Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"Uh, hey honey... it's me..."

Hmmm... how exactly does one start a "We might be pregnant with quadruplets" conversation over the phone with their spouse??

Anyone? Anyone?


Remember that Jeremy was somewhere up in the great white north ice fishing with his buddies and so the dilemma became: call him to discuss OR call him merely to say everything is OK and we'd talk when he got home.

So, these pics aren't exactly of Jeremy and his buddies ice fishing - they are Aiden and Caleb (left) and Jeremy and Caleb (right) this past winter out on the ice looking for whitey.... too cute, eh?

Now, let me tell you that it felt extremely awkward, sad, odd, depressing, etc. to me that my husband was NOT first person to be there by my side and know exactly what was going on with this pregnancy. Yes, some of it due to the level of secrecy we normally keep (see previous blog) but also because he is ALWAYS the first to know EVERYTHING!! I honestly can't describe the feeling I had inside... but it was just foreign and uncomfortable to me. Even, as excited as I was to have my mom there with me and share in the experience with her, I was very honest with her that it was just not going to be the same without Jeremy by my side. I'd never had it ANY other way... and I now that I had, well... yeah. The idea took a bit of getting used to... to say the least.

After weighing my options on the way home (in between my mom and I being on the cell phone CONSTANTLY to each other - so irritating that we had to drive separately since I came from work!) I decided I was absolutely not comfortable with rolling that dice and calling him in the U.P. to spill the beans. #1- it was about 5pm by now and the chances were darned good that they'd been on the ice with brews in hand for a bit now... nothing like a good buzz kill, eh? #2 - He still had 2 days of vacation with his buddies remaining and I KNEW that this news would over ride any sort of fun he would have. It was be on his mind constantly (for obvious reasons) and he would feel the need to come home early to be a support system to me... I just ruled it out. I was going to be OK at home with my mom and boys all weekend and it would give me time sort of "on my own" to digest the whole thing before talking to Jeremy. I believe that in the midst of my internal debate about how to tell Jeremy he actually texted me something like "How'd it go?" So in the end I decided to text him back and simply wrote "Everything is good. Have a great time and we'll talk when you get home. Love you!"

Everyone may not agree with how I went about this - but it made the most sense to me at the time. Jeremy was in no position to digest the information I needed to talk to him about and I also knew that we wouldn't want to tell a SOUL (other than my mom) about it until we had a good deal amount of time to figure things out for ourselves... so it was for the best. I think my mom was even a little surprised that I didn't tell Jeremy - I mean, it's pretty freaking HUGE news, right? But...

When Jeremy got home that Sunday night (hung over, extremely tired...) I still wasn't sure what to do. But at this point I couldn't hold onto the information any longer and when he asked how everything went I had to get it out. The ultra-tricky part is that we honestly still didn't KNOW 100% of what was going on because of the two additional sacs with no heartbeat present (or visible) at that appointment. After explaining to Jeremy exactly what transpired here's what he had to say "Wow! Twins, eh? Well, that's great... we always said we wanted four kids, right?"


Acknowledging the hung over and sleep deprived state he was in I decided that maybe he didn't actually HEAR the entire conversation and so I was all like "Uh, yeah... for NOW... but they said that there's a chance that the other two could..." but I'm pretty sure Jeremy had made up his mind that a doctor's 20-50% chance at survival and no heartbeat meant that we were having twins. It simply was not on his radar at that time. It was not in his mind that the possibility even EXISTED that the other two would develop normally by the following week. Yet in the back of my mind... I'll chalk it up to mother's intuition... that's all I can say...

As you can imagine, the next week could not have went by any stinking slower. I could not WAIT until my next ultrasound! And, yet again, fate was NOT on our side - Jeremy was called off to a job site and absolutely could NOT make it to the appointment with me. So this time I was completely alone. I was not loving that idea. At all. Although, I suppose in the end it was fine to be alone with my thoughts... I guess. So, There I lay on the table, and by now "morning"sickness (ALL DAY SICKNESS) had kicked in pretty good so I was adding insult to injury between that and my nerves. As I watched my OB walk his wand from one sac to the next and point out each fetal pole and beating heart I was lost inside... literally. I don't know how one actually goes about processing this information as it is taking place. And there was no one there to take the emptiness away or hold my hand or offer any of the right words at the time... it was so... alone. I can't think of any other way to describe it. And all the while, bless his heart, perhaps my OB once again took the silence as a sign of my being on the verge of "losing it" and so he began his rambling again. Only this time, I had nothing else to distract me and I heard and processed every word.

I want to warn you that this is where I am going be a completely emotional wreck for a bit and get out some feelings that are not going to be welcomed by some folks out there. I will preface it by saying that I am on the verge of tears remembering that day and all the emotions I felt... I do not expect that we are all on the same page with our moral beliefs,etc. But this is our family blog and I am going to share it ALL with you. I am not going to filter through and pick out the nice and easy stuff to talk about because I honestly believe that someone, somewhere, out there is either about to experience what I did, in the midst of going through it, or has had to deal with it in the past... and, again, I only hope that by being completely honest with you all I can let that someone know that they are not alone.

The ramblings once again began down the path of "Now just because they all have heartbeats at this point doesn't mean that they are all going to MAKE it. It is still extremely early and there is a very real chance that any one of them will not be here in a week or two. I know this is a lot to process, but try to keep in mind that there are options available to you once we do know how many of them make it. Here are some of the statistics that I need to share with you regarding quadruplet pregnancies and the risks and potential outcomes associated with carrying four fetuses..." "And by choosing to reduce the number of fetus' present, you are giving the OTHER babies a chance at life. The odds of having a positive outcome for ALL the babies is much, much better if you only have three and even more so if you reduce to twins..."

Please take a moment to digest this. Or TRY to. I had literally JUST LEARNED that I had miraculously developed FOUR fetuses inside me, after months and months of "trying" with assistance. We are very well educated and aware of the risks that are involved with any type of reproductive assistance. And, as I've mentioned, due to the horrific loss of our baby girl, Meadow, we are also true believers in the miracle of life and the fact that God has a plan for each one of us. Yet, in light of all of this - after being given a full 10 seconds to process the idea of quadruplets - I am being given the option to END one or more of our babies lives in order to "give the others" a chance at life.

Take a life.. one of OUR BABIES lives... to give a life... to a different one of our babies? Intentionally?

This, my friends, is what Jeremy and I call "glorified abortion". Period. How on earth could we possibly live with ourselves knowing that WE had taken the risk of multiple pregnancy and yet WE were going to make one of our own God-given gifts, one of our creations, pay the ultimate price for our decision? And as Jeremy and I spent night upon night up until all hours holding each other and crying our way through this moral debate, because in the end we felt we needed to talk the entire process through and LIVE each step of it, we had no idea how we could get out of bed in the morning if we had chose any other way but to accept what God had so graciously given our family. The reality is that they take you in, lay you on an ultrasound table, and determine, by ultrasound picture, which baby (or babies if you choose...) is "most accessible". Then, the carefully insert a needle into that baby(ies) beating heart and inject a substance to make it stop.

The end.


Again, we have already been so blessed with two healthy boys in our family, and perhaps this is what made it so much more real for us. WE LOVE YOU AIDEN AND CALEB!!! How do you know that baby you "choose" isn't going to be your little snugglebug... the one who wakes up from nap time to run down to you with his blankets and lay with you (where ever) until he starts playing with your ears... and then your nose... and then giggling and whispering "Love you, mommy... juicy, please?" We couldn't bear the thought.

In all fairness, again, I will say that we recognize that not everyone is in the exact same situation we are. I have read plenty of blogs where the parents chose to go ahead with the reduction for reasons only they know... and that is something we are not capable of trying to understand or judge them for. We are only sharing with your our PERSONAL thoughts and our PERSONAL moral debate. Yes, we have always said from day one that we are both extremely pro-life people - but until you too are faced with a challenge such as a quadruplet pregnancy (where the chances of having all four of your babies born healthy is incredibly low) you have no way of knowing which way your heart will turn inside you. I will not go into the specifics about all the horrible statistics we have been presented and had to try and digest regarding our extremely high risk pregnancy, but we know that there are certainly people out there who think WE are doing the morally irresponsible thing by moving forward with all four babies. Yes, the statistics are not in our favor... but we truly believe inside the most sacred places of our hearts that we are doing the right thing, the ONLY thing, we can for our family. I know I am like a broken record at times, folks, but God does not make mistakes and no matter WHAT - we will be OK. I have my supportive, loving husband at my side, my two beautiful children to be thankful for everyday, and even if we are taking the road less traveled by following through on what God has planned for us with our quadruplets, we know it is a road that has our family name on it and has been waiting for us to reach it...

I'm sorry for this horribly heavy blog, but I really did need to talk this all through because it is a very real part of our pregnancy and I know it has been and is for many other families out there too. It's so extremely controversial and personal, it's scary to bring it up under ANY circumstances for fear of upsetting everyone... but I hope this has given you a bit of an insight into where Jeremy and I have come from and why we are moving ahead with the assurance that all will be as it is meant to for us. No, we don't look any further than today and getting out of bed tomorrow, and keeping these babies inside me as healthy as possible for as LONG as possible... we have an extreme case of tunnel vision you could say... but healthy babies is all that matters in our lives right now. ALL that matters.

Thank you again for listening and for your prayers.


Anonymous said...

God Bless you Guys!!!!!!


Dan, Kelly, Ally, & Kyle

Anonymous said...

Love you!

The Salladay's

Anonymous said...

The faith and strength you guys show is awesome. I am so excited and honored to share this experience with you guys!!!
Love Ya, Jen K