Friday, November 30, 2007

A foggy night

I really didn't sleep much last night, I tossed and turned going over and over in my mind all the "unexpected" that happened at our doctor's appt. yesterday. I just kept thinking, we no longer have 13 days until Tristan is born, we only have 4 days!!! I laid there thinking about everything we've been through since we found out about Tristan having Trisomy 18 on August 15th. We honestly did not know if we'd even make it to today because we were told by the "high-risk" doctors that statistics were against us, but we HAVE made it!! Then I was reminded of a comment Trayc made as we were walking out of the grocery store last night, he said, "It certainly is a foggy night" and foggy it was! I laid there thinking, you know that is really what this journey has been like, a foggy night. The road in front of us has been so unclear, and certainly unpredictable. I think back to those first few weeks of total shock, devastation, sadness and depression where all I could do was cry. Day after day I would say to Trayc, "If I just knew what was ahead of us, if I just knew why this was happening, if I just knew what the purpose was, if I just knew what the end result was, I could keep going, I could move forward". Yet, here I am 3 months later, I still do not know the answers to any of my questions, but I have kept going, I have kept moving forward, trusting completely on the Lord to carry us regardless of the "fog" that was before us. And, as we begin that 30-minute drive to the hospital on Monday we will still be heading toward the fog, it will be a road of complete uncertainty not knowing what lies beyond the fog (the hospital doors) but we have to keep going and not get caught up in what we can't see but know that the Lord has gone before us in the hospital and is preparing our way. I was then reminded of a devotion I read a week ago, in a book Trayc surprised me with, called "50 days of Heaven". There is a story on Day 1 that says this:
  • In 1952, Florence Chadwick stepped into the waters of the Pacific Ocean off Catalina Island, California, determined to swim to the mainland. An experienced swimmer, she had already been the first women to swim the English Channel both ways. The weather that day was foggy and chilly; Florence could hardly see the boats accompanying her. Still, she swam steadily for fifteen hours. When she begged to be taken out of the water along the way her mother, in a boat alongside, told her that she was close and that she could make it. Finally, physically and emotionally exhausted, Florence stopped swimming and was pulled out. It wasn't until she was aboard the boat that she discovered the shore was less than half a mile away. At a news conference the next day, she said, "All I could see was the fog...I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it."
This is exactly how I felt in August, if I could just see the shore, I could make it!" The Lord has brought us so far in 3 months and although I would love to know all of the answers to my questions, my prayer as we face these upcoming 4 days is: Lord, please hold us in the palm of your hand as we prepare for Monday, do not let us be focused on the fog that is ahead of us but keep our eyes fixed on you, let us remain faithful and obedient to you, let us continue to feel the peace we have felt for the past 3 months and never give up - I want to make it to the shore regardless of whether I ever know the answer or reason, this side of Heaven.

Philippians 3:13-14 says: "One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus".

Thursday, November 29, 2007

*C-section moved to THIS MONDAY*

We had a doctor's appt./sonogram at 1:45 this afternoon. What we thought was going to be just a normal doctor visit asking questions, a sonogram, scheduling one last appt. and leaving was in no way what happened! Overall, the sonogram looked really good. Tristan's heart rate was 142, he now weighs 4 lbs. 13 oz., the fluid in his brain is still the same "little" amount (which is great news!), he is measuring right where he should, however his stomach has basically stopped growing and has now fallen 6 weeks behind and my fluid levels are extremely high. With the combination of the last 2 things the doctor felt as though we needed to move up my c-section to THIS MONDAY, December 3rd at 12:00 noon in hopes that getting Tristan here and giving him some nutrients (sugar water, etc.) it will help build up his strength instead of waiting another 2 weeks and possibly losing him. As you can imagine, all of this last minute information was a little overwhelming, after all I'm a planner - to the extreme, and last minutes changes are very hard for me to adjust to but I have quickly learned since August 15th that on this journey I have had to take it one day at a time and I was again reminded of that today! As we left the doctor's office Trayc and I were both on our phones quickly calling all of our family members and letting them know the change in plans. I did really good until I talked to my sister, Kim, and then I honestly just broke down and started crying. She said, "Sister what's wrong?" I said, "I don't know, I don't think I'm ready, this is too soon, I don't think I'm prepared". Being the strong, sweet pillar of strength she has always been, she said, "Oh sister, you are prepared, you are fine, it's just a little change in plans, but look at it this way, you'll be holding Tristan on Monday and this is what we've all been waiting for, this is the best thing for him, it's going to be okay!". Drying up my tears I said, "I know, I know". (Thank you sister for always being there to lift me up). She's so right, I will be holding Tristan on Monday and I am so excited about that. I finally get to hold him in my arms. I realize that the part of me that is a little scared is because of the uncertainty of the upcoming days and know this is normal, as I have talked to several girls going through this that have felt the same way. I am so thankful we have made it to today, we are 37 weeks and Tristan is still alive, this is a miracle in itself!!! Please pray for us as we are quickly approaching the birth of Tristan, that the peace we have felt the past 3 months will continue to be felt these last few days of my pregnancy, that we will not allow the "fear of the unknown" to overwhelm us and especially pray that Tristan will continue to remain strong because we're almost there!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tristan has his own Christmas tree

Whenever a baby is born in my or Trayc's family, my mother or mother-in-law makes a huge, beautiful bow for the hospital door and then it is hung in their room for years to come, actually Tanner had his up until we moved in August (he told us he is almost a teenager and it would look babyish - he's 11, oh how we long to be older when we're young!) Because of the uncertainty of Tristan's life I did not want to have a bow made for the hospital door, bring it home and then have it in the closet for years to come - that would just be too sad. I wanted something that would be sweet, precious, memorable and something really unique for us to look at every year. So, we came up with the idea of Tristan having his own Christmas tree since he is due in December. We bought a table-top tree, my mom made a little blue bow, Tanner took stickers and made Tristan's name coming down the ribbon and then we added miniature ornaments, miniature lights, a miniature tree skirt and a silver picture-ornament that says "Miracle Gift 2007". Tonight we all sat at the table and decorated the tree, it was fun and really special because we did this for our precious unborn baby boy and the boys did this for their little brother. We will take it to the hospital and place our family picture beside it and then every Christmas we will place Tristan's tree beside our family tree to remember this very special time in our family's life and for the "Christmas miracle" that Tristan is to us. One of our greatest desires since we found out about Tristan having Trisomy 18 was that we want to keep Tristan's life alive in the hearts and minds of our 2 boys, in the years ahead, with special things like the tree we just made and a plaque we just bought and put on our wall that says "I am a dream come true" which will hold a picture of the 3 boys. This is not only for the boys to remember they had a brother but for them to see that no matter the storm's of life, no matter the tragedies in life, no matter the uncertainty of the situation, no matter the statistics given by doctors, no matter the circumstances we face, as Christians, we are to love the Lord Jesus with all our hearts, we are to honor Him in all that we do and we are to trust in His will even when we don't understand and in return the Lord will bless us in ways we cannot even begin to imagine. This time has also become a training opportunity for us, with Tanner, because we realize he is watching us in ALL that we say and do. We want him to see that his mommy and daddy love Jesus and will obey Jesus regardless of the situation and regardless of what we were told by the "high-risk" doctors. As parents, we teach by our example, the power lies not in what we say and teach, but in what we do, it's not in the way we think but in the way we live and believe we must live, teach and raise our children in accordance with the commandments He has given us in His word.

Deuteronomy 6:1,2,5-7 says: "These are the commandments...which the Lord your God commanded to teach you..that thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart...And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart...And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

That sure is a BIG tree!

In keeping with tradition, we bought our Christmas tree this weekend. In our old house we only had 8 ft. ceilings so we'd buy a 7-8 ft. tree but end up cutting it down to about 6 1/2 -7 ft. in order to fit, but not this year! Now, in our new house, we have 20 ft. ceilings in our living room which meant, finally, we could have a BIG Christmas tree and not have to trim it down, something I have always dreamed of!!!!! Tanner said, "That sure is a BIG tree mommy!". We had so much fun decorating the house and tree this weekend. Although we do not know what the upcoming weeks will hold with Tristan we decorated the house and tree with great excitement and hope that Tristan might be able to come home from the hospital and we could celebrate at least one Christmas with him, here in our home. We have promised Tanner that if Tristan comes home from the hospital we will celebrate "Christmas" as a family every day!!!! Tanner said, "Mommy, you don't have to buy me presents to open every day, Tristan can be our present, as long as I can have at least some to open on Christmas morning." Oh, the sweet, precious hearts and minds of children!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Every year my family comes to our house for lunch and we spend the day together, it's really exciting this year because we're in our NEW HOUSE (this picture was taken right before we indulged ourselves with turkey and dressing - notice the hungry faces)!!!! I am very fortunate that all of my family lives here in town, we all go to the same church, sit on the same row and we see each other all the time, but this will probably be the last real "sit down family function" before Tristan is born so I am really looking forward to it. It would have been a lot harder to make it these last few months without all of my family being here for us on a daily basis. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because it is a time to reflect on what we are thankful for and we certainly have a lot to be thankful for this year. Our life has greatly changed since last Thanksgiving. We put our house (my childhood home of 40 yrs) up for sale in Sept., (the worst housing-market in years), we sold it 6 months later for a little less than we were asking, we lived for "free" at my grandparent's house for 5 months, we were able to get out out of 7 yrs debt , we moved into our first-ever, brand new home and we were able to get pregnant with Tristan without infertility medication. We are also very thankful for all of our extended family, for our sweet Christian home, for the incredible love Trayc and I share, for our 2 very precious boys and for our unborn baby boy, Tristan. Even though this year brought the news of Tristan having Trisomy 18, we are so thankful for the Christmas miracle he will be for us and for the sweet Internet friends that I have made because of his disorder. The Lord has been so good to us this year and for that we are eternally grateful. Please continue to pray for us as we are quickly approaching the final 2 1/2 weeks of my pregnancy. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving.

Psalm 100 (A Psalm of Thanksgiving) says: Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Doctor's appt.

We had a doctor's appt. at 3:15 this afternoon. This was only an appt. with our doctor, not a sonogram, in that we just had one last week, so all we really know from today is that Tristan's heart rate is still 142 and that he is very much alive and kicking! My fluid levels are now measuring 3 1/2 - 4 weeks ahead so the doctor is concerned that we will NOT make it to our c-section date of December 12th. We are really hoping to at least make it until December 3rd to allow Tristan's lungs to develop more, in that this is what's happening over the next 2 weeks. We are excited that we have made it to 36 weeks, we have almost beat the statistics of "50% of T-18 babies do not make it to full-term alive", something I have been very concerned about since August - we've almost made it!!! Please keep praying for us as we approach the last 3 1/2 weeks that Tristan will continue to grow, gain weight and that he will hang on at least until December 3rd.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Our video testimony

You might recall in my blog entry dated Sunday, November 4th, our pre-recorded video testimony was shown during our 10:20 am church service. Our pastor was preaching in the Book of Judges, Chapter 11, and had asked that we share our story with regard to dedicating Tristan to the Lord. We just received a copy of our testimony and wanted to post it on the blog and share it, in hopes it might encourage someone today, whether you are on this "Trisomy 18 road" or if you just need encouragement because you are going through a difficult time in your life. I know that so many times in my own life, when I would be going through a difficult time, and it seemed as though everyone around me was having a great life, I felt alone, and then to actually hear someone else's story and how they were making it through encouraged me and gave me hope and I didn't feel alone anymore. That is how this whole blogging started for me back in August, reading stories of couples willing to sharing their thoughts, experiences and grief while they were on this "Trisomy 18 road". I found it very comforting and encouraging to hear their words because they knew first-hand what and how I was feeling. Our prayer is that by sharing our testimony, during our time of tragedy, we will encourage others and that ultimately the Lord Jesus will be glorified.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Doctor's appt. and 1 month left

We had a doctor's appt/sonogram at 11:15 this morning. Tristan is still doing really good. His heart rate was 142, he has gained another 1/2 lb., so he now weighs 4 lbs. 3 oz., and all of his measurements are still right where they should be except his stomach is measuring 4 weeks behind (it's only been 2 weeks behind up until today). But the exciting thing today is that there is still the same amount of fluid behind his head, what an answer to prayer, there has been no increase in 2 weeks! The doctor's only real concern today is that I am measuring 3 weeks ahead, I have always measured 2 weeks but it seems to be increasing, obviously the concern is that I could go into labor early. Besides that, overall our doctor is still very impressed with Tristan's progression, as we have been told that a lot of Trisomy 18 babies degress or stop growing by the 7th month. It is so hard to believe that we only have 1 month from today until Tristan is born. When you first find out you're pregnant it's as though the first few weeks seem to go by so slow, yet here we are with only one month left. We are still so excited because we are longing to hold Tristan and see the baby we have so earnestly prayed for every day and yet we also realize we are, in a way, almost at the end of our journey and that we may not have long with Tristan, that's when I wish THIS pregnancy wouldn't end. Please continue to pray for us during this last month that my fluid will not increase so that I DO NOT go into labor early, that we will still feel a peace about Tristan's life, no matter how long or short, that Tristan will continue to grow and gain weight and that he will have the strength to hang on just one more month!

Friday, November 9, 2007

New internet friends

After Tristan was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 on August 15th, I was unable to find anyone here locally to communicate with regarding this very rare genetic disorder so I began doing extensive research on the Internet. I started reading story after story, now I know these stories to be called "BLOGS", of couples whose babies were diagnosed with T-18. As I mentioned in my entry dated Oct. 1st, I found Angie Luce's blog and emailed her. Since then we have become very good friends and her friendship has meant more to me that I can even express, I truly believe the Lord ordained the meeting of this friendship. I have been able to share daily with her my thoughts, feelings and experiences and because we are due at the same time we are walking this road together. Because of comments received from other moms on my blog I have now made several other T-18 "Internet friends" and we are now emailing each other, too. We are moms praying for each other and encouraging each other every day. Sure, we are all at different stages in our pregnancy, some are just beginning this journey and some of us are quickly approaching the end, but we are all still moms asking to be prayed for, searching for answers, looking for comfort and seeking the Lord for His guidance as we face the uncertainty of our future and the time we will have with our precious babies. Who would have ever thought the Internet could be used to encourage moms going through a tragedy!!!!

I would ask that you please add the following names of mom's and babies to your daily prayer list as we face the upcoming months, each story can be read by clicking on their link under our family picture:
  • Angie Luce - little girl named "Poppy Joy". Her c-section date is 12/6/07 (
  • Kenzie Stanfield - little boy named "Maddox". She is due in Feb. 2008 (
  • Kim Summons - little girl named "Mary Grace". She is due in Jan. 2008 (

Also, please pray for the following family. They just lost their little boy this past weekend and the service is on Nov. 10th:
  • The Edwards - little boy named "Jonathan". Born and passed away on 11/3/07 (

Galatians 6:2 says: "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Season of Prayer

At church yesterday our pastor said that he was calling the month of November, "A Season of Prayer and Thanksgiving". He has asked that as a church family, we be committed to pray. We will receive a prayer card at the close of each Sunday morning service to serve as a guide throughout the week. The verses this week are Psalm 88:1-2: "O Lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee: Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry". Wow, what verses, for us as a family, this is what we did the first few weeks, cry day and night before the Lord asking Him to help us because we didn't know how we would make it to December - yet here we are. This is also the perfect time for this "Season of Prayer" to begin, we only have 5 1/2 weeks of my pregnancy left! Prayer is something we have definitely come to rely on, actually, besides our trust and faith in the Lord, it is truly the only thing we have held on to since we found out about Tristan on August 15th. All we know to do is pray!!!! But knowing what to pray for has been the hard part. In my life, I have always known exactly what I was praying about/for, but this is so different. I mean, do I pray for the Lord to completely heal Tristan? do I pray that the amnio results are wrong and prove to the high-risk doctors that they are not 100% accurate (like we were so adamantly told, without any regard to our emotions!)? do I pray that the Lord's will be done? or do I open up by heart, with the great possibility of being hurt if my requests are not answered, and specifically pray? My heart and emotions have been back and forth since August 15th about whether it is even really possible to know what I want regarding Tristan's precious life. I would have never dreamed of being here, not knowing how long we would have with our baby, but yet I know without a doubt that God chose Trayc and I to be Tristan's parents for a reason, and that I may never know (this side of Heaven) the answer for any of this, therefore all I can really do is pray and trust in His will - obviously, I want the Lord's will to be done because He knows better than we do and He knows the future. Yet this is SO HARD TO PRAY because the desire of my heart, as Tristan's mother, is to only pray for complete healing, after all, no one would want to lose their precious baby! We have received so many cards from people saying they are "praying for a miracle and for complete healing". Of course, after we found out that Tristan would be born with Trisomy 18, my ONLY prayer was for complete healing because I was so devastated that I honestly couldn't see how I would go on if he didn't live and if there wasn't complete healing, but the further I have come emotionally and spiritually, and with the peace I now feel I'm praying differently. I am still praying for complete healing, but at the same time I am opening up my heart to pray for specific "little" miracles in Tristan's life. I realize the Lord, He himself, has the power to completely heal him, but if He does not chose to completely heal him (this side of Heaven) then I am praying: 1) that he makes it to my c-section date of Dec. 12th, 2) that he is born alive, 3) that he lives at least 24 hrs. Wow, as I sit here and type those 3 things I realize how far the Lord has brought me since August 15th, and it is only by God's grace and peace that I can say them. No mother would ever dream of only praying her baby would live 24 hrs. but that is where we are right now, that would be our miracle (as we have been told by doctors that only 50% are born alive and the ones that do only live a few minutes to a few hours). Regardless of Tristan's number of days here on earth, he is our 3rd miracle baby. We have told Tanner, our 11 yr. old (since he was able to talk), that he was our "1st miracle baby" because doctors told us we would never be able to have children, and then when we had Tayden, Tanner said, "Mom, now we have a 2nd miracle baby". Yes, we did and now, even though the future of Tristan's life is so uncertain, he is still our "3rd miracle baby" and we will always refer to him as that. He has already been our family's miracle for so many reasons - the conception of him without infertility medication, that he is still alive today at 34 weeks, that he is continuing to grow and gain weight and that he has touched us in a way that we can't even describe. Our prayer as a family is that our experience as we travel this "Trisomy 18 road" and that Tristan's life, no matter how long or short, will touch people all around the world and that through it all, the Lord Jesus will be honored and glorified!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Bible story and a modern day couple

Two weeks ago we met with our pastor. He already knew about Tristan but we were able to explain in more detail what we are currently going through and asked if he could come to the hospital on the day Tristan is born to do a Baby Dedication. Because we do not know if Tristan will live long enough for a formal Baby Dedication at church we still wanted to dedicate him to the Lord (just as we did with Tanner and Tayden) as we are surrounded by our family members. Our pastor happily agreed. He is currently preaching in the Book of Judges and said that in 2 weeks (which is today) he would be preaching about a father named Jephthah who vowed to the Lord that he would offer up as a burnt offering the next thing that walked through his door, obviously not realizing the next thing that would walk through his door would be his only child, his daughter. Therefore, in obedience to the Lord, Jephthah fulfilled his vow to the Lord. Our pastor asked if we would be willing to do a pre-recorded video taping of our story about Tristan that would be shown during his sermon, to be used as a modern day couple dedicating their child to the Lord. We felt absolutely honored that he would ask us to do this. This morning, during our 10:20 am service, the message will be preached, our video testimony will be shown, the invitation will be given and then our family will go down front so the church can have special prayer for us. Please be praying that our pastor's message will touch many people today, that our video testimony will touch someone - whether it be a couple going through something like Trisomy 18, a couple whose child is ill or whatever the situation, we just pray that the Lord will be glorified today! We do not believe the Lord caused Tristan to have Trisomy 18 but we do believe that the Lord has allowed it and that sometimes He calls us to suffer so that other people will see Him being praised and glorified, even in the midst of a trial.

Judges 11:30-31 says: "And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, "If you will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering."

Judges 11:34 says: "When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there was his daughter coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing; and she was his only child. Besides her he had neither son nor daughter."

Judges 11:39 says: "And it was so at the end of two months that she returned to her father, and he carried out his vow with her which he had vowed. She knew no man. And it became a custom in Israel."

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Tanner's Post: My pumpkin carving

Tanner, our 11 yr. old, asked tonight if he could write something on Tristan's blog, so this is, in his own words, his entry: "Tonight Daddy and I carved our pumpkin. I wanted the face to look like Frankencelery from one of the Veggie Tales movies and I wanted to write all of our names on it, especially Tristan's because I told Mom that he really is here this year, he is inside her stomach. I love being a BIG BROTHER to Tayden and I can't wait for my new little brother, Tristan, to be born. He is Mom and Dad's 3rd miracle baby and we have prayed for him every day. We know that because he has Trisomy 18 he may not be here long, but I hope he can be with us at least a few days before he goes home to be with Jesus. Please keep praying for us."

Friday, November 2, 2007

Doctor's appt.

This morning at 10:15 am we had a doctor's appt. and finally got to speak with the doctor regarding the results from Tuesday's sonogram. He confirmed all of the information about Tristan's weight and size, which he is still very impressed with, and did agree that there was a little bit of fluid behind his head, but said this is very common with Trisomy 18 babies. He said that it was good that this is just now starting because we only have 5 1/2 weeks left so he is hoping that the fluid will slow down, he will be able to determine that at the next sonogram on November 12th. Please be praying that Tristan will continue to gain weight, to grow and that the fluid in his brain will SLOW DOWN!!!!