Forty-two minutes...a lifetime of love...

God's Gift...Our Angel Baby

Twenty weeks into life, Hailey was diagnosed with alobar holoprosencephaly (HPE). Further testing showed that she had full Trisomy 13, also called Patau syndrome. Trisomy 13 affects about 1 in 16,000 babies. HPE affects about 1 in 10,000 babies and of those only 3% survive to delivery. With the severity of Hailey's condition, she is given little chance of surviving to term. But our family was dedicated to giving her that chance, no matter how small, and she gave us every hope for the future.

On June 12, 2009, our angel baby was born and delivered into our loving arms. There is where she spent her life and gave us the best 42 minutes of ours. Our journey led us to this moment in time, the moment we met our little girl face to face, and the precious time we shared with her. Now Hailey is safe in the hands of God until we meet again.

God has blessed our family in ways we didn't understand at first. But through our faith and trust in Him, we came to realize just how much purpose Hailey's life serves on this earth. Hailey has unlocked the deeper meaning of faith, hope and love, and has forever changed the lives of many. We are blessed to be part of such an incredible life and incredible journey.

Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hailey's Story...The Option (Part 2)

Some of you may, or may not know (I most certainly didn't), that mothers in this position are given two options: try to carry the baby to term, or interrupt/terminate the pregnancy.

I'm going to try and explain now the intense mix of feelings, emotions, and thoughts that flooded our minds and our hearts. I'm just going to be honest, because believe it or not, there are parents all over the world that receive the same devastating news we did, and it's extremely difficult to fully describe the depth of emotion involved when weighing options you never expect to face...

The only option that stood out to us was interrupt the pregnancy (I don't like using the world terminate). The day had been too much for our minds to handle. We wanted the nightmare to be over. We wanted all the hurt, the pain and the grief to be taken away, and the sooner the better. The fact was we were going to loose our child. Could I go on pretending everything was OK? Could I bear a stranger telling me, "Congratulations! When are you due?" Could I allow myself, Tim and Ryan to get more and more attached to this baby when we would never bring her home? Could I pass the girls clothing section without crying? Could I ever walk down the hallway without looking in at the unfinished nursery? Could I endure all these things, and in the end watch my baby girl die in my arms? No. No we could not do that. Our minds were so thick with hurt, pain and fear that all we wanted to do was make it go away, and end this day that brought chaos and devastation to our lives. We were so selfish in wanting to end our our hurt and our pain, that we didn't fully realize it would mean ending life itself; our little girl's life.

This end to day one, is one that I deeply regret when I look back on it now. I'm embarrassed that our selfish wants and needs to end the pain got us to even consider something that Tim and I would never have even fathomed doing. However, now I understand how emotionally vulnerable parents become when placed in a situation like this. A situation that I never knew parents could face, and one that I was completely and totally unprepared for.

But I think it's important to share this, because women and parents are forced to face the same choices we were. We know what they are feeling. We know the intense amount pain and loss you experience when something you wanted and loved so much is going to be taken away. Just know that you are not alone. I pray that anyone who is facing what we are, will turn to someone who has or is taking this journey with you, will turn to family and friends for love and support, and most importantly turn to God. We absolutely couldn't imagine where we would be without Him.

Day Two

Day two is fairly easy to sum up...we were numb. All I thought about was yesterday; every word that was spoken, every decision that was made, and every thought that ran through my mind. That was it. But that evening I decided I needed answers. I needed to know more about trisomy 13. I needed to know more about holoprosencephaly. I needed to know more about this option we were given. I realized now was the time to do it while my mind was numb - and what a sweet release that was. I googled until my eyes and my head hurt. There was still so much more to know and so many questions unanswered, but my thirst had subsided for a bit.

That's when I prayed.

A lot of my research consisted of clinics we were referred to, and never was there a good thought that crossed my mind. I just could not picture myself walking through those doors and walking back out, end of story. So I prayed. The night before I had cried myself to sleep, but now I think I had so little tears left to cry that I was able to give God my whole heart. I talked to Him as if He was sitting right there next to me, and I believe He was. The conversation was intimate and honest. I told Him how sad I was and how lost and confused I was. I needed Him now more than ever before, and I desperately needed His guidance to make the right decision. My guard was down. My whole being, I placed in His hands. Words are not enough to explain what that felt like, but it was a great feeling of release and comfort.

Soon I was sound asleep. No racing thoughts. No unsettling dreams. Only sleep...
But Jesus said, "Let the little ones come to me, and do not keep them away; for such is the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 19:14