Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tag, I'm it...

I got tagged from Julia.

This one is really cool. You're supposed to go into your pictures directory, find the 6th folder and pick the 6th picture and tell the story.

So this is my son Jack. Jack has a unique and wonderful story. Jack was our first child together. He was the first grandson on both sides of the family. He ended up being our miracle child who showed us what it truly meant to rely on God.
We were newlyweds. We had just moved into our first house. I can remember I was slightly pregnant, like there's ever such a thing as slightly pregnant, but I could still tie my shoes and wear some of my clothes. I think I was 16 weeks pregnant? God, I thought I would never forget the details of this ordeal, but with time, the pain has lessened and so has the dream-like vividness of the details.

I had the prenatal alpha feta protein testing done as recommended by my doctor. Because I'm adopted, I have always felt a little weird about what could be lurking in my gene pool, so I decided I might as well have the test. What harm could it do?

I was watching Romeo and Juliet... the Leonardo version. I still can't watch that movie. I never got to finish it. The phone rang. The nurse says something along the lines of "there was something wrong with your test. You need to come in to see a specialist... tomorrow."

Jeff and I went to see a genetic specialist. I think I only heard about a third of what he said. I know that the words Trisomy 18 were mentioned several times. Fatal. Genetic. Irreversible. Devastating. Termination. They did an amniocentesis. I could see my tiny little baby floating around in there. Not moving very much. He was too small for how far along I was supposed to be. To me, he looked kinda like a dinosaur with his little fetal spine developing.

Jeff and I went home in a daze. We broke the news to the grandparents and to Jordan. We hadn't been together long enough to know what to do with all of this grief. We both dealt with it in our own ways... separate but equal pain. And so we waited. And waited.

Finally a phone call. There was a genetic abnormality. There was an extra piece of genetic material on the baby's 8th chromosome. It wasn't definitely Trisomy 18, but it could be a translocation of genes and still be Trisomy 18... They couldn't rule out this devastating diagnosis. They needed our blood to do a complete genetic work up on both of us to find out if either of us had this same 8th chromosome. And so we waited. And waited.

They lost the lab work. And so we waited. And waited.

Although the wait was overwhelming and horrible, I can now see the purpose of it. While sitting in the office of this genetic specialist, we were confronted with the ugly decision that a lot of people probably have to face on a daily basis. If our child was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 and was sure to die at birth, would we want to terminate the pregnancy now? While the answer seems SO cut and dry and obvious now, at the time, it seemed like a question of which death would be less painful and awful? It didn't take long for us to embrace our son's future, whatever that may be, and realize that no matter what the diagnosis was, we would have him as long as God allowed. And if that was hours, that would be better than the alternative.

Finally another phone call. Jeff had the same extra piece of material on his 8th chromosome. While we weren't guaranteed what this would mean for our baby, it was good news. Even with this good news, we were never given the "everything's going to be just fine" speech. It was more like "we'll see what we get..." We were on pins and needles throughout the rest of my pregnancy. I was secretly afraid the whole entire time.

The due date rolled around... and then two weeks rolled around... and then finally I was induced and tortured through a 19 hour labor, when I finally gave birth to an 8 pound 10 ounce baby boy who was absolutely perfect.

He was born with 6 toes on each foot and a thumb on his left hand that has no joint and does not bend. But he is absolutely perfect and wonderful and awe inspiring. And when I think about Romeo and Juliet, I think about the rash decisions that led to their deaths, and I thank God that we were able to see the purpose in my baby's future, whatever God allowed it to be.

"You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples." Psalm 77:14

I am going to tag...... Denise and Mendy.


Larsons said...

It go to say : God is still in control. Praise and Blessed be Jesus. Both were threated to be lost. What a beautiful miracle and a precious gift. The day the angels danced!. mom

Linda said...

We have always supported You and Jeff in all you have chosen. Even being new to our family we knew you would make the right choices for your new family. Love Linda

Peculiar Smith Family said...

OK, I'm sitting here crying. What a beaufiul post!

Jenny H said...

I too remember that long wait. How greatful I am to have that wonderful loving little boy as my nephew. You and Jeff made it trough a very tough time I can't even imagine, and were stronger together for it. Love you all.

Rebecca said...

Wow...really? What an awesome go Jack!!!
P.S. I am so happy to know you and to be a part of your guys' life. I'm proud to be your friend. Geez...what is wrong with me...sorry to get all sappy on started it with that awesome post tho. Seriously, I think you're an awesome, amazing family. Really.

Julia & Brad said...

Oooooo! Fabulous story!!!

Kristine said...

So glad you choose life. :) Thanks for sharing that story.
He looks JUST like Jeff!

Kim said...

Amazing story..!