Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 28, 2008 - The Beginning of the End ~ His Journey's Just Begun

 Today ~ October 29, 2014

These next 2 weeks mark the most torturess, unforgiving emotional ride....  This time of year is hard.  We love you sweet boy.  Today, always and forever.

His Journey's Just Begun

Don't think of him as gone away~
his journey's just begun,
life holds so many facets~
this earth is only one.

Just think of him as resting
from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort
where there are no days and years.

Think how he must be wishing
that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness
can really pass away.

And think of him as living
in the hearts of those he touched...
for nothing loved is ever lost~
and he was loved so much.

~E. Brenneman

October 28, 2008

The day our world stopped. The day we were told that part of our baby boy's brain had not formed. The day we had to make the most unimaginable decision of our lives.

We were scheduled into the high risk pregnancy hospital that afternoon for a number of tests because an ultrasound had shown that the ventricles in our baby's head were larger than normal. My husband and I made the 1/2 hour drive into Toronto and, to be honest, our spirits were hopeful. We certainly had a million questions, but how bad could it be right? I was 33 weeks and had several ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy - every single one was "fine" - until the last one. How could something so catastrophic not been seen earlier??

When we got to the clinic I had blood taken, then we had the amnio... and then the "detailed ultrasound" performed by one of the head doctors. He studied our baby for a long, long time (all the while making small talk). I remember him telling us about his daughter and a big house they had bought not too far from where we lived...I look back now and wonder how in the world he could talk so casually when he could clearly see the trouble our baby was in.

The doctor was called away for what felt like hours and during that time my husband and I tried to remain calm... we didn't know anything for sure at this point. My husband looked at the transcript from the previous ultrasound and figured things were fairly positive (he has some training in the medical field and can read the jargon). When the doctor finally returned he probed my belly again and asked if he and the doctor we had been seeing (who was now in the room) could speak with each other freely. Sure. I didn't understand a single thing they were saying, but something deep in my soul knew that none of it was good. I kept looking at my husband for some kind of reassurance.... nothing. He just kept shaking his head and looking really concerned. When my husband looks concerned I know there's trouble.

The doctors finished up and we were sent to wait in the waiting room... for what we now know was the worst news of our life.

We were taken into the genetic councilor's office and shut the door. Oh God...

"Part of the baby's brain has not formed at all" the words went through me like a sword. "There was some kind of insult to the baby", probably during or after my emergency surgery at 20 weeks, "There is a high chance that the baby will not make it through labour or for very long once he is born" .... my vision is blurry now, I am staring blankly at who knows what, I don't hear them anymore. "If the baby is born alive we cannot guarantee what quality of life he will have... with half the brain missing...." "Everyone has different views and ideas of what quality of life is....there are options for you." Options, are you serious??!!!

After a while we were left alone in that office.... to scream, to sob, to shake uncontrollably. Our first and foremost thought was that we did not want our precious baby boy to suffer. We did not want him to be born gasping for breath, struggling to stay alive. We did not want him on life support and we did not want our beautiful boy to be attached to tubes and needles. We also felt like we had to think about our two boys at home... there were 5 people to think about. I will never forget my husband saying that. I don't remember too much, but that I remember. It struck a chord and resonated in my breaking heart.

The decision to let him go, without a doubt, was the most heart-wrenching, soul-searing, horrendous decision we have had to ever, ever had to make, but I truly believe we made it out of love. I have to believe that we spared him the pain, the suffering that he would have inevitably endured, regardless of the outcome.

I pleaded with the doctors not to send me home that night.... I really didn't know how to face anyone. But there are policies, of course. We were sent home to writhe in our pain... to start grieving our little boy who was still actively kicking and pushing his mommy's belly.

We waited 4 days to get an MRI scheduled. The MRI was to 110% confirm the findings (which we were all for).

That was Friday, October 31, 2008 - Halloween Day. And that is for another post.

My heart and soul ache for you Nicholas..... we love you more every day... xo


still life angie said...

Oh, dearest Lea, these are decisions no one in the world should ever have to make. It is terrible. It is not fair. I cry thinking about your beautiful family and beautiful Nicholas. Thank you for sharing your story. Abrazos y

Hope's Mama said...

Lea, I am so sorry. This is heartbreaking.

Barbara said...

Oh Lea, just that photo.. so much love.


Being Me said...

Hello, please forgive me for "crashing" - I just came across your blog. This post is breathtaking. Your photo with your dear son is just beautiful. He looks so perfect. Proud in a way, somehow, to be cradled with his mummy!

I hope to get to know you a little if you don't mind me looking around your blog. And please feel free to stop by mine (my grief journey began in 2004 and my old blog in 2005)

Much peace and gentle thoughts to you and your family,

Beth said...

Your son is adorable. It is horrible being here, being part of this club of mom's that has to miss our babies. I know he is with you. I hope you can find strength over this next year. If you need anything...just e-mail me. I am grateful to have gone through this, so that I can give hugs to all the mommies that are walking the road with me.

<3 Beth Brown

Anonymous said...

I just came across this blog after reading a post by the mother of Sophia, Evelyn, and Isobel. I don't know what to say. I am sorry for your loss but relieved to find someone who had to make the same decision that we did. I am startled because we found out the news that there was something wrong with our daughter Cecilia Anne Kruger almost one year earlier to the day that you found out that you found out there was a problem with Nicholas. She was born sleeping on November 11, 2007. The anniversary of her due date is coming up next month. She would have been two.

Anonymous said...

It rips my heart out no matter how many times I read it. When I think back to exchanging messages with you when you had found out Nicholas was in trouble once he was delivered...I remember looking at Emily and Ethan. Who were only 4 months old at the time and my heart would just fall to pieces thinking about what you would face at delivery.

Can't wait for the lanterns to light the sky :)

Amanda P

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