Thursday, March 5, 2015

Charlotte Mae 19 weeks

Yesterday I had two doctors appointments. The first with the perinatologist. The nurse took us back and checked my blood pressure and weight. She asked me to get back on the scale after I got off. She said "Is that right?" I was clueless as to what she was talking about and then she clued me in that I have lost 16 pounds since we found out about all of the problems with Charlotte, on Friday the 20th. She was very worried that I haven't been eating. I told her I be losing the weight in tears.

 Dr. Gainer checked my cervix, because on top of everything we found out last week, preterm labor is still an issue. A big issue. But for now, it's measuring long, like it should be. so that's the least of our worries. She said nothing has changed, except she has grown, but that's normal. ha Her heart and stomach are still close to touching and her bowels are still up in her chest. If you look close you can see her rib cage on the bottom in the white, then right above that there is a dark spot is; her stomach and then right on top of that there is a darker circle with a little white line and that is her heart. That's obviously not how it is suppose to look.

Today she told us that we are in the middle to severe side on the "severity line". She said her heart is causing problems for her right lung to develop properly and her stomach and bowels are causing problems for the left side. She said sometimes the heart stays left and that leaves room for the right lung to develop so at least she will have one lung but that's not our case. Both of her lungs are being impaired which ultimately puts her more at risk. We asked if she had the results for the DNA test and she said no. So we left frustrated.

Usually I am anxious and excited to see the baby on the ultrasound and this time was so different. I almost didn't want to see her. I didn't want to see my broken baby. But I knew I would regret that so I didn't say anything. As soon as she pulled the ultrasound up I just cried. I felt completely devastated. Seeing her organs in the wrong places and knowing that she might not make it, hurt. It just hurts. I hate that she is perfect as long as she is inside of me and that could very well be the only time she is perfect and alive.

We are trying to be strong and have faith that this will all work out but it's hard. It's more than hard. It's almost not possible. Given our recent experience in losing a baby, it's, I would say difficult but that doesn't even come close to how hard it is to have the faith that we won't lose her too. I appreciate all of the kind words but I'm not strong, I can't do this, I don't want to. I have never felt so weak, overwhelmed, beat up and broken in my life. This is all out of my control and that is the absolute worst.

I feel like I did after we lost Conor, like no one understands. I see pregnant women everywhere and think, "They are so lucky", "They have no idea what I'm going through". The worst is when people ask what the gender is or when my due date is. I used to be excited, now I'm completely devastated. It hurts to talk about the due date because to me, at least right now, it's a death date. Usually people count down the days to their due date, well, Chris and I have a different story. We are counting down the days as if it's one less day we have with her.

 Chris had to go back to work so I went to my appointment with  Dr. Anderson. I got there and he got me right in. (This was the first time talking since we found out about the hernia). He came in with a few papers and said he needed to tell me something. At this point I'm thinking there is another problem. So I started crying. You could say I'm a little emotional right now. He put his hand on my shoulder and showed me what was on the paper. He said "This is the DNA result, it's negative".


I just covered my face with my hands, crying and relieved. Negative. At this point, I have about a billion facts, decisions, thoughts, scenarios, and doubts running through my head. So to knock this one off the list, was such a blessing. It's negative. He then said, "This doesn't mean she is free and clear, it just means one of these chromosome defects won't kill her". Before we found this out she had three big strikes against her, now she only have two really big strikes. I couldn't believe it. Even though all of my doctors told me "It's only a 20% chance she would have a chromosome defect", I couldn't help but to not believe it. They also told us that a Diaphragmatic Hernia only happens to 1 in 3,500 babies.. so..
Our Christmas trip to Cali a year ago with my boys.

On top of all of this, Chris was offered a job for Salt Lake City Fire Department, also known as his dream job. He was offered the job on Thursday the 19th and we had our doctors appointment on Friday the 20th, very good news one day and very, very bad news the next.

We took a little "Amycation" (what Owen calls it) to Mesquite just to get away after we got the news about Charlotte. We needed to get away from here. It was great. We didn't do anything fancy and that is just what we needed. Time to calm down, read all about Diaphragmatic Hernias and breathe. I was able to see some old friends and laugh, which I was really doubting I would ever do again. His sister sent me home with baby girl clothes and she called it the "Faith bag". :) It just makes me cry so I hid it in Owen's closet but we will be ready when she comes. Amy has more faith than I do, which I am grateful for.

From our Cali vacation in July (the week before we lost Conor)

We came back Sunday and Monday night we went up to Salt Lake for Chris' orientation for the Fire Academy. I just need to add that I'm so lucky I live close enough to family. They are always able to take Owen for us. I need to hire my sisters as my nanny with all of these doctor appointments I'm going to have. (So thank you, I love you and I owe you)

We got to the classroom, where we would sit for the next four hours. The chiefs and instructors introduced themselves and then all 15 of the recruits introduced themselves and their wives. The longer the class went on the more I started to panic. The Fire Academy is not for the weak and I think it's even harder for the wives and kids. It's four, 10 hour days a week for 16 weeks. Ya, they have Friday and Saturday off technically but not really, when you add in studying.

 It's a pretty rough schedule but we have done it once before so I kept telling myself that. After we went through all of the rules and policies, FOUR hours worth of rules, we left. We walked out to the car and Chris looked at me with a disappointed face. He asked me if we could do this. I knew we could but I wasn't the happiest about it. I faked it and said "Ya, we just need to look at the end goal, you'll be a SLC Firefighter!!". He smiled but I could tell he wasn't convinced.

That night as we drove home we talked about all of the possibilities that could happen, all the way from the academy to Charlotte. We talked about toughing it through the academy and I started to feel uneasy about it. It isn't just that he would be gone all of the time, if I happened to go into labor he wouldn't be able to come get me. He would be stuck at academy. Going into labor is still a very real scenario right now, now that I am 19 weeks this week. At one point during orientation, they took the guys and gave them a tour around the training facility and kept us wives for question and answers. I explained our situation and asked the Chief about emergency's during the academy. I asked if I were to go into labor how long Chris would have with me. He said a day at most. If Chris stayed with me longer than that he would fall behind and fail out. They move so fast and cover so much in such a short amount of time that he wouldn't be able to catch up.

I told Chris about that and he asked me if we should even do it. I automatically said "No, you are doing this!". He has worked way to hard to let this go. Then he talked about Charlotte and even if things go well with her how she will need the surgery and that would leave me alone. That would leave me in the U of U hospital recovering alone while my sweet baby is being operated on at Primary Children's. And that's if she makes it that far. If she doesn't and I go into labor before she is ready that means I am without a car, waiting for someone in my family to come get me. Another Conor situation, delivering, a D&C, and funeral planning, alone.

I think at that point we both felt our answer but we didn't like it. This job is his dream job and he earned it. He deserves this. This would make him so incredibly happy. And I have always been more than willing to do what he needs me to do to advance in his career. We sat quietly in the car until he said "Family comes first".

Paddle boarding down the Jordan river

I knew then, I don't deserve this man. He is incredible. I have never felt a stronger connection between us until this whole thing blew up in our faces. I was proud that we made it through Conor, but this, this is hard. Actually, hard doesn't even adequately describe this. He has my back. He is there for me, even when that means giving up a dream. I am so proud. We are a team and that is more important than any job.

If Charlotte didn't have these problems we wouldn't even be thinking about giving it up. But we can't think like that, because she does.

We decided we would pray and fast about it for the next few days, meaning yesterday and today. Chris had to say all of our prayers together. I can't get through a prayer without crying and feeling like I need to beg for my baby to make it. I can't focus on the job, I just constantly worry about Charlotte. I worry about all of the "if's". I need her. I can't give up two babies. I need this to work out, in my favor. I think I may have hit the "bargaining" stage in my grief for her. I feel like I am trying to make deals with Him,. Just pleading for Him to give me this one and I won't ask for any more.

We haven't been sleeping lately. I toss and turn all night and so does he. I have never felt this amount of weight on my shoulders. They actually hurt.  This is going to sound bad but in church we are told when going through trials to "Give it to God". Right now, I can't. I don't know if I trust Him. Don't worry, I am not falling away from the church. God and I talk on a pretty regular basis. It's just really impossible to trust Him right now. I don't know the plan and I can't see into the future so faith and trust are things I struggle with right now.

Chris has more faith than I do. He came to me yesterday and said that he feels like he needs to let go of the job. It would add so much more stress on our broken little family. He is so disappointed but the timing isn't right. Every time we pray about it we feel confused and stressed. So he talked to his boss at the County Fire Marshall job and asked if he could "take back" his resignation. as of yesterday his boss didn't know about Charlotte at all. So he told him about that and what we have been feeling. His boss said of course and that he would do whatever he needed to to help us.

{And don't worry, he said I could post all of this.}

So we're feeling sad. So disappointed. But we know what we are suppose to do, as far as the job.

He called his captain at SLC and told him we just can't make it work right now. He told him to call HR and tell them. I just got off the phone with him and he said HR will take him off the list and..

Add him to the next one!!!!

We never thought that would happen. That means he is number one for the next recruit class! We thought we would be applying for other places because Salt Lake would turn him down and send him away. But look, they want him. They want him enough to keep him on for the next academy. He could be working for them by the end of the year. Hopefully by the time that one starts Charlotte is doing well.

So that's where we are right now. Life is hard. I don't know what we are suppose to be learning from all of this but I am tired of learning. I need a break. It's only been seven months since we lost baby Conor and I learned a lot from that. So prayers are still welcome. And thank you.