Sunday, February 24, 2008

Faith Not Compatible with Life

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The Year was 2002.
It was the year we joined the club.
The club that no one wants to join.
First pregnancy.
Twenty-week ultrasound appointment.
Doctor: "Wendy I need to be serious with you right now. Your baby has a lot of problems."

My heart stops.

Doctor then proceeded to tell us about the defects. First the cleft lip and palate. Then the hole in the heart. Then the omphalocele (basically when the intestines are on the oustside of the body - weird, I know).

Three midline defects. Must be Trisomy 13 or Trisomy 18 she says. Most babies don't make it this far. Yours might not make it to birth, she says. If she does, probably won't live long. Most babies die in the first year. As if from a textbook we were told "Her condition was not compatible with life."

She's been a perintologist for over 20 years. Never delivered a Trisomy 13 baby because most people abort.

This was a human life. Imperfect. With defects. This was our baby. And yet, I can't say abortion didn't cross my mind even though I had always been so against it. It was always a black and white issue for me. I was shocked that it entered into my thoughts. I heard the whispers of the nurses. It was as if abortion was the only option. Who would choose to bring a suffering baby into this world? I didn't want her to suffer. But, what about the suffering abortion causes? I was torn. This internal wrestling match went on for less than 24 hours because ultimately I knew that God was in charge of human life, not me.

Man, I can remember the scene so clearly. What the room looked like. Where the phone was in relation to where I was lying because I had to pick it up and call my brother Kevin. I told him the news and asked him to call my parents.

We wept. We were devastated. We found out she was a girl. We named her Faith.

And yet, the peace of God that passes all understanding overwhelmed me even at that appointment. I didn't understand it. I was devastated. But because of what God had been teaching me and showing me the previous year, I knew that God was in control of this situation.
I had Acts 17:26 etched into my heart
From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.

I knew God was in control even in this situation. He knew if she would make it to birth. He knew when she would go to her heavenly home. Peace.

I first prayed that she would just die in me. I didn't want to bond any further. My husband prayed fervently that she would at least live to see the light of day.

But God knew what I needed. And what my husband needed.

She was born 5 1/2 weeks early. She weighed 4 pounds, 4 ounces. A crying baby never sounded so sweet. We held her and loved her for four days straight. Then she got sick of us and ditched us for heaven.

It was my deepest pain and biggest blessing. Ironically, I experienced the presence of God and the love of God more than any other time in my life.

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julie2007 said...

i too joined that club.
trisomy 22 / baby girl / "olivia" in 2007. i am so sorry for your loss. we also suffered a late term pregnancy loss - with no apparent reason - another girl / "arianna" --

we have a lot in common - i also have 3 kids, live in danville now, and write a blog. i admire that you were willing and able to share yours - i did read it.
i am not that brave yet.

all my best to you -

TDM Wendy said...

Julie, What is your blog address?

ahappygirl said...

Hi there. I found you from the UBP but I'm commenting here because your sweet Faith girl broke my heart. You are so strong and so brave.

My pregnancy was incredibly stressful as well, but for different reasons. To make a long story short, there are only a few other women in the world with my disease who have had children and 2 of them passed away shortly after childbirth. Needless to say I was a big ball of anxiety!


Hildie said...

Sorry to be commenting on a post that's so old but this struck such a chord with me. I was told the same thing when I was pregnant with baby #4. I, too, had always been against abortion until I found out that my levels indicated Trisomy 13. My agonizing didn't go on for long, though. Within two days the baby died. I didn't want to find out the gender since I thought that would just make it harder. In the end it's all hard no matter what happens.
Thanks for sharing your story.

Denise said...

"It was my deepest pain and biggest blessing."
i have 4 children too. 3 here, and 1 (caleb) who also "ditched us for heaven."

my story is very different from yours, but my God is the same~ Sustainer, Comforter, and Hope.

i mourn with you your loss, and i rejoice with you that Faith lives in the fullness of "God's love better than life."

Franchesca said...

I found you today through Life Rearranged, and I was instantly captured by your blog. Then I read your profile and read about your baby girl. I am so sorry for your loss. Our first child, a baby girl also passed away 2 years ago. They suspect it was a form of Trisomy but we never got any solid answers.

I love that you shared your baby girl here, it gives so many women so much hope.

Love and peace,

Franchesca said...

Oh and I love one of your last statement: "Ironically, I experienced the presence of God and the love of God more than any other time in my life. "

soooo true.

Jennette said...

Your story gave me chills, eerily similar to our's in so many ways. We just lost our son from Trisomy 18 this past July. We were also diagnosed at about 20 weeks, and heard the whispers as well. Why would we carry? But like you that choice was really not our's to make. And we would have never seen his precious little hand, a gift from God formed to tell us "I love you".

kvwriter said...

I have never talked with other moms of Trisomy 13 babies...your story was so similar to mine, and so beautiful too. Thank you for sharing. I lost my son (I felt he was a boy) on Oct. 25, 2010. Even though it wasn't officially confirmed, they knew it was Trisomy 13. Our baby was diagnosed at 12.5 weeks and he died 5 short days later. I write about my journey in a blog in case you'd like to see more of my story. It can be found at:

Unknown said...

Okay strange, I was watching Monster Squad with my five year old, taking me back to my younger days and I was googling the actors. I'm not sure how it happened but in a circle I came across your blog and you talking about your past-actress life and everyone you knew. Then I read about baby Faith.

My husband and I have three boys. We lost our first child together, a girl - Skylar when I was in my sixth month due to placental abruption and defects to her heart. It was as you described one of the worst and yet closest to God moments of my life.

We got pregnant again almost immediately (without trying) in God's hands. The pregnancy was horrible and I had another abruption at the 3 month and 6 month marks.

We gave birth to our son Trace in March of 2006. He was born dead and had to be intabated due to a collapsed uterus. Trace has special needs though mild and is my greatest love. All my boys are.

Your story of faith (yes I read your other blog) every word is touching and healing for others. Your blog here is entertaining and I love it!

We'd love to get together with you after the holidays and have you guest post (interview) on our website if you are up for it.

I think others can benefit from your reading your thoughts and feelings, your honesty and I appreciate all you have shared with us online.

I'm a fan now! Thanks so much for posting and keep it up.

Anonymous said...

My son just had his 15th surgery for cleft lip & palate today. (Bi-lateral cleft. These surgeries go on until the child is 18 or 19...So much to do!) He is 17 years old, now. How blessed I am that he wasn't born with Trisomy 13. He WAS born with autism, however. God knows what He is doing. His hand is on each one...Even me. :) God bless! :)

Elisabeth1981 said...

Faith is such a beautiful girl. And I totally know what you mean by being in the worst pain and having the greatest blessing. My son Lukas Ethan was born on October 22, 2009. He wasn't supposed to be born until April 2010. We were so blessed that he was big enough for us to hold and bond with. I had placental abruption and that was the reason for him leaving us for heaven.
He was the baby we'd prayed and tried to have for over 3 years. I can't even begin to tell you how happy we were to finally be pregnant. I was also due on my birthday.
2010 was my hardest year. Due to the trauma my body went through my doctor told me to wait 3 months before we could begin trying again.
A little over a year after that I became pregnant again with a little girl. Due to an infection the hospital not properly treating me and giving me the wrong medication our daughter left us for heaven on May 24, 2011. We named her Adyn Christine.
I miss my babies so much. We long to give them siblings.
Oh and its funny I got here through yahoo and yet I think we know the same people. My friend Veronica goes to a Mops group in Santa Maria :)