Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cana Lynn Milbrandt : From 13 weeks to 15 weeks

It seemed like every appointment offered a different hope along with a different concern. At the 13 week appt, Dr. Laden requested that I return weekly to make sure i wasn't starting to miscarry. I remember that appt was a thursday and that friday night, i went up to the youth center (i was still working as a youth minister at the time and really loved being around the teens to remind me how much God was asking us to show them His glory thru us) and i told mitch before i left the house, i was spotting. We both thought, well..this might be it. And we were thankful for the mercy if that was His will. See, i stupidly went home after that appt and did the internet research. WORST thing i ever did. sort of. You want to be informed, but you don't want to be scared out of your mind that your baby is going to be deformed and you won't be able to be strong enough to look at her face..it's a horrid thought. But we are human. And i want to be honest with you all, in hopes that i will offer you the consolation that you aren't horrible if you've thought it, too. So when we thought i was losing her, we were a bit relieved.

It turned out it was nothing. I had placenta previa (partial) with Travis so we had our fair share of scares that go 'round. When the spotting was gone by bedtime, we just watched and took it easy and waited for the next appt. That appt was the beginning of the "good news, bad news" journey. Dr. Laden said the fluid sacs around her neck (cystic hygromas) were almost gone and that could point to a heart condition instead of any chromosome abnormalities. And her heart rate was 163, so the fear of miscarriage was pretty much gone too! Good News! But i had selective hearing at the last appt. and apparently we could still be looking at Trisomy 21, Downs. Bad News. But anything was better than hearing we would most likely lose her before ever meeting her....

Which leads me to the most important thing Mitch and I discerned over the course of the pregnancy. Of course, an amnio would have confirmed all the questions we had. It would have limited the drs. appts, and the medical bills and would have allowed us the chance to better plan for our time with her, should God give us a full term pregnancy and live birth. But it also would have robbed us of the hope we carried along the way. This is just how WE felt about this. I see both sides of being able to have the certainty. I would have had NILMDTS there taking pics for us. I would have held her more, given her a bath, had travis meet his baby sister and held her. We would have done so much differently. But we also believe with all our hearts that would we have had that amnio, we would have lost her then. We were so convicted of this that even today, i have absolutely no regrets in just living the pregnancy. After all, we were going to live it out no matter what the world said.

Mitch and I were united in what we felt God was telling us and preparing our hearts for. We felt God was preparing us for a daughter we would have to give back to Him. But even with the hope at each appt, we....just...knew.
Wait for the LORD;

Be strong and let your heart take courage;

Yes, wait for the LORD.

Psalm 27:14

And even tho we thought we "knew"....we had no idea just how much courage it was going to take to get us down that road..that hallway...that room...in texas children's NICU.


  1. Chad and I decided to have the CVS, since I was still 1st Trimester when we were offered testing. And like you, I would never tell anyone else that that decision is right or wrong. I'm a super planner, so it was right for me. It's a very personal decision that has to be made under the most horrific circumstances. I agree with you, that only the parents going through the situation should have the right to make the decision, and should not EVER be quesitoned on that decision. Good for you for knowing what you want, and what you need.

    I am an Internet junkie, so I like you went to the Internet, and learned everything about the "Big 3" chromosomal disorders that I could learn. And, like you we were hoping for Trisomy 21 or Turner's Syndrome. When the geneticist called me on 4/29/09, I was ready and prepared to hear Trisomy 21. I was not, and never would have been, ready to hear Trisomy 18.

    After Jo's diagnosis, simply living and enjoying this pregnancy has been the biggest challenge. But, we're trying. Even though things will not end up like we wanted, she is still God's perfect child, and was indeed created the way that He wanted her to be.

    Thanks so much for sharing. It's wonderful to communicate with someone who knows.

  2. Chris,
    Thank you so much for sharing Cana's story in such detail. We expected to have years to get to know her and watch God's plan for her life unfold. Instead it was all so brief, we almost missed it entirely. I think this is why I cherish each morsel of info now...another glimpse...another facet...to allow us to connect with our precious niece.
    Love, Blessings, Hugs....in person, soon!

  3. Chris,
    Beautifully said. I love reading about Cana. Your love for her just pours through my computer.

    I believe that when we listen, God shows us the right direction. Kuddos to you for listening.


  4. I don't blame you for not getting the amnio. I don't know if I could ever get one done. I declined both the nuchal translucency and the Quad screening earler in the pregnancy that would've shown that something wasn't right. Instead we found out at 22 1/2 wks at my midway US. I don't regret not getting those tests b/c it wouldn't have changed a thing-that's one reason I never got them in the first place.

    The internet is great for information but it can be really overwhelming. There's a lot of not very good info and pictures of anencephaly out there. Most of it is scary when in reality it really isn't (at least that's my opinion).