Saturday, November 20

digging a bit deeper

I had a blog when I was pregnant with Wyatt.
It was an empty blog - no pictures, no emotion, no color, no meat...
simply updates.
I don't even know how to find it now.
I was freaked out of my mind during the pregnancy,
yet I just couldn't bring
myself to share my raw self with the world wide web.
I wanted to talk & share & cry!
But I was afraid of being judged.
Like I had done something wrong to my unborn baby.
Or that people would think I was an ungrateful whiner.
Or admitting that my perfect little life actually had a flaw in it.
And that I would seem like a bad mama for having such
negative feelings about this new challenge.
I felt so incredibly alone.
And while I had an amazing support system from family & friends,
none of them knew my agony.
And that's ok. I don't think I was ready to spill guts then.
But I'm ready now.
And that's why I'm excited about these questions you've got for me!

Here's 3 questions from goingbananas:

What were the first indicators that something wasn't right with your son? Were you afraid to have another child after Wyatt for fear of having another child with disabilities? Does it bother you that he has no conclusive diagnosis?

Whew, this brings up some emotion.
Remembering just how painful it was during
that first ultrasound,
to hear that our baby boy had an abnormal brain.
The ultrasound tech had just told us that we were having a boy!
How WONDerful and exciting. A boy.

The tech spent lots of time examining the brain and taking measurements. I never thought anything of it, just how thorough she was. She also took lots of time looking at the heart. I noticed a bright white spot on the baby's heart and got curious. But she kept silent as she took lots of pictures. And then we were done. So happy to be expecting a boy!

The gal then says, matter-of-factly, "Now Brianne, I found something. The brain ventricles are enlarged." And just like that, my world changed. Life stopped and then started to disappear as she explained that there was also a spot on the heart called an echogenic focus and that I would be seeing a perinatologist the next day. The peri would be able to use high-tech equipment in order to hopefully give more answers about the baby's condition.

I was numb and hurting and wanted to just rewind the ultrasound to realize that all was well. I was so sick inside. But I put on a half-smile and we all went out to donuts to celebrate our boy.

It was torture waiting for that peri appointment. I prayed and prayed that it would not be so. "Please, let everything be healthy and fine! I don't want to be one of those moms. I don't want to have a child with special needs. I just want to have parties and bake cookies and go to the park with my perfect little children!"

My awesomely calm and encouraging husband was my strength, because I had nothing to give. I was falling apart inside and losing all hope for the joyous full life that I expected to enjoy with my little family.

So to the peri appointment we went only to have everything confirmed. Three of the four brain ventricles appeared to be enlarged. The spot on the heart was not a big concern, as lots of people are born with that. It is as common as some people being left-handed, others being right-handed. Thankfully, the "a"-word was barely mentioned. Parents in these blessed parts (utah!) are strong believers in life. We would absolutely be bringing this special baby into the family no matter what. But oh! help me to love him and be happy, God.

The doctor could give no diagnosis or foretell in the least how the brain abnormality would affect the baby. Would the baby survive to birth? How long would he live? What kind of limitations would he have? Would he look different? On & on we asked questions and
NOTHING could be answered. Wait and see, he said, wait and see.

And I guess that answers your first question! (sigh) I'm drained. And if you're wanting the rest of the story, you can read about the sugared-up version of the pregnancy and the birth, if you'd like.

Mother's Day 2009 - prego with #3

2nd question:
Was I afraid to have another child after Wyatt?
But we knew that we were not done building our family.
Faith & prayers allowed me to trust that God
would give us the child that He wanted us to have.
And that's that.
To be honest, though,
fear tried to sneak in occasionally
but I had faith.
Faith is powerful.

June 2009 ~ Sweet'ems B-day

2 months old
Ella has brought so much beauty into our lives
in a trillion zillion ways.
As each of our children do.

Question #3:
Does it bother me that Wyatt doesn't have
a conclusive diagnosis?

Aug. 2009
Really good question.
The diagnosis thing consumed me for his first 18 months.
I was constantly researching, networking,
going to dr. appointments,
blah, blah.
I was so concentrated on getting a diagnosis
in order to figure out what Wyatt's future would be like,
that I missed maaaaaaany opportunities to just love my boy.
He was always Wyatt,
diagnosis or not.
Oh, the lessons I've been learning!
I should write a book someday.
More tomorrow........


  1. Your ability to express yourself and your feelings is incredible! It flows straight from your heart and brought tears to my eyes.

    And should you write a book someday, Bree...I wholeheartedly know that I will love it from cover to cover.

  2. Oh Bree, I love the rawness of this. I love that you put your soul into answeing those questions. I can only imagine how painful that all must have been. And I look at what you do now as a mother and it just amazes me! I think I speak for all your readers when I say you are an inspiration, and thank you for sharing your strength with us all!

  3. I love this post. What great questions.... AND answers! I wanted to say, YES! or Ditto! to everything you said. I can so relate. Thanks for saying it so eloquently! Oh, and the picture with W opening his mouth wide is to die for! I LOVE it!!! Have a great rest of the weekend!

  4. I don't know if I've mentioned this to you or not (I've been thinking out loud a lot lately) -- but my brother and his wife had an ultrasound like this. They went in for the thumbs up and got a lot more appointments set up for them. They moved from here to South Carolina a few months ago, and their doctors there pushed really hard at first for the "a" word, which they flatly refused. This daughter (second girl for them!) has Ebstein's Anomaly -- an heart defect that will claim her life. Just tonight Lizzie was praying over dinner and asked for baby Emma to survive. We're all hoping she is born alive and survives for a few hours. That's the absolute best case scenario. It is very possible she will die in-utero and will have to be delivered anyway as a still-birth. Fortunately for those of us who are far away and hurting for them they've been keeping a blog. It's been helping to see some fragment they're ready to share about what they're going through. This will be the second baby in our family to die (my older sister lost one of their twin boys about a dozen years ago) and it's so painful. We have learned so much about eternal families and the eternal nature of our spirits through this situation. I'm so glad Wyatt is ALIVE. He is SO alive! He's positively vibrant and it always makes me smile :) I hope that Emma has a chance to be so alive, even if only for a few precious minutes or hours.
    (Hope that makes sense, I started rambling at some point there :"))

  5. Hi Bree - Thanks for finding me and commenting on my blog, I am always on the look out for special kids and their special mommy blogs for entertainment and for lifting my spirits, yours looks like a good one! Wyatt is adorable, and I can't wait to learn more about him... You know, when it's not midnight and all. :)

    This is a great, raw, post... With Dylan we knew something was up, but we didn't know what, and we certainly didn't expect HPE. I can only imagine an abnormal ultrasound! Ahhhh... But it is what it is right? These days it's all about blessings that I never thought I would appreciate!


  6. Bree- I just love to hear you talk about Wyatt. You can hear your love and pride for him through your words. Give the kiddos hugs from me please :)

  7. This is just plain heart-wrenching. I sometimes wonder if ultrasounds are the blessing we think they are. I mean it's nice to be prepared and to know what's going on in there, but it also means having to worry about things far earlier than we would have to otherwise. When my mom had my brother in 1987 she didn't know he had Down's Syndrome until she delivered him and the doctor and nurses started acting weird. They even suggested putting him in a home somewhere! I find this shocking and upsetting even 23 years later!

  8. Ah Bree ... this post is so honest and raw. You are an awesome writer. :) The photos of Bugg are enough to make me love him! We don't have a diagnosis for Emily either. Like you, it consumed me in the beginning. Now I don't even care. A diagnosis is not who Emily is - she is an amazing, beautiful, strong, willful girl!!

  9. Thank you for sharing all these moments.

  10. I love this! I had no idea just how heart wrenching everything was for you in the beginning, but I'm so glad you have been able to find JOY in your life. Wyatt is such a joy to have in our family!

  11. Hi Bree, I loved hearing you talk about Wyatt. I can so relate since we knew ahead of time, too, that Delaney would have Down syndrome. We found out during my 16th week of pregnancy and came quickly to acceptance that this sweet baby was God's will for our lives. Not to say that I didn't cry a lot for a couple of days and then a few more days of "lack of faith" crying towards the end of the pregnancy when all those hormones were going wild.

    You see...we thought we wanted only one child, we waited 15 years to have him. Then around 39 years old, when Cole was 5, I began to question our decision. It was a decision that my husband and I just could not make on our own. So...we did the only thing we knew to do, turned it all over to God. And boy did HE make a "lightning" fast decision. I was pregnant the first month without even trying (we tried for a year for Cole). When we found out that Delaney would have DS, acceptance was so much easier because we had asked God for an answer to our second child question and he had given it to use immediately.

    I had two profound epiphanies during my pregnancy. One was that we thought we were having a second child for Cole so that he wouldn't be alone in this ole world when we were gone. When, in fact, I think we were suppose to have Cole first for Delaney because God knew all along that she was on the way and would need a stellar big brother (which he is).

    And secondly, occasionally, during my pregnancy, I would have odd/mixed feelings about "purposely growing an imperfect baby." I don't think that anyone can explain that part of the pregnancy without having experienced it themselves. Do you agree? Like you, we are a family of faith and love for God. God has never given me anything that He didn't think I could handle. I even told the doctor all of this as she delivered the news to us. I felt like I was comforting her and letting her know that all would be ok.

    In conclusion to my lengthy sermon, I can't imagine life without my sweet angel baby. She just "completes" us as a family.


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