Monday, April 14, 2008
I felt compelled today to share our story, from the beginning. I know some of you reading this may want to know more or don't know much about his story at all. If you don't want to know more..thats ok too.
My pregnancy started on the uneasy side. I was sicker than my other four children, but I tried to attribute it to my age or maybe that it was a girl and I had forgotten if I was sick with Emma. Deep down inside I always felt uneasy. Call it a mothers instinct, but from 8 weeks on I just felt something was wrong.
On October 2nd of last year (2007), Steve and I went in for our routine ultrasound. We brought Emma with us because she longed to have a sister and we thought she would like to be the first to find out. I was strangely nervous to have her there, but after some convincing we decided to take her.
The ultrasound seemed like forever, but was probably the same amount of time. The tech had a hard time seeing if our baby was a boy or a girl. After the ultrasound, and little talk, she sent us to our scheduled doctors appointment. I could tell by the doctors face that something was seriously wrong. The doctor told us that there was a tremendous amount of fluid in Larson’s brain and in his chest cavity. It was shocking. Needless to say, we were shocked and speechless. We didn’t know if this was serious. Steve kept trying to convince me that it would be ok. I, on the other hand, was not so sure and as we drove home we all began to weep.
We were so scared and confused. The next few days were agonizing as we waited for the Level II ultrasound at a specialists office to diagnois more clearly what was happening with Larson. That day finally came.
The Dr. diagnosed Larson with HPE (alobar holoprolocephaly). A diagnosis that has been offically called a bad word in our house and a name that we now have come to loathe. Basically Larson had nothing more than a brain stem. He also had a 13th gene deletion. Every cell in his body was not complete. We left the office shattered. I could hardly stand as we left the doctors office. I felt like I was in a dream. How could this be happening. We have 4 healthy children. We cried so hard because the prognosis was so grim and there seemed to be little hope. The doctors suggestion was termination. We knew God has a plan for our baby and it was not up to us to decide the length of his life.
We began researching the condition and finding no comfort. It was hard to imagine that our son was not going to live very long. Instead of decorating a nursery, buying toys and diapers...we would be planning a funeral. We would be picking out a casket, songs we liked and clothes to wear.
As Larson began to grow in my womb, he was very active. He moved constantly which made the situation more bewildering. If he has all of these problems how could he be moving so much? He did not have the part of the brain to have wake and sleep patterns. I don't think there was a day that went by that I didn't ask Steve...Are you sure he doesn't have a brain? It was so hard to fathom that as a mom I could not fix him. I could not just put on some anitboitic cream and a band-aid. My son was going to be born and I could do NOTHING. I had to let him go.
On January 22nd, I went in to have Larson. I was nervous and scared. It was amazing how on that day there was so much peace in the delivery room. It was strangly quiet as everyone who was with us new the circumstances. We were not just giving birth to our baby on this day, we were also preparing to say good-bye. Something that you can never prepare for except with the comfort of our faithful God.
Larson was born at 9:28am. He came out with a single cry. Something I will never forget. His heart rate was very low at only 20 beats per minute and he was very blue. They were sure he would not make it out of the delivery room. As Steve put him on my chest, I couldn't believe just how beautiful he was. I never knew I could love someone so much in such a short amount of time. Amazing that what was laying on my chest, was our flesh and blood. He was so beautiful.
Just as we thought he would pass, Larson started to rally. His skin became more and more pink. He made little noises every few minutes. Almost like he was singing. And as we went into the recover room he moved a little bit and opened one eye. It was so precious.
Our four children came to the recovery room to visit their baby brother that they were so excited to have. They were so quiet and they just gazed at their brother with wide eyes and big smiles. They caressed his head, kissed his cheek and held his hand. We prepared them for what may happen. Our kids saw Larson alive and so to them they thought he would be ok and come home. He looked like nothing could be wrong.
We then went to our room and Larson met his grandparents, his aunts and uncles. They held him and cherished him and Larson was so loved. Larson lit up the room. It it almost seemed as though he was holding us up on his little shoulders. His heart rate was now steady at 130.
After everyone left, Steve and I just sat with Larson between us and for 5 hours he sang to us and we played music for him and we cherished our son SO MUCH. I can’t describe how awesome it was that God had blessed us with such a moment in time. To experience something so incredible.
Our children came back that evening with more family visitors. Larson was never out of someones arms. For 3 hours his brothers and sister exchanged moments of holding him, kissing him and loving him. The time had come for everyone to leave and Steve and I were again snuggling with our baby boy.
Our night was hard and Larson was still fighting. We were so exhausted but we did not want to fall asleep. Larson stayed with either Steve or myself. There were moments we thought he had past. We cherished each minute we had with him.
In the morning at 7:30 a.m., just 23 hours after he made his entrance into this world, he opened his one eye and took his final look at his. He then made his only smile as if he had seen Jesus and to let us know he would be just fine and he took his last breath. He was in Steves arms. We could not believe that he was gone. We know that God was with us each step of the way. There is no other way we could have watched our son pass in our arms without the Lords comfort.
Never could I imagine that just 9 months earlier we were finding out that we were going to have another little one around and now we were letting him go. Larson would never make it to this eartly home, he would never be in a nursery, he would never grow to play with his siblings.
But... one thing is for certein...Larsons life could not have been more perfect. He spend 9 months in his mommys womb. Safe and warm. He spent 23 hours cuddled by those who loved him...And KNOW he rests forever in the arms of Jesus. Ironicaly January 22nd was also the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. He was worth all the sickness, pain and sadness. He brought us so much joy. Larson may have never come home with us, but he did make it safetly to his Heavenly home.
I take great comfort that Larson NEVER experienced pain, heartache, misery, sadness, illness, rejection, etc. He truly has experienced a perfect life.
This world causes us so much distraction and we are caught up in so many things. And sometimes we must walk through the valley to stand on the mountain to see what God has done with us and to see where He is taking us.
How could we be angry or upset with God when Larson was spared from so much pain, suffering and agony in this world. He was never without love, without affection, without attention and he was always held.
It is one thing to believe that God is faithful during the dark times of life, it is another thing to experience it. God has given us the strength to get through each and every day. Our faith is being tried and tested, but I know God will not let us go. We will continue to grow in the knowledge of him. My desire to know God intimatly has gotten stronger. I know there will continue to be challenging times ahead as we move forward without Larson in our arms. BUT...God will be with us.
I know that this season in our life is for a purpose. Thank you for walking this path with me. Listening over and over about Larson.