I know I said I would share details regarding the news of baby B #2. So, here's a very raw, emotionally charged post about our sweet boy. I wanted to preface this by saying I know the decisions Alex and I have made will not be respected by everyone. That is fine. We have prayerfully made the best decisions for OUR family. And, quite honestly, any one's opinion on the matter holds zero weight with me.
I also know that I do not need to share these details; I owe no one explanations regarding our decisions. The only reason I am sharing this journey with you is because I firmly believe the events that happened in order to bring Will into our life were bigger than anyone here on Earth. They were, and still are, God's plans. Everything was perfectly orchestrated by the Lord so that His will could be done.
I will not publish negative/ degrading comments so don't waste your time submitting them.
Those of you that have followed our journey, know that Alex and I struggled with infertility and pregnancy loss for a solid two years before conceiving Kate via our second attempt at IVF. Many specialists told us that it was impossible for us to conceive without the help of modern science.
When we received the news of Kate diagnosis, and learned that it is a genetic condition, Alex and I started taking steps to ensure a "surprise" pregnancy would not happen. I was initially angry - mad that Kate had to fight this fight, mad that Alex and I were carriers of this rare condition without even knowing, mad that yet again, my body was dictating our future. Ultimately, my heart quickly softened to the idea of being "one and done". I focused on the positives - Alex is an only child and is perfectly fine, we would never have to split our time/love/resources between multiple children, etc.
I scheduled an appointment with my OBGyn pretty soon after the diagnosis to talk about have a tubal ligation. My consult went well and my OB was totally on board. We set a date and I was confident in our decision. As the date approached, Alex opened up to me and revealed that he was scared for me to undergo surgery while we were in the midst of fighting for Kate's life. He knew the chance of complications was extremely small but just was not comfortable with any risk that could possibly leave him as a single parent to a terminally ill child. We discussed his fears and together made the decision to postpone the surgery.
This was divine intervention #1. Alex is not a man of many words and he for sure is not one to vocalize his fears so openly (but what man is?). I am so thankful that he opened up and let me know watching me go under for surgery, while dealing with Kate's issues, was just too much.
I met with my OB again and we decided that an IUD would probably be our best option until we were ready to proceed forward with surgery. Again, we talked about when this could be done, and I waited for certain things to happen so I could have my IUD placed. While waiting, we took the necessary protocol to prevent pregnancy. One of my close friends joked with us that we were not letting anything happen at all - not only were we infertile, we were taking precautions fertile couples would take.
During the months leading up to, and right after, Kate's diagnosis, my body was in a continual state of stress. Let's just say things were off. Like most women would, I assumed it was stress. So, we waited, and waited some more for my cycle to resume in order to proceed forward with the IUD.
Around this time, Kate was admitted for the second time and started chemo. I was struggling during that first week in the hospital - I was emotional, sick to my stomach, extremely stressed out, not sleeping, not eating, and just terrified for all Kate would face.
Towards the end of the week, I realized I was going on several weeks "late" and having some typical pregnancy symptoms. I had an excuse for every symptom. I was tired because we were in the hospital. I was extremely thirsty because I was living on coffee and soda. I was sick to my stomach because I was not eating normally and so stressed out. After a few days of noticing all of this, I finally called Alex and told him I couldn't handle stressing out about something else and even though it was not possible for me to be pregnant, could he please pick up a pregnancy test and bring it to the hospital when he came up so I could 100% confirm that I was not pregnant.
Y'all, I have never seen a positive test show so quickly and I have taken more pregnancy tests than I care to admit.
Enter divine intervention #2. After all of the precautions we were taking and my fertility issues, I was somehow pregnant. To this day, I still have no clue how it happened. Plain and simple, it was a God thing.
I cried for days and I hate to admit they were not happy tears. How could I dedicate my all to Kate's recovery while pregnant, much less with a newborn in the house? What if this baby had CAMT too? How could I ever love another child as much as I love Kate? How can I equally parent Kate, a child with many needs, and another child? How the hell did this even happen?
I hate to say it but those first few weeks were probably the darkest weeks of my life. I was watching my precious baby girl fight for her life, struggling to deal with nasty drugs being pumped through her body, all while I was questioning what in the world the Lord was trying to do - why a surprise pregnancy, why now, why give me even more fears to carry? Simply put, I was terrified and angry all while trying to put on a positive face for Kate as I knew she would pick up on negative energy which could slow her recovery.
Ultimately, Alex and I decided to move forward with genetic testing (we did CVS testing). I had my CVS when I was right around 11 weeks and we were told it would take 1-2 weeks for results. We also decided not to utter a word about this pregnancy until we knew what we were dealing with so we were walking this journey alone.
The doctor had some trouble getting a good tissue sample which resulted in the sample we did get sitting in a lab to grow for weeks.
Enter divine intervention #3.
I can honestly say, I have no clue what decisions we would have made in regards to this pregnancy if we got results in one week. I firmly believe that the Lord knew we needed time to cope with possibilities, talk through all of our options, and prayerfully seeking spiritual guidance.
On Thursday, November 3, after nearly 5 weeks of waiting, we received the news that our baby boy tested positive for CAMT, just like his big sister.
We spent Thursday greiving. We tried so hard to avoid being in this situation yet here we were, learning that our second child would need to fight the same fight Kate was currently dealing with. How would we do this again? Did we even have it in us to do this again? Could I really live in the hospital for weeks watching another baby walk this same journey?
When Alex and I woke up Friday morning, we both had come to the realization that our harships, our exhaustion, our desire (or lack there of) to walk this journey again didn't matter. All that mattered was our children. As parents, we sacrifice ourselves for our children. We needed to set our struggles aside and only focus on Kate and our baby boy.
We met with Kate's team of transplant doctors and armed ourselved with information regarding what a second transplant would be like. We needed information. We needed facts.
By Saturday morning, after hours of discussing, praying, and listening for guidance, Alex and I came to the decision that we would proceed forward with this pregnancy. We fought for Kate and we would fight for our son as well. Fight to give him the same opportunities Kate will have in the future. Fight to get him healthy so he can lead a long, fufilling life.
I realize this is not the decision everyone would make. And, that is ok. I firmly believe either decision, proceeding with the pregnancy or terminating, is an extremely hard decision to make. Both come with challenges, emotional hardship, and struggles. I don't wish the weight of this decision on my worst enemy. No parent should be faced with making this kind of choice.
We chose what was right for our family. As soon as we confirmed our decision, we both felt a huge weight lifted off of our shoulders. We felt a sense of peace. We knew we made the right decision.
Alex and I are choosing to view every child as a blessing and a gift from God. It is clear that God's hand played a HUGE part in bringing Will into our life. There is zero scientific explanation as to how I got pregnant. The only answer is that the Lord knew Alex and I could handle this, that Will needed parents that knew how to fight this fight, that knew the BMT process. Our children will have each other - someone else who knows the struggles they face, who has the same scars, and the same pictures of time in the hospital. Of course we wish neither of our children were sick but, that is simply not the case and we are focusing on the positive.
We will continue to seek God's guidance as we prepare for Will's arrival, the donor search, and ultimately his transplant. If you feel led, we welcome any and all thoughts and prayers for our sweet boy and his journey.
Will is a gift to our families. He is a blessing. He is more than his diagnosis. He is our son. He is loved. And most importantly, he deserves a chance.
ETA: Many people have left questions in the comment section. Feel free to leave your questions and I will address them later this week!