June 19, 2008

Another Day...another Doctor's visit

Yesterday, I had another visit with my OB/GYN. Now that my appointments are scheduled every 2 weeks AND I have regularly scheduled ultrasounds with my "high risk" specialists, it seems I am always at the doctor's office.

I had my glucose test done yesterday which is a routine test given to all pregnant women to check blood sugar levels. Okay, I totally get that it's a necessary test... But let me tell you, it was not pleasant. Drinking an orange flavored VERY sugary drink first thing in the morning was definitely NOT my idea of the breakfast of champions...especially since I had to fast prior to the test and my stomach was empty and growling. Christian seemed to like the drink though as he was moving around in my belly like he was in a bounce house.

I made up for it, however, because as soon as I was done with my doctor's appointment, I ate a breakfast fit enough for a lumberjack... scrambled eggs, french toast, sausage, fruit, Milano cookies (okay, I snuck those in)... yeah, you get the idea...I feasted as if I hadn't eaten in days! (Pregnant ladies can do that, you know!) :o) Afterward, both Christian and I were in sync because I was definitely bouncing around too!

It was nice to visit with my doctor though because I think I finally asked some good questions. A couple of days ago I met a really great lady who contacted me after receiving an alert about blogs pertaining to "Trisomy". She has a daughter, Mallorie, who is 16 MONTHS OLD. Please stop here and really grasp this... Little Mallorie is alive at 16 months old... She is a MIRACLE!

Ryan and I consider her a true beacon of HOPE! And it's a beautiful thing! All we've read prior to meeting her are grim statistics about Trisomy 18 and heartbreaking stories of pain and loss. Seeing a picture of little Mallorie has reassured Ryan and I that we have certainly made the right decision to stick by our son. The endearing way my new friend, Connie, describes her little Mallorie fills me with so much hope and anticipation to meet my own son. I just can't wait until he is born!

Anyway, my correspondence with Connie has been so valuable because, as a survivor, she has been able to offer some insight on what we might expect should we be lucky enough to have our son with us for longer than a brief moment. Things like caring for my son and personal choices while at the hospital during the delivery are things I never allowed myself to hope for because I didn't think I would have that much time with him.

I had a brief conversation once with a parent who lost their child to T18 and afterwards I broke down and was depressed for days. Imagine carrying a child inside you who moves constantly... and having conversations about making funeral arrangements and memorial services...The sadness is so great. No hope...just dread at having to prepare for the unimaginable. It is pain unlike anything I've ever experienced. And yet this is what my future will eventually hold... BUT NOT RIGHT NOW! My son is ALIVE... and I am committed, now more than ever, to celebrating his LIFE. Ryan and I are truly living in the moment. Thank you Mallorie!

I realize more than ever that Ryan and I have a lot of work ahead of us to prepare for Christian's arrival! We're not banking on false hope... we only want to be prepared just in case we're blessed with a miracle like Mallorie. And so I started a dialog with my doctor about choices I thought would never be available to me. Maybe this doesn't make sense, but I felt like I was finally moving forward instead of spinning my wheels and waiting for things to happen to us. It feels great!

People, I'm learning this as I go and I will be the first to admit, I'm overwhelmed and CLUELESS about what is to come. Ryan and I don't have children. I don't know how to change a diaper, the fragility of babies scares the heck out of me, the smell of funky diapers and "spit up" will surely set my gag reflects on high alert, and I think I'm lactose intolerant because the smell of milk really creeps me out...But I'm okay with all of that. I just want my son. Ryan and I have been trying to have kids for years. We know what kind of parents we want to be... we "parent" our dogs who are our babies...but it's not the same. I feel at such a disadvantage because my pregnancy encompasses all the joy that a new mother should experience. But, it's also filled with despair caused by being told my son has a fatal genetic defect. It's a lot to deal with. Ry and I thought we would have a basketball team by now... we thought it would easy and it's been anything but that.

And now I have a new friend who has reached out to me with HOPE. I am forever grateful...Connie, Thank You. You are blessing and a friend!


Yvette said...

Dear Leah,

I was sent your link by a friend, via email.

My name is Yvette and my husband is Trayc. We have been married for 18 years. We have a son named Tanner, which is 12, a son named Tayden, which is 2, and then on December 3, 2007 we had a little boy named Tristan Asher that was born with Trisomy 18. The Lord blessed our family with 56 precious days.

I went back and read your blog from the beginning and realize that you also went through years of infertility, as have we. I am so sorry that your precious little boy has been diagnosed with T-18.

This is a sweet journey, although filled with it's ups and downs and days of grief you it will be worth holding your precious little baby.

We created a blog back in October after finding out about Tristan. It became my greatest source of encouragement. The Lord gave me so many sweet girls to walk by my side. You will be so glad you created this blog. I know you wrote it was hard to know what to say but trust me it will come and keep blogging no matter what.

I look back now and read my own words and am able to see how far the Lord has carried us each step of the way and that it such a comfort now that I am on this side of it (Tristan has been gone 5 months on the 27th).

I will add your name to my prayer list.

Sincerely, Yvette

Laurie said...

Dear Leah,

I was sent to your blog by the same friend who sent Yvette to you. I too have read back through part of your posts and will get through to the beginning tomorrow. I read backwards:) If you read my profile (I don't have a blog), you will see that I have a very special place in my heart for your sweet Christian. I have only experienced this road you are on through following other moms in your same situation, and there are many and I love them all.
I want you to know that I will be praying for you and your baby, and try to be an encouragement however I can be. There is always HOPE Leah, and little Tristan showed me this hope every day of his Huge life. Do not worry about what to write, just let your heart pour out here and we will be praying for you. Your baby's life is so very important and his purpose will unfold with many blessings through the tears and the joy. Asking God for new strength for you and your husband, each and every day. You can trust God, He loves you all. I will walk this road with you too.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

sea star said...

Leah, I love this post. It speaks volumes of hope and one can never have to much of it. Keep on keepin' on!

ps. Blogworld is full of unique individuals willing to provide much friendship in the midst of our trials. You'll find that you are not alone. You won't regret having this blog.

Let's get together soon!

Kenzie said...

Leah & Ryan-

Sweet friends... I have been praying for you guys for over 2 months now. Through something that could only be ordained by the Lord I was in brief contact with a friend of yours (Jahna). You have been on my heart as I SO understand the unknowns of this unbelievable road. I can't say that I know exactly how you are feeling as each of us have walked this differently... but I do know that it is filled with ups and downs, just as Yvette said.

Our sweet Maddox was born on January 23rd (34 1/2 weeks) of this year and lived for just a moment. I can tell you that what Connie has been to you... well, she has been that to so many of us too. What an amazingly different perspective to have hope for these precious children that God has completely entrusted to our care. I can tell you that the hope is what you are to cling to... the faith in the Lord is the only TRUE thing that can get you through. In the pain, the fear, the frustration and anger HE is the only one that can take it all and still be there to hold you up. The Lord is faithful in everything... just remember that :)

Those short hours of holding Maddox, loving on him, praying over him, allowing our family and close friends to see and hold him... in a time that should have been filled with anguish, instead it was filled with peace and thanksgiving. Please don't think I'm saying it wasn't hard and there weren't tears; however, you can do it. He entrusted Christian's life to you and regardless of his time here on earth, he will ALWAYS be so greatly loved on!

If you need anything, please feel free to email me anytime. kenzie.stanfield@yahoo.com

Continuing to pray for you! Lots of love!