November 8, 2011

"For I know the plans I have for you," declared the Lord

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!

62 comments:

Beth Obenhaus said...

God definitely chose two amazing parents for Will. I love you!

Shannon Dew said...

Well talk about a tear jerker. I think you are 100% correct in saying that this was God's work, there is no other explanation. Thank you for your willingness to share this story. You are brave and both of your babies are lucky to have you for a mama.

Anonymous said...

This was really beautiful. You and your husband must be the very so special and precious in His eyes for God to choose your these 2 miracles. Congratulations on your son!

vphonegirl said...

Lindsey,

You are true angel and God does know what he is doing. I pray the Lord will continue to bless your lifes and give you strength. God is preparing you and your family to his plan. Someday you will look back and know this was required.

I continue to pray for little Kate and will pray for your boy.

God Bless you

Katie @ Loves of Life said...

Will is going to be one blessed little guy. Seriously. I think he is a walking miracle (as is Kate!) and you will not be able to imagine your life without him. This was hard to read, but I'm so glad you wrote it. Because it really does help others see it from a different perspective. You are a mother, you are parents, and you will do anything for your children. anything. You guys are awesome! praying for you!

Jeremy, Censie and Jude said...

Well written. First, I want to say congratulations again. What a "God thing" for sure. I think it is great that your children will know each other in this way. Talk about the ulitmate support for one another. Second - maybe you have talked about this before but what are the chances of this genetic disorder? Where you told that your next child would probably have it too?
I am happy for you all and I wish you god's blessings on your pregnancy! Kate will be a fantastic big sister!!

Allison said...

I just want to say thank you for sharing this.

I'm also curious (I've been following since before Kate was born) after the BMT takes hold, are the kids "cured" of CMAT? Is there a chance Kate's donor might be a match?

We will continue to pray or your family and add little Will to the list :)

Bev said...

Thanks for sharing your story. It is true that God has plans we may not understand. It is up to each of us to seek His will. Your little Will is definitely a gift from God. It's evident that you and Alex have so much love for God, for each other and for your children. I will be saying prayers that all goes smoothly with your pregnancy and will be looking forward to meeting baby Will in the spring. Lindsey, your life has been full of miracles so far...God is always working. Many blessings to you and your amazing family.

Kelly said...

Thank you for sharing this with us! After losing our son Adam in January, we struggled with whether we'd have another. We decided we would, but that we would just see what happens. There is a whole set of issues surrounding Adam's death, and we found out we were pregnant among all that. I'm 15 weeks now. I've been struggling with my faith since Adam passed, but I just have to believe there was some reason why NOW we got pregnant again, so easily. I was also not happy when I first found out and struggled with it for weeks. I'm still working though that.

I'm continuing to think of you and your family, now especially with the hard news of baby #2. You and your husband are amazing.

Brie said...

What an amazing journey. I will continue to pray for Kate and add Will to my list!

Erin said...

I am just so in awe of you, L. You have the kind of strength that can only be given by the Lord - which is great because you now have a PREGNANCY that could only be given by the Lord!

Obviously, He went to great lengths to give Will life, and I'm so thrilled that you have seen His plan and chosen to help your baby fight CMAT. My heart breaks for you and rejoices for you all at the same time.

Praying.

Always.

Shannon said...

This made me tear up like such a baby. He is most definitely "God's Will". His name is quite fitting.

Prayers, prayers, and more prayers being sent your way!

Laura @ My Thoughts-Uninterrupted said...

Thank you so much for having the courage to share this. Your children are a blessing and they are lucky to have such wonderful parents. My husband and I have and will continue to pray for your family!

Courtney B said...

You two are amazing parents and I know God has huge plans for all of you!

alongdistancelovestory.com said...

You guys are amazing!!!
A blessing is what you are...
Lots of prayers to you guys, your baby boy and to the big sister of the family!

Pamela M said...

Wow, you definitely had me tearing up at my desk. What amazing strength both you and your husband have! God has obviously given you a special journey with your children, and knows that you can handle this perfectly for both of them. I look forward to keeping up with your journey, and will be praying for you and your family!

Jaxxy said...

Obviously Will was meant to be brought into the world, and no one can blame you for making the choice you made. It’s not like you recklessly planned to get pregnant, ignoring the risks – you were responsible, and it happened anyway and you made the choice you needed to make for your family (which is a personal choice and people who don’t have to live with the consequences of the decision have no business judging it). I hope no one tries to guilt you for that. At least with Will you know from the beginning what the diagnosis is and don’t have to struggle for nearly a year without a diagnosis! I’m happy for you and your family, and hope all goes well with the pregnancy and Will finds a donor ASAP.

Kodi said...

God Bless you, your husband and Kate.

Will is a gift from God, but your ability to be able to see the positive in the midst of any parents nightmare is one of the many blessings you and your family will ever recieve.

Thank you for sharing all of your many blessings with us, and again,
God Bless.

Quinn said...

You are such a strong woman and I admire your courage as you prepare to bring Will into the world. He & Kate are so lucky to have such loving & supportive parents. The world truly needs more parents like you.

I have truly enjoyed getting to know you through your blog and am in awe of your selflessness. You rock <3

Erika said...

The strength of your family and devotion to God's will amazes me every time I read your blog. You are truly an inspiration to me and I believe that God chose you and means for you to have this new baby in your life. I'm so sorry for all the struggles you have to go through but this child is going to be such a blessing. You will be in my prayers as you continue on this journey.

Jessica Hudson said...

You and your husband are such an inspiration. And what you said about Will and Kate having each other is so right on. There's nothing more comforting than having a sibling to help you through things that only they can understand. It's the greatest gift - and you are providing that for them through your selflessness. Best wishes. You and your family will be in our prayers.

xo, Jess

Jenna said...

Wow...thank you SO much for sharing this. I know it must have been a hard decision and I admire your faith and trust in the Lord to see you through. I will be praying for the four of you!

the workaholic momma said...

Thank you so much for sharing such all of the details of your journey. God put two very special people on this earth when he placed you and Alex here. I will be keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers as always.

Carrie Lynn said...

Lindsey, You are truly an amazing woman and I'm thankful that I know you. You and Alex are great parents and Kate is positively beautiful. Baby Will is going to be such a lucky little boy to have the 3 of you. He really is God's blessing. You are someone I think of when it comes to strength! Congratulations on baby Will. You and your family stay in my prayers always!

Kelly said...

Thank you so much for sharing your moving story. Will is absolutely a blessing, for sure, and a miracle!

Missi said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I admire your faith through all of this. I always cling to the quote that if the Lord brings you to it, He will see you through it! Continued prayers for your sweet family!

Kodi said...

Lindsey- you know I'll be praying for Will as I have prayed for Kate. I'm so proud of you and A for walking this difficult road knowing it's God's will. Those sweet babes are blessed to have y'all as parents.

Kodi

claudia said...

Congratulations! I've been following your blog for a while and Kate has been on my prayers since then.
On to baby Will. He is most definitely God's Will. My husband and I will continue to pray for both of your babies. And as wonderful as God is I’m sure he has bigger plans for him. Will has been defying doctors since day one so maybe he will also defy the doctors who said that he will have BMT also. Have faith in God and no matter what happens he will never give you more than what you can handle. You both are very strong parents and God will reward you in heaven for that.
Kate is going to be a wonderful big sister and she also will get better soon!

God Bless!

Emily said...

Wow. What an amazing testimony to God's Divine Will and faithful servants being courageous enough to follow where He leads. You will be in my prayers in the days and months ahead. Thank you for sharing!

mcschultz85 said...

Lindsey God has a plan for you and your beautiful family. You have been tested and have passed as the kind of woman who can handle this terrible situation and you will do it with beauty and poise I am sure. You of all people have been dealt strange things throughout your young life and you can do this. You are going to be an example to all who know you and respect you for the battles you fight. I love you and pray for you every day.

curtsgrl said...

It's true that God doesn't give us what we can't handle. Kate and Will are blessed that you and Alex were chosen to be their parents. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you take this journey.

Tiffany said...

Congratulations on your little surprise! I have no doubt that I would have come to the same decision- healthy or not, our babies are our babies. We love them, we fight for them. Prayers will definitely be with you, your husband and two beautiful babes.

Lynsey said...

Thank you for sharing this with your readers. Will is a true miracle from God and I have faith that everything is going to work out just fine. We will continue to pray for you, Alex, Kate and Will.

What a blessing your kids are and how lucky they are to have you and Alex as their parents.

Christy said...

Congratulations on your little miracle. I will be praying for you and your family. You are truly blessed.

Smudge's Mom said...

I don't know who is luckier: Kate and Will for having you for parents, or you and Alex for having Kate and Will.

Sending love.

Janis said...

So very proud to be your mother! You go, girl!

Heather from Ontario Canada said...

Congratulations on your new family member. Little Will was had picked by God....especially for you both. He has incredible strong parents and an adorable big sister. Blessing to you all.

Lindsey said...

Wow, I am sitting here crying for you- because this was such a beautiful post, such an amazing example of how incredible you (and your husband are)! Your strength is so admirable and I will continue to pray that Kate gets better & stronger each and every day and that God bestowes the same strength you've had with Kate, upon you with Will. Congratulations!! All the best for you & your beautiful family!

cjdubs13 said...

First of all, congratulations. Although a huge surprise with some more obstacles for your family to get through, Will is a lucky boy as is Kate. I don't know if I could be as strong as you through all of this. Will continue to pray for your little girl and your little guy :)

Wendy said...

Clearly, God wants you to have that baby you're carrying! I admire your decision - Kate and Will (hey wait...Will and Kate - like the prince and princess!) are BLESSED beyond words to have you guys as parents. Anyone that would say otherwise is a moron. ;)

Andrea said...

what a tear jerker! I am so sorry that y'all have to continue making these decisions. But the Lord is not going to go to GREAT lengths to bless you with precious Will and give up on you then. He will be with you and guiding you every step of the way. You are an amazing family and your children are getting to see first hand your convictions in action. What a great example they have. I will continue to pray for your family and the health of both babies!

Alyssa said...

First off, congratulations! My mom always said that God won't give you more than you can handle. He knows that you can do this again. My many prayers are with your family.

Beautiful Baby Gear said...

Your little family is so strong and so inspiring! I can't wait to see pictures of precious little William in April :-) I do have a question though, now that you know exactly what is wrong with him before he is even born, when would his transplant be? Would he have to wait until he is about a year old like Kate in order to be strong enough, or would they do it sooner?

Holly said...

What a blessing that baby boy is. I am so happy for you and I will constantly pray that he and Kate live a very fulfilled life. I am sure that they will :-)

Mrs. B said...

Wow, I got chills ready this story! Kate is the luckiest baby on the planet to have such wonderful, strong, loving parents like you & Alex and now Will will be able to share that love. I will continue to eke you & your family in my prayers. I envy your courage & strength Lindsey!

SweetSpiller said...

Congrats! Your babies are lucky to have you as parents!

Shana said...

Your story is incredible and is most definitely orchestrated by God. I know you have faced many challenges and will continue to do so, but I believe both Kate and Will are given to you for a reason much greater than you know. Many prayers for your family.

Carly said...

Congratulations to you and your family! As a firm believer of divine intervention and everything happens for a reason, you are giving Kate someone to confide in, someone who understands some of the "late effects" she may go through..and most importantly, you are giving her a best friend. You should not feel bad about this pregnancy and listen/read negative comments. I will continue praying for you and your family and think strong thoughts as Kate recovers and your new baby begins the journey...

Amanda said...

Wow, Lindsey! Congrats! I've been "stalking" your blog since you got preganant with Kate. I thnk I just ran across it while playing on Facebook one day. But, I have to say that you are one of the strongest, most amazing mammas to come out of Norcross High! I am so happy for you! Congrats!

Karen said...

Congrats. Since you are open to quetions i was wondering if you going to do prenatal HLA typing? I once worked with a family that did this a long time ago.

yourorganicchild.com said...

While reading this story I was so relieved to learn that you are keeping the baby. It is so easy to give up. You really are brave and special people. Some may not understand but you understand and you really are making a good decision that you will be able to live with. I believe everything will work out for your family.

Jen said...

I have said many prayers for your family and will happily say many more! Congratulations! You are an amazing and strong mother.

yourorganicchild.com said...

I am relieved to read you are keeping your baby. It does not matter what others think you know what is best for your family. I believe everything will work out for your family. You really are special people and I wish you the very best.

Jess - PrettyPhysicist said...

I am new to your job, and I can't begin to imagine your struggles. You seem to be an amazing mother, and I honestly, truly hope with my whole heart that everything works out for your family.

XO, Jess

Erin said...

The strength you have is truly miraculous. Sharing your story with all of us is a blessing in itself. Will is going to be such a loved little boy {having a little boy is wonderful}! I know the journey y'all have ahead of you is a long one. But my first thought was that Kate will have someone to share this journey with. They can make it through together. I think they will be more of a blessing for each other than anything else.

Thank you for having the courage to share your story! Prayers for you and the family on the start of this new season in life!

Nicole said...

I honestly almost cried when I saw that you were pregnant - it makes me soo happy that you are welcoming William into this world and I will continue to pray for all {4} of you! Thank you for being such a wonderful and inspiring momma.

Megan said...

You are a very strong woman and your husband is so strong as well. God knew that you two would be the best parents for Kate and now the best parents for Will. My heart breaks that these two have to go through such things, but they are in the hands of the best parents for them.

God creates miracles for a reason!

Congrats for the impending arrival of a son and brother for Kate. You CAN do this.. You ARE strong.. always remember that your an amazing mom. :)

Amanda @ 2LittleBugs said...

What a beautiful story, by the end I had tears running down my face. Will and Kate are both so lucky to have guys you as their parents. This was definitely an act of god. He wanted you to be this little boys Mommy. You are such a strong and inspiring woman. Thank you so so much for sharing your story.

Sammy said...

Kate and you son are two very lucky children. You and Alex are absolutely two amazing and strong parents. You all made a wonderful decision Lindsey. I can't imagine how tough this must have been for you and your family. Deciding to continue forward with the pregnancy was such a selfless act knowing what you all know. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers.

Jen @ Canadian Rhapsody said...

Congratulations! I know it must have been hard finding joy in the thought that you'd have to go through these difficult months again.

God must know that you two are the perfect parents to bring these kids into the world; many may not have the strength (including in their marriage) to survive the obstacles.

He certainly tried hard to bring Will into the world, I'm so glad you decided to keep His great work! I know you will love him the second they place him in your arms (and probably months before) and that will carry you through the difficult times.

Prayers for a healthy pregnancy (and sweet girl!).

Jen J. said...

I just saw your ticker & came back to read an update on your blog. It truly was God's will for you to carry this baby boy - congrats & many many prayers for him, Sweet Kate & your family. ((hugs))

Ashley Ranae said...

God Bless you and your precious family!

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