Tuesday, March 29, 2011

See You Soon

March 30th - 2:26am
I can't sleep.  I get to see him this morning.  
15 minutes with Mom and Dad.
We are doing a 3D ultrasound at 10am today, donated by people who love our family.  
What a gift.  The gift of seeing his face, and his strong body.  

I am indebted to the people who are donating their resources to making this preview happen.

Dear David,
A song just played that makes me think of you.  
It's my anthem to you son. 

What will you look like? Will you have my eye's, your mother's chin?  Will you look at us in the camera? Will I see your fingers and hands opened up or will you have on your boxing gloves? Will your arm be extended like Mel Gibson in Braveheart or will you be flexing like Arnold?
Will you be preparing for battle like your first name or playing the air guitar like the one who shares your middle name?

 Only two things I know for a fact:  You are my son and you are beautiful.  
Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Facebook, YouTube, and Friends

My David was excited over the Gators!
Tonight I watched with excitement of my Gators win in overtime. As excited as I get for them (and I get really excited - just ask Heather), that cannot even compare to the joy that flooded my heart when Heather (and David) walked over to me, she lifted her top over her tummy and said "He's really active". I pressed my face and hands against them and started telling him how strong he is and what a fighter I have. Usually he stops moving with my warm hands, but tonight was different - he moved his whole body up against my face as I spoke to him. He feels so big, so strong - I just know he's going to come out with boxing gloves. 
 "My fighter." I always say.

So, as soon as we received the news from the doctor's about David's diagnosis, we immediately began doing research. Research for medical statistics, but also for Trisomy survivors. We went to YouTube and simply typed "Trisomy". We found so many stories and journeys, hope overflowed with our tears. 

Our doctor had also told us of a couple local families that have surviving Trisomy children. We agreed to allow them to contact us, not really knowing what they could say to help us during this time. But Oh My...We now have a new family of support. Jeannette, who I refer to as Caleb's Mom called our home. I listened to her, I spoke and she listened - then something big happened. We started a family Facebook page, and Jeannette opened up "the family" to us. Within one day, about 80 families have be"friend"ed us. 
God is so good. 
We thought we had a HUGE support system before (Shout out to our close friends!) 
And now that support has literally grown across the world. So many people have contacted Heather by name and said "I've been there, and we are praying for your family." 
I used to think facebook was just an extension of a college dating service. And how ridiculous I thought it was when I would read "Corn flakes or Oatmeal" really. 
But now I think Jesus, would be on facebook!  (Can you picture his disciples creating "event" pages, and Mary Magdalene "Attending")   Well, I believe he was today anyway...

And Here's Why - I just read a post that said "On our way..Taking every bit of ounce in me to keep it together." Then I watched 19 comments poor in saying "praying for your family" and "It's time to meet your princess"  - then I began to pray over this Mother and child. 

Angie - I am praying over your baby.
Not Really Me

This wouldn't have been possible, any other way.

Our family is experiencing something very special.  

A Social Network of Faith.

Thank you God for Facebook, YouTube, and Friends.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sad but Still Filled with Joy

Recently my heart was heavy because I was thinking about some of the things I will probably never get to do with Baby David.  You can only imagine how long the list is of things we like to do with our children.  Way up there on the top for me is fishing.  I love to go fishing.  Most of my dates with Aaron consisted of fishing.  I love it.  We've taken our girls so many times and they have grown to love it as well.

Aaron had no idea I had been thinking about not being able to take David fishing.  He had no idea that I was sad that we probably won't ever be able to do that.  He went to WalMart and found a tiny little fishing pole and bought it for Andrew.  While I am so excited to see Andrew use it for the first time, I couldn't help but cry when Aaron showed me this treasure he had found.  He just looked at me in confusion, while I tried to gain enough composure to not lose it completely and to speak.

I finally was able to utter the words, "We won't...baby David".  That was all I needed to say because he understood the rest.  So today I decided we are going to the river (my favorite place to fish).  We are going to take Baby David to mommy's favorite place.  I am excited and sad, filled with peace from The Comforter, and joyful that David will know as much love as possible, even in the womb.
Thank you  Jesus for the strength to enjoy this pregnancy and as much of my son as the Lord will allow us to enjoy.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Good God

Most of you reading this blog already know how fearful I have been about the possibility of losing our child.  I mentioned in a prior blog that I was really terrified about what that kind of loss and devastation would do to me mentally.  I was concerned that I would get so lost in the sorrow that I would lose myself, and not be any good to the rest of our children or my husband.  As I thought about this fear God told me to just lift it all up to him.
Sounds peachy doesn't it.  Just lift it up to God, oh OK.  That's all.
There are so many times in life when prayer just doesn't seem tangible enough as a help, or a tool to get us through what we are walking.  Sometimes when it's someone else that needs prayer, we almost scoff and say, "Of course I'll pray, but what else can I do."  It's as if we don't believe that our prayers are powerful, and that they hold as much weight as they really do.  I am so guilty of this on so many levels.  It's funny how we have to walk around the same stupid mountain soooo many times to really hold onto something.
Let me ask you this, How many times have you seen and experienced God answer prayers in an amazing, miraculous way?  Just sit on that question for a while.  Make I mental list.  I'll wait.
Okay, now remembering those times, doesn't it almost seem silly that here I am thinking thoughts like, "Oh OK, God, I'll just lift that right on up to ya, and you let me know that I'm not going to go insane over the eventual loss of my sweet baby."
This I believe is just another part of our human nature, and I think that God is quite aware of it all and here is why.  

Below is my prayer from Friday night March 11th.

Okay Lord you told me to lift my fears up to you so here they are: I am afraid of facing depression all over again, I am afraid I might even lose my sanity.  It sounds funny Lord, but I mean it with every part of me.  I am afraid that mentally I will shut down, and barely be on auto pilot trying to do things for my family.  I am fearful of being in a place where every beat of my heart is numb and feels empty.  I am afraid that in order not to die from the agony over my loss that I will shut down completely and be a shell of myself with no hope of ever feeling again.  I am afraid of what that will do to the people around me, especially my children and husband.  I have visions, and nightmares about being in a mental hospital, and sometimes I am wearing a straight jacket.  Heavily medicated I am still sobbing in these visions and my family is forced to walk this journey without me.  These are my fears, and they haunt me night and day.  So here they are Lord, take them...if you really can.  If you really want me to survive this and somehow in the midst of my pain bring glory to you and tell people how good you are then I need you to show up bigger than you ever have before in my life.  My other children and my husband need me, and I can't be any good to them if you don't show up REALLY big and I MEAN IT!  DO YOU HEAR ME? REALLY BIG, OKAY?!?!?!?

This was my prayer to God.  The cry of my human heart with sad anticipation of what is to come.

This was the answer from MY God:
Saturday morning March 12

Saturday morning came like every other morning.  Aaron was watching the kids and I got a phone call from a good friend.  We were supposed to meet that day but she was sick so we decided to pray over the phone.  We were praying over her house, my house, our families, lots of things.  We weren't praying over David.  We had a specific list and David wasn't on it that particular morning.  We were doing spiritual warfare for other things that needed some direct attention.
After praying for what must have been 15-30 minutes on everything we felt God had prompted us, my friend was hesitant to be done.  She told me that we weren't quite done and that God was asking her to do something.  Just then her husband walked into the room where she had been praying and I heard her say, "Honey come over here, God wants you to be a part of this."
As she said that to her husband God spoke to me and told me that what she was going to pray was for me and that it was about Baby David.
"Okay," I thought, I can handle that.  I must admit I was expecting a prayer of grandeur with words that tried but just couldn't grasp the overwhelming desire for our baby to be born healthy.  So I waited for her to begin, and what happened next was one of the most intimate moments I have ever had with God, trumping even the day of my salvation.
My friend opened her mouth to pray, and it was a language I had never heard.  She was praying in tongues.  I began to weep, because even though I didn't know what was being said my heart understood that it was the Holy Spirit praying to God through her on behalf of my precious son.
My friend had no idea what she was praying, just that she was being obedient to her God.  When she finished I told her that the prayer was for me and not over anything that we had previously been in prayer over.  She immediately asked her husband if God had revealed to him a translation.  He asked for a moment to be in prayer over it and walked away.  When he walked away I told my friend that it was about Baby David.  Just then her husband walked back in the room and gave me a message from my God:

Peace and Comfort are here, tell Heather everything is going to be okay.

The God of the Universe had a message for ME.  It was a direct response to the fears I had lifted up to him, out of obedience just a day earlier.  He didn't even make me wait for a response.  He loves me that much!  He also knows that the hurt of what is to come and the fear of it all was so overwhelming for me that he wanted me to have relief.  What an amazing God!

Now, I want to make it very clear that I do realize that everything being okay doesn't necessarily mean that I will get the miracle of a clean bill of health for my son.  I also realize that it doesn't even mean that my son will be born alive.  What I do know is this, I am going to be okay.  Mentally and emotionally I am going to survive one of the most difficult things a parent can face.  The very thing that the God that loves me experienced himself, the death of a beautiful beloved son.
Yet because he loved me enough he let his son experience death.    He knows full well how my heart will break and he has assured me that if I cling to him, I will survive mentally and emotionally.  He will help me to bring him glory through David's story, no matter how it ends.


Let me ask you a question, what have you not committed to prayer fully because you forgot how much weight those prayers will have?
I'd love to partner with you in lifting it up. heatheramhaynes@gmail.com

Saturday, March 12, 2011

God is so Good

You hear me God?!  All in!  I shouted from my soul today.
He has shown me, through this FIGHT, that He will not let me go.  His promise is true - He is always with me.  He cares about me, and He loves me.  I struggle accepting that from you.  But today, Father - I'm all in.


I have spoke at lengths with my good friend Jeff about "what legacy I will leave my kids"  Between me and him that is our FIGHT in this world.  So with the thoughts that we need to journal everything for David - it hit me and I am embarrassed to confess - I should have been doing this with all my children, with my wife, to my wife.  This thing called life has no promise for tomorrow for any of us. The fact that we "know" T18 could end David's life sooner than most, has given me a new perspective for living each day to the fullest.  So I bought a journal for Heather and I to write quotables, notables, and great memories for each of our children.  (They are also for us when we get old and forget these great times.)

Today I was able to start writing in each child's book "Born:.." "Weight" "How It All Went Down...Daddy was driving really fast..."  Such great memories of our older kids too.  My Goodness how time flies!

A family's legacy

3 EXAMPLES of God Walking with Me.
1) I was in Books-A-Million looking for a book for my friend, when I came across this book from Max Lucado.  As I walked by, I doubled-back, and starred at the cover...I see my son.  That's my fighter!  Now of course, I got the book because it's Max Lucado talking about leaving a legacy, but that was a moment God had set up for me.
2.) Heather and I have been discussing how we can capture our son.  Thanks to technology, we can see him now.  We are investigating the pricing of this, and have heard it's pretty costly.  Today, I spoke to a close friend who said they would like to help bless us with a donation towards seeing our son.  I had to hang up the phone, because I had my reputation to uphold - but don't you know, I cried like a baby.  God is so Good.
3) Also today, along with journaling my children's lives up til now and receiving news that it will be possible to see my son very soon.  I spoke to a mom from Ocala.  Her son also has Trisomy 18, his name is Caleb, and he will be 2 years old this month.  I thank Jeannette for the phone conversation, for calling a stranger, and giving us hope.  God winked again.  He is so Good.  

If you'd like to see their beautiful baby Caleb - click this link: http://calebsjourneyfromgod.blogspot.com/

What a day for me today.
David, you're already making an impact on me.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A New Day

I wake up.  The sun comes up with me.  Yes, it's good to have a new day. Because today I can choose to have hope in a miracle.  And that's what I choose...today.  Then tomorrow, I'll wake up and just as the sun comes up, I'll turn to my bride, extend my hand onto her tummy - and feel my boy kick me.  Then I'll choose once again to have hope in this miracle. Some may call it false hope. Some may say i'm being naive.  Maybe... or maybe not.  I know what I want to happen AND I believe that my Father in Heaven can provide the desires of my heart.  So I will choose to believe He will bring a miracle baby out of the womb, and I will have tears, tears of joy.

That is what I will choose to believe on this day.

If the Lord doesn't have the same outcome in mind.
I will step into that moment - at that time.
Oh, I will ask "Why"
probably followed up with some expletives,
and I will cry.

I will then gather up the pieces of my heart,
put on my armor and strap on my boots

then look my dear wife in the eyes
and show her the strength - that I know He will provide.  

I will hold my daughters heads under my arms,
and show them the strength - that I know He will provide.

And I will look down at my boys and pass them a wink,
then say a prayer - for them to remember this moment

The day their Daddy had the strength - they knew he would provide.

But until that day comes - I will have my hope that my son will be born. He will let out a roar from heaven and send goose bumps up and down the spines of those that told me to prepare for his death, before we celebrated his life.

"Hey Doc, that feeling you just had - that's the Three-In-One, passing through your body.  WWJD, you say?  His name is David, D-a-v-i-d, now sign those papers so we can be on our way."

"That naive Dad" The guy who didn't believe a word you said.

Thinking of how far we have come since the news that day.
My mind is made up - I didn't come this far to let all the FEARS and WHAT IF's flow through my head.

I traveled to the other side of the world not too long ago, and of all the many God-Inspired moments I experienced - One hit home for me today.

During one of our village stops, I met a man.  This man showed such faith.  He believed - "if these foreign people would pray to this God, my child would be healed."  He brought a picture over to touch her and pray for her.

Just like that. No questions asked.  "Pray over this picture, and I believe."  What?!
As I prayed, I too began to believe that my God could perform this miracle.  Now, over a year later and thousands of miles away - I see that man's eyes, filled with such faith.  He's extending his hand to show me his child.

I receive your prayer request my friend, and thank you for showing me how to have strong faith for my child.

Thank you Jesus for this reminder, of my dear friend and the hope he had that day for his child.

As I think of that man and the picture of his daughter.  I can't help but to think, "Can I be that father?" Can we gather our friends to touch and pray over my child?

Friends, Heather spoke to me about having a time of prayer over her and the baby. If we could put together an evening and time, would you be willing to surround us and cover this baby in prayer?

I would especially ask my dear friends who joined me on our journey through India to be with us.  As well as, all of the God-Fearing, Mother's that have held my bride up in their prayer life.  Could this become a reality?  Would you join us to pray for a miracle?  Please contact us, if you are interested. God bless and thank you for all the prayers you have already said on behalf of our family.

 - Aaron
story's of hope in a miracle

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Our New Doctor

Since we received the diagnosis of Trisomy 18 for baby David we had to switch doctors.  I had my first appointment with Dr. Kelner.  It was probably the best OB appointment I have ever had with all of my pregnancies.  He was very thorough and he listened to all of my concerns.  He has referred me to a dermatologists for the rash that I have, which I also had with my last two pregnancies.  I believe it is PUPS, but my last two pregnancies the doctors just shrugged it off and never did any follow up on it.  Also, I have been having headaches with light sensitivity, again I also had this with my last two pregnancies and the doctors did nothing.  Dr. Kelner has given me a prescription that is not a narcotic or some other word I can't pronounce and it shouldn't have any affect on the baby.
Dr. Kelner also made it a point to do two things.  First, he asked me if I wanted to be in contact with another family that has a surviving trisomy baby that he delivered.  He took down my personal info and passed it along to  an amazing couple that have a trisomy 13 boy that is now two years old.
Dr. Kelner also made it a point to tell me that he in no way has counted out the life of our child.  It was only the second sentence that any doctor has spoke to us at this point that was positive in any way.  The first one being that Dr. Richard's felt David would be strong enough to at least survive the birth process.
I am praising God for his hand of blessing over this doctors visit.

We are still asking God for a miracle and for Baby David to be born with a completely clean bill of health despite what we have seen in the sonograms.  We know that God could do this small miracle.  We also know that it may not be his will.  Whatever the outcome please continue to pray for strength for our family.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Love Daddy

February ended with sickness, and March began with new hope.

February 28th, 3:30am - 
Driving home from work, trying to make it without pulling over - I just came down with the stomach flu.  

The importance to this story is to show how much love my wife has for me.

February 28th is Lexi's 9th Birthday.  I was set to make birthday pancakes just two short hours later.  But this would be the first year, birthday pancakes would not happen.  I fell asleep, with a face so green, and a broken heart, knowing I couldn't make food for the birthday girl with a stomach virus.

I woke up around noon (I think...) to my bride walking in the bedroom to tell me "You have sent Lexi flowers to school with a note that says "Happy Birthday, Love Daddy"  Yep, more tears.  Because for me Birthday pancakes are only second to Christmas Morning.  I can't explain in words what she did for me that day, but i will forever remember "the best flowers I ever sent".

March 1st - Shoutout to Joshua who turned ONE today!

March 2nd -  Lots of love have filled our mailboxes - both physical and electronic.  The letters, texts, emails, chats, and talks with our neighbors have been so heartwarming and encouraging.  It truly is.  Your comments and  even more so your prayers have greatly helped us.

Heather will be blogging soon regarding her doctor appointment from yesterday.  I have vowed not to release those details...but I may invade her blog with my reaction.  New Hope!!!

Beautiful weather and New Hope.  Cheers to a new month.  Happy March.