Sunday, June 29, 2014

Are we having a boy or a girl?

Some days are easier than others, this week unfortunately had more hard days than easy.  On Monday, June 23rd we went for another ultrasound. I experienced a mixture of emotions as we entered the hospital. Excitement about seeing our baby again, fear about whether or not our baby was still alive, sadness as reality set in once again, joy when finding out the gender.  

I tried so hard to enjoy every minute of the ultrasound but at moments I just had to close my eyes and picture myself resting in the arms of Jesus. Seeing our little baby kicking and moving was thrilling yet heartbreaking at the same time. When the technician got to the point of scanning the brain I grew hopeful.  Joe asked if she could tell us if our baby had a mild or severe cause of anencephaly to which she replied that the doctor would explain that and that she could only tell us what she sees and that what she was scanning was brain matter.  I thought maybe there is enough brain matter to allow our baby to live a little longer than originally expected. But then the doctor came in and he didn't have the best bed side manners.  He quickly told us that our baby only had the brain stem and that there was no other brain development.  He then proceeded to say how unfortunate it is that babies with this condition can stay alive in the womb.  I just wanted him to leave at this point.  He didn't even consider that we weren't going to terminate the pregnancy and talked as if we were or should.  He quickly showed us the heart and then said well I don't think we need to go on any further.  I felt so sad and wanted to say you are talking about my baby right now and you don't seemed to think its life is worth anything. He left me laying on the table with sticky jelly all over and didn't give me anything to clean up with.  Joe helped me use the sticky towel that had been draped over me for the last hour to clean up. The doctor returned within just a few short minutes asking if we were ready to meet with the genetic counselor.  I was still in shock from how the doctor treated us and asked if I could have a few minutes.  I went to the bathroom trying to gather enough strength and courage to face another round of questions and advice.

But I just realized I forgot to tell you the exciting news you have all been waiting for. We are having a.....

Zoe Faith Stolz

We are excited to introduce you to our little girl.  Zoe means "life" in Greek and our little one's life might be short but that doesn't change how precious and impacting her life is to us. I love her so much!

We met with the genetic counselor for two hours and thankfully she was great.  She provided us with valuable information and helped us think through next steps.  She thinks it will be very important to do an amniocentesis and/or autopsy to discover the exact genetic make up of our baby so we can know the likelihood of reoccurance. 

I left the hospital exhausted but seemed to be holding it together. It wasn't until the next day that I felt the full impact of all we heard and saw the day before. I found myself crying off and on at work. I didn't have the strength to do much in the evenings and I was just sad. I knew we had our third family outing planned for Saturday and looking forward to that got me through the week. 

We took Zoe on her first bike ride!

Saw a train go by during our picture break

Had to get a picture of the quickly growing baby bump

We made it to the Fox Valley River

26 mile bike ride left Joe's hair looking pretty awesome

Our family outings bring joy unspeakable.  I felt so free and alive during our bike ride.  I tried to think about what Zoe would be looking at and thinking about along the way.  Another memory I will never forget. 
I'm looking forward to starting this week out tomorrow and praying there will be more easy days than hard.


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