As told by his mother, Alicia.
When we started trying to create our little family, I had no idea how difficult the process would be. I remember wondering if we would ever have children and crying countless times because for so many it was so easy, and for us it was becoming increasingly difficult. I would have never imagined from the time we started fertility to now (approximately 6 years) that we would have dealt with everything we have.
We tried many different treatments from clomid, Intrauterine insemination (IUI), and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). At my first IVF cycle, we found out that we were pregnant with identical twins in February 2010. We were so excited and yet so nervous. We heard their heartbeats and everything seemed to be going smoothly. At 9.5 weeks we found out that I had miscarried, and we were devastated. This seemed so unfair, and we had a thousand questions of why but never got one answer. It was hard for us to experience this since it was my first pregnancy. It was difficult to decide what to do next and since we didn’t have any frozen embryos from this cycle, we both knew that meant doing another full IVF cycle. We talked and I said that if we were going to do this again we needed to do this over the summer, since I was a teacher. In July 2010, we did our second IVF cycle. We had four embryos, and they transferred two. I found out I was expecting just one this time, and I was so nervous. I was praying diligently that this little baby would be healthy and this pregnancy would be different. In April 2011, we welcomed our son, and he is the absolute light of our lives. He has been an incredible blessing to us both, and we could have not experience anything more perfect.
After realizing that we were not having our second naturally, we decided to go ahead and do a frozen embryo transfer (FET) with the last two embryos we had. We discussed that if this didn’t work, we were okay with being parents of one child, if that was God’s will for our family. After going through all that we had already gone through this seemed less emotional, or maybe it was because I was trying to remove myself from it all, so I didn’t get emotional about it if something didn’t work out. I’m not really sure. In August 2013, we headed back to try again. I prayed so much that if this was going to work that God would allow that, but if it wasn’t meant to be, for it to just to come back with a negative result. I found out that we were expecting again, and it was just one. We were shocked and excited that it worked.
This pregnancy started out so different than most mommies experience; no two kids are the same and neither are the pregnancies. I wasn’t gaining weight like I had with our first son, not that I was complaining, but I found it odd. I, of course, asked the doctor and she said it was completely normal, again, not all pregnancies are the same. We did genetic testing at 11 weeks to find out the sex since it was covered by insurance. We both wanted a healthy baby, but we were ecstatic to find out we were having another little boy. At 16 weeks I was still a bit nervous on the whole, not gaining weight, so I asked my doctor again. She again reassured me that everything was fine, that my uterus was growing and his heartbeat was strong, so there was nothing to be concerned about. She told me to enjoy it while it lasted, as I would pop soon enough. So, I quit worrying about it.
Week 20 arrived, and I could not wait to see our little boy again. I hadn’t seen him since my 8 week sonogram. I wished someone had prepared me for this appointment, because I had no idea what we would be told in a few short minutes. When we went back, our sonographer was the same one that we had when we found out I miscarried the twins. So we were there doing the sonogram, and it was so good to see him and hear his heartbeat, but things started to seem off when she handed us pictures and tore one off. When she left the room, I looked at my husband and said, “Something is not right. She NEVER does this.”
He said to wait and see what the doctor will say. When the doctor gave us the news I fell apart. I couldn’t keep it together and was so upset that we were dealing with this at 20 weeks. I had prayed at the beginning of all of this, because I just wanted everything to be ok and now it wasn’t.
Heading downtown, I called my mom to tell her what was going on with Baby Nelson and that I would keep her updated. It was so difficult to talk through the tears that fell down my face, as I was trying to explain what little I knew about Baby Nelson’s condition to her. I then had to make phone calls to two friends to figure out how our other son was going to get picked up from school. These calls were not any easier, and of course tears were still falling as I repeated over and over what was going on to them. I think watching my husband call his dad with tears flowing from his eyes was even more difficult to see. This whole day was a complete whirlwind, and I had cried most of the way home that night, not knowing what was really going on with my baby. I was so appreciative that my doctor called to check on me that evening just to see what we found out and what the next steps were.
Wednesday morning arrived. I barely slept that night, and I was exhausted. I knew this day was going to be long and lots of things were going to happen. I was doing okay until after the procedure happened, and I fell to pieces in the waiting room. I remember my husband asking me why I was crying, and I honestly didn’t know why. I think with all that was going on, I was just so overwhelmed that crying just seemed good at the time. I made it through the rest of the day okay, even with all the information we had received from the pediatric nephrologist, the echo, and the final staff meeting. We had talked off and on all day about the information we had received, but it wasn’t till we headed back home that I broke down again. I was so concerned, mostly about what I had heard from the pediatric nephrologist, with how we would deal with or make decisions with having a son already. My biggest and greatest fear was that our current son would think I forgot about him or resent me when he was older because of all we were dealing with in regards to his baby brother. Even though, at this time I didn’t have the final outcome, I was just so consumed with the “what ifs” for our family’s future. I remember telling my husband I didn’t want to do a coin toss and pray it was the right decision for our family. It didn’t seem fair, but really at this point what was fair? As we pulled down our street, I tried to wipe the tears from my eyes and clean my face up, before I went in to see our babysitter.
Wednesday night and Thursday I spent praying, crying off and on, and talking with family and friends that knew what was going on. I prayed so hard for clarity that God would just give us a clear outcome and we would NOT have to make a decision for our family, because I wasn’t ready to go down that road. Thursday night I slept so hard from mere exhaustion of emotions. Friday was a big day, a day I thought I had prepared myself for, but really I didn’t know how unprepared I still was.
As I stated before, we prayed for clarity through this entire process and that a decision for intervention would not rest on us, and this was a blessing that our prayers were answered. The reason this was important is that we felt unprepared to make a decision regarding the quality of life our son would have, and the long term effects it would have on our family. We both decided for us that I would carry our little boy till that time God decided to take him home. We both hoped for a miracle and prayed that whatever His will for our child that He would prepare us during this time. The next few months were very difficult and challenging for us and our family, but God truly blessed us both with wonderful friends and family that have supported us and prayed for us during that time.
Spencer was born March 17, 2014 at 12:34pm and lived a beautiful 31 minutes. He weighed in at 4 lbs 9 ozs and measured 18.25 inches at a 30 week gestational age.
As I finish this for today I am reminded of this scripture that a nurse gave to us in early 2010, “With GOD, all things are POSSIBLE.” Mark 10:27