Thursday, June 14, 2012

Telling the boys

I think one of the things (there were many) :-) that broke my heart the most was thinking of telling the boys. They were all excited about having another baby and even more excited that we might be able to find out if it was a boy or not at our ultrasound. Even though I was only sixteen weeks along, the doctor said that if it was a boy (which we were pretty sure, only because we had no idea how to do girl) we would be able to see something. I had almost taken Jaden to the ultrasound and had completely planned on it. It was after school and right before scouts. I will always be grateful that he was not there and we had a little while to think about things before we told them. Thursday we had a little bit of time with only Jaden and Jaxon. I remember Justin calling the boys in. He made them sit on the couch and he sat right in front of them so he could really see both of their faces. He told them that sometimes babies are born without any problems and sometimes things go wrong like with Jaxon. He talked about how blessed we were that we were able to fix Jaxon's problems but with this baby girl we wouldn't be able to. Justin explained what was wrong with her and that with those problems that she would not be able to live. Jaxon's face instantly changed and you could see tears well up in his eyes. Jaden's mind started trying so hard to think of a way that she could live. That monday (the day before my ultrasound) we had a lesson in family home evening based on the talk "But if not..." by Elder Dennis E. Simmons. My visiting teacher had given a lesson from this talk to me in March when we were going through all of our testing with Jaxon. In her April visit she brought me a printed copy and I thought it would be a great lesson. I would like to share the parts that we talked about in our FHE lesson.
"When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego refused to bow down and worship a golden image set up by the king, a furious Nebuchadnezzar told them that if they would not worship as commanded, they would immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. “And who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?” The three young men quickly and confidently responded, “If it be so [if you cast us into the furnace], our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand.” That sounds like my eighth-grade kind of faith. But then they demonstrated that they fully understood what faith is. They continued, “But if not, … we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”  That is a statement of true faith.
They knew that they could trust God—even if things didn’t turn out the way they hoped.  They knew that faith is more than mental assent, more than an acknowledgment that God lives. Faith is total trust in Him. Faith is believing that although we do not understand all things, He does.
Faith is knowing that although our power is limited, His is not. Faith in Jesus Christ consists of complete reliance on Him."
I am so grateful that we were inspired to give that lesson for family home evening. This was the perfect application. When Jaden was struggling to find a solution, we quickly interjected and explained that this was one of the "but if not" moments and that it was ok. We would not lose faith or question what the Lord had in store for our baby girl. Of course we all just cried. We said a prayer together and before the prayer Justin said that it was appropriate to ask Heavenly Father that this little spirit knew we loved her and that we were excited that she had chosen our family to be together forever with.
Here is a letter that I wrote to Jordan who is serving a mission. I am grateful I have it because unfortunately it is the only thing I wrote before I finally got the courage to write in my journal on may 5th. I just remember my head always thinking about something and then it would jump to something else. I am still pretty scatterbrained but I am doing a lot better. The date on the letter is April 29
Dear Jordan,
I have been meaning to write you a letter ever since we had extra testing on Jaxon's heart and everything was fine. But I had been so sick and only have felt good for just a little over a week. The exciting news is that I am pregnant. I am 17 weeks along or 4 months. The really sad and hard news is that we just found out on Tuesday that she will not live past birth meaning she will be a stillborn. And yes I did say SHE :) She is still pretty small but the specialist that did another ultrasound on wed said that she saw a lot of signs that it was a girl. If it is, her name will most likely be Joy. She has a condition called anecephaly (not at all related to Jaxon's heart defects, just another lottery ticket draw) basically she is missing most of her skull and as a result most of her brain. They said it happens 1 out of every 1000 and most of them are girls. It starts just right above her brow line (so her face is normal just different because she is missing her forehead) and from what we can tell about a little over half way down the back. The part of her brain that she still has is her motor part, so while she is "on life support" inside of me she is a mover. During both ultrasounds she just wouldn't hold still and kicks and is a fun little thing. She is even able to swallow and her stomach is processing everything. She is deaf and blind and basically her little body has no feeling. We have read a lot in the handbook and we only believe that her little spirit is there or will be there and can do all of those things :) This is by far the most difficult thing I have been asked to experience and when she is born I know it will be unbearable. There are many blessing that the Lord has given us to help us, one being the talk I sent you, another, what a blessing that she doesn't have a less severe case that she has to live with her entire life. She gets to have her body and then go home and still have her family forever without any pain or sickness. What a blessing that we still have our healthy Jaxon here with us and that he doesn't need another surgery right now. Another blessing but at the same time it is also a trial, we get to decide when to let her go. There are so many things that are playing into this at this time that it would be unbearable to decide on our own. I am so glad that the Lord will help us make the right decision for our family. If we let her go between now and 22 weeks I would probably be able to have her "normally". She would be about ten inches in length and her head the size of a large lime. Her arm would be as long as my middle finger so she would be tiny. Between 22 and 30 weeks it would be too dangerous and risk our chances of having future posterity because of my past c-sections. At 30 weeks she would be about 15 inches long, weigh 3 lbs and her head would be more like a large orange. Still really tiny but more of a holdable size for our boys. 38 weeks is normal gestation for a baby like this which would put me giving birth a week after my sister in law which would just be too painful. If I have a c-section we would not be able to get pregnant for another year where as the other we could in six months. Do we allow her to go so that we can let other spirits come into this earth or do we enjoy her every minute that we possibly can? There are so many more things in play but that is just a few of the things that are constantly going through my head right now. There are so many times when we wish that the decision was made for us but then realize how grateful we are that we get to make the best decision for our family with the Lord. At this time we ask for prayers and fasting that we will be able to do just that. No matter what anyone else opinion may be, that we can make the best decision for our family and not have any regret, which could come with either decision. Please pray for us Jordie :) Pray that my sweet boys will be ok and patient with their mother who is trying her hardest to still function. We pray all the time that our little girl knows how much we love her already. I know the Lord hears and answers our prayers and he has answered so many already. Thank you so much for your love and support! 

Right now I am 23 1/2 weeks. The decision whether or not to take her to term was so draining. We asked for our families to fast and pray for us that we would be able to make the right decision for our family. I remember wishing that the answer would come and hit us like a lightening bolt but it never did. I don't know that I could ever tell you a day that we finally decided. I know it was within the first couple weeks of May because I called my doctors office to schedule a confirmation ultrasound for May 24, to make sure she was a girl and told her that we would most likely take her to term. I also had visiting teachers on the 14th and I knew then that we would probably carry her. I will always remember one night while Justin and I were talking about it and he made the comment, I wonder what she thinks of us talking about her like this. I think that was a real eye opener for me. All the time I had been focused on what was best for my family that I already had, not necessarily what might be best for her. She too was a part of our family, what could I do that might be best for her? I knew that on this life I would not be able to do all the tender things that a mother does for a baby. I joke now that I must need to learn a lot of patience since I have to wait to do all those things with her. But I could show her how deeply I loved her and how much I wanted her to be a part of our family. If I had the chance to have her close to me as long as I could, how could I not take it? We want her to spend the entire summer with us and give her the chance to "go" when she is ready. How blessed we are to have such a sweet spirit with us! I have full trust in the Lord that he will take care of us, no matter what happens. 
Justin and I have grown so close during this experience. It seemed as if we just both really felt good about taking her to term. I fall more in love with him every day as we go through this together. He has always been my rock and never questioned anything. He still says our prayers together almost every time because I have such a hard time making it through without going through a whole box of tissues. I know he would do anything for me and I love him for it. I love him because even though I know he is swamped at work, he comes home early so that we can attend the Temple together. He always knows the right things to say to the boys when they have questions and will stay up with me when I just need to jabber. (Probably too frequently :)) I am eternally grateful to the Lord for letting me have the perfect companion. I know we can make it through together.
"When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, and take me home, what JOY shall fill my heart! 
Then I shall bow in humble adoration and there proclaim, "My God, how great thou art!""

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