Born Fragile Yet Strong: The Story of Our Son, Niko Gian Francis Part 1

Today, we continue to celebrate the birth and life of our son, Nicola Gian Francis Watson. Niko was born on July 15, 2017. His story starts long ago, long before God planted a seed of desire in our hearts for another baby.

Our souls met lifetimes ago and we knew we’d be here, at this time, together…

…fulfilling our purpose…

…furthering our expansion…

…helping the world move to a new level of consciousness.

We knew we signed up to release all that which no longer serves us…

… remembering who we really are…

… aligning with our true selves…

… and being brave.

We knew it wouldn’t be easy to re-connect with spirit…

… and couldn’t have imagined how difficult it would feel.

… hearing and answering God’s call is simple, yet often times a struggle…

We knew we would require faith, hope and prayer…

… and so we learned heavily what these powerful energies mean…

… and how to use them in order to overcome…

…. rise up…

… fall…. and get back up again…

… be vulnerable…

… be courageous…

… be terrified…

… surrender…

… triumph…

…fear….

…. and love greater.

… forgiveness…. compassion… self-love…

These are all lessons we came here to learn… so that we can make a positive difference in our lives, the lives of our loved ones, the world, and a change that vibrates throughout the cosmos… as the bigger pictures slowly reveals itself in divine timing.

It’s taken a thousand years to get here and showing up is our assignment… Not without fear, but with willingness to step into the unknown, into a realm of possibility…

We have faith that love is on the other side of our anxiety and it never leaves us, it’s always there. Our true, powerful, divine, timeless, loving selves are here for a plan far greater than our human-ness allows us to understand.

It is through that which I do not understand, that I recognize the path before me. It is when I see my un-knowing, that I know what I must do… Trust, believe, listen and above all else, show up….

Discouragement roars often… and the dark nights of my soul are darker than I thought possible.

But we are all here for a reason and an opportunity… and amidst the fear, I know this to be true and will continue reaching for Jesus, crying out to God, thanking them for revealing peace to me, and I will continue to receive miracles.

This story tells of Niko and his journey into our lives. It also tells the tale of his family, and reveals how miraculous life really is… fear and darkness grips our hearts and our minds and yet…. light and love is a thought away… a miracle in waiting..

… there are no accidents, no coincidences… we are not alone and have an army of divine guidance and protection…. God is surely alive and the power of prayer and energy is real.

Our hearts are powerful, and divine and earthly support takes center stage as our presence touches others…. inspires others, and allows us to keep moving through… when the moments feel unbearable and the darkness feels more real than the light…

… we move into the unknown, not without fear, but especially with faith

…knowing that we aren’t alone… that we are stronger than we think and that love is healing and more powerful than any fiction our  human minds can create.

This is the story of love… hope… faith and miracles.

 

Nursing a toddler and dreaming of another baby

I was still nursing Truly, who was well into her second year, when I was feeling the urge to go ahead and grow our family.

Theo, Truly and Charlie

Our kids are spaced out exactly 3 1/2 years apart. The time was coming.

I started counting ahead 9 months… and reading into the zodiac sign of the baby… would it go along with mine? Would the baby be a summer baby and be able to start school that fall of their 5th birthday? I felt a strong conviction for a summer baby… so he/she could start school and not wait a whole year… aren’t these initial thoughts so funny in retrospect?

We weren’t 100% ready for this, but we knew that feeling would most likely not come anytime soon… we weren’t ready for any of our other kids… we were excited and nervous, knowing it would be a long road ahead but figured we may as well give it a go…. you only live this life once…

…. and I had been called to have a fourth baby for a long time now…

… I had been praying for him/her specifically, since we knew we wanted to grow our family. As fears in the world got larger, I didn’t let that stop me from answering the increasingly loud call that we were to saddle up and get ready…

After a negative pregnancy test, I began to feel the dread that I was wrong in my conviction… what if I wasn’t meant to have another baby? What if Truly was my last opportunity to be pregnant and have a natural childbirth and nurse exclusively, and do all the exciting things I got to do and wanted to do again! What if I couldn’t get pregnant again and that was it?

Keepers of the Light oracle deck
Kyle Gray Keeper of the Light oracle deck cards I pulled a few days before I became pregnant.

There were days of tracking and counting and over analyzing, and of course…. making love on purpose… that’s always an…. interesting… time!

Soon after, we did get a positive pregnancy test and that was that… there was joy, there was excitement…

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This was going to be my best pregnancy yet!

… says my ego…

You’re going to eat well, do pre-natal yoga, deliver at the midwife center with all the kids present… get ready to nurse, babywear and have this experience in the bag…

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Card I pulled a few days into my pregnancy… with our Herkimer diamond, which is a high vibrational healing crystal

Then came the realization that I was growing another person… and we couldn’t tell anyone yet…. and I started to feel so nauseous and couldn’t tell anyone why.

I wasn’t able to be the mom I was used to being, and I started feeling such fear about this whole thing.

I didn’t expect to be sick, as I never was with my other babies, I went through periods of deep fear and anxiety over being pregnant and bringing another baby into the world… I also felt feelings of fear over losing our baby. It was a very unique experience, one that I didn’t expect. This was my fourth pregnancy, I totally have this… but I didn’t… Although I knew in my heart that I was following my path…my true north… there was still fear coming up and out…. and my awareness was far too full, greater than it’s ever been…. and everything that no longer served me was bubbling to the surface.

…. I thought I was ready for this…

… I wasn’t….

I thought because I had done so much work on myself, and had increased my awareness so much, that I was going to blissfully slide into this pregnancy with exuberance, consciousness and colorful baby belly Instagram pics…

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The day we found out we were expecting, we had friends in from out of town. We found ourselves out for the evening, a rarity for us, at the exact place we got married… Mt Washington, Pittsburgh.

This baby is bigger than your fear

I felt these words, loud and clear… and realized that I had to let go of these fears that were coming up… that I was also a channel for the fears of the soul I was carrying within me… A pregnant mama is essentially carrying two consciousnesses within her… and processing emotions for the new being…

I slowly stepped into this purpose driven experience and stepped aside… I embraced the belief that no amount of my fear or negativity was going to change the course of this soul’s purpose…. that God had a plan much bigger than my worry… and it was time for me to give my anxiety to Him… and surrender…

The Discovery

This day felt routine… I started feeling energetic again… embracing my pregnancy and excited about taking each moment as it came. I decided I was going to give the Midwife Center a try, and deliver there… should the kids be in the room, should they not be… would I make it to the center on time? As long as Sean wasn’t catching the baby unassisted again, I felt confident that all would be well.

This day included our 20-week anatomy scan. Sean, Truly and I went to St. Margaret’s and started the ultrasound that would take almost an hour. We were laughing and joking…. Truly was on her tablet… I was eager to make sure everything was good, that baby had ten fingers and ten toes… We hadn’t planned on finding out the sex. Truly had been saying for the first few weeks that it was a boy… if you asked her, she’d say, without a doubt, that it was a boy. So, obviously, it had to be a boy and we would just wait and find out when he/she was born! We enjoyed being surprised with all our kids.

Our scan concluded with the tech saying that she was going to have to call the main hospital because “the baby’s legs are short”….

“How short?” I asked.

“A few weeks behind” she replied.

Oh, I thought… that doesn’t sound like a big deal. I thought she was implying there were almost no legs… like they were just dots on the scan.

We made immediate plans to get another scan done at the main hospital. That was a gut-wrenching drive. WTF…. what was going on? Sean and I just went with the flow and held hands….and we knew that whatever was happening, we would get through it.

At Magee Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, we met with the medical director of Mercy Ultrasound, who performed another ultrasound and confirmed the findings. He said the “femurs were shortened and curved.” The “abnormalities” were isolated to the femurs, so he suggested some form of dwarfism.

There was a lukewarm, burning sensation that occurred in my throat… in my chest… it was like falling in slow motion and I really didn’t hear anything he said.

He did ask if we wanted to know the sex, and at this point, not knowing the fate of our baby, we said yes…. although I already knew the answer.

“It’s a boy”… he said.

He was calm, cool, clinical… I knew he felt compassion for us, but was giving us information the best way he knew how.

What was to be made of our boy…. our son…. he was so young… truly alive and yet what would his future….look…like….

Sonogram pic

We would follow up with this doctor in three weeks to do another ultrasound. We then met with Genetics, who clinically, again, shared with us some information and “options.”

We could do an amniocentesis, which would be taking a sample of my amniotic fluid for testing…. This genetic counselor also wanted to let us know that if we cared to terminate the pregnancy, we would only have up until 24 weeks. That was 4 weeks away.

Our genetic doctor and OBGYN, told us that our baby had some form of skeletal dysplasia. The results range from deadly to “these kids doing pretty well”.

The next few weeks were a blur…. Googling “curved and shortened femurs at 20 week ultrasound” brought terrifying results.

There was always a chance it was nothing… and an equal chance of it being something.

I covered our baby in light, prayed to God and learned quickly that I was not in control of this situation.

My only responsibility was to show up, let go of attachment to outcome, pray and receive miracles.

…. and hold my husband and kids closer and tighter than I ever have before.

“Maybe he’ll just walk a little funny”

We had an echo cardiagram ultrasound done, where they test the heart for abnormalities. The sweet doctor came in quickly and said, “Everything is perfect! I will tell them you are normal and boring!”

Relief….

…. huge relief…

The next ultrasound our doctor performed, showed similar findings to the last one. Aside from the curved and shortened femurs, everything else was normal. There wasn’t any sign of fractures, which made him say that he didn’t think it was brittle bone disease.

He wasn’t sure what it was, but we met with Genetics again.

We met with another doctor this time, and he seemed friendly and met our jovial spirit with optimism. This type of finding was congruent with a skeletal dysplasia, which is an array of hundreds of conditions. He thought because the femurs looked parallel, that it was some type of genetic malformation, rather than something more random. He said it could be deadly, or “maybe he would just walk a little funny”…. he was joking and we were happy to oblige.

He suggested we come back in two months for a follow up.

We went home floating on air, as our echo came back great and our positive convictions were holding our hearts high and free.

A few days later, I got a call from Ultrasound and they said that although the genetic doctor advised us 2 months, their standard is to see us sooner then that… so we made an appointment for 28 weeks into our pregnancy.

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25 weeks pregnant, one of the first pregnancy pics I was confident to take

The day of our third ultrasound came… and it was the day that changed it all for us.

This is the day our doctor shared with us significant enough change in our ultrasound.

“I think it’s brittle bone disease. I notice some fractures and thickening of the bones, which is suggestive of the bones breaking and then growing thicker back together. That would explain the curving of the femurs.”

He said other limbs were falling off the growth chart as well, and the most telling piece of information for him, was the softness of the calvarium, which suggests poor bone mineralization of the skull.

“I’m sorry” he said. “I know it wasn’t the news you wanted to hear.”

We met with genetics and a doctor I would come to know, told us to Google Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Sean scribbled it on our doctor’s business card.

This, as you can imagine, really threw us for a loop. This was the heaviness that continued to penetrate our hearts… and our minds… and we still weren’t sharing any of this information with anyone… we just couldn’t… we weren’t sure how this would play out, but we knew that we wanted to keep our space sacred, and process this together as much as we could. We didn’t want our hurt to be felt by others.

If you Google Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), you’ll quickly learn how rare it is… but you’ll soon learn that the most severe type of OI is diagnosed in utero.

This means that out of the different types of this genetic condition, the most rare and most clinically severe form will cause a baby’s bones to be so weak that they actually break and fracture in what is typically the safest place for a baby to grow.

You’ll also learn that when this discovery is made in utero, there are generally (most likely without exception) two outcomes….

One outcome is the most severe type you can live with… bones that easily fracture, but can be strengthened with an IV treatment… and there are so many different mutations of OI that there is no way to know a baby’s outcome and how he/she will grow, without allowing just allowing it to happen.

The other outcome is that the bones are so weak, that it affects the growth of the rib cage and it’s unable to sustain the growth or functionality of the lungs. Also, since collagen production is compromised with OI, it can affect the functionality of the lungs.  Most often, this type of OI leads to stillbirth or a baby passing shortly after birth due to respiratory distress.

The good news is that we didn’t see any signs of the latter type in our ultrasounds. The rib cage appeared to be fracture free, and of normal size.

Sigh of relief…

…. however, there was literally no way to say for sure, and a doctor cannot make a diagnosis based on ultrasound findings alone.

What were we supposed to do?

Was there anything we could do?

We scheduled the amnio for the following week.

Did late-term abortion cross our minds? Yes it did…. I called our genetic doctor and asked for more information on what he thought was going on. He said, “There is a spectrum of possibility here, where the baby is born with some bone abnormalities on one end and where the baby passes in utero on the other hand and I think you’re somewhere in the middle.”

Thanks…. he knew he couldn’t give me the hope or certainty that I wanted. I asked him about late term abortion and he said it wasn’t available in the state of Pa. He also did share that if the OI was in fact the kind that can’t sustain life, that the baby would pass anyways.

…Not the answer I was looking for.

Sean and I now had a new sense of conviction that we were meant to have this baby…. we scared as hell, but at the same time at peace with the belief that this was bigger than us… and that we were meant to be walking this path…. together.

The following week, I went in for an amniocentesis. I could write in length on each of these experiences, as they all have an energy of their own. I will keep it short, but look forward to going into more detail in another post.

Our doctor, in her fellowship, performed the amnio.

Here I was, I thought… a far cry away from the last time I was planning our baby’s birth…The last time I went into labor, it ended with an unassisted home birth.

And now here I am, a patient with Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) at a hospital…. MFM is for high risk mothers, and although my personal health was not at high risk, my pregnancy was…

Even though our doctor was an MD, and in her fellowship, she was still in training and guided by our genetic doctor. This was both terrifying, and an opportunity to pray to Jesus while listening to Yo Yo Mah on Pandora.

If ya’ll know Arch Angel Michael, ya’ll know he was there…. in all his glory…. sharing space with Mary and Jesus, guides and angels… all were present and we thank you for always being with us.

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There is a 1 in a 1,000 risk of miscarriage with an amnio…. We didn’t get the amnio sooner because we didn’t see any results changing the direction of where we were going. We weren’t going to trust any test that much, and I think we were still leaving space for possibility.

So we took the test, just so we could have a better idea of what we were seeing. With the sample taken, it would be about 4 weeks before we found results. A panel is grown that tests for all forms of skeletal dysplasias, and for us, they would check the collagen gene for a mutation. Collagen is required for bone production and if it’s abnormal, then the bones get a distorted message from the gene and don’t grow as strong.

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Reality vs Possibility

This is the sweet spot… this is where you plan for the “reality” while holding space for possibility.

I didn’t want to go in for a follow up ultrasound… I didn’t want to have any more conversations with a genetics person and I didn’t want to imagine my life without my baby, or my baby born with a severe medical condition that won’t give him an opportunity to move freely or walk or have a fulfilling life, or one filled with pain.

I didn’t want to have the conversation with my kids that we may lose their little brother. I didn’t want to even tell them how different he may be. Fear continued to grip my heart and told me that there is no way to walk through this.

Faith is where I found and continue to find true reality.

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29 weeks and feeling a little more brave… “My baby is healthy and strong…. my baby is healthy and strong.”

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And we know damn well the totality of possibility – thank you Louise Hay, may you rest in peace and your words continue to bless our lives!

I told myself:

I know damn well that I don’t know what I don’t know and this baby and his soul is far bigger than me… that we are channels of divine light and far more powerful than we give ourselves credit for.

I soon remembered that

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and this is an opportunity to

show these mountains how big my God is…

I continued to remind myself that I am a spiritual being having a human experience and who am I to label this situation or let fear and what appears to be hijack my path… and my heart…

No clinical diagnosis or observation can match the power of an energy far greater than anything we can see with our eyes, but can feel with our souls… I hear your words but I will not sink into an experience that leaves no room for my Maker and His army of divine beings to lay his healing light on my heart… and this pregnancy… and this journey… whatever the outcome may be, your influence will bear no weight on how I feel about it… or what our souls have planned for our destiny.

God is already there.

God knows the outcome… He is paving the way for us to cross and offers us peace and love as we travel through… the mud, the darkness the fear… the words, the opinions, the tests, the diagnosis… God is already there whether we feel fear or love and I firmly believe that we aren’t to live our lives in the shadows but to see and call them out… and then be willing to step into the light… allow the light… because we are the light.

Greater is the He within than the he that is in the world.

We have the power of God within us… we have the power of Jesus within us… and we are allowed to call on them and their healing power whenever we need it.

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Ask and we shall receive.

We pray not for an outcome… but for peace… that God’s will be done… and that we will see and feel peace… that may or may not come with understanding.

 

Kids of Steel Marathon
29 weeks: The Kids of Steel Marathon and the first year we ALL ran together! Daddy and Theo ran ahead and me and the girls walked/jogged/chased Truly.

God’s voice

There were days when I couldn’t hear God’s voice at all… I couldn’t feel the presence of angels at all… all I could feel was fear… all I could hear were worst case scenarios… these times came and went but were important because they made me see that I would have them, but that I needed to step aside and allow for a better way… so I could hear my instruction… so I could hear the message… so I could feel His peace…

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There was one very meaningful time I heard God loud and clear, and I look forward to writing about… but here is something I will share now:

“Your understanding is not necessary”

I felt these words on my heart and knew that I had been wrestling with outcome… and understanding the situation… perhaps trying to fix it.

I have learned that I don’t need to understand something in order to fulfill my purpose. I just have to be willing… willing to see things differently, willing to show up, willing to let God intervene and get out of my own way.

All of the things I have learned up to this point about God, the universe, the Law of Attraction, fear, love, life… they were all asking me to step up… and lean in… and grow, expand and step into the person I was meant to be here on this earth.

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Showing off at 30 weeks… Once I got around a full length mirror, I realized how fun these pictures could be! Last night away for the two of us.

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Vaginal vs Cesearean Birth

I really look forward to sharing this story all in its own space! This was a huge part of this experience for me…. Before meeting with MFM, I was receiving care from the Midwives at Magee… but once I got further along in my pregnancy, I was transferred to MFM, as they would be responsible for the delivery.

During one of my midwife appointments, she advised me to speak with a doctor from MFM about a possible cesearean birth. She knew I wanted to have a natural vaginal birth, but wanted to give me time to process the probability that they would recommend and highly encourage a c-section.

Within 15 minutes, they squeezed me in to meet with one of the MFM doctors, who I actually really loved. She had a sense of humor, and our conversations were quick-witted and enjoyable considering the circumstances. She wanted to let me know that there was no way they would recommend a vaginal birth, unless the amnio tests came back to reveal that there was a chance the baby wouldn’t make it…. so they would give me the option because they wouldn’t insist on a c-section to save a baby that didn’t have a good chance of surviving.

I knew in my heart that I wanted to have a vaginal birth and did some online research. There isn’t a whole lot when it comes to this rare condition, but I did come across a study that was done recently. A survey was done in babies that were born, either with OI diagnosed in utero or after, both who were delivered vaginally and via c-section. The survey showed there was no significant difference in fracture rate at birth. Golden!

I had two conversations with OI specialists over the next few weeks. They both said that if a cesearean is not recommended for any other reason than the baby having OI, there wasn’t enough evidence to show that it made the outcome better for the baby.

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The Results

After the last ultrasound, our doctor told us he didn’t see any changes. I told him to only tell me the positive… he said that the baby was growing 🙂

I asked about the ribs and he did say that he didn’t see any “overt rib fractures”, which gave me relief that we were leaning more towards the baby having an opportunity to survive.

The next week we went back to the hospital to meet with Neonatology. We were also waiting to get back the test results from the skeletal dysplasia panel. These results were sent out to a lab and we were to hear back any time now… I was 34 weeks pregnant.

The day we were scheduled to meet with Neonatology, we waited anxiously in the waiting room. Before we headed back to talk with them, our genetic doctor called us into his office, with the doctor who did my amnio, by his side. He said he had the results of the skeletal panel. I could not tell by his demeanor what the results were.

He confirmed their speculation that the test results did come back positive for a mutation in the collagen gene, congruent with an OI diagnosis. He couldn’t say for sure which type it was but the results implied “one of the more severe ones,” he said.

Well, the ultrasound findings told us that. And I can’t say that I’m surprised, although, deep inside, I was really hoping for this to all be one big mistake. Ultrasounds are wrong sometimes and even amnio results have a 2% chance of being wrong. I wanted to take that 2%.

But, instead, I felt the weight on my chest again, as he said things I don’t remember and led us into a different room to meet with the head doctor of Neonatology.

It was in this room that we were asked if we understood what was happening and if we understood what the possible outcomes were…

… Our positive attitudes and conviction in a greater purpose may have been concerning to everyone… were we obilvious to what was going on? Were we in denial?

No…. we heard what they were saying… and we were showing up to go through it with them.

The doctor across the desk from us told us that his team would be in charge of the baby after he was born. He would either breath, or not breath, and there was no way to predict either way.

He also asked us if we wanted to speak with hospice.

No… no we didn’t.

I told him what was important to me, like skin-to-skin contact, delayed cord clamping and nursing immediately. These things seemed quite trivial at this point, but he wanted to honor my wishes by hearing them and doing whatever he could.

We then went into another room with the young doctor and I remember her speaking to the term ‘lethal’. There is a lethal form of OI, where the baby doesn’t survive and I think what I was trying to wrap my head around, was how probable was this outcome for our baby. This was an answer no one could give us.

She was so concerned for us, and spoke very sweetly and with kindness. She said, “What does the term lethal mean anyhow? We are all going to die someday, isn’t life lethal?”

This actually did bring me comfort. It made me realize that nothing is certain and we all do die one day. The difference is, do we want to know when that time is… and that’s what we were up against. Is it better to know, or not know. For yourself… and for your loved ones… and for the baby in your womb.

Fast forward to when we were in the NICU, a young resident was making appointments for us for after discharge… and she set us up for a test we “needed”, which I will share later, but she so confidently and sincerely said to me in a loving tone,

“It’s better to know sooner then later.”

Her words stuck with me, and at the time, I didn’t want to know. When I was pregnant, oftentimes I wish I could “un-know.”

What if I hadn’t gotten that ultrasound… what if I just didn’t know…

I learned for a reason and I am now grateful to have learned when we did. I believe now it made a significant difference in a positive way.

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“So your baby has OI. Congratulations.”

I found a doctor online who specializes in Osteogenesis Imperfecta. I emailed him and I was so excited when we got onto a call with each other. It was the first time I had a real conversation with someone… someone who knew what I was talking about…and wasn’t afraid to talk about it.

We talked about a lot of things, but one thing stood out to me the most. He said to me:

“So your baby has OI. Congratulations.”

It was very matter-of-fact but somewhat reassuring. This changed my life. At this point, I hadn’t really said the words out loud and I certainly did not attribute them to my baby.

But when he said them, for whatever reason…. he gave life to possibility. He gave life to a positive outcome… and one that was going to be Ok.

Again, we discussed many things and one of them was what my ultrasound showed and what the other docs weren’t willing to say to me.

“There are no overt rib fractures. And his chest size and shape is normal,” I told him

“Well,” he sighed.

“That’s a good sign.”

Thank you…

…thank you, Jesus…. these were the words I was yearning for. I was pleading for someone to validate the little research I was able to do online about the most severe form of OI as it’s found in utero.

I ended the conversation with high hopes… I felt good. He gave me hope and that’s all I needed.

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36 weeks vs 37

At 36, I was cool… at peace… ready to release… ready to accept whatever our outcome was.

At 37 weeks… I was a mess… I felt so much physical and mental anxiety I hadn’t felt in years. I met with the doctor from MFM again.

At this point, they were willing to partner with me for a vaginal birth. I had given them all my research, but it’s possible they settled for a vaginal birth because of our baby’s OI diagnosis. They weren’t going to risk my healthy life, for a baby that may or may not make it.

Also, since the recovery for a ceserean is greater, they were aware that if our baby did have a lethal form of OI, a vaginal delivery would allow me to be present for our final moments together. I wouldn’t have to spend time in a recovery room while precious minutes passed by.

At this appointment, I showed her just how I wanted to squat and give birth. We laughed… and I was serious.

“Where do you plan on doing that?” she asked me.

“On the bed,” I told her.

She said they were willing to work with me on whatever I wanted, and I would have to be willing to work with them too. I don’t know what her gut was telling her about this… did she think my baby was going to make it? I wasn’t sure… she wouldn’t tell me… but her demeanor was comforting.

At 38 weeks I met with another MFM at a routine appointment and answered his burning questions about our OI diagnosis.

Did I understand everything? Did I want fetal monitoring? How did I feel about everything?

My blood pressure was high for me, but normal with all things considered…

I asked if we could just listen to the heart beat and get on with it.

“Happy baby” he told me as we listened.

At our 39 week appointment, Sean came with me. I had prayed for a positive experience.

An older doctor came in and I held my breath. I asked if he was going to give me an internal. He asked if I wanted one. I said I didn’t know but I thought it would make sense to have one, even though I knew dilation doesn’t determine when labor begins.

He told me he thought it may make me feel better if I knew. So we learned I was 2 1/2 centimeters dilated.

His demeanor at this point was so calm and carefree. He said he would recommend fetal monitoring because he wouldn’t treat me any differently than anyone else.

We chatted briefly about acupuncture.

He casually finished our appointment by saying, “All you have to do is go into labor.”

He didn’t ask me if I understood everything. He didn’t ask about OI. He did exactly what I needed him to do….

… treat me like a woman who was going to have a baby.

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No One Can Birth This Baby But You

The minutes and hours dragged on…. I dwelled in a space of denial, anxiety and peace. There is a game the mind plays at this point, where it almost convinces you that you’re going to be pregnant for the rest of your life…. this is your normal.

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You will always have this baby in your belly and you better come to terms with it. For me, I would always sit in this place of angst where I didn’t know the outcome of my baby. Or me, for that matter. Would I even make the birth?

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The Waiting Game

Now… we wait… and, ideally, wait “without anxiety.”

So much prayer…. so many light healing sessions… so much surrendering… so many trips to the pool, camps, summer things…

I was both ready to birth and afraid to birth… I was ready to walk the path and also dreading the steps.

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Pregnancy, a vessel for life, is all the while a beautiful teacher of spiritual and life lessons. We cannot hurry anything along… it’s just all perfect in its own time.

9 months is a long time…. in the grand of scheme of things it isn’t, but for us, it feels like an eternity.

One thing I kept reminding myself is that God is in control. I don’t have to be…. and this illusion of control is just that…. when you turn everything over to a higher power, you feel relief… because divine timing is way better than what our minds can conceive or attempt to design.

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Stay tuned for Part 2: Our son is born

 

One thought on “Born Fragile Yet Strong: The Story of Our Son, Niko Gian Francis Part 1

  1. rachel344

    Nikki,

    I LOVE that ‘love is on the other side of anxiety’ and I’m working on some things myself to showcase how powerful this is!

    Niko is exceptional and I love him even though I haven’t met him yet. He has quite a story to tell once he’s old enough!

    Your stories inspire me. It reminds me of the weekly emails I get from my client and coach who is focused on “purpose”- it’s so inspiring!!!!!

    Keep on, keeping on!
    Rachel

    Rachel Strella
    Owner
    Strella Social Media
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