Wednesday, September 05, 2007

On Faith - Guest Blogging

This is the first in a planned series of guest-blogs that will appear here in the coming weeks. Thank you to Christina for her beautiful contribution.

It's funny, this world that I live in. I call it my world cause it's not the same as other people's. I have a lot in common with most people. I work full time, I am married, I have two kids, we have WAY too many bills, but something is different in my life than in a lot of other peoples. You see a little over eight years ago, something happened, something that has forever changed my life path, something that has shown me I am not in charge of things, One greater is.

I remember taking the pregnancy test, only a week late, I just had a good feeling that I was pregnant. Came back negative. I was sad, but again kind of relieved cause "Me and Todd never planned on having kids!". Two weeks later still no period and I was starting to wonder if I took it too early, so I took another one. This one was positive! I was surprised at my excitement and shocked at Todd's lack of enthusiasm. Eventually the shock wore off and Todd was just as excited as I was. I went to my prenatal appointments, really enjoyed hearing the babies heartbeat for the first time, feeling the baby move for the first time, it was all just SO neat! Then came my 20 week appointment, the AFP test. My doctor informed me about this test in a way that led me to believe it wasn't an option, it had to be done. So I went and had my blood taken and waited for the results. I was 21, what did they expect to find?! I got a call a few days later telling me I needed to come in. So me and Todd went in and she told me my numbers were off and she asked me if I was positive on my conception date. She referred me for a level III ultrasound to measure the baby to make sure my due date was correct and to see if I was possibly carrying twins. I went right over to the perinatologist, they did their testing and measurements. Told me that things weren't right and that their suggestion was to get an amnio to know for sure. No, that wasn't an option. I wasn't doing anything that could possibly endanger this little life, which I now knew was a girl, inside of me! So in typical sarcastic doctor fashion, I had to sign a paper stating I was denying the amnio, you know to cover their butts so that I couldn't sue basically, and I went on my way.

Once my doctor found out that I denied the amnio, she decided I was too high risk for her and dismissed me from her care. Now the only group in town that would take my case was a high risk clinic in a bad part of town. So I accepted it, I went for my appointments there, agreeing to let them do bi-weekly ultrasounds to keep an eye on the baby. I was secretly laughing inside thinking, My God is going to prove you wrong, you don't know everything with your tests, with your machines, and with all your schooling, My God is still in control. At 34 weeks I was going in for my now weekly ultrasound and the tech was concerned and called in the doctor who ordered a stress test. The baby, who I called Kallie, wasn't moving around like she should have been and the fluid in my sac was really low. The stress results didn't come back good and I was sent to the hospital to be induced. Eighteen stressful hours later, my little peanut was born. She was beautiful, I saw NOTHING wrong with her, God did prove them wrong!

Or so I thought.

The nurses words will forever echo in my head, "Did you hear Downs?" Now keep in mind she was talking to another nurse who was assisting the doctor who was closing me up. I made eye contact with the anesthesiologist, "My baby, what is wrong? What are you hiding from me?" I was terrified. I was shaking uncontrollably. The NICU doctor came down to explain to me that she was tiny, she had IUGR(intra uterine growth retardation), she was going to have to have a platelet transfusion, and she possibly had a hole in her heart. Nothing was mentioned about Down Syndrome.

The next day I finally got to meet my tiny 4lb 5oz angel. She was perfect. Those doctors didn't know what they were talking about! I meet the geneticist that day. She said, "No way, her characteristics are just like yours, but we are doing the chromosome test just to rule it out cause of her heart defect." Ok fine. Five days later, while I was giving Kallie her first bath in preparation to take her home and nurse walks up to me and tells me, "The tests came back, your baby has Trisomy 21 so you can expect problems." and walks away. Thank God my mom was there cause I was in shock, mind you I had Kallie in my hands giving her a bath, so my mom took over and I sat down with tears in my eyes. What is Trisomy 21? Is my baby going to die? My mom told me that T21 is the same thing as Down Syndrome. I cried. I do know that many people go through a grieving process of days, weeks sometimes even years but I just cried a good cry, picked my head up and said "I just love her already so much, it just doesn't matter to me!" I cried again when I told Todd. He didn't cry. He told me about a bumper sticker he saw the first night she was born, while he was driving home. It said "Expect Miracles" and he feels that Kallie just being here and being strong is a miracle.

You see, God did prove them wrong! It may not have been how I wanted him to do it, but in His own way, his Love showed through what was introduced to me as a burden on my family, on any other future children, on my marriage, and the list goes on. God showed me that he did answer my prayers. I prayed for a healthy baby. I got a healthy baby, she needed a few things at birth, but honestly, she was 4 weeks premature and she was quite small, but she never needed resuscitation, never needed any extraordinary means to keep her alive, she was a fighter from the get go.

God got the glory for proving them wrong instead of me....You see I know for sure that if Kallie were born without DS, I, in my selfish nature would have made it about me and lost the message that was being delivered, Love conquers all, without love, there is nothing! That is why disability scares those doctors, they couldn't wrap their heads around the awesome power of love and how it changes things, it changed me......for the better

Christina Schulz
Mother of Kallie (DS, 8) and Brittany

1 comment:

Linda said...

What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing, I am really trying not to cry. What a beautiful way of seeing Gods work! Many Blessings!