Final Update on Baby ‘Tobin’

I’m not really sure where to begin or what to say. My heart and head are so full of emotions and thoughts as these past three days have been myself reliving a nightmare of losing another baby. The words below are raw and rather emotional- so if thats not your forte you may just want to skip this post. But for me, I need my baby to be known and remembered and this is all a part of my healing.

I do want to start by explaining our baby’s name. From the beginning of my pregnancy I felt like my baby was a boy. Bennett and I poured over names and just fell in love with the name ‘Tobin’. We loved how unique it was, but most importantly we loved the meaning which is “the Lord is good”. For the past several weeks we have been calling our precious baby ‘Tobin’. After we found out our devastating news Bennett and I were talking about what to name the baby as we may in the future want to use the name ‘Tobin’- but it didn’t feel right to call this precious baby any other name. This baby has always been baby ‘Tobin” to us. He lived and he died and he deserves to be named and remembered- and I need to hold onto this name and try to remember during this dark time that the Lord is good.

Rewind back to this past Wednesday night. Up until then, I felt peaceful and distracted and didn’t think much about my upcoming appointment…but come Wednesday night I couldn’t sleep and had two awful nightmares that I lost sweet Tobin. I woke up nervous, sick and I just knew that Tobin was gone. I kept trying to tell myself it wasn’t true….but to be honest I knew for about a month that I would not be carrying this child for long. A few days before our nine week appointment I broke down and cried and told Bennett that something wasn’t right. Little did we know a few days later we would find a cystic hygroma. I tried to remain positive and hopeful- everyone around me was- but I knew. It’s amazing how your maternal instinct kicks in from the very beginning and I also feel God was gently preparing me for what was to come.

My Thursday morning appointment finally came after three agonizing weeks of waiting. As soon as the ultrasound tech pulled up the picture of sweet Tobin I knew he was gone. He had barely grown since our last appointment. She sadly told me that there was no heartbeat and I just began to sob…it had probably been since my last loss of sweet Mizpah that I had cried like that. I was given three options. Wait to miscarry on my own, have a procedure done in the office (awake and only on local anesthetic) or have a D&C (surgery, full general anesthesia). I miscarried our first baby on my own, and I was much earlier and it was incredibly painful and traumatic and I knew I couldn’t do that again. My body had yet to recognize the baby was gone and it could be weeks before it would. I couldn’t even fathom being awake while my baby was being removed so I decided on a D&C.

That evening I spent most of my time at my parents house with Bennett and my family. All I could think about is that this will be the last day that I will carry my precious baby. Every night Bennett would lay his hand on my stomach and thank God for our baby. It was hard knowing the prayer would be different.

Friday morning came and we headed to the hospital. The doctor was running four hours behind due to an emergency- as tired as I was sitting in a holding room waiting for surgery I kept thinking about his emergency. Praying for that sweet mom who may very well have been losing her baby too. The time came for me to go back and I held on to my mom begging her to not let them take my baby. She cried with me- knowing not only that her daughter was hurting but she was losing a grandbaby as well. She came to every appointment and saw every heartbeat and I know she was just as connected as I was.

The surgery was over in a blink of an eye. The pain afterward isn’t bad- practically nothing in comparison to the emotional pain knowing that your baby is no longer there.

Now here I am, in my childhood bedroom at my parents house. Its comforting being here–being at our house is just too hard right now. Just down the hall my mom has turned an empty bedroom into the ‘Grandchild’ room. She told me she would go in there and pray for Tobin daily. I couldn’t go into that room on Thursday or Friday- but this morning I knew I needed too. I laid on the bed and cried and told God I didn’t understand- then left and closed the door.

So, where do we go from here? I really don’t know… My mom has been reminding me I only need to take today. My heart just longs for children so badly. In the future, our doctor recommended Bennett and I to go for testing to see if this will continue to be a pattern or if we simply just had two freak cases of bad luck. Yes, its awful that my babies died- but they aren’t bad luck. Their my babies and I can’t wait to see them again. I long for heaven so much.

 

I will post more about the logistics of doctor recommendations and our next steps of action later- but today I’m sad and I’m grieving the loss of my child-and that’s okay.

 

I appreciate each and everyone of you who have prayed and loved on us. No, the outcome we wanted didn’t happen but I do take comfort that God healed my baby in His way and that I will see Tobin again. I appreciate each and everyone of you who has been following our story of waiting, patience and loss. Please keep following–I know in my heart all this sorrow is not just for nothing and I know in my heart I will be a mother one day and I want you to see how God is going to do that for us. Because I am confident He will.

 

Until then, please take a look at this beautiful picture of our precious baby Tobin.

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Sweet Tobin,

Mommy and Daddy love you so much–even in just the short time we had with you. How blessed we are that when we get to Heaven we not only get to see our Loving Savior but we get to finally hold and love on both of our sweet babies. But for now, I will rest knowing that He is holding you now.

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What to Expect When You are Expecting A Baby with a Cystic Hygroma…

Please excuse my cheesy attempt for a blog title…Bennett and I watched What to  Expect When You are Expecting just a few days before we found out the news about our little one–and I can say that these past 11 weeks have been nothing like the movies! 🙂

Thursday cannot get here soon enough! I was doing pretty good these past few weeks staying busy and distracted, but last night sleep took awhile to come and all I could think about is what is going on with our precious baby. The statistics are daunting. 70% chance of losing this baby before first trimester, 40% after the first trimester, 85% chance of this baby being born with a disability and a mere 15% chance of it being healthy.

But as a dear relative told me- Our God is not a God that follows statistics and I take comfort in that.

There are three different scenarios that we will face when we go to our appointment on Thursday:

1) Complete and total resolution of the cystic hygroma! This is our plea and prayer that our baby will be completely healed. This is less likely according to our doctor, but she has seen it happen and I have had several people tell me that their babies were diagnosed but within a few weeks the hygroma resolved on its own.

2) The cystic hygroma is still there. If this is the case, they will do a Harmony Prenatal DNA test. It is a non-invasive blood test to test for several chromosomal abnormalities which include:

Trisomy 21: Down Syndrome.

Trisomy 18 and 13: Both have a high risk of losing baby in utero, and if baby is born will have severe heart defects and life span is extremely short.

Turners: Affects girls only. Short stature, physical deformities, learning disabilities.

*The ‘perk’ to having this test done is we will be able to find out early if we are having a boy or a girl 🙂

If this test comes back negative, more testing will be done to test for  Penashokier, Noonan and Roberts Syndrome:

Penashokier: Growth problems, underdeveloped lungs,  facial abnormalities, high chance of losing baby in utero or shortly after birth

Noonan: Unusual facial characteristics, short stature, heart defects, other physical problems and possible developmental delays.

Roberts: Characterized by limb and facial abnormalities, slow growth, mild to severe intellectual impairment occurs in half of all people with Roberts syndrome. This condition has been a particular one of interest to Bennett and I and our family as we have a nephew who has similar symptoms of Roberts but a official diagnosis has not been given yet- but he is such a wonderful baby and we would be blessed to have a child like him! Of course, we are wondering if it is genetic but it is too early to tell at this point until we have further testing done with our baby.

3) Our baby has passed on to be with Jesus. As hard as it is to type those words, I must realize that this could be what we face come this Thursday. If that is the case, a D&C (surgery) will most likely be needed. I think of Job and Paul in the Bible- how they asked God to deliver them from their trials- but they weren’t delivered in the way they had hoped. This is a reality but over these past few weeks the Lord has truly surrounded me with His love and I know even if this happens- He is still good.

A year and a half ago, we lost our first baby. This month he/she would have turned one. I struggled greatly with this loss and went into a deep depression. This time around I learned not to run from God when the pain is great- but to run to Him. He truly is sufficient to handle ALL of our struggles and He provides peace that no one and nothing else can.

My mom and I started to do a Bible study together called “Stronger” after we found out about the potential difficulties the baby may face. Today’s devotion was all about stress and anxiety, how applicable! 🙂 One quote in particular resonated with me and I wanted to share:

“In fact, God never intended for me, or you, to be strong enough on our own. We were made to need Him, run to Him, and surrender to Him. As I see it, we have two choices when confronted with the stress of our lives. We can succumb to greater anxiety, fear and pain and continue to rack our minds for solutions and exhaust our bodies with worry. Then try to squeeze answers from other fallen people whose stress is probably greater then ours. Or we can choose to surrender our stress to the strength of God. HE IS STRONGER.”– Angela Thomas

When we give our stress and worries to God, we aren’t saying they don’t exist or that they aren’t difficult and incredibly painful. We are saying that:

“These worries I carry are legitimate concerns, but God is faithful and good. This situation I’m facing is awful and scary, but God is with me and promises He’ll never leave me”-Angela Thomas.

So with those words in mind, our hearts desire and prayer is that we can post on Thursday- Praise God! Our baby is healed!- but we may have to post that the cystic hygroma is still there and additional testing is being done. We may have to post that our sweet baby has gone to be with the Lord. And if we have to post either one of those things- I will still say with confidence that He is still good and He is stronger.

If you are reading this, you most likely have been following our story and have been praying for us. We truly have felt your prayers and we can not thank you enough! But I also know that you may be struggling with issues that are drowning you, that you feel you cannot handle on your own. Know that God is stronger and take comfort in Him.

Psalm 91:4 “He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings.His faithful promises are your armor and protection.”

Steady My Heart

One song that has been on the forefront of my mind this past week has been Kari Jobe’s “Steady My Heart”- and God has answered that desire and truly has steadied my heart.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your prayers–I was completely blown away last week when we had over 10,000 views of the blog post asking for prayer. I posted it for local family and close friends to see- yet people kept sharing and sharing and we had people from all over the world viewing the post and praying for us! Bennett and I were, and still are, blown away by all the support, love and prayers. We both truly feel peace and strength that can only come from Jesus alone. And please forgive us for not being able to respond to every post and comment- but know we have read every single one!

I originally had a doctors appointment scheduled for today, but had received some words of caution about having too many ultrasounds from some trusted friends in the medical profession. I also had trusted friends in the medical profession tell me not to worry at all about having too many ultrasounds- but I would rather err on the side of caution, plus termination is not an option at all so there really was no need for me to go today, just for my own personal assurance. Our next appointment is Thursday the 21st so I would greatly appreciate your prayers. I will be a few days shy of 12 weeks and they will do an ultrasound as well as several blood tests.

Our specific prayer though is this- that we would see a healthy baby, no abnormal fluid with a strong heartbeat. We would love for you to pray with us this prayer as well!

Again, we are thankful for you and your prayers. We know no matter what- this is a part of our unique story that can be used to glorify God and that is our  ultimate desire and prayer.

Asking For Your Prayers…

Today we planned to announce our pregnancy with joy and excitement, but instead we are announcing with fear, love for our child and a plea for prayers.

We found out in September that we were pregnant and we were ecstatic! It was such a direct answer to our prayers and started to fill my longing to become a mother. Ever since I can remember I never desired a career or any other occupation. I want to be a mother. We went to our first ultrasound two weeks after we found out, only to be told that we most likely would lose this baby. All the fears of my previous loss came running back, yet I asked God to work a miracle and that we would see a precious heartbeat at our next appointment. A week later, we returned and we saw a beautiful heartbeat- yet we were told once again we would lose this baby. The heart rate was too slow (109bpm) and the baby was measuring too small. I began to pray again and ask God that at our next appointment the heart rate be 150pm. The next week we showed up, the baby doubled in size and the heart rate was between 148-150bpm. I was thrilled and the doctor told me my miscarriage rate was down to 5%. I began praying again that at our next appointment that the baby would measure at least nine weeks as it was still on the small size. Today was that appointment and the heart rate was even better at 186bpm and measured at 9 weeks and 2 days! I was so happy- but yet I could tell the ultrasound tech was being quiet and something wasn’t quite right.

The doctor told us that there is abnormal fluid in the baby’s neck and abdomen, known as Cystic Hygroma. She told me that my chances of losing this baby went from 5% to 70% and if I do carry this baby to term it is at high risk of birth defects, heart defects and other conditions such as Down Syndrome, Turner Syndrome and several other conditions.

I am asking for your prayers. God has been faithful and has answered specific prayers already and I am asking for more. First, I am asking when we go back next week that there will be no abnormal fluid and we will see a perfectly healthy baby. Second, I am asking that if there is still fluid around the baby- that God will protect this little one and either heal later in the pregnancy or give us the strength to help this child the best we can with whatever conditions he may have.

Third, and the most difficult is that if we lose this child that I will not become angry or bitter. That I will praise God no matter what. As I type these words, it is so hard because I love this child and no matter what difficulties the child faces medically- it will never change my love and desire to have this child, yet I must understand and accept that losing this baby is a very real possibility. I know my God is big enough to overcome these 70% odds, but I also know that things happen-chromosomal abnormalities that can cause issues such as these.

Here is a picture of our little one to keep in your prayers (we saw him wiggling around and his little arms and legs–never doubt that life begins at conception- proof right here!)-

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