Part 1 ~ Baby Steps
D day as I sometimes call it...The day we "found out". Ignorance was bliss for this family of five. November 30, 2009 was to be a happy one. One of naming a baby...finding out the sex of our sweetling...It was a family affair. I worked half a day and took off to go have our 20 week ultrasound. I left amidst co-worker's well wishes...some stopping to venture a guess as to whether we were having a boy or a girl. All smiling telling me that they could not wait to find out. Students telling me to wear pink tomorrow for a girl...blue for a boy. I promised to share the wonderful news in some special way. I was almost giddy with excitement. I left work and stopped for a bite to eat. After a quick lunch, I went and picked up the kiddos and we made our way to Montgomery where we would meet up with Jamie. There was so much excitement in the car on the 50 mile trip to the doctor. We met Jamie in the parking lot and all walked up to the office with lots of chatter among our happy little family. We sat in the waiting room waiting to be called back. We read the standard doctors office magazines during our wait. We tried to tame the wild beast of excitement building in our children. Our time eventually came. Michelle came to the door and called for us to come back with a wink and a grin. We went in and Lord have mercy we tried to all get settled in that dark little room. Then she began and in that moment...that one tiny, little moment the walls came tumbling down. Just as the walls of Jericho tumbled down, so did our ignorant bliss...our lives changed forever. We learned our baby had no fluid. Without fluid our baby would not live. I knew instantaneously that our road would be a difficult one. I saw it on their faces...Dr. K, the nurses, the staff...They all had that look...If you are walking this journey, you know the look I am talking about. I'd like to say I remember every single moment of the rest of that day, but truth be told it is all a hazy fog. I remember bits and pieces of conversation with Dr. K...bits and pieces of others (the amazing ladies in the Dr. office) taking care of my kids while we tried to figure out our next step...Mrs. J putting her arms around me while I shook with racking sobs...Jamie telling me it was going to be alright...bits of conversation with the kids about their disappointment over not finding out if it was a boy or girl (They didn't know what was going on.)...checking out and being told we would go to a specialist for confirmation in the next couple of days...Stay off of your feet...Drink plenty of fluids...It all runs together after time.
I do have vivid recollection of walking to my vehicle and Jamie being concerned that I was unable to drive home. He made me promise not to call my mama while driving. Truth is...I was in no condition to drive and I did call my mama. Somehow...by the power of God's hand, I made it home. Jamie had to take the boys to their first Upward basketball practice...so, I came home with Lucie Rose and shortly thereafter my sister came in. My mama and daddy were not far behind her. We prayed together and I distinctly remember feeling sick to my stomach and feeling the need to vomit. I went to the bathroom but could only sit on the floor in front of the toilet...In a daze. My baby was going to die. He was so strong and such an active little fella. Yet, he was going to die. Jamie came home as soon as the boys finished with practice. There was no family dinner this night. The boys ate chicken fingers that my sister brought over and I just sat in the living room so confused and hurting more than I ever had. I remember going to bed at some point and dozing off to sleep and waking up. Jamie was sleeping so I went to the bathroom and just sat and sobbed. Where had this all gone wrong? Jamie woke up to my sobbing and came to me. He put his arms around me and tried his best to reassure me. Be positive...We don't know for sure. I knew...I just did.
Two days later we went to a specialist for a level 2 ultrasound. Our worst nightmare was confirmed. Our son had Potter's Syndrome. He had no kidney function and as a result his lungs would never develop. Where do we go from here? The doctor suggested we make an appointment for an induction. There was no way this was even an option for us. We left the office with a box of tissue in hand that a receptionist had placed in my hands and a few pictures of our baby. At this point, I would alternate between tears and numbness. There was a sad fog settling over me like I never had experienced before. Sadness and fear. I didn't even know what to pray for or how to talk to God right then.
I fully believe that when we do not know how to communicate with God, He finds ways to communicate with us. He lets us know that He has not forsaken us or left us alone. On the way home Jamie had turned the radio on for some background noise. I honestly didn't realize that it was even on until better than halfway home. Chris Tomlin's song I Will Rise came on and caught my attention. It was the first time I had heard that particular song and I do not think it was coincidence.
While a great deal of that time is very foggy, I can still vividly remember certain smells and many other little details.
Those days are some of the darkest most bittersweet days of my life. In the very moment we recieve a fatal diagnosis for our son, I learned to cherish every single second God gave us to spend with him. Those are some of the most precious memories I will ever know.