A year ago now, President's Day, to be exact, was when Kaiwi and I had our very first ultrasound for our very first child. I was 10 weeks along, but already at that early stage the doctors could tell that Isaac would not live. He had an amniotic band wrap around the top portion of his head which hindered him from developing a skull.
Our doctor had presented abortion to us, but we said no. We continued with the pregnancy despite the outcome. A life, no matter how short, is always worth protecting.
The first few days after finding out was very hard. Our lives had changed so dramatically in such a short time. So many questions and fears arose. We were put into a position of complete helplessness- there was nothing we could do to save Isaac, and nothing doctors could do.
We had many concerns about the pregnancy, but even more about Isaac's delivery. Two out of three doctors we saw had told us that I would have to deliver by C-section. This is something I absolutely dreaded. I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to go through with it, but I always held out hope for the possibility of delivering without it. I knew God could make it happen if that was His will.
We also had to watch for miscarriage or preterm labor. We were told, numerous times, that we probably would not make it to full term. This was also a huge stress on both of us. Every day I had to think about the possibility of going into labor wherever I was. Kaiwi and I had to figure out what the best way was to get to my sister's wedding in July, or if I should even go. I would be about 8 months along at the time of Jamie's wedding. I couldn't imagine missing my sister's wedding for anything, so we decided to plan for it and pray about it, and see what we could do when the time got closer.
We also wanted to be able to donate Isaac's organs if at all possible. Our perinatal told us that in order to donate, Isaac would have to be about 6 lbs and around 36-37 weeks. This was so his organs could be fully developed and healthy enough to be donated. We had several ultrasounds to check his development and his organs, and every part of him- except where the amniotic band was- was perfectly strong and healthy. It was a goal of ours to be able to donate his organs. It was not THE goal of our pregnancy, though. The first and most important goal was to cherish and to care for the life God had given to us.
Even though we already had a lot of concerns about Isaac's birth, the one I most dreaded was that Kaiwi was set to be deployed a few weeks before my due date. Just the thought of him being gone and never being able to hold or see his firstborn child tore me apart. I knew I would have family there with me even if Kaiwi couldn't be, but I still didn't think I could get through it without him. We talked about possibly having a C-section before Kaiwi had to leave. Our doctors said it would be possible, but advised against it, saying that a cesarean that early would give me more risks for future pregnancies. So we dropped that thought, and Kaiwi talked to a few of his commanders on base to see what could be done.
We realized that we could only plan for what we knew, and leave the rest to God. So, since Kaiwi was still set to be deployed, we had planned for me to go to Jamie's wedding and stay home there to deliver. I'd be with family and I wouldn't have to travel back across the states while I was getting closer to my due date. I called the base and asked about how to get our insurance to cover the delivery in Wisconsin. I was basically told I had to wait until I got there and then make calls to see what they could do. Chalk up one more unknown to worry about.
Well, life went on. We had all these things weighing on our minds but knew we couldn't do a thing about any of them, so we just prayed. If anyone could work things out, it would be God. We also know a lot of you had been praying for us at this time. We want to thank you SO much. I really can't express the deep gratitude we have towards you for praying.
We also want you to know that prayer DOES make a difference. We have a powerful God that WANTS us to bring our worries and requests to Him...
So, because of the timing of everything- how far along I was, Kaiwi's deployment date, Jamie's wedding- it seemed like when I left for Jamie's wedding that was it. Showtime. Kaiwi would be gone, I would be with family waiting to deliver. I dreaded it. Sorry Jamie, nothing personal, but I dreaded the day I would fly home for your wedding and leave Kaiwi here. I just wanted each day to go as slowly as possible.
Well, it was maybe a few weeks before leaving for Jamie's wedding that God lifted my biggest burden. Kaiwi came home from work and said something like, "Now, don't get too excited, but they may not be sending me." Ok, first, tears of joy. Second, you can't tell me something like that and NOT expect me to get excited. Well, it did work out that Kaiwi did not have to leave. I felt so much anxiety lifted from me. I still knew we had a lot of hard things ahead, but I could deal with it now. I felt a JOY and a PEACE instead of dread. I knew God was on our side and He would take care of us. It was a direct reminder to TRUST HIM.
Kaiwi not having to leave= Prayer answered.
So I could now look forward to Jamie's wedding. The day before flying out we had, though we didn't know at the time, our last ultrasound. I believe I was 32 weeks along, and our baby was so much bigger than last we saw him. All his organs still looked healthy and strong. The nurse showed us where he had a little bit of hair over his ears, and we saw his chest move up and down as he practiced his breathing motions. I remember it was at this appointment that Kaiwi mentioned the name Isaac. I loved it, and it stuck. That was his name from then on.
Our perinatal doctor was wonderful. He was patient and a good listener. We asked him about donating organs and he said it was a very good thing and gave us information on the process. He did remind us gently though, that Isaac would have to be big enough. We also brought up the fact that our OB had scheduled a 39 week C-section for us. Our doctor stopped what he was doing, turned, and looked at us like we were crazy. "WHY?", he asked. So we told him the concerns our OB had, and he simply said, "No, no, no. That's not right. You shouldn't have to have a C-section. I will talk to your doctor". So we left the clinic that day feeling pretty optimistic (and maybe a little guilty for getting our OB in trouble).
The next day I flew out for Jamie's wedding, and Kaiwi flew out a few days later because he couldn't get as much time off from his work. We were able to enjoy that whole week and not worry about Kaiwi leaving and me staying and all the craziness surrounding us. We just had a wonderful time.
Get to Jamie's wedding= Prayer answered.
The way back from the wedding we drove with Kaiwi's parents. They were moving from Wisconsin out to the Northwest near us, so we helped them drive their vehicles out. We were all a little nervous that I would go into labor somewhere along the road but we made it home all right. We left Sunday afternoon and made it here to our house on Thursday morning. We unloaded some things that Kaiwi's parents were giving to us, went out to lunch, and said our goodbyes.
A few hours later I got some signs that labor might be soon (I'll spare you the details). I called the nurse and she said to watch for bleeding or cramping but that it might be nothing. Well, we had an appointment scheduled for Monday morning, so I decided not to worry too much about it and wait. I debated telling my parents because I knew they would want to head out right away to be here, but I didn't want to alarm them if it was nothing. So I didn't tell them. At least not right away. Sorry, Mom and Dad, bad decision. I did tell them not too long after though, and sure enough they started driving out.
So of course when company comes you have to get the house ready, right? My poor husband, I had him run to Costco with me, clean out the guest room, and even put the beds on risers just so I could store things underneath. He also needed a haircut so I had to do that, as well.
Im not exactly sure when the lower back pain started, but it wasn't very strong, and I didn't have any contractions, so I didn't think I was in labor yet.
Well, Sunday evening I started feeling the back pain a little more. It still wasn't painful, though. We went to bed, and I woke up around 12:30am. I still felt the back pain, and this time it was at regular intervals. Still not painful, but I knew we had to go to the hospital. I woke up Kaiwi and told him we should go in. I grabbed my hospital bag that I had packed weeks ago and called my parents. There were at a hotel a few hours away, but they headed out to meet us at the hospital. Kaiwi called his parents, too, and they started driving out as well.
On our drive to the hospital I remembered the morning we drove in when I was 14 weeks along. I was so scared then, but this time it was different. I KNEW this was it, but I didn't feel scared. I felt like this was what we had been preparing for all along. I also saw how God answered some huge prayers for us already and I knew He would be with us. Looking back now I have no idea how I wasn't losing my mind. I am thankful that the Lord helped me to stay calm and clear-headed.
Well after we got settled in the nurses did a check and told me I was already at 5cm. After a few hours the back pain got stronger and more painful. I still never felt any contractions, though. The doctor that was there at the time saw no need for a C-section. He said he had seen plenty of babies in similar condition born without complications.
No C-section = Prayer answered.
Well, about this time I asked for an epidural. It was wonderful. My main reason for getting the epidural was I just didn't want to be overly stressed and tired when Isaac was born. I wanted to be able to spend time with him if he was alive for a short time. If he wasn't I wanted to be able to bear it all as well as I could.
Well, both Kaiwi's parents and mine were all there by the time Isaac was born at 9:42 am on Monday, August 5th, 2013.
He weighed 3 lbs 12 oz and was 15 in long.
There was no heartbeat at the time of delivery.
Needless to say, we were not able to donate Isaac's organs. We were able to spend some time holding him and our parents were able to as well.
Our experience with Isaac was very painful, and yet when I look back on it all I have so many good memories. God showed His love towards us through the support of the people around us, and through all the prayers He answered. As much as we would like Isaac here with us, we know where he is, and we know that we will see him again. We were so blessed to have cared for him the short time he was with us.
Welcome! My name is Marie, and I have been married for 5 years now. We have one beautiful son, Isaac, waiting for us in Heaven and another son, Hayden, here with us! I hope to share with you more about our journey- where we have been and where we are going.