Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In the beginning there was Genesis...

I'd love for you to meet Tiffany, the author of In The Beginning There Was Genesis & Names on the Sidewalk.  

She started her blogs in honor of her daughter Genesis.  I was so touched by their story.. it was heartbreaking and candid.  You can read Genesis & Tiffany's full story here.  Here is a small part of their story below...

Around 18 weeks the time came to do the AFP test. My husband told me I should decline the test since we were young (23 & 24) and there was no history of any illness or anything in either of our families. I knew he was right but something told me to do the test anyway. I went to the lab and they took my blood. As I was sitting in the waiting room I was feeling very confident that this was just going to be a routine testing and they were going to tell me everything was great just as they had so far through my pregnancy. The lady who took my blood was having a casual conversation with me:

Her: How far along are you?
Me: About 18 weeks
Her: Is this your first?
Me: Yes.
Her: You know, no matter the outcome of this test, you are blessed to have this baby.

I was a little surprised that she said that last statement to me. I just smiled and nodded and after she took my blood I went on with my day. I had no idea what she may be referring to. I was the young and blissfully ignorant pregnant lady we all see walking around on cloud 9. But perhaps I should have paid more attention to this indirect warning as it turned out to be a sign of things to come.

A week later I got a call from my doctor telling me that the results were positive for the AFP test. I asked what this meant. She went on to explain to me about spina bifida and the possibility that was the problem. She also told me that it could be something or nothing. But she wanted me to go to a specialist that could do a 4d ultrasound to either confirm a problem or put me in the clear. There were no available appointments for 2 weeks. So for the next two weeks I carried a heavy heart thinking my child was very ill, but that I could do it and no matter what I would not terminate my baby. The doctor never mentioned my baby could die.

Finally the big day of my appointment arrived and both my mother and my husband came to this appointment. I was incredibly nervous. I remember sitting in the waiting room full of pregnant women just wondering about the possibilities of what could happen. I sat there and watched pregnant women get called in before me... all of them. Even the ones that came in after me. They saved me for last. I was scared about this. Terrified actually. They finally called my name and I had to have a chat with a genetic counselor first. She went over family history on both my side and my husband's side of the family and I don't really recall what else she talked about. I do remember the last sentence that she spoke though, "Don't be surprised of the demise of your baby." That one sentence changed everything for me. Demise? You mean my baby could actually die? Or already be dead? I only thought that my baby may be sick. This almost put me in a panic attack. They finally had me go into the ultrasound room and the specialist came in. I tried to get my mind off things and asked him if we could find out what we were having since I was well into my 20th week. He said yes and that gave me something to look forward to. As soon as he put the ultrasound machine on my belly I saw my baby. I saw the heart beating and I saw the baby move. I was relieved my baby was fine. Or so I thought. He scanned for a few minutes and was quiet the whole time. Finally he put the ultrasound machine down and said, "Did your OB talk to you about Anencephaly?" I had never heard that term before and I said no. He went on to explain it to me. The sentence that stood out to me the most was, "the baby developed without a brain." At that very moment he didn't need to say anymore. I knew that you can't live without a brain. I knew it was the worst news I could get and I started crying. I felt this big. My mom and husband didn't quite get it yet. Then came the horrible phrase those doctors keep saying. "It's a condition that is not compatible with life." Then silence. My mom started crying and hugging me saying "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry..." over and over again to me. I think my husband was in a state of shock because he wasn't saying anything. He wasn't doing anything. Not crying. Not talking. Nothing. Just standing there. The specialist and the assistant with him left us in the room for a few minutes for us to grasp what just happened. My mom and I just cried in each others arms. 

I love that Tiffany is now giving back to other loss parents with Names on the Sidewalk.  

You can request to have your angels name written in colorful chalk and have a picture emailed to you.  To make a request and find out more information...click here.

Thanks Tiffany for all that you do to give back to others and for sharing Genesis with us!


Tiffany said...

Thank you for sharing Genesis' story and my humble gift I have for other grieving parents. <3

Holly said...

Thanks for sharing Tiffany!!!

Monica said...

Thank you for allowing me to share your story!

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