Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Goodbye for now

Our sweet Molly Elizabeth went to her heavenly home Saturday morning, at 19 weeks gestation. And if I've learned anything from this unique experience, it's that we are not in control. Truly we might as well give up any illusion of control, because there's just none to be found. It seems I've learned a lesson from each of my 6 pregnancies. Or perhaps it would be better noted that I've learned bits and pieces of a lesson, each filling in a little more of a puzzle, because I still can't see the full picture.

With my first baby I thought being pregnant meant I would get to raise a child. I was, thankfully, right. But looking back the assumption was absurd. With my second pregnancy, I hoped for my girls to grow to be best friends, but their relationship will be quite different than I had imagined. By the third, I knew nothing was for certain, and lost that baby. But with my fourth, Peter, even more shattering news broke us. I didn't think I would ever have to face actually losing an infant. Who does? With this baby I thought that no anencephaly would mean she would live, even if she were developmentally delayed. I thought making it to 14 weeks meant I would make it to term. But once again, our plans are not ours to make. We are not in control of life, of our children's lives.

I don't know if God wanted this to happen, or simply allowed it to happen in order to accomplish some other, greater good. So often suffering draws us nearer to him, as it's doing for me with this devastating loss. Perhaps we will be a stronger, more faith filled family as a result of the experiences we've endured.  I know Peter drew us closer to Him as children of God, and closer to each other as husband and wife. It's one blessing amongst the pain.

I started reading a book about suffering from a Christian perspective. I think the author makes a very valid point when discussing the faith of people in third world countries, unspeakable poverty and suffering, and war torn nations. In times of stress their faith increases, church attendance increases, reliance on God increases, whereas in wealthy nations such as our own, those things continue to decrease, and any trial has people questioning God's very existence. He claims (I have not researched myself) that questioning why God allows suffering is unique to Christianity, and that the answer can be found within Christianity. I just know I can't wait to find out how this all turns out, why it all happens the way it does, and I can't wait to meet my 4, very loved children when I get there.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Truly Unexpected

We received the preliminary results from the amniocentesis today. The diagnosis is triploidy. I am still somewhat in shock. It's not at all related to the balanced translocation, and appears to be a very, very rare fluke. It's a birth defect in which every cell in the body has three of each chromosome instead of two. So it's a trisomy of everything, not just one chromosome like Down's Syndrome or trisomy 13. There is a possibility that it's mosaic triploidy, in which some cells are normal and some contain 3 copies, and that is less severe. There appears to be less than 60 cases documented world wide, although I am seeing a lot of articles and blogs with that figure mentioned and no statistic to back it up so far. There's a chance that the baby could live months or, very unlikely, but possibly, years, with the mosaic form.

I am experiencing so many fears and emotions. Some are similar to when Peter was diagnosed, and some are different and somewhat unexpected. Mostly I still feel stuck. While I am glad to have information (information is like a drug for me....I can research something for hours and hours and still hunger for more details. I need every scrap of information I can find) there is still a lot we just can't know. Full versus mosaic is an important piece of the puzzle. But more than half of babies with this diagnosis die in the first trimester. I am already 17 weeks. Most who make it that far still won't make it to term alive. So, unlike with Peter, we have no idea how long we have with this baby with us- days, weeks, months, or even years. It's very stressful; even just thinking about planning out-of-state trips to see family or weekend getaways are fraught with "what-if's".

On a happy note, the baby is a girl. Stay tuned for the name :)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Here we go again

I'm pretty sure we are insane. 

Because here we go again. We are in our sixth pregnancy. I am still somewhat in shock that I have been pregnant six times, and you would never know it by the number of car seats in my car or dining room chairs at my table. In order, we have Julie, Natalie, miscarriage, Peter, miscarriage, and this little soul yet to be named. I am 17 weeks but I don't look like it. That's because the baby is measuring closer to 14 weeks. There are echogenic foci on the heart (thank you Google....I'd never heard of them either), and the ventricles in he brain are enlarged. Isolate them and they don't cause major concern. Put them all together and they are pretty strong indications of a genetic condition. We, of course, fear the worst. We don't know for sure yet, so Steve and I decided to pray our hardest for a miracle. We spent the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus asking for a miracle, a complete and total healing of this baby in my womb, for the grace of a healthy son or daughter. 

Am I insane? Because it kind of feels like it. But that urge, that desire to grown one's family, it's somethings just so much stronger than the fear of the unknown. I've never felt like my family was complete. Even after everything we've been through, and the odds that we've been given (which I now think are total crap, by the way) we were willing to take that chance, just having faith in a loving God who always cares for us and knows our needs. But I was so sure, we were both so sure that this would be the one. This would be the healthy baby that we have so longed for. Still we pray and hope. And feel a little insane.