome, pray without ceasing, LET GO AND LET GOD! Praying for you and your family's strength.
    Love, A friend of the Richardson's

  2. Deana, we are all praying for you and your family. God knows the plans He has for you, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer. 29:11 Don't lose faith!
    Love you,
    C Marsh

  3. Oh Deana, I cannot imagine what you are going through. Know that you have our prayers, our support, and our love. I think this blog will be a good outlet for you...and for those of us who are sympathetic to your situation and don't want to bombard you with questions all the time. Please call me if you need anything...even if you just want to talk. Love you sweet friend!

  4. Blogging is a great way to get your own emotions out and provide a way for others to know how to pray for you as well. I have begun praying for you and sweet Brayden.

  5. My heart aches for you and I can deeply empathize with you. I was told that our son had Trisomy 18 and would die in utero, as soon as he was born, or within 6 months of birth and that there was only one Trisomy child living at the age of 6 and was very handicapped. I was horrified. With many untra sounds later and a doctor who suggested abortion more than once, a refused amnio,along with all the what if's and genetic counseling, I was STRESSED to the max!! So I do know and understand how you must feel. Though the chromosome disorders are different, one thing is the same. GOD is still on the throne and HE has a plan for you and this baby. Whether it be here on earth or later in Heaven. God has a purpose. If you believe in the Lord, all things do work together for good,Roman's 8:28 KJV, assures us of that. I knew before our first specialized doctors appointment that something felt wrong and I believe all I went through was a test of my faith. My son (my 3rd child) was born 3 weeks early, with a heart murmur that grew up on it's own before he was 8 months old. Today he is perfectly healthy 11 year old boy! The fact is, there is nothing that anybody can do to MAKE you feel better about your situation, they couldn't in mine. BUT you pray to GOD to help you get through this. You ask HIM to help you to say good bye to that baby if that's HIS will, or to help you take care of him when he's born. Either way, remember GOD is in control and He'll not give you more than you can handle. I have 4 beautiful living children and God holds 3 more in Heaven for me. What a celebration we will have when I get Home!!You know if I had a choice and could choose whether I held them here and they be disabled and struggling or let God hold them and they be perfectly healthy and not struggling, I'd choose for God to have them. I do hope you find some type of peace with all this and know that God loves you!!

  6. Deana,
    You don't know me but Mary Ellen told me about you. My name is Holly and I was in your shoes just 2 yrs ago when my daughter Carleigh was given the fatal diagnosis of anencephaly. It really was devastating. I carried her to term and she was born still on March 28, 2009. The time I spent with my daughter in my womb and in my arms were some of the best in my life. There were heartbreaking moments but there were also moments of pure joy. I know the path you are on isn't easy. You want to know why. Why you? Why your baby? It just isn't fair. I pray you have loving support behind you as your walk this journey. God will always be there for you no matter what. He was the strength that got me through it all and continues to get me through life without my daughter. Know that I will be keeping you in my prayers.

  7. Precious mother,
    I don't know you but am praying for your sweet family. As a new first time mother myself I can only imagine how this must feel to you and your husband. My mother and I and our Sunday School class prayed for your family and specifically for Brayden's healing. Please know that you are loved and being prayed for.

    Paula Campbell and Linda Mayhall