Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Alex's Story

Alex is our 2nd son and he was born still...this is his story...

In January 2005, we decided to start trying to expand our family and have another baby.  Like most women, I just knew it would be an easy process and in 9 months our bundle of joy would be here.  Not quite.  I finally found out I was pregnant in June 2005!  What an amazing day that was!  I was so excited and just couldn't wait to tell Roy.  I stopped by Target on my way home from work and bought him a card and a pair of white baby booties.  I gave them both to him when he came home from work and just sat there watching him with a HUGE smile on my face!  He was in total shock, but was so happy at the same time!  We waited a few weeks before we told family, but then spread the news quickly.  I had my first doctor's appointment at about 6 wks and had an ultrasound to confirm viability.  We saw the baby's heartbeat, and then saw another sac, but couldn't see anything in it.  Dr. Patterson thought there was a STRONG possibility we could be having TWINS!  WHAT?!?!  So she wanted us to wait out the week and see her again on Friday to re-scan.  That was the longest week of my life, but finally it was time.  She did another ultrasound and found no heartbeat at all and still nothing in the second sac.  Miscarriage.  I was in disbelief and so was Roy.  How could this be possible?  We had already seen the first heartbeat.  We were supposed to finding out if indeed there were twins, but instead we were finding out we were not going to be having a baby at all.  My doctor sent me to have another ultrasound at the hospital to confirm her findings.  We went home and broke the news to our friends and family and cried all weekend.  I was devastated.  Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this would happen.  Not to me.  The following Monday I went in to the hospital for a D&C and then it was over.  I was so sad for weeks, but still longed to try again.  I wanted a baby so bad.  A month later I was pregnant again!  I was so happy, but this time I was nervous and scared.  Luckily, I worked for my OB/GYN, so I got a little bit of special treatment ;)  She again did our first viability scan at about 6 wks, and then spoiled me and did one every week until I was almost out of my first trimester.  Whew!  At 14 wks, Roy came up to the office and Dr. Patterson did a quick little scan to see if we could possibly tell what we were having.  I was so anxious to know!!!  During that scan, she could DEFINITLY tell we were having a BOY!  But, she also saw something that was concerning to her.  She saw some fluid filled cysts on the back of his neck.  She immediately tried to reassure us, but wanted us to be seen right then at the hospital for a more detailed scan.  We went right over to the hospital and waited for the tech to call us back.  We really had no idea what was going on and surely didn't foresee the days and weeks that were ahead of us.  The radiologist confirmed Dr. Patterson's findings, plus found that he had bilateral club feet.  The diagnosis was cystic hygroma, which is fluid filled cysts that form on the back of the neck and head.  It's caused by a malformation in the lymphatic system when it's forming.  We were still confused at that point and unsure of what the next steps were.  We were referred to a maternal fetal medicine specialist in Austin.  Our first appointment was 2 weeks later.  I was 16 weeks.  Roy's parents and my mom went with us.  That first appointment was completely devastating.  Horrible.  Not only were we told that indeed our son did have cystic hygroma, he also had a severe heart condition - hypoplastic right ventricle.  My sweet boy.  The specialist just had more bad news.  He told us that with his condition there was a 100% mortality rate.  100%.  100%?  How is that even possible?  Nothing is 100%.  I balled.  I wailed.  There was no holding back my emotions any longer.  I couldn't do it.  Our parents cried.  Roy and I sat in the room and held each other and just cried.  Everyone left us alone in there and it felt like days had passed.  I was devastated.  We were devastated.  We were then talked to about having an amniocentesis to determine if he had any chromosome abnormalities.  I decided to go ahead and do it, knowing it would take at least two weeks before we would get any results.  The specialist also offered for us to meet with a pediatric cardiologist on our next visit.  We agreed to that.  We had so many questions for him if our boy was to survive.  We were talked to exstensivly about termination.  I finally had to put my foot down and tell them it was not an option for us.  We believe in God and the power of prayer.  And what if they were all wrong.  I just knew they were.  I knew God would show them.  I knew he would save my baby.  I knew I would never really have to face any of the horrible things they were telling us.  I wasn't in denial, I just had to keep strong and still believe that my baby would be healed.  Friends and family rallied around us and prayed over this baby.  But, I never really knew how to talk to anybody about it.  None of my family or friends had ever been through this.  It was awful.  Devastating.  Shocking.  I prayed for him daily.  Every minute actually.  I wanted to believe so bad that everything was going to be ok.  But it wasn't.  Every doctor's appointment was worse.  We saw the doctor every two weeks, my doctor monthy and the specialist in Austin monthly.  The appointments alternated every two weeks.  We never had any good news.  It was the darkest time and I had to stay strong.  I still had Aidan to care for.  He didn't have any idea what was happening.  I tried to shelter him from it all.  Roy and I went to church every Sunday and Roy would pull the pastor to the side after the service and talk to him.  Ask questions.  What were we supposed to do?  How should we be praying?  Surely this will just all go away and our sweet boy will be here healthy.  God didn't listen.  He forgot about us.  He forgot about our precious baby boy.  He let him be sick.  He made him be sick.  Was it because we weren't married?  Why didn't we deserve for him to be healed?  What did we do wrong?  Why us?  I was mad.  I was so hurt.  I was so devastated.  I hated Him.  I was never going to talk to Him again.  That is my son.  That is my baby.  How dare You take him from me.  How dare You make him suffer.  How dare You.  Our sweet baby boy was born still on March 26, 2006.  

At that moment I felt peace.  I felt comforted.  I had pushed Him away for so many weeks up to that point.  I had stopped praying, but nobody else had.  And He still loved me.  He knew I was hurt and mad and that I hated Him.  But He still loved me.  He still loves me.  He wrapped His arms so tight around me that day.  That dark day.  I felt Him and I knew He was there.  I don't know how may times I said I was done.  I was never going to try and have another baby.  I couldn't go through the heartbreak again.  I didn't want another baby.  I wanted that baby.  Roy Alex Rodriguez, Jr.  I was going to call him Alex.  I loved him so much already.  He was already such a part of my life.  I was 25 wks when I gave birth to him.  I felt him kicking and growing inside me until then.  He was 4lbs. 6oz. and 12 in long.  He was perfect.  He was beautiful.  We held him and kissed him and loved on him for several hours after he was born.  Our families held him and passed him around.  We all loved him.  

He was buried three days later on March 29, 2006.  We had a graveside service for him and were overwhelmed by the grace we were shown.  Family and friends from here and from out of town came to be with us and love on us.  Somehow through God's grace we survived.  I finally had to let go and let God.  Period.  I wasn't in control.  He was.  It was His plan all along.  I don't know why.  But I do know that I can't wait till the day I see my sweet boy again!  What an amazing day that will be!  I find myself wondering and dreaming about what it will be like.  I'm so happy to know he is with Jesus!  I miss him everyday and long to know what life with him would have been like.  I'll never watch him learn how to walk or how to talk.  I'll never take him to his first day of kindergarten.  I'll never watch him play little league baseball.  That part still hurts.  I still long for those days and memories that I will never have.  I don't think that part will ever go away.

4 years later, Roy and I have been blessed with two more boys!  Ryan Alex was born March 24, 2007 and Cole Frances was born November 3, 2009.  Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined my life to be what it is now.  God took us through unimaginable pain, but He brought us through it.  Just like He promises.

I am praying tonight for each of you who are at a point where there is no hope. No light.  No happy ending.  There is.  Just tell Him to bring the rain.  He will see you through the storm.  I promise.


Miranda said...

I have never known what really to say to you about what happened with Alex, so other than telling you I am sorry I have always just kept my mouth closed. In part because I did not ever want to say the wrong thing and hurt your feelings or upset you, or make you feel like you had to talk about it if you were not ready. But also because I had no idea what it felt like to be pregnant, or have a child much less to lose one. Now that I have experienced pregnancy and we are anxiously awaiting her arrival, I could not imagine having to deal with what you and Roy dealt with. I would have completely fallen into a million pieces and I cant say that I would have ever come out on the other side. I love this little girl more than I have ever loved anything in my entire life and she is not even here yet. And all I want to do is to keep her 100% safe from everything. I know that the pain you have in your heart from missing your baby boy will always be there and there will not be a day go by that you wont think about him or wish you could wrap your arms around him. But for whatever reason Jesus had a much bigger plan for Alex. Bigger than anything anyone could give him here. Nicole, you are such a great momma to your 4 boys, you are a wonderful friend, and one of the most strongest and loyal people I have ever met. I love you for who you are and for who the Lord is molding you to be. Thank you for being so open and raw with your story of sweet Alex. I know he must be so proud to call you his momma! I love you!

Shannon said...

Nicole, your honesty and brave heart have inspired me today. I'm sitting here tearing up for you, but I know what you know..our God is greater! He can and will continue to carry our grief and hurt. One day you will see Alex again and I will see my Ethan! Perhaps they are playing baseball up in heaven! Sending big hugs from one Texan to another!!!

Twins Happen said...

My darling this is beautiful and you are beautiful for being able to see God's Grace through your tears. You serve as a very good reminder to me to always keep Him at the front of my mind and heart.