Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Danae-isms of a different sort

I’m an emotional wreck, and that’s okay.

My 4-year-old daughter and I had a wonderful conversation, initiated by her, on our way to her gymnastics class tonight. And it brought me to tears.

Her questions started with “How did Jesus take baby Josiah up?”

She continued on with the following:

“Why is Josiah in Heaven and not here?”
“Why can’t we be with him?”
“Will we die, too? When?"
"Will we see Josiah when we die?"
“Does God have toys up there for Josiah? What do you think he’s playing with?”

She wrapped up our little Q&A with, “You sound like you are crying. Are you sad, Mommy?”

Oh the thoughts that must be going through my inquisitive babe’s head. Things I wish she never, ever had to wonder at such a young age. Issues I never thought I’d have to explain in a simplified manner.

But, in the end, I’d rather Danae ask the questions, know the answers, and remember the baby brother that she loved so much before he was born…the boy she never got to play with, feed, or push in a stroller, but will one day see in Heaven.

Yes, my emotions are all over the place, but that’s okay.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Roller Coaster

I was warned that it would be like this.

"High" days of no tears and mostly happy thoughts (as shown in my previous post).

And "low" days of deep sadness, missing the baby we should be raising, questions, anger...

A roller coaster of emotions. And they change directions frequently. One minute I'm fine and playing with the kids, then the next minute I'm a complete wreck.

My friend Kara, who had a similar experience almost four and a half years ago, told me it would be like this. She advised me to embrace every feeling and work through it...some of the best advice I've received.

I'm try to accept everything: the feelings, the entire situation. But it's difficult. Very, very difficult. While I know my son is in a much better place and is not suffering from the condition he had, I also miss him terribly. Thoughts of what we should be doing creep up: rocking, nursing, carrying him around in a wrap, naps with Daddy, sweet moments together. Danae and Caedon miss out on playing with their baby brother, and we all know how excited Danae was to be a big sister again and hold a baby 24/7. It tears at my heart.

So, we are working through it. Lots of talking, lots of crying, and trying to accept the circumstances. We are riding this Roller Coaster. And we know that many of you are on it with us. Thanks for praying and not leaving.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Jehovah has Healed

Josiah: Jehovah has Healed (meaning in the original Hebrew)

Very, very fitting.

Things are going well here...better than I had thought they would be. I've never had a c-section, so recovery is an entirely new discovery. The first day or two at home was rough...getting around, doing anything with the kids took effort. My mom blessed us for a few days with her time, care of the kids, and better than "Merry Maids" cleaning abilities. Slowly but surely, my body is healing and things get easier with each day.

Healing is happening emotionally, too. I wasn't sure if I'd ever feel that way...actually not feel complete sadness and grief 24/7. Not cry a river every single night when Hubby would play with the kids and my thoughts would instantly turn to my little boy who should have been here...who should be nursing right now...who should be held by his big sister. Yes, the thoughts are always there. Josiah never leaves my mind. But despair, anger, bitterness, and depression have not taken over. I can get myself up in the morning and take care of the two beautiful gifts I have here on earth, and for that I am thankful.

And even though there are days I feel sadness and feel like the words just won't come out, I know God is moving, working, healing. It will take lots of time.

He has Healed, and He will continue.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Josiah David

Almost 2 weeks ago we found out our unborn child had a condition and would most likely die.

One week ago today, our Josiah David was born and quickly went to rest in the arms of Jesus.

And even now, as I still sit here typing this and wondering where a week went, everything still feels very surreal. Almost like we are looking in from the outside.

We have many questions. Many emotions. So much hurt and sadness. Right now we comprehend the facts and can convey those to you...and in the coming days and weeks, a lot more will flow out of my soul and head.

So here is our son's story for now.

We found out on Thursday, January 21 that our unborn baby had a condition called fetal hydrops. The baby was full of fluid and had pockets of fluid around the heart and lungs. While the major organs were perfectly fine, the fact that fluid was present indicated otherwise. There was also way too much amniotic fluid surrounding the baby, making me look 44 weeks pregnant instead of 31. We knew this jump in fluid had happened over the previous 3 weeks because I was feeling completely fine and comfortable up until the beginning of January. At that time, I started to not sleep at night, and I kept feeling like my belly was in my lungs.

On Friday, January 22 we had an amniocentesis and blood work done to see if the hydrops was due to a genetic problem (which is what the specialist thought), or possibly some type of infection that I encountered while pregnant. Since the level three ultrasound showed normal blood flow in the brain and normal heart development and activity, other likely causes had already been ruled out.

On Monday, January 25, the results came back: all negative. The doctors could not figure out what caused the hydrops.

On Tuesday, January 26, we had another appointment with the specialist to double-check the extent of the hydrops to see if anything could be done. The ultrasound showed an increase in fluid in and around the baby, as well as confirmed the severity of the hydrops. Our specialist told us it was almost 100% likely that the baby would not survive.

Wednesday morning, January 27, I woke up in excruciating pain along the left side of my belly. I thought I pulled a muscle because I realized I had rolled from my sitting up sleeping position to my side. The pain continued, and on my way to work I realized that the normal Braxton-Hicks contractions that I had been having for weeks were getting worse and going into my lower back. I called the specialist from the side of the road and headed in to his office.

After a non-stress test, exam, and ultrasound, the doctor said a few things were happening: 1) I was dilated 2 cm and contracting every 6-7 minutes, 2) the amniotic fluid in and around the baby increased even from the day before and was almost double what it should have been, 3) the baby's heart rate was dropping into the 60's and 70's at different intervals during the non-stress test, and 4) the ultrasound showed that blood flow to the baby through the umbilical cord was decreasing. The doctor believed the baby would die in the womb in a day or two and advised a c-section that day in order to see if they could save him/her.

In under two hours, I was changed and prepped, Hubby arrived, childcare was taken care of, and I was getting a spinal. At 12:24pm, our third baby, Josiah, was born. The NICU staff tried taking the fluid out from around his heart and lungs, but it did no good. They tried inserting a breathing tube but couldn't. Once Josiah was cut from the umbilical cord, his heart stopped, his condition ended, and he got to meet Jesus at a much earlier time than we ever thought.

This past week has been the hardest ever. Hands down. I spent four nights in the hospital after developing a uterine infection and needing 48 hours of IV antibiotics. Almost every person that spent time in our house or with our children during that time (even Hubby) developed the same stomach virus that our children had the weekend prior, causing lots of vomiting and sickness. And we miss Josiah terribly. I can't ever say that enough.

We know that tons of people are lifting us up in prayer, and we can never thank you enough. Please continue to do so, as I heal physically and we try to find some sense of normalcy in life.