Sunday, December 19, 2010

A new meaning...

I don't even know where to begin my mind is all over the place!!! If I began talking about it all well we'd have a novel of my heart, my mind, my own version of crazy!

I struggle daily trying to fight of the devil who enters my mind reminding me of all the mistakes that I have made and my never ending to do list that never seems to get done. So, this morning as the beautiful snow was falling I had my excuse to not go to church, stay snuggled in the warmth of our haven and cry whenever I needed to. So like so many times in this grief journey I made a choice. Today I chose to fight and go to second service at church.

I walk through the doors a number of times every week but something about Sunday and seeing the alter often makes me want to drop to my knees. Often I hear myself screaming WHY God? WHY Me? WHY my family? WHY must we go through this? WHY couldn't we have Jacob for longer? I just want to hold him, have him hold on to my finger, kiss his sweet head... just one more time! Today wasn't any different. I looked over the bulletin only to see that two beautiful infant girls where being baptized today. What a blessing! I want to be those parents showing my beautiful son to the congregation but, his was a baptism of a different kind. On July 28, 2010 with partitions around his bed in the NICU our precious angel was baptized with a blue vial of sterile water. I prayed for healing that day just as I did everyday! I prayed that my precious son would be able to go home with us...

I needed to be in church today! I'm struggling so hard to feel God close to me and to understand the whys or what move I'm supposed to make next! I'm overwhelmed!

The sermon was good! I found myself with tears flowing freely down my cheeks more than once! I'm not used to hurting and showing emotion in public! It is so much easier to say that everything is okay and smile! Please know that there are a number of things that I am joyous about daily but my heart is still broken! I'm crying out loud! I'm searching desperately for answers! I'm searching for meaning!

I am finding new meaning in the Christmas Story! A precious saviour born in a manager! A birth of a different kind! A baby born to die... to die for me and you! I can't even fathom! I want my son back every moment of everyday! Yet Jesus was born knowing that He would suffer, His wounds would be deep for me and you! I couldn't have sent my son to die on a cross! I'm sorry, I'm selfish!!! I would chose my son over and over again! My scars are nothing compared to the nails of the cross! Yet I look over and hold the dot to dot of scars that now decorate my stomach... wishing one of them would have been enough to save Jacob! Reminding me of all my dear son suffered through so that we could have 12 miraculous days!

Are Jesus's scars enough for you? They are enough for all of us to have a miraculous eternity if we so chose!

I find overwhelming sympathy for Mary, Did she know? I see her crying out "It's my son!" Praying that He could just be okay! Praying for one more day to hold him! To love him! Mary I thank you for I can imagine your broken heart and feel the tears that you cried in my soul! I'm thankful that He, Jesus, rose again! I know that had to bring so much joy and hope to you that glorious morning! I know that it brings joy and hope to a Broken and suffering world!

I just want to say that I BELIEVE IN GOD! I do believe that he has my family and I exactly where he wants us! I just don't feel him as close as I'd like! I know that he gave us a number of miracles in our Angel Jacob! I'm truly thankful for every miracle we got! I'm human, I wanted more! I wanted to take him home and hold him and watch him grow! I'm struggling to hang on! I'm crying out loud! I'm grieving! I desperately want to know why! I'm ready to do whatever it is that I am suppose to! Yet, I have a hard time sitting still to listen for that is when the devil likes to play his dirty tricks on me! For now I'll continue learning to cry out loud!

Learning and trying to feel God's presence,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Trying to find Normal

I find myself like so many other nights tired but I'm not able to fall asleep as a million thoughts run thru my head... It has been a while since I have blogged not for lack of thoughts as I have many partial blogs that I have not yet finished and posted. One of the most important ones to me I just can't seem to find all the right words as I want to recall our precious Jacob's short but powerful life to share. I have many thoughts and ideas, things that I would like to change about myself I feel for the better, a million crafty projects including a scrapbook of all the pictures of our dear boy and more... I'm just taking it one day at a time... searching for special ways to remember Jacob, enjoying every moment with Grace and trying to find a new normal.

Today Grace started back to dance class! I just love watching her show off her new moves and see the pure joy she gets from it. She is all girl!! While she is off learning dance and gymnastics the parents sit and typically chat. A situation that normally I have no problem joining in, sharing and just enjoying the 'mommy' time. Filled with a new group of fellow mommies that I have still to get to know and are completely unaware of our journey this year so far. The conversation finds it way to different surgeries or medical experiences that they have encountered. Some mentioning that staff had commented that they handled the situation calmly. I sat quietly, almost paralyzed unable to interject! I silently recalled Jacob's first surgery only 10 hours after he was born, the days that followed, the conversations with Doctors and Nurses, the 6 weeks I spent in the antepartum unit praying and waiting for his arrival, our moments holding and loving him praying for a last minute miracle of working kidneys that never came. My heart felt like it may jump out of my chest at any moment, shaking and sweety hands I had finally found the words I wanted to share in with the conversation, "I think that as parents we due what we have to do to help our children thru whatever it is that they are facing" But just as I began to speak our dancing fairies emerged from class screaming, "MOMMY!!", to get a break before gymnastics. I smiled and took care of Grace until she skipped to gymnastics. I was able to silently walk away tears running down my eyes, hands shaking, heart pounding to gather myself for a moment.

I truly believe that as parents we due what we need to for our children no matter what the situation. I try and remain calm, sometimes with tears, but always with open ears as to gather all necessary information no matter what the circumstances surrounding us. So that I am able to try and make the best decision even when the unthinkable is presented to me. I think that when the unthinkable is presented to a parent that 'the numbness' helps guide us even when we think we can't.

I want to talk about my children! Grace is easy to talk about! I wanna share Jacob with the world, I want to be able to talk about him to a new person without the fear that my heart may jump out of my chest, that something that I may say may offend them in some way. Please don't be afraid to ask questions. I'm trying to find a way to share his life without concentrating on the fact that he is no longer with us. It is hard because as soon as you share that you lost a child, the room goes silent. I want to talk about my children! Please don't be afraid to listen! He is special and part of my story! I'm trying to learn how to share his story! I know that we are not taught how to deal with death. My understanding and compassion for those that walk this journey with me as well as everyone facing there own 'tragedy' has only grown. Did you know that 2,000 women a day lose a child due to miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death? It's the club that no one every wanted to belong to but are so thankful for the wonderful people that we meet along the way to guide us through our own 'unthinkable'. We all know more people than we think that have walked this journey unfortunately many don't talk about it until it happens to you.

I'm trying to find a new normal where I am not overwhelmed with emotion and I am able to talk about all my children! For they are special to me! In time I hope that I am able to find normal for me.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Choosing to be Thankful!

Thanks to a night with a wonderfully faithful and inspirational women that has traveled a similar road. Then jumping on facebook and finding out a friend has sadly joined the group of mothers who have lost infants far to soon. I was reminded of all the blessings that the Lord has bestowed on us as we traveled this journey, throughout our lives and continous to daily. So, as I layed my head down to sleep I prayed for strength and guidance.... I thanked the Lord for blessing us with the time we did have with Jacob and for our healthy loving Gracie!

When we learned that we where expecting our second child we where filled with excitement! We anticipated that this would be an easy pregnancy and couldn't wait to welcome our new little one home! At the same time we discovered that a number of friends would also be welcoming there own new bundle of joy into there lives when our Child arrived. How great would it be for them all to play and grow up together, life couldn't be better! Plus, Gracie was sooo excited that she would be a big sister! She couldn't wait to tell her little brother what to do:) Man was she wrong... little Jacob wasn't going to have anyone tell him what to do!

Jacob was actually due on September 17, 2010. So, as we approach his due date our friends are welcoming home there bundle of joys. While our bundle of joy rests peacefully in the arms of the ultimate Father.

So unsure of how to handle this for we are truly excited for our friends but, our heart aches for our dear Jacob! I'm thankful for a fabulous NICU nurse(thanks Melissa B) that has two angels in heaven that shared with me in the hospital that she consciously decided to be happy for her friends while her heart ached. So, I have taken this advice to heart from the moment that we left the hospital without Jacob packed snugly in his car seat heading home with us for God had other plans and instead he went to Heaven. So, whatever I have encountered... a friend sharing a problem in there life... I choose to recognize that this is a true concern in there life, someone making a comment that hurts... I choose to realize that they are only trying to comfort and they really don't know what to say, As our friends welcome there bundle of joys home... I choose to welcome them with joy and open arms just as they have comforted us through our journey.

It's often times so easy to get wrapped up in what we didn't get that I think we forget about what we did. So, I'm THANKFUL TO GOD! I'm THANKFUL TO GOD for answering our prayers and continuing to direct our paths! "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3:5-6 I'm thankful for every second we had with Jacob! I'm thankful for his strong heart! I'm thankful that his lungs worked! I'm thankful for our parents that protected and watched over us so we could be with Jacob continuously! I'm thankful for our friends and wonderful nurses that guided us! I'm thankful for having over 12 days with our precious boy... some parents wish for the time we had! I'm thankful for our loving daughter that continues to make us smile even when tears threaten to take over! I'm thankful for the beauty of children! I'm thankful for my children!

While I'm still praying often for strength and guidance because the life I had planned has been shaken to the core. I thank God for the strength that he has given me. I'm praying for guidance so that I know where to go next... I want to show our strong boy Jacob's heart in everything I do, I want to share Gracie's amazing loving nature, I want to be a Fabulous wife, mother, daughter and friend. So I continue to take it slow and hope to hear God's plan in the process.

Forever and Always THANKFUL for the grace and love that God surrounds me with!

Patiently waiting...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

So it is... Faith

I have a million great blog ideas that run thru my head during the moments of my day. When I finally stop it seems all the words go running together and I have a hard time sharing what I have been thinking... I've been thinking about so many different things lately while missing our little Jacob something horrible!

Throughout our journey friends and family have continuously said how much they admired our Faith we have shown throughout the process, how it has inspired them... I'm thankful that God has gotten the glory. Yet, I couldn't help but feel like it was a lie.. . I don't feel that God is right here with me everyday. Yes, we have trusted and we still Truly trust that God has a plan for these horrible things that have happened to us. That Jacob had a special purpose in his short life. But Faith... was my faith truly so strong? I can't say that I have felt it throughout this whole process. I have felt a lot of numb and blind believing that because we did everything we could and because after my water broke that our strong boy was able to stay in for six weeks and grow to a strong 5 pounds 9 ounces before arriving in this world on July 26, 2010 at 32 weeks that everything would work out the way that I wanted it to.

At 9 years old I asked Jesus Christ to be my personal Lord and Saviour and at times have followed closely to his word. At 32 years old I have traveled down many different roads some that did not express my faith clearly. While my paths haven't followed as closely to God as I'd like to say, I have never doubted that He is the maker of Heaven and Earth, that He is the Almighty and that He has a plan for my life. I guess you could say I just haven't always listened and at times thought that my plan was a better one... that I had everything under control.

When my lovely daughter Grace was born I found myself drawn back to church. Knowing that I wanted her to know a loving church family, to grow up and know all the Bible stories and songs that I had learned and sang as a child. I became a Sunday visitor. I visited a variety of churches in our area without my husband determined that we would just find a place of worship that I felt moved at even if he chose not to go. I knew that when Matt was ready he would join us and till then I would not pressure him... this was a decision that we each needed to make when we were ready. So, Grace and I found a church and visited when it was convenient. I was delighted that she enjoyed going so much.

In 2009, I began looking for again and continue to search for what God's plan is in my life. As a family in the late summer of 09 we decided that it was time for me to find a position that allowed me to spend more time at home and help give me 'the purpose' that God had in my life. So, I quit my full time job and decided to go back to school to be an RN and work part time at my daughters school. At the moment I thought this was it. I believe that God did lead me to slow down a little and work on my strengthening my marriage, spend time with my daughter, and more. Today while I still would like to be an RN, I am trying desperately to listen quietly to what His 'purpose' is for my life.

Our Angel Jacob began his perfect work the moment that we found out that he was sick on April 28, with fetal urethral obstruction. My husband Matt, found his way back to church with us. I was delighted that we finally were going as a family. In some ways maybe I felt that God had already worked his perfect plan...our little boy was going to be okay.

In the early days of finding out that Jacob was sick I began searching for answers and praying fervently. I found notes from a sermon from Pastor Dave that I had kept titled "Surviving the Setbacks and Storms". In it he talks about the importance of our 'stretcher-bearers' those people that join us in our journey and help carry us to Jesus Christ when we are unable. How important it is to have these people in our lives and to be this for others. During our recent journey and as we continue I see that it is my stretcher-bearers that have helped carry us through this.

So that is it... I do have faith and it continues to grow daily but it's my stretcher-bearers that have carried me to Jesus Christ when I couldn't do it. They've carried me through, praying on my and my families behalf even when I didn't feel the faith, when I was too tired or too numb. They continue to carry my through as I grieve and am trying to find answers that I may not find for weeks, months or years. For everyday we miss Jacob Thomas more than words can say, tears find there way to my cheeks often, I'm numb and not sure what to do, what to say.

Thank you to all our stretcher-bearers both known and unknown... you prayers have meant more than you'll ever know. All my love, Heather

Here are the notes taken from sermon "Surviving the Setbacks and Storms" if you'd like to read it...

II Corinthians 4
(8)We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed...(16) So we do not lose heart...For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all...

Mark 2:3-5
Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said... "take up your mat and walk."

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not worry about anything, but in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Introduction: Four Foundations for Overcoming Setback and Storms
I. An Adequate Understanding of How Life Works(II Corinthians 4)
What role does God play in the storms?

II. A Sufficient Network of "Stretcher-Bearers." (Mark 2:3-5)
Who are your stretcher bearers? Whose stretcher bearer are you?

III. A Healthy Focus in Adversity (Philippians 4:6-7)
People who overcome adversity...
1. Look to everyday as a gift
2. Look for the blessing and give thanks for them.
3. Look at the trials as opportunities to grow.
4. Look in the adversity for ways to make a difference

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The remainder of my Pregnancy with Jacob

I should have finished this part long before now...

We did get a second shunt placement on 5/28/10. The good news is that overall it appeared to be working or at least partially working because his bladder did not appear full. The bad news was that my amniotic fluid remained at little to zero therefore he was not urinating enough to adequately maintain a normal level.

On June 11, 2010 the Dr's via an amniocentesis process added amniotic fluid to help Jacob develop the best that they could. We also got a growth scan this week to see that our boy was a little over two pounds at 26 weeks!

On June 13, 2010 at 1am, 26 weeks and 1 day my water broke. We knew through all the procedures that this was a possibility but had hoped that it would not happen. Scared and crying we headed into the hospital. It was confirmed my water had broken. The good news was that I was not in active labor. So, the goal was to pump me with steroids and antibiotics to try and post pone labor as long as possible up to 34 weeks if they could.

We took it day by day... excited when we made it past the first 48 hours, the first week.... It was hard at first being in a room on bed rest 24/7. It was hard being away from my girl, my family! I was stuck, a prisoner if you will, with a few extra perks. I have fabulous family and friends that would visit and bring me goodies. I had a great staff that became friends. I was able to take thirty minute wheelchair adventures that became the highlight of my day and visits with Grace. She loved riding around on our adventures! Everyday a sleugh of doctors would come visit reminding me to stay boring and daily I would remind them I was staying boring.... For 6 weeks hospital life was my life as we waited patiently, staying boring, trying to give our boy a chance to grow so that he would hopefully be eligible for dialysis when he arrived.

July 26th... Welcome our Precious Baby Jacob!

Our precious boy made a quick entry in to the world on Monday, July 26, 2010. I woke up in my hospital bed to urgent contractions at 2am while I knew they were contractions I wanted to make sure. I waited and counted how far apart they where before finally calling my nurse in at 3am, to check out my progression and get the Doctors. She got me hooked up to the monitors only to not see the contractions. So, FYI... if you are having back labor like I do they do not show up on the monitors! When Doctor did a pelvic exam they found out that I was at a 5 and they could see our little Jacobs head. It's official after six weeks of waiting we will get to see our little guy! 4am I was finally calling Matt, my adorable husband, to let him know that I was heading over to Labor and Delivery and he better hurry. When Matt arrived at 4:45am the anesthesialogist was finishing up my epidural and it was almost fully active... life was a little more bearable.

Once again the pediatrician from Children's and my OBGYN sat across from us letting us know that he may not make it out of the delivery room, what they would do, what would happen.... really do I have to listen to this again? I simply reminded them that we had faith in our little boy just as we had since the beginning and we needed them to have faith in him as well and to do everything they could to give our Jacob a fighting chance! The Doctors walked out and Matt went to make a few more phone calls.

I was terrified!! We would soon know if the predictions of the Doctors would be true or not... I was crying not from pain but fear for our little boy. Would he make it out of the delivery room? Would his lungs work even though he had had such low amniotic fluid? After spending six weeks in the hospital and beating a few odds I was hopefully believing that our Jacob would continue on that path and with God's assistance proove everyone wrong! I wanted so much for all the Dr's to be wrong and to take our precious Jacob home! This was it D day!

While Matt was out making phone calls, Amanda(one of the residents I had gotten to know well over the last 6 weeks, liked and trusted) came in to check my progress ... 9!!! I quickly called Matt back in to let him know that we weren't waiting like expected! IT WAS TIME!

Everything was happening so FAST!!! They wheeled me into the Operating room because it had enough room for all my Dr's and the pediatricians for our Jacob. At 6:45am our precious boy arrived naturally into this world and he was crying! It was truly one of the best sounds I had ever heard! He was breathing!! HE WAS CRYING!! The pediatricians went to work on him right away. They inti bated him to help him breath! Jacob pulled the first tube out and they had to do it again! Our little fighter letting them all know that he was strong!!!

I sat watching them work on my baby with my OB who so kindly let me know what was happening because I still couldn't move my legs and was stuck in the hospital bed across the room. Luckily since he arrived swiftly the epidural was already starting to wear off. So with assistance they got me into a wheelchair to be closer to our boy! Jacob was born with something outside his belly. At the time they were unsure if it was an organ or what. We would learn later that day that it was his omen tum (stomach fat) that had grown outside his body. It was probably pushed there due to his inflated bladder due to the urethral obstruction.

They called for the transport team to take our Jake to Children's! We did it he was going to make it out of the delivery room! His lungs appeared to be working well, we still didn't know what had grown outside his belly, what type of urethral obstruction he had or the status of his kidneys. For the moment I was just happy that our beautiful boy was able to go to Children's we would figure the rest out as answers became available.

Our Beautiful Boy, Jacob Thomas, arriving at 32 weeks was 5 pounds, 9 ounces and 17 inches long! What a big strong boy! Can't imagine how big he would have been if given another 8 weeks to grow in utero!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Did Shunt Surgery Work???

We went home that night after the first surgery what a relief to be able to sleep in my own bed! The next day we went back for an ultrasound only to see that the shunt was only partially working. Due to Jacob's position the day before they had to place the shunt close to his leg which they believed was now blocking the shunt. Good news we still had good amniotic fluid.

They watched us closely over the next couple weeks, visiting often for ultrasound's.. they tried to do an in office procedure to assist the shunt in working but, it was not successful.

We found ourselves back at square one... Would they do another surgery or not?

We remained hopeful knowing that God had us exactly where he wanted us to be even if we did not understand it for now.

Fetal Shunt Surgery... 5/11/10

Monday morning we found ourselves surrounded by the faces that had become so familiar. Seemed as if we should be enjoying a warm cup of coffee and a muffin instead of discussing the possible future of our unborn son. Thankful that the Doctor and sonographer had become so familiar that they felt like friends. We knew that they genuinely cared for us and our baby boy.

As always we began with an ultrasound scan of Jacob... I love this moment to see our little guy with a strong heartbeat, little kicks... As a mother I hate that my baby boy is sick and I'm helpless... No amniotic fluid, and a bladder that quickly becomes distended... today we where hopeful that they would perform the fetal shunt surgery on our little guy even though we were not in the 'good prognosis range'.

Doctor came in to remind us where we stood at this point in time and to remind us what our options where. Overwhelmed with emotions and trying desperately to not sob I was thankful that Matt could talk and tell the Dr that we knew that without the amniotic fluid it was uncertain until he arrived 'if' his lungs had developed properly, that based on the testing we knew that he may need a kidney transplant, dialysis or may not make it at all the other things... Regardless of knowing that we had a lot stacked against us we had decided that if God wanted our little guy He would take him whenever that may be but, termination is not an option and we would do everything we could to help our little boy, Jacob.

After one of many of our heart to heart we got the good news that they would do the fetal shunt surgery the following day! So excited that our little guy was getting a surgery that could really help him!!

We arrived Tuesday promptly at 11am to wait until they where ready for us. Since the surgery is performed in a C Section room on the labor and delivery floor we have to wait until all emergencies are taken care of before going back. Finally about 4pm anesthesia comes to take me back to get me my epidural and spinal tap. I would remain awake for the surgery. I was excited to hear that Matt could go back with me. It was reassuring to have him there and to let me know what was happening when. The surgery took over 2 hours and 3 shunt attempts until we got one that worked! To help understand... The shunt is inserted through a needle through my belly into babies belly were it acts as a valve to allow urine to move from bladder into space for amniotic fluid. Relieved that they had a successful shunt placement and the surgery was over we headed back to the room to wait for the anesthesia to wear off and then head home.

Today was a good day! Our Jacob had a working shunt and for now would give his kidneys some relief and he had amniotic fluid! What a blessing from God!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Test Results 1, 2, 3....

The information was slowly soaking in after our first day of shock. Matt and I spent a lot of time comforting each other, talking and trying to work it out... at least the best that we could. Anxious, still searching for answers and unable to sleep I scoured the Internet researching and reading everything I could through tear soaked glasses. While I had hoped that my research would bring me comfort it left me quite emotional, saddened, and more confused than before! My research found that there are a number of variables to outcomes... Unfortunately in addition to the distended bladder and possible kidney problems, we did not know how long our little one had been without amniotic, we would have no idea how or if his lungs had developed enough to sustain life until delivery. It was official we would have to take it day by day and trust that God was taking care of all of us.

If you know me well enough then you know that I may be a bit of a control freak (maybe Matt too). We both have always taken whatever situation we are given and taken control of it, worked to 'fix' it or get the job done... whatever needs to happen. To find ourselves in a situation with NO CONTROL has been a learning experience that has brought us closer to God and each other. By the grace of God I am learning to take everything one day at a time.

That Friday, we waited patiently for the Doctor to call us with our first set of test results. Our first set of results where not in the 'good prognosis range' but just a little high. Typically, they do not look at these results closely because they don't know how long the urine has remained in the bladder. Saddened but still optimistic we looked on to our next visit on Tuesday when we would have more testing and baby would get 'synthetic' amniotic fluid which is crucial for development.
Tuesday we found ourselves back at ultrasound to meet with our Dr and answer more questions. This visit was extremely painful and tough on me as they inserted the needle to draw fluid off the bladder for testing and then try and find a spot to put 'synthetic' amniotic fluid in. I was thankful that my mother was able to join us. Since the fluid was so low it took hours for this procedure to finish. I was exhausted and thankful when it was done. (Just in case you are wondering... No pain medication ever in these procedures.) It was at this visit that the Dr's mentioned that we have the option of termination until week 24. After hearing this Matt and I discussed what we wanted to do. Through tears we agreed that we would do everything we could and fight this to the end. We would let whatever God had planned to happen. Assured that we were both on the same page and in this together no matter what....we waited for test results the following day. Thursday we would be back for another procedure.

Results from our second test did not show signs of improvement. The numbers had actually gone up but, again the Dr. said that we would look at the final results and see where we stood then.

Again on Thursday we found ourselves back at ultrasound to get scanned, meet with Dr. and pull more fluid off of babies bladder. Dr was unable to call with our results until late Friday...I was dying waiting to hear what he had to say, hopeful and prayerful. Still no good results our numbers remained about the same as the second test which put us out of the 'good' prognosis range. We scheduled another ultrasound for the following Monday. Emotional and crying as I listened to our third test results I told the Dr. that we had decided to do everything we could for our little one and that termination was not an option. The Dr assured me to stay positive and we would discuss plans on Monday.

This was not the Mother's Day present that I had hoped for. After weeping where my Grace could not see me I got myself together the best that I could. Remembering the beautiful blessings that surrounded me everyday! While some parts of my life seemed to be caving in around me, I did not want to loose sight of how fortunate and blessed we truly are!! So, we blew bubbles and listened to the laughter and excitement of an amazing three year old! For now we would do our best to live in the moment and simple enjoy each other. God would take care of us!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Discovering Jacob's Sick - April 28, 2010

April 28, 2010... We set off on a normal pregnancy journey at 19.5 weeks to find out if we where having a beautiful little boy or girl! Matt, Gracie and I headed to the ultrasound with pure excitement.

The visit began just like any other ultrasound and I remember asking her if that was my bladder... No, that's babies... What? Isn't that a little large? Yes. She continued trying to scan then let me know that I could use the facilities. She was going to go get the Doctor to 'try and move baby because she was having a hard time seeing what she needed'...okay. As soon as the Doctor got in the room it was clear that something was wrong... She began with there is nothing you did wrong, this is something that just happens...(I began crying uncontrollably, Gracie is scared... she never likes to see her Momma cry. Luckily the sonographer takes her out for a walk so we can talk to the Doctor.) She was what we have come to call a dooms day Dr... we left terrified and confused. They were able to get us another appointment with a fetal specialist that afternoon. We tried to stay positive until we learned more.

The next Dr we met (which we have spent a lot of time with) was kind. We learned that our baby has a rare condition,fetal urethral(urinary tract)obstruction, which causes a blockage of fetal urination. Babies urethra is either closed or has a valve problem which prevents them from emptying the bladder and subsequently it becomes very large. Because baby is unable to urinate properly the amniotic fluid ,made of babies urine, dries up. There is a "cascade of secondary effects result in significant morbidity and/or mortality for the baby. This includes problems to the urinary collection system (hydronephrosis) and kidneys (renal dysplasia) attributed to the back pressure from the urinary blockage. Underdevelopment of the lungs (pulmonary hypoplasia) develops from the lack of amniotic fluid during a critical time of the pregnancy." (This was taken from if you would like to learn more) He has 1/3 chance to not make it, 1/3 chance to make it but need a kidney transplant and 1/3 chance to make it with minimal problems. First we would undergo a series of amniocentesis that they would pull urine off of babies bladder to be sent off for testing. The testing would aid in letting the doctors know how they are functioning at this time. The hard part is that they did not know how long his bladder had been full. That afternoon, they pulled our first of four samples to be sent off. Once the results from all where evaluated it would determine our eligibility for fetal shunt surgery which would relieve his bladder and help regulate the amniotic fluid.

Still overwhelmed but hopeful we headed for home, Dr. would be calling us on Friday with the results from or first test. Thankful that we had a team of Doctors close to home that dealt with rare conditions like ours.

For now we would rest assured that God had us exactly where he wanted us to be.

Officially a blogger

I'm scared, nervous as I begin my blogging adventure. I have so much to say and share just a bit intimidated on where to start... So please be kind as I get the hang of this new communication tool. I hope that this will allow all friends and family to follow our adventures as a family for years to come.

For now, Jacob's Journey is taking center stage in our lives as I work on finishing Day 18 in the hospital on bed rest since my water broke on June 13, 2010. Our journey starts back in April when we discovered that he suffers from fetal urethral obstruction. (More posts to come) While the cards have been 'stacked against us' we proceed cautiously optimistic and know that GOD HAS US EXACTLY WHERE HE WANTS US TO BE!!!

Matt is being fabulous keeping everything going! Gracie is such a wonderful blessing and awesome kid! She is so strong yet, a sensitive soul, a blessing in every way!

Thanks for joining us on this journey!
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