Thursday, September 27, 2007

Today I'm 40 and pregnant!!!!

I cannot believe that I am actually 40 today, where have the years gone? Oh, that sounds like something my grandmother would say, I must be getting old! As you read in my blog on Sept. 22, Trayc gave me a surprise birthday party and we were all standing around saying we couldn't believe we were all 40 or getting close to it (a lot of us have know each other since elementary school), then someone said, "hey, you're 40 and pregnant" - we all laughed! That does sound crazy doesn't it? We were saying our grandmothers and mothers were so much younger than us when they had children, I guess it was just a different generation back then. You know, honestly, I would have never expected to be 40 and pregnant. Trayc and I dated for 3 years and got married at 23. When we were dating we would have phone conversations lasting 5-6 hours on a Friday night and plan out our future. We would start a family the second year we were married, have 4 children (2 boys, 2 girls), they would be 2 years apart, we would have 2 golden retrievers, 2 new cars and a two-story house - okay, now looking back that is just so funny!!! See, we presently have 2 boys, who are 10 years apart, another boy on the way, 1 Shitzu, 2 cars (that used to be new!) and we JUST moved into a two-story house. Of course, these were our plans, not the Lord's, but you know, when your young and growing up under your parents, very nieve and fortunate to have had a pretty close to perfect life and perfect family, no real problems and certainly no tragedies, it all just seemed natural to PLAN out our marriage and future life together and believe it would just go all according to our plans. Having children has not come easy for us, it had become just an emotional roller coaster for years. We tried 5 yrs to get pregnant with our first son, Tanner, and after 9 doctors, 1 infertility specialist and $10,000 we, through in-vitro, had him in 1996, then, 10 years later, we were 4 days and $14,000 from in-vitro, when we found out we were pregnant, this time on our own! Our second son, Tayden, is now 1 1/2 yr old. We thought, "finally we're getting pregnant without infertility drugs so let's try again because we're obviously not getting younger" and we got pregnant the weekend of Tayden's 1st birthday. We were excited for so many reasons, this was our 3rd miracle baby, the 2nd one without any infertility drugs and finally Tayden would have a brother/sister close in age. We have learned so much over the past 17 years of marriage, we must live for Jesus every day, take one day at a time, rely on Him solely and remember that He has the plan for our lives and this includes Tristan being born with Trisomy18.

Monday, September 24, 2007

My silver charm is priceless

My 40th birthday is on Thursday so my sister, my 7 yr. old niece and 5 yr. old nephew came over this afternoon at 3:00 pm to bring me my birthday gifts because they knew I would be spending all day Thursday with Trayc and the boys. They gave me several very nice gifts, but the most UNBELIEVABLE gift, which was also the least expensive, was a silver heart charm that said "Tristan". I couldn't believe it, I fought back the tears because I didn't want my niece and nephew to wonder why I was crying about their gift (they were just bursting at the seam when they walked in and I couldn't open the little box fast enough)! First of all, the name Tristan is so unusual, after all that's why we picked it, just like with Tanner and Tayden, but second, can you imagine the impact it had on me? I mean, if Tristan was going to be just a normal baby I would have still loved the charm and worn it proudly, but our precious baby will be born with Trisomy 18, his future uncertain and his days will be far less than we would chose, so to have a charm with his name on it that I can wear around my neck, and I promise it will be worn all the time even if it doesn't go with the outfit I'm wearing, because this is the name that has changed our family's life completely and the name that we will never forget, therefore you can't even begin to put a price tag on a gift like that, it is priceless!!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Trayc, my sweet and romantic husband, told me earlier this week that he wanted "just the two" of us to to out for a nice dinner this weekend because between finding out about Tristan and then moving we've had NO alone time. I reluctantly agreed, oh not because I didn't want to go, it's just that my greatest comfort these past few weeks has come from my 2 little boys. I just cling to them because they make me feel like a mommy and I know that I will not (long-term) ever feel like that with Tristan so I'm sure it's because I am partly already feeling the loss of him and I'm trying to fill it with the boys, so I was scared to be away from them! We dropped them off at my sister's house and went to dinner at a very romantic restaurant and sat at a table for two that overlooked the beach and listened to a live musician - it was the perfect night. We had a wonderful time and I really enjoyed the peace and quiet and the time alone, but I have to admit that when we got back in the car I was feeling the emptiness all over again - I think the silence scares me right now, where as at any other time in my life I would have LOVED the silence and loved to have felt like a wife again without trying to put in the car DVD, cut the food, pick up the bottle off the floor, keep Tayden from interrupting other tables, but right now we're in a different place. Anyway, we pulled up at my sister's house, I quickly walked in to get the boys and all of a sudden several couples jumped out and said, "Surprise! Happy Birthday!" I was surprised all right, I thought, "who did this, my sister?" She came up and whispered, "Your husband did this for you, happy birthday sister". I just looked at him and smiled. He said, "if you look around you'll notice that I could have invited a lot of our friends but I didn't, I invited the ones that have SPECIFICALLY impacted our lives since August 15th." He was right, they were not friends/relationships we've had for years and years, some of the friends were actually relationships that have just been formed, but they were ALL people who have constantly called, emailed, written cards and/or prayed daily for us since August 15th. I felt so special and very loved tonight, the Lord has sent some special people into our lives to help us through this time in our lives! After the party Trayc told me that he had been watching me over the past few weeks to see if I would be able to handle a party and because he felt like I had come so far in such a short period of time he wanted to do something really special for me and show me how much I was loved by them and by him. I am so thankful for Trayc, for the 17 years of marriage we have shared, for the love we have for each other and for our family, for every problem we have overcome that has brought us to where we are today - we are more in love today than we were on our wedding day, not many couples can say that, so I am proud to be one of the few!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The necessary planning

This morning Trayc and my Dad are going to meet with the cemetery and funeral home personnel. This is obviously not something any parent ever wants or even expects to do for their unborn baby. Usually this time is spent decorating the nursery, planning for the day of his birth, having baby showers and buying all the cute baby stuff, however, that is not what we are doing. The necessary planning, no matter how difficult, must be done and we just want to have everything taken care of so that we can spend from now until December excited about Tristan being born and not worry about anything else. And then when Tristan is born we want every moment he is alive to be spent holding him and loving him, NOT out running around making plans. Right after we found out about Tristan I told Trayc that I just couldn't bring myself to go with him to the cemetery and funeral home because it would just be very hard to do this when Tristan is still kicking and VERY MUCH ALIVE inside of me. Of course, Trayc completely understood and said he didn't want me to, he felt it was his place as Tristan's dad to do this part. Trayc asked my dad to go with him for emotional support so that he wouldn't be alone. Please pray for Trayc and my dad today, that the Lord will wrap His loving arms around them and give them comfort when it is needed.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My Mother-in-law talked to who?

Trayc's mom and grandma live in Tennessee so he has been talking to them weekly about Tristan. His mom has wanted to talk to me about everything we know up to this point about Tristan and how I was doing emotionally but said she also wanted to give me some time. Trayc told her this past weekend that I was now able to talk, without just breaking down, so she called last night and we talked from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. During our conversation she was telling me about all the people she had told our story to, people she knew and people she didn't (she said she'd tell anyone if they'd stop and listen), she said she wanted as many people as possible all over the world to be praying for us. Then she told me that she sent an email to the Focus on the Family organization (she sends all the grandchildren yearly magazine subscriptions from there) telling them our story and asking them to have special prayer for us. Apparently the way it works there is that you send in a prayer request via email, then it is printed out and placed on a table in their prayer room and the staff of Focus on the Family prays daily for the requests on the table. However, someone on staff pulled out my mother-in-law's email and read it and felt like they needed to take it to Jim Daly, CEO/President of Focus on the Family. The next day my mother-in-law received a phone call from Jim Daly. After she got over the shock that he (the CEO/President) was calling, she explained in more detail about Tristan and the story of our marriage. They had special prayer for Tristan and she said it was the sweetest prayer she had ever heard. I am certainly not about big names/titles that people hold, I know that everyones prayers are just as important to the Lord, but I think it is so incredible that Tristan's story(here in St. Augustine, FL) through my mother-in-law (in Tennessee), has made it all the way to the Focus on the Family organization and that they are praying for us! To my Mother-in-law, thank you for loving your unborn grandson so much that you are telling everyone his story and that you are praying for him and us daily, and to Grandma, thank you for praying daily for us and for your unborn great-grandson. We love you both very much and can't wait to see you in December!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Doctor's appt.

This morning at 11:15 am we had a doctor's appt. and sonogram. This was the first sonogram we'd had since we found out about Tristan, at the "high-risk" doctors office, exactly 4 weeks ago so we were very anxious to see him, but also a little scared, because we have been told that Trisomy 18 babies usually start developing problems as time goes on. We knew what we were looking for today: a heart rate of around 150, see if the spot on his head was still there, see if he had developed rocker bottom feet or cleft palate yet, see if he was gaining weight and see if his measurements are consistent with his birth time line? We were very excited - - his heart rate was 144, the spot on his head was gone, no rocker bottom feet, no cleft palate, he weighs 2 lbs and his measurements are consistent with his birth time line!!!! What an answer to prayer. We have made it 26 weeks. Please pray that Tristan will continue to grow and progress until we see him again on October 4th.

Friday, September 7, 2007

$100 balance

Do you remember back on August 30th when we went to our doctor's appt. and asked the doctor if there was any way possible that they could work with us regarding paying the remaining $2,500 we were to pay by Sept. 27th, in that we were self-pay and now being faced with incurring additional expenses like hospice, NICU, cemetery, funeral home, etc? Well, in this afternoon's mail we received the bill from the doctor's office and written in black pen and then highlighted in yellow it said $100 balance, yes, I said, $100 balance. We could not believe our eyes! Since we found out about Tristan being Trisomy 18 on August 15th, we have been going every 2 weeks for sonograms and will continue to go that often until my c-section in December, therefore we would have actually incurred MORE than the normal bill of $5,000. Now do you see the blessing? It seems in our world today that everyone is after the money that "is due them", trust me we know this first hand from the 7 yrs. of debt. we finally got out of, and no one is willing to give you a financial break because of anything you might be going through, but we FINALLY received the break today and it was on behalf of our precious unborn baby - the Lord used my doctor's office to bless us in the most unusual way!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

"Thank You", To my family

I would like to say a special "thank you" to everyone in my family for the support and encouragement you have showed us these past 3 weeks. This outpouring of love is not an unusual thing for our family, after all this is how I was raised, however, because Trayc and I have never been through a tragedy we value this support and encouragement much more today! As you all know, the emotions have run high since we found about Tristan and I knew without a doubt that, at any time (day or night), I could call any one of you and you'd be there to listen to me, comfort me or just cry with me.

  • To my Memaw & Grandaddy, thank you for calling me 3x's a day to tell me that you loved me and to say "just lean on Jesus honey, He will give you the strength when you don't have any".

  • To my Mom & Step-dad, thank you for telling me I WOULD make it (every single hour, on the hour, that I would call and just cry).

  • To my Dad & Step-mom, thank you for consistently calling me week after week to tell me that you loved me, that you are there if we need anything, for the sweet cards, and for dad making plans on going this month with Trayc to help him make the necessary funeral arrangements ahead of time.

  • To my sister (best friend & confidant), thank you for talking to me all day long (every day), for listening to me cry all day (every day) and for being my strength when I just couldn't find any, I could NOT have made it thus far without you - I love you more than I can ever say.

  • To my step-sister, thank you for all of your calls, for helping me understand what is going on from a medical standpoint(glad we have a nurse in the family), for crying with me, for telling me you all get down on your knees every night as a family and pray for us by name and for the sweet card - I miss you and wish you were here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

99 Balloons - it changed my outlook

Our 11 yr. old son, Tanner, takes piano from my mom's cousin so she obviously knew about Tristan having Trisomy 18. Two weeks ago she told me that she went out-of-town with a group of ladies from her church to a Beth Moore Conference. She said that she was sitting in the van and this lady was crocheting a baby dress and the lady said it was for her granddaughter who is due in October that has Trisomy 18! My mom's cousin immediately told her that we had just found out that our son has Trisomy 18 and that we were devastated. The lady said, "please tell her to go on the Internet to a website called 99 balloons because it really changed my daughter-in-law's outlook". I told my Aunt that I would, but with everything we have been emotionally going through it actually took me a week to remember the conversation and then until today to look at the website. Let me stop here, until now I have really just dwelt on the fact that Tristan would die, that he is - as medical science says - "incompatible with life" and I had really just given up on the hope that he would live, until I watched the video on the 99 balloons website! I can't even begin to tell you the impact it had on me, all of a sudden, in living color I saw this precious baby boy named Eliott, who looked normal and whose parents poured out their love to him every day, celebrated his birthday every day by doing something totally different and did the normal every day things with him, basically living every day not dwelling on the fact that he was considered "incompatible with life" and would eventually pass away - WOW, has my outlook changed. I started thinking, this could be Tristan, he could LIVE, he could live 99 days if the Lord chooses, or he could be the one who lives 100 days or 1 year. Of course, only the Lord knows how much time we will have with Tristan but I know that from here on I will not think about him dying but I will long for him to be born and pray that I will celebrate his life every day, no matter how long or how short, and will not be afraid to hold back my heart for fear of being hurt! After you read this entry please click on the link to "99 balloons" which is right under our family picture, it will help you better understand what we are facing in the days ahead and I promise it will be the greatest 6 minutes you have spent today because it shows in living color that miracles do happen and that we serve a great God!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

A Bible verse I've heard a thousand times

Today was our first Sunday back to Sunday School and church since we found out about Tristan on August 15th, so we've been out 4 weeks. I was really afraid to go back today because I didn't know if my emotions would just completely take over as I walked through the nursery to take Tayden, our 1 1/2 yr. old, to his class, or if I talked to people along the way because I didn't honestly know how many people would know yet. I did really good walking through the nursery making sure I didn't look into the 1st class (that's where the new babies that are 6 weeks old go which unfortunately would never be Tristan's class) and then I made it to my S.S. class without running into anyone - I did so good. Until our teacher starts teaching, of all verses and of all mornings, he starts reading Psalm 139:13-16. All of a sudden I began crying, the tears just would not stop and at that point I thought, great - I knew I shouldn't have come, I should have just stayed home, it's just too soon to come back, but then I felt like the Lord placed His hands on me and I began to calm down and intently listened. I've been in church 3x's a week, my entire life, I've heard those verses a thousand times, it was even underlined in my Bible, but it has never meant what it did today. As the verses say, the Lord (He himself, not medical science) formed Tristan's inward parts and He covered Tristan in my womb! That is confirmation to me that the Lord knew before Tristan was conceived that he would have Trisomy 18, so how could I ever believe, like the "high-risk" doctors told me on August 15th, that this was just a FLUKE that happens at conception. Our precious unborn son, was not a fluke no matter what genetic disorder is, no matter what he might look like, no matter what his problems will be at birth, he is and will always be our family's 3rd miracle from the Lord because He formed Tristan and He has chosen us to be the parents Tristan needs!