Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Aidens Update

Hello all, just wanted to give a quick update to let you know that Mondays appointment at the Perinatal Resource Center and today's appointment at Columbine Womens Care went well. Little Aiden is doing good growing and moving all over the place.

Unfortunately Dr. Franco is no longer with Columbine Womens Care (I wasn't very happy about that) and has not yet joined another practice. They have replaced him with Dr. Peters and she is very nice, Aiden gave her a run for her money when she was trying to listen to his heart beat today but he's getting big enough that mom can tell where he moved to so she did get to listen to is a little.

Condition wise, Aidens looking the same not much has changed. They still weren't able to see a stomach bubble at this last appointment but we're hopeful it has to do with the fact that he wasn't going to let them see much of anything (He was not in the mood for pictures on Monday). My placenta is still considered a marginal previa so unless it moves in the next 6 weeks I will be delivering via C-section. We're all praying for Aiden and I's sake that the placenta moves and we're able to deliver him naturally but it's all in God's hands.

Pregnancy wise I'm doing great! Exhausted but great no red flags the Dr.'s had warned us before that sometimes with babies with T18 preterm labor and delivery are an issue, but so far I'm not showing any warning signs. And thank goodness I think I'm finally getting over this cough so Aiden and I will both be very happy once that's gone! And we've been cleared to fly by both Dr. 's so as California here we come!!!

I'll be happy to update again once we get back from Cali!

Much love,

Thursday, August 12, 2010

How has God been faithful to you?

On Sunday our pastor preached about God always being faithful, and asked all of us to meditate on how God has been faithful to each one of us. God has been so faithful to our family, there have been many times when the unthinkable has happened in either Shawn or I's life and somehow we've made it through and each time a little better of a person because of the struggle.

God has been so faithful in bringing us Aiden, I've said many times before that there are a million and two reason's God gave us him, but in being asked how God has been faithful to me it made me think of a few great examples. According to many doctors I wasn't supposed to be able to have children, if I were able to get pregnant at all I would miscarry and would never make it into the third trimester. - Saturday marks the start of my third trimester with Aiden. Before finding out about Aiden's diagnosis, Shawn and I's relationship had taken a turn for the worst, we had been fighting non stop threatening divorce and plain and simple were not happy in our marriage. Both of us are open about admitting that things were not going well, there would be days that we wouldn't speak to each other without screaming. - After finding out Aidens diagnosis most couples marriage would be in jeopardy just because of the emotional strain of facing a fatal diagnosis for your child and making decisions about how to proceed. God saw this as the perfect opportunity to show/remind Shawn and I why we were together in the first place. Instead of pushing us apart, Aiden brought us back together and made us realize that all of the things that we would fuss and fight over were trivial and completely fixable through better communication with each other (Something we hadn't had in a long time).

God is completely faithful to all of us, sometimes we don't make time to take note of how faithful he has been. I think we all need a little reminder to think about how God has been faithful. HE is truly amazing and is the one thing you can always count on, HE is faithful! Take a moment today to think about how God has been faithful to you, and thank him for all of the blessing's that he's given you and your family.

Much love

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Saturday Mornings

Saturday mornings are every ones favorite in this house hold, we're all home together! The kittens are running circles around each other, Aidens doing flips in my belly, Shawn's drinking a very tall glass of coffee, and I'm drinking some chocolate milk.

Kittens and Aiden are usually the first to wake up, Shadow and Missy normally decide about 6am that it's time to play and shortly after I think Aiden wants to join in. Shawn and I are sleeping (or at least trying) as Missy and Shadow play fight and chase each other all around our bedroom, jumping on and off the bed and sometimes on mommy's head, then onto each other. Aiden starts the morning sleeping with his head on the right side of mommy's tummy and his feet at the left, usually after the second time Shadow jumps on mommy's legs Aiden's done a complete flip and has his feet at the other side (If those aren't his feet then he's learned how to punch pretty hard!). By the time Missy miscalculates her jump off of the bed and onto Shadows head (Yes this happens pretty much every time, I think she's like me and has no depth perception) and has made an interesting "Humph" noise as she lands on the ground instead, Aiden decides that his flip flop didn't wake up mommy so it's time for another. This time he gets his feet pointing straight down and kicks right onto mommy's bladder, TA-DA! mommy's awake and running to the bathroom before she pees her pants! If daddy can sleep through all of this, mommy opens the door and tells the kittens it's time to go down stairs, at which point Shadow always meow's as loud as he can and mommy shuts the door to the bed room so daddy doesn't wake up. I should note my attempts not to have Shadow wake him are pretty useless when he runs back upstairs a few minutes later and meow's and scratches at the door til daddy gets out of bed.

Once everyone is officially awake the real rumpus starts, now the kittens have the whole house to tear apart and they take full advantage, jumping onto and off of couches, crawling under tables or for Missy carpets (for some reason she thinks she's hiding it's pretty cute!).  Daddy makes his monster glass of coffee, mommy gets kittens their Saturday morning treat of "kitten milk" (Its a milk substitute for cats that's not hard on their digestion like milk), and then gets her glass of chocolate milk. Mommy normally makes bagels and we all sit on the couch together and watch some T.V. (Shadow and Missy lose interest pretty fast and are off to explore the house).

Usually by about 10-10:30 everyone has relaxed, the kitten's have settled into the basement windows for some bird and bee watching, Aiden's calmed down with the flips and is now stretching and getting comfortable, and mommy and daddy are discussing what their going to do that day as their putting everything from breakfast away and getting ready for showers.

Shower time is Shadow's favorite, he'll drop everything (even if there's another cat outside that he's mocking) and ran upstairs to the bathroom to "Help" us get ready. Shadow "Helping" us get ready is hilarious, he'll stand just outside the shower and attack the water dripping down the shower door, and once your done and the water's been turned off he goes in and investigates! Normally while Shadow's doing this Missy is "hiding" underneath the little carpet outside the bathroom (We have a little carpet covering up a bleach stain on the carpet that's been there since we bought the house, Missy thinks this is her hiding spot).

The end of Saturday mornings is kind of bitter sweet, your excited to get ready and go do things, but it's so peaceful and perfect right there on the couch.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The good, the bad, and the angry

I've noticed ever since Aiden's diagnosis our days are kinda broken up into three categories, the good days, the bad days, and the angry days.

The good days:
Good days for Shawn normally start at about 5am or so waking up to his alarm and Shadow waiting at the bathroom door to "help" daddy get ready (Anything to do with the bathroom is Shadows favorite part of the day, he'd sit in there all day if we let him). For me they usually starts at about 6:25am right before my alarm goes off, normally I wake up all on my own to Aidens kicks and an empty stomach. Shadow meows and scratches at the bathroom door and "helps" mommy get ready. On good days Aiden stays active for a good part of the day, he kicks anytime mommy starts to feel sad. He knows better then anyone exactly what mommy is thinking and he knows how to make her smile. On good days there will be random moments during the day that I stop and smile because my little one is making his presence known.
Good days are usually days that we only cry maybe 1-3 times, days when even though the storm is raging on around us some how God has calmed his children. Good days are the best because things seem ok in the world, you can say Aidens diagnosis without dieing inside. Good days are the easiest because you know that God is with you, that HE is working in every situation that everything is in HIS hands. He wont let you fall, God loves his children and isn't trying to hurt them. You know that God created Aiden and gave him to us because HE knew we could see Aiden as the miracle and blessing that he is.

The bad days:
Bad days can start a couple of ways usually it starts with the alarm going off and the first thought through you head is "My son's going to die and there's nothing I can do to save him". Or my personal favorite is having dreams, those can go a few ways too. The first is that you dream that Aiden is born and is perfectly healthy, the doctors were wrong there's nothing wrong with him. He grows up and we don't have to say goodbye to our beautiful son. Then you wake up to the reality that that's not how this is all going to play out, that Aiden is going to die and there's nothing any earthly being can do, and that maybe it's God's will that Aiden be called back up to Heaven. The second is that you dream about the day he's born also being the day you say good bye. Then you wake up only to realize this is most likely exactly how everything will play out. Your heart aches like an ache that's indescribable, you can feel it in every inch of your body, like nothing could ever be ok ever again. The third is that you dream that he's born and while things aren't great he makes it and is stable, he's able to come home and is doing well. Then you dream that after some time you decide it's time to go back to work and half way through your work day you get a call to let you know that he's gone to be with Jesus and you weren't there. Most of these dreams are then accompanied with waking up sobbing and begging/pleading with God to take this away to make it all better. You spend hours crying because there's nothing else you can do, just cry and pray.
For Shawn bad days only get worse because he goes to work and has an hour long car ride by himself to think about everything, then he gets to work where he mostly works alone and has all day to think...
For me bad days seem a like eternity because Aiden doesn't wake me up with his soft kicks in fact he doesn't move for a while. I normally spend the first 2 hours begging and pleading that he please just kick once to let mommy know he's still there (It never occurs to me on bad days that maybe the reason that he's not moving is he's sleeping, he was up with mommy at 2:30am trying to comfort her kicking as hard as he could to tell her that she can stop crying, he's still here now). Then it never fails that I either get a patient who wants to talk about how they lost a child and never got over it, or one that's very curious about my pregnancy and my little Aiden. How could I ever say to either "Can we please change the subject, my son is going to die in the very near future and I'm already dieing inside?".
Bad days make the world seem so grey, its hard to keep moving forward it's almost as though everyone and everything is out to get you. Bad days are normally the worst just because your a mess, you can't hold it together all you can think about all day is what is about to happen and how you have no control over it.

The angry days:
Angry days are my least favorite because they show up so unannounced, and they leave the worst taste in your mouth. Angry days can start a multitude of ways, they can be good days that turned angry when someone said the wrong thing, you saw something that made your blood boil, they can be bad days that just get the best of your anger, or simply you wake up mad.
Angry days are the days that you hate the world and everyone in it, what's the purpose why keep going, why can't you crawl into a hole and never come back out?
Now to understand an angry day, you'd have to understand why you'd be angry. It's not that your angry at God for this happening, in fact most angry days your not angry about Aiden your angry about all of the idiots in the world who have perfectly healthy children that they take for granted. Angry days are days when you could easily scream at someone to grow up and pay attention to the wonderful little blessing they've been given, you know the one their constantly pawning off on someone else, the one they never spend any time with. Angry days are when you see your friends and family complaining about trivial, completely fixable issues in their lives and you want to jump in and tell them to shut their mouths, that their incredibly blessed that that's the only thing that they have to worry about. You want to tell them all the ways you thought up in .5 seconds to fix their issues, yes some of them aren't easy changes but you can do something about it. Don't like your job, look for another. Don't like your roommate, find another one. Boyfriend/husband/whatever treats you like poop, screw them! you can make it all on your own. Angry days are when your in the store and there's a mother with her young kids down the isle, and an older couple closer to you. One of the mother's children starts to throw a fit and she's doing everything she can think of to get the child to calm down and be quite, and you hear the older women comment loudly "Just tell the child no for goodness sake!" You lose it! that poor mother has done everything she can to quite the screaming child and is now dragging them out of the store, she's embarrassed and doing everything she can, and here's this old lady who thinks she knows everything and passing judgement on her! You comment loudly as if to your spouse who has a face that shows he's just as upset and offended as you are,  "Wow that was rude! poor girl did everything she could to quite her child and some people have the audacity to think that somehow they could have handled it better!" then you go on to say still loudly "Have you ever tried to quite a 2 year old who's decided they've had enough? When telling them no, threatening time outs, telling them to be quite and that's enough in the angriest voice they've ever heard? Have you ever had to remove them from the situation, to drop everything and leave because you've done everything possible and their still screaming bloody murder? I bet you haven't other wise you wouldn't make such rude comments, you'd just ignore it like everyone else and save the poor mother some embarrassment!" still boiling you get into what really just makes you see red and comment even louder then any of your other comments "For all you know that child has special needs and sometimes there's nothing to be done about a tantrum other than try to contain it, then what your the a** hole who looked down on a mother for not being able to control her child with special needs, all because you don't understand her child!" Angry days are the days when you see a parent of a child with special needs going out of their way to make things easier, make things as normal as they can, then you see someone who simply doesn't understand giving them grief because their child is somehow disrupting that person's life. Angry days are when someone says something to you without thinking it through, you know in the bottom of your heart that they meant well, but they were so far off base you can't help but be angry. Angry days are when you see young kids making fun of a kid with special needs because their different, or they don't understand something, or get frustrated and throw a tantrum because they can't communicate what they want. All because no one ever took the time of day to explain to them why the other kid is different, to explain why they get so frustrated, no one bothered to stand up for this little kid. If someone would take just a few minutes to explain it to them, to tell them how they could help, they'd understand children are much more caring, loving and understanding then anyone ever gives them credit. Angry days stem from people not understanding and being afraid of whatever it is because they don't understand it. Normally angry days are the hardest to deal with because you spend much of the day so consumed with rage at everyone and everything, then spend the evening/night apologizing to God and asking for forgiveness for having let the Devil whisper evil thoughts into your ear, for having lost your temper so many times.
Angry days for me usually involve people taking what they have for granted, and children. I have an especially soft spot in my heart for children and my blood boils when I feel that their being mistreated, neglected, or taken for granted. My soft spot for children with special needs is even bigger and normally where my anger becomes uncontrollable. People don't understand children with special needs, their afraid of them, avoid them like the plague. Little do they know that children with special needs are just children of God that he loved so much that he never wanted them to grow up and lose their childlike faith, they often go back to the father before others because he can't stand to be away from them any longer. Children with special needs are often viewed as something to be ashamed of, or to pity but honestly their the greatest gift in the entire world. Their are a million lessons to be learned from them, loving unconditionally, over coming judgement, and patience lots and lots of patience, these are just what comes to mind right off the bat, but there are so many more.

At some point in any type of day you come to a point where your emotionally numb, you can't feel anything anymore simply because it's too much.

Then at the end of the day we come home and hug, everything comes rushing back but in a good way a healing way. When we're together as a family, Shawn, Aiden, Shadow, Missy, and I the world is right again, we can do anything together.  My little family all of my own means the world to me, my husband is my back bone when I'm to weak to stand, Aiden gives me strength to do and face things I never thought I could, Shadow and Missy are great listeners they hear it all and don't judge, all of them are there to catch me when I feel like I'm going to fall, they reassure me that God is faithful.  Our love for God and each other is honestly what keeps us going each day, it makes everything wonderful again.

I have so many blogs swimming around in my head, I'm sure that it will take me time to write them all down, but I'm trying to be painfully honest and open with everyone even if it hurts them or me. Not because I want to be harsh or mean, I just want for people to be understanding of our situation and know that even though we're going through this storm we're sharing because we love you all. We are so grateful for all of your love, support, and prayers for our family, it means more to us then you will ever know. We're sharing because we want for you to be a part of our family and Aidens legacy.

Much love,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Thursday March 18th was the first day that I started to see a little pink on my home pregnancy tests. It was so faint I thought that maybe it was just an evaporation line from letting the test sit out for to long before looking at the results. Friday March 19th the line was slightly more apparent, I took the test to work and pulled aside one of my co-workers Kristina and asked her if she saw it. She did but was sceptical it was there but almost not at the same time, it was pink but also gray. Insisting that the line was there and real on my lunch I ran to the store and bought another test and peed right then and there. The test was a different brand, and maybe not as sensitive as the other test I had used but I swore I could still see the faintest of lines. Kristina saw nothing on that test, she suggested that I wait a day and take another. Saturday March 20th I didn't wake up and pee on a stick (POAS for those of you who are addicts like me) like I had every other morning and was now accustomed. I was trying to hold out to take Kristina's advice. Shawn was taking measurements on the bathroom so he could buy supplies to finish the remodel and I was bored. I held out till about 1pm when I couldn't take it anymore I had to POAS just to see. There it was!!! no question it was pink and it was there! I screamed I couldn't help myself I ran to the other bathroom and told Shawn he needed to look at this! Everything I had planned about not telling him til I had gone to the doctor to confirm it was going to last, the letter I had drafted it was all out the window the second I saw that pink line. Shawn took one look at the test and asked "Does that mean your pregnant?!?!?" I squeaked yes! His exact words were "Crap I gotta go finish the bathroom so I can start a nursery!" and just like that he was gone, into the bathroom working like a mad man.

At first we weren't going to tell anyone until we had seen the doctor to confirm that the baby was going to make it this time. Honestly I think Shawn was still in complete disbelief, how could that little pink line mean we were having a baby? We had a friends birthday party to go to that night, at a bar of all places. All of my friends noticed that I wasn't drinking, I just tried to play it off that I just had a stomach ache. My brother called about half way through the night to ask me how everything was, I could tell something was up because he was prying trying to get at something. He right out asked "Are you pregnant", I responded "I can't comment on that subject at this time" and tried to get off the subject, but he kept pushing finally I gave in and told him yes. Excited he said "good because we think my girl friend might be!" That was the most exciting night, I was pregnant and going to be a mom in November and then I would be an auntie shortly after. My brother asked me not to say anything since she hadn't taken a test yet because it was to soon, but that in a week when she did he would let me know.

Sunday March 21st. I woke up with such joy, hope, and excitement! I felt more alive then I had in a long time, alive but exhausted! Shawn still had doubts he kept saying not to get so excited because of what had happened before. I couldn't help it I POAS again and the line was darker, he was still hesitant. After church we went to target and I bought a digital pregnancy test. After peeing on it I thrust it at him and said " See I'm Pregnant!" He took the test and sure enough the little screen said PREGNANT. He called his boss and said that he wasn't going to be in tomorrow, he had a doctors appointment he needed to go with me to.  After reading the results of the digital test Shawn decided that maybe we should tell his mom so she could be privy to our little secret. We brought her outside to talk about the motor home or so she thought. We gave her the news and shortly after Shawn's youngest sister came outside and asked what we were talking about. Shawn was holding the air filter to the motor home so all at once we said the air filter! She gave us a look like we were insane and walked back inside.

Monday March 22nd I started looking online for an OB's office close to our house. I wanted to get in ASAP to make sure that if something was wrong we could possibly prevent me losing this baby. We found Columbine Women's Care completely by chance, they were the second office I called off of our insurance website. They got us in that morning, they did an in office pregnancy test and took blood to confirm HCG and Progesterone levels. They told us that I was approximately 3 weeks pregnant based on when my last period was. They told us that they would have me back on Wednesday to have another blood test to make sure that the HGC levels and Progesterone levels were rising. After the appointment we decided to go out to lunch to celebrate we invited Shawn's mom and we had a secret lunch to discuss the "Air filter". At lunch the waiter came around and offered us house wine Shawn's mom ordered a glass, Shawn ordered a glass, and I got to say no thank you I'm Pregnant! The waiter congratulated us and asked when we were expecting. This became my favorite question in the world, because my answer was "We're expecting out first little one on November 28th!"

Later that day the test results came back my numbers looked great, on Wednesday my numbers had more than doubled. The next step was an ultrasound at about 7-8 weeks.

A week later my brother sent me a text, a picture of the test. His girlfriend Michelle is Pregnant!!!!! We were all so excited we were all going to be mommy's and daddy's and the same time as becoming aunties and uncles!

Easter Sunday we decided to tell our friends and family, we were so excited we couldn't keep it to ourselves any longer!

Tuesday April 16th was our first ultrasound the first thing was saw was his little heart beating. It was amazing it was right there flashing, he didn't look like a baby yet but there was his little heart beating away. The ultrasound technician tried to tell us that maybe our dates for when he was conceived were wrong because he was measuring slightly behind. Worried we told her that there was no way we wouldn't have gotten the positive test when we did and wouldn't have been seen in the office when we were. We were already upset, the ultrasound technician hadn't turned up the volume on the ultrasound machine so while we got to see his heart beating, we never got to hear it. The nurse practitioner came in and told us that we shouldn't be alarmed, but our dates were right but that sometimes at this stage they grow a little different. She told us that she would have me back in two weeks to do another ultrasound just to show me that he had grown.

Monday April 26th I went to the ultrasound by myself, the second the ultrasound hit my belly I could hear this little freight train of a heart beat. It was the best sound I've ever heard in my entire life. Sure enough he had grown now he measured right on track with were he should be. The nurse practitioner informed me that most likely at my next appointment the doctor would only listen to the babies heart beat and check to make sure that my uterus was growing. I was so excited my little one was there and alive! Kate asked if Shawn and I had discussed if we were going to have the optional 16 week ulrascreen to check for possible chromosomal defects. I let her know that we hadn't really discussed it, she said they needed to know soon because those appointments took a little longer with the ultrasound technician and those times go fast since she was only in office one day a week. Kate said she would call on Wednesday to follow up and see what we decided.

When I got home Shawn talked it over and decided we didn't want to know. If there was something wrong with our child we would love them just the same. We didn't (and still don't) think that abortion is an option. God doesn't make mistakes every life has a purpose and only God should be able to chose when someone lives and when they die. It's not for man to decide. We informed Kate of our decision and she was very supportive.

Monday May 24th I finally met Dr. Franco! Unfortunately Shawn wasn't able to attend the appointment because of his work schedule so I asked my best friend Lisa to come with me. Dr. Franco is quite possibly the nicest doctor I've ever met, after this appointment I knew that God had sent me to his office for a reason. He listened to the little ones heart beat, at first he couldn't find it (Little one was sitting low) I had a minute to panic, then there it was, my little freight train. Lisa was amazed she agreed it was the best sound she had ever heard. He measured my uterus growth and answered all of my questions (I swear you have a million questions at those appointments, having Lisa there was my saving grace because after hearing the little ones heart beat I couldn't think of anything else).Then he asked why Shawn and I had chosen not to have the ultra screen done. Quite defensively I informed him that it wasn't right for us because we did not believe in abortion, it wouldn't change anything we would do with our little one and only taint the rest of the pregnancy. We wanted this to be a happy time, not a sad one. Dr. Franco informed me and Lisa that I had misunderstood, he was a Christian man he did not do abortions in his office he did not believe in them either, if his patients made that choice they would have to see someone else.  I knew right then that this was the doctor that I should have been going to all my life. I had wasted so many years seeing doctors who only saw the clinical medical side of things, and here was this perfect doctor who saw God's purpose in life. Dr. Franco told me that my pregnancy was considered low risk, I could go to the mountains or fly on planes if I wanted. I was so excited low risk meant normal my little one was normal!

The first weekend in June my brother Patrick and his girlfriend Michelle came out to visit. It was a great weekend, we went to the zoo, a wedding, we had an amazing weekend! We talked about how we were going to raise our children and how exciting it was that we were both expecting. We looked at Babies 'R Us and talked about which stroller we wanted, which pack'N play. It was an amazing weekend, I wish they never had to leave.

Friday June 11th I felt the strangest thing, it kinda felt like popcorn in my tummy. I googled what quickening was supposed to feel like and that was the best description. Excited I told Shawn and his mom that I had felt the little one move for the first time!

Monday June 14th Shawn and I had decided that he wouldn't take time off of work for my appointments unless it was an ultrasound, so I went to my appointment by myself. Things in the OB office had kinda gotten into a rhythm, you go in pee in a cup so they can test for protein in your urine/make sure your getting enough water, they get your weight, take your blood pressure, then you wait for the doctor or nurse practitioner (each visit you would alternate). When Kate came in she looked for little ones heart beat, I informed her that at my last appointment he had been sitting kinda lower then Dr. Franco had expected. After about 15 mins searching for his heart beat Kate said calmly we're going to go over to the ultrasound room, my heart sank I thought he was gone. As soon as the wand touched my belly there it was the little freight train, you know what he was doing, he was moving like crazy! He gave me a heart attack! I told Kate that he was grounded for the first time in his life, so ice cream today! She laughed and said he was doing just fine.

Friday June 25th after eating dinner at Shawn's grandparents house, we got up and Shawn's grandma was showing us her garden. Little one started moving harder then he ever had, I grabbed Shawn's hand and held it be my belly. He asked if that was the baby, I said yes! I might also mention that I grabbed his mom's and youngest sisters hands right after that. I wanted everyone to feel the miracle that is my little one.

Sunday July 4th as a family we had decided to go to Idaho Springs for the fireworks, the day was not going well just about everyone had had a moment of bad attitude and we were struggling to get along and agree on things. We went to Safeway to...well now I don't remember why we went there, we were walking down the baking isle, I was wearing flip flops and didn't notice a small puddle of water. I slipped and started to fall forward straight onto my belly. Thankfully I caught myself no damage was done, the only thing that hit the ground was my hand and possibly my butt, but things did not feel right. I had pain on the right side. Trying to stay calm I got up as quickly as possible. Shawn's dad asked if I was ok and needed to go to the hospital because he knew that it's never good when a pregnant woman falls it can jawsel things. I insisted that I was fine we were going to stay there and watch fireworks as a family.  The pain didn't go away, I sat in the car for a few hours not moving, I tried laying down. I would have done anything for it to go away. Finally I called my OB's office to ask what they recommended I do, of coarse I got their answering service who informed me that the on call doctor should call me within 30 mins. After an hour of waiting for a call back from the on call doctor I called them again to ask what was going on. They informed me that they would page again. A minute later a got the call that said that I should go to the emergency room, that most likely everything was fine, but just to be sure I should be checked out. By this time it had begun to poor rain outside so we were all huddled in Shawn's mom's mini van waiting for the rain to stop. I guess before that moment I had never considered how far away emergency rooms were from where I was, it never occurred to me that the closet one was 30 mins away in good highway traffic. After looking for hospitals near by Shawn and I decided we would wait keep hoping the pain would go away (Please understand, I felt that something was wrong but not anything that could be fixed by ruining our family time and spending the night in traffic on the highway only to get to a hospital to be told it's only a pulled muscle). The night continued on my mom and step dad got there and I told them what happened, tearfully I told them that I didn't think I needed to go to the emergency room I just needed to stay warm and eat something. My mom understood and comforted me she said it was ok for me to be scared most mom's are always scared for their children. We continued on, we made burgers over a charcoal grill my parents brought, Shawn's mom brought soda's for everyone, and we waited for the rain to stop. Right before firework time the rain cleared up, the show began and the whole time I sat with Shawn's hand on my belly feeling our little one squirm every time there was a loud bang. After fireworks we were all going to head back to our camp site (Just a side note, camping while pregnant may not be the best idea), by that time it had gotten pretty cold outside and the pain seemed worse. Shawn and I decided it would be best if we headed home for the night, the rest of the family could stay and they would pack up our tent and thing and bring them to us tomorrow.  That was the worse nights sleep I think I have ever gotten.

Monday July 5th My stomach still hurt, it almost seemed like the pain wasn't getting any better, and that feeling that something was not right wasn't going away. At 10:30 I decided that I was going to go to the new Swedish littleton branch they had built just down the street. I told Shawn he could wait for me that I was sure it was just a pulled muscle and I'd be home soon, I just needed to see that our little one was ok. When I got to the emergency room it turned into a hurry up and wait situation. They got me back quickly, but then I waited for an hour for the ultrasound technician. They discussed that most likely everything was fine but that they were concerned about where the pain was and that Tylenol wasn't making it any better. Once the ultrasound technician got there they rushed me in and she did the scan, little one was just fine, heart beating at a great pace, and wiggling around. After the ultrasound the doctor mentioned that during the ultrasound they noticed that the little one was measuring 3 weeks behind but since I was seeing my OB tomorrow we could speak with them about that, they also noticed that my uterus was contracting which can be normal at that stage of pregnancy but maybe playing a part in the pain. They called my doctor to update them on what had been done already. They as well had an hour and a half wait for the on call doctor to call them back. During that time I was finally aloud to call Shawn who was at home and getting worried since he hadn't heard from me in hours and I was still there. I let him know that they had just gotten a hold of the on call doctor and that they were now concerned that the pain didn't have anything to do with the little one and was coming from my appendix. They were trying to send me to the main hospital for an MRI to make sure it didn't need to be removed. Shawn got to the hospital at about 2 in the afternoon. Neither of us had eaten all day and we asked the nurse if we could have something to eat. The nurse informed us that I wasn't allowed to eat anything until after the MRI in case they needed to operate, but that Shawn was welcome to go get food and come back. My mother arrived about a half hour after Shawn and brought him a protein bar, he was insistent that when this was over we would eat together. After an hour the nurse came back in to let us know that we would not be going to the main hospital because their MRI machine was down. They were in the process of calling other hospitals and as soon as they found one for us to go to they would let us know. An hour later they came back and sent us on our way to Sky Ridge Hospital, they had called in their MRI technician just for me and would be waiting for us. Once we got to Sky Ridge we got to start the whole rigmarole over again, testing me pee taking blood yada yada yada, thankfully the other hospital had sent the information from the ultrasound with us so they didn't insist on doing that over as well. When the doctor came in they assured me that as soon as the MRI technician got there they would get things rolling, they gave me a sedative/pain killer to help with the pain since it had never stopped hurting. The MRI itself was quick and the technician was really nice, he gave us a copy of the MRI because there were some really neat pictures of the little one. Once it had been read the doctors determined that my appendix didn't show signs of needing to be removed immediately and that the pain was most likely from a pulled muscle that was being agitated by contractions.  By this time it was 7:30 at night, I hadn't eaten anything all day I was sedated, starving and my feeling of something not being right was still there.

Tuesday July 6th 19 week ultrasound the one everyone waits for. We were so excited and had planned with all of our friends and family that the way we would let them know was that if our cupcakes had pink frosting it was a girl, if it was blue it was a boy. Waiting for that ultrasound I was so nervous my heat could have beat outta my chest. When we got into that dimly lit warm room I tried to relax. The scan was going well, we found out it was most definitely a little boy and he was beautiful. The ultrasound technician started taking measurements and informed us that our dates must be wrong because he was measuring only 17-16weeks. After a very heated and emotional debate the ultrasound technician called in Kate my nurse practitioner who looked at the scan and asked to speak with the ultrasound technician outside. Then she brought us back out to the waiting room without a word, we waited for a few minutes then were brought back into a room to meet with Kate. She told us that in fact our dates were not wrong, that that would be impossible because of when we got our first positive pregnancy test. She informed us that she was sending us to a high risk pregnancy center to evaluate why the little boy would be growing behind. Nothing had been said to make us think he wasn't going to make it, yet I couldn't stop sobbing. My heart was shattered I knew that nothing good was going to come of any of this. Unfortunately we were not able to get in to see the specialist that day like I wanted to. I had to wait till Thursday and Shawn couldn't get off of work which meant I was going by myself. Shawn and I decided to focus on the good part of the appointment, we're having a little boy. I called Lisa immediately and told her what was going on, and asked that she please go with me I couldn't go by myself.

Thursday July 8th Lisa and I arrived at the office and were introduced to the nurse practitioner who would be doing the scan. It started out great, his head was perfect things were forming just the way they were supposed to, then we got to his heart. She let us know that it almost looked like his aorta was overriding his ventricles but that it could just be the angle. The doctor came in and scanned him and said that he was 99% sure that he was completely normal that most likely it was a placental defect that was causing him to grow behind. That after he had changed position his heart looked normal, but that in order to move on to treating a placental issue, he needed to do an amniocentesis to rule out a chromosomal defect. I made the decision to have the test because the doctor made it sound as though I had no other option, it had to be done. After the test was done he informed me that he was 99% sure that the results would be negative and would call the next afternoon.

Friday July 9th at 2:35pm I got the call that changed everything. Most of the call was a blur, but from what I can remember he said that he was wrong, he had never been more wrong then ever. That the test results came back positive for Trisomy 18. That my son was not compatible with life, that he wouldn't live past a month if he was not still born. After stumbling through a few non-coherent sentences I finally asked what the next step was. The line was quite for a minute then he said that the next step was termination, that he could get us in next week, or if I spoke with my husband right now they could get us in tonight. I don't remember saying anything after he said that word, I'm not sure I even said good bye I think I just hung up. By that point I was sobbing uncontrollably I didn't care if everyone in the world could hear me, my son wasn't going to live. The only words I could manage was "I can't do this" I must have called Shawn about a million times, it was going to the answering machine every time. I called Lisa 5-6 times going straight to voice mail. I finally got a hold of Shawn I could barely get the words out of my mouth, I just sat against the wall and cried. My bosses came into the break room I couldn't say anything, they saw it written on a piece of paper sat down next to me and cried. We sat that way for about 10 mins before they asked if I needed them to call Shawn to have him come and pick me up. Shawn and I cried harder that day then I think either of us have ever cried in our lives. Our perfect little boy the light in our world was going to die and there is nothing that either of us could do.
We asked Shawn's mom to come over we just needed her that minute, we told her what was going on that our perfect little boy was not going to live. It took us all of a few minutes of rational thinking to realize that termination or abortion was not an option it never was! We had said from the start that God doesn't make mistakes, this isn't a mistake he gave us our little boy for a reason. We just didn't know why he had to be so sick. We decided right that minute our little boys name was Aiden James, no one from that point on would call him anything else.

That weekend was possibly the hardest I've ever had to face. How do you tell all of your friends and family who are so excited about this perfect little boy that he isn't going to live? How do you let go of all of those dreams you have for your child, how do you accept that your going to be burying your child, something no parent should have to do.

The coming weeks got easier, it's funny, the first 4 weeks were so easy I honestly only focused on the stories of children that lived. I thought that maybe Aiden could be the exemption to the rule that maybe he would prove all the doctors wrong. That someday I could take him in to see that perinatologist when he was in his late 20's and say here's that little boy that you told me wasn't compatible with life here he is, now he's starting his own family.

Monday July 19th I met with Dr. Franco he just wanted to let us know that he completely supported our decision to continue. He let us know that he was on our side and would be there every step of the way. That he would talk to other doctors and make them aware of our wishes to preserve our sons life.

Monday August 2nd I dreaded that appointment more then anything in the world. I never wanted to see the perinatologist ever again, why would I want to see a doctor that was so avidly against me continuing my pregnancy? The ultrasound was terrifying, at first they thought that possibly he had a brain defect, but it could be something that would go away as the pregnancy went on but that it may not. Then they said that they didn't see a stomach bubble, but that could be just the angle or even because he was swallowing. Then they got to his heart and said that he most definitely had a defect. When Shawn got the nerve to ask if his heart was operable the doctor looked at him and said that on a normal baby it was but because of his diagnosis they would do nothing. She kept saying that this was no surprise we knew there would be defects, except in my mind this was a surprise. I had rationalised this theory that he would be fine and grown up like any other kid.

It was the most crushing appointment of yet, it seemed that any hope that I had for Aiden was riped out of my hands. I was forced to accept that the same day that we said Hello to Aiden, we would most likely be saying goodbye. I've cried so much in the last few days trying to accept all of this, I'm not sure if I will ever be able to accept it. But I'm hoping to keep moving forward, to be strong for Aiden.

This is Aidens story so far, when I first started writing I honestly didn't know if I could write all of this down, but then I felt like I needed to. I want Aiden to have a legacy here, I don't want him to ever be forgotten, or to ever think that we moved on. We will never move on, Aiden will always be a part of our family there will never be a day that we don't think about him.

I think whats been the hardest for me is that everything has felt normal, how can someone sit there and tell me that my little boy isn't going to live when I can feel him all the time. I struggle with how to tell people without falling to pieces, sometimes I want to just say it "Yes I'm pregnant yes I'm excited for my son, no I don't have a room prepared for him because he wont be coming home. He will most likely die the same day he's born!" My latest metaphor for what we're going through is that our hearts are mosaics waiting to be made. Right now they've been dropped and smashed into pieces, some large, some to small to ever be fixed, but someday some one will get some mortar and put them back together, and when their put back together they'll have Aiden in the center holding everything together.

I know that I've probably left out huge chunks and will probably think of them later and have to write again, but for now this is everything. I feels so much better to have written it down, it's immortalized, his legacy is immortalized.

The strength that we've had through all of this is strictly from God, I honestly can't imagine how anyone who says that they don't believe in God could ever face life in this world, it must feel so empty, sad, and meaningless. I hope that through Aiden we are able to show the non-believers in our life that God is real, he is good and he is ever watching. God loves his children and  has a purpose for everything that he does. God doesn't make mistakes, Aiden wasn't a mistake no child with any deformity is a mistake their even more special that's why God takes them home sooner.

I write this with more love than ever expressible, and hope to have better news next time I write.


The Beginning

To start I have to tell you that writing this is quite possibly the hardest thing I could ever do. But unless I start to write things down I'm afraid I'm going to start forgetting, and I don't want to forget anything about Aiden or his wonderful, beautiful life.

Everything truly started long before any of us could have even imagined that Aiden would ever exist. I was 16 and Shawn was 20 we met at Warren Tech. We we're both in different automotive programs, Shawn was in Auto body, and I was in Auto tech. Fast forward 3 years Shawn proposed on Easter Sunday after much coaxing for me. A year later we were married on April 18th, 2009, it was the happiest day of our lives thus far.

A month later I started noticing differences in my body something didn't feel normal. I was positive that I was pregnant, I was terrified we had just gotten married what would people think? I waited until June 1st to take a home pregnancy was negative. I was crushed, I had gotten so excited at the idea of being a parent that I didn't want to except that I wasn't. After about two weeks it was time for my yearly OBGYN visit, I decided to see a new Doctor someone who was supposed to be very good. When I went in for my visit, I brought medical records from all of the millions of specialists that I had seen and prepared myself for my least favorite appointment (Back then I thought that was the worst I'd ever face appointment wise, just goes to show you that sometimes what you thought was rock bottom was only half way down). After the doctor went over all of my previous medical information, things from specialists suggesting that I had a very severe case of endometriosis, that I most likely wouldn't have children, he asked why I was there.  Why was I there?!? Hmm lets see, I've been told my whole life I have to see an OBGYN at least yearly to monitor cysts to make sure none of them burst, or maybe it's because I'm constantly in pain because my female parts don't work right, or maybe it's because you koo koo birds that call yourselves OBGYN's insist that I'm on a high dose birth control to help control my endometriosis, and some how those prescription's don't write themselves. The appointment was not off to a good start, I already hated him just like I hated every other OBGYN I had ever met. I wanted to scream take your head out of your butt and look at me like a person not a diagnosis!!! Now please note I'm not heartless I didn't take his head off like I wanted to, my simple response to his question was "I'm here for my yearly", and after going over the basics that we were going to do an ultrasound to monitor cysts, a pelvic exam (and my personal favorite the part where every doctor stops and says "I can actually feel scar tissue while doing your pelvic exam"), I asked about what I had noticed last month. The doctor looked over my records again and says "you started a new birth control prescription a week before your wedding, and then you were put on two very high dose antibiotics at the same time correct?" I informed him that yes I had, that's why I had thought I was pregnant but the test was negative. The doctor had me take another test in office that confirmed again that I was not expecting, then sent me for the ultrasound. During the ultrasound not only did they note that my cysts were smaller then they have been on any other scan, but there was a sac in my uterus. Not a healthy growing baby, one that had past at least a few weeks ago. The ultrasound tech didn't comment on this little sac and in fact when I asked about it cause I had never seen that on an ultrasound before she said coldly "Your doctor will talk to you about that". Coming back into the room I'm assuming the worst, I'm thinking it's uterine cancer or something horrible. The doctor walks in and "says you were 5 weeks pregnant but your aborting your baby, you will most likely start bleeding in a few days if you don't we will do a D/C next week" After that he hands me updated information for endometriosis and walks out of the room. I wasn't processing at that time, the nurse came back into the room and discussed that they would be calling me next week to confirm that I had completely aborted the baby on my own. She then informed me that once the abortion was complete they wanted me back to discuss more aggressive treatment for my endometriosis unless my husband and I intended to start trying right away to get pregnant again. She then informed me that that was what we should do seeing as with my prognosis if we didn't have children before age 22 I would most likely never have children of my own.

Leaving that office, I cried harder then I had ever cried in my life. How did that happen? what had I done that had caused my baby to die? I tried to call Shawn a million times, then I tried my mom, then Shawn's mom. Ruth answered and stayed on the phone with me till I got home, I'm sure that 90% of that conversation she couldn't understand because I was sobbing so hard, but the important thing was that she was there, she was crying too, I wasn't alone.

I spent 4 months spiraling down into a dark dark place. Shawn and I had decided that we weren't ready for children just yet maybe we'd start trying in 6 months. I hadn't told anyone except Shawn, Shawn's mom, and my mom. I felt like that baby was a dirty little secret, it was eating me alive. Around us every one's lives weren't doing to hot either. We knew people who had separated from their partner, others who had asked for a divorce from their spouse, we weren't getting along the best because we were processing in different ways, it felt like nothing was right in the world. In late August early September I was put on antibiotics again for a re-current stomach issue. A few weeks later I felt different again, I was sure it had happened again. I rushed to the store bought pregnancy tests and took one, the line was faint really faint like I wasn't sure it was really there. I told no one and took another in 2 days, nothing the line was gone. I read online that it's called a chemical pregnancy, there's hormones present because the sperm met egg and tried to implant but it didn't stick. I had called this one our June bug, but our June bug was exactly that, there one day and gone the next.

October, November, December my heart ached for a baby, Shawn and I got into many fights because I was so desperate to have a child of my own. I didn't want my small window of opportunity to close and have never even tried. I didn't want to only be a parent to my cats, I wanted a baby, someone who solely depended on me for everything. In January shortly after my 21st birthday I announced that my prescription was almost up and that I refused to go in to have it filled. Shawn processed this announcement and the next morning while grabbing our daily vitamins left out my birth control. He said that if we were going to start trying we'd start trying then.

The first month I was so convinced that we would get pregnant right away, it's simple right? Sperm meets egg = baby. Sadly not as simple as it seems, my doctors had recommended that I start keeping track of my ovulation to make sure that with my endometriosis I was actually ovulating. They didn't want me off of medication for my endometriosis for very long because it gets worse with every menstrual cycle, they informed me that I needed to be keeping track of my basal body temperature and after a few months if I wasn't pregnant they would do surgery to remove some of the scar tissue that could be blocking the egg from making to the Fallopian tube (A surgery called a laprascopy which insurance will cover unless it's for fertility purposes, which in my case it would be). January/February wasn't our month, a little discouraged we headed into the next month. I was convinced that St. Patricks day was going to be my luck charm, granted testing on St. Patricks day wouldn't give me a positive just yet, the days after might...