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.