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Saturday, April 25, 2009

I guess the first and proper thing to do would be to introduce myself. So hello! My name is Danielle and I am very pleased to be able to share our family's story with you. First of all, I would like to share a little background on how our family came to be where we are today...


I married the love of my life on December 12, 2004, just 3 days after my 18th birthday. We were both living with our grandparents and felt like we were an unnecessary burden to them. We met in church through our families and dated for about 8 months (mostly over the phone and through letters) while Joseph was shuffled here and there by the Marine Corps. Needless to say, our families weren't too thrilled when we "told" them we were getting married. The first question we were asked is if we "had" to get married. The answer is a big NO. We had our very first kiss at the alter when we were pronounced man and wife! And yes, we had a wedding (one thrown together in about a week), but a wedding none the less. Joseph and I loving say that marrying each other "was the best hasty decision we've ever made"!
We had our first child, little miss Ansley Joy, on February 18, 2006. She was a week early and was 8lbs 1oz and 18 3/4 inches long! Joseph was still in Iraq when I had her (I'm guessing she was my going away present) but there is quite a funny story behind her birth. I was finally pushing after 20 hours of labor and my cell phone rings. I about jump off the bed because It was Joseph's ring tone. I answer the phone and our conversation goes as follows:

Me: "Hello?"
Joseph: "Hey honey, what are you doing"
Me: "umm, pushing"
Joseph: "pushing what?"
Me: " your daughter..."
Joseph: "What your having the baby. I'm gonna be..."
Me: Honey, I have to push again, hold on."

Pretty comical now that I look back on it! Joseph wasn't on the phone when I actually had Ansley, but was able to call back after she was born. Ansley was 3 months old when she met her daddy for the first time and it was love at first sight.

Our next child was our first born son, Mr. Joseph Elijah Finchum, but we actually call him Eli. Joseph was the only person in the room for his birth, and Eli made his entrance into the world 2 weeks early (Our 2007 Halloween baby), weighing 8lbs 12ozs and 20 inches long. Ansley wasn't thrilled at all about having a baby brother and refused to have anything to do with him. We would ask her to give baby brother kisses and she would promptly inform us that he was "yucky"!

Joseph and I once again decided it was time to add more love to our family and God chose to answer our prayers just a few short months of trying. We were thrilled to be having another son or daughter! Joseph had his heart set on another boy and I really didn't care what we had, I just wanted another healthy baby (call it woman's intuition)... Something just really made me uneasy about this pregnancy.

I went to my first appointment at 6 weeks and ultrasound confirmed everything was where it should be. My next appointment at 10 weeks, we got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. My appointment at 14 weeks, again left the doctor with no reason for concern. So why did I insist there was something off? My stomach wasn't getting as big with this pregnancy, but I contributed it to being healthier this pregnancy. I started feeling the baby kick later than I had with my other pregnancies, but only by about 2 weeks... maybe I'll just have a laid back baby?

On February 16, 2009 my husband and our children went to have our eighteen week anatomy ultrasound. Ansley was excited about seeing her baby brother or sister. Joseph was still trying to convince me to find out what we were having, and Eli was just excited about the crackers we had given him. I was exhausted from lack of sleep the night prior to the ultrasound. I have never been scared of having an ultrasound before. Why was I so terrified this time?

The ultrasound technician started the scan, and after what felt like an eternity of her not saying anything, she asked us if we wanted to know the sex of our child. I caved. And I am so happy I did! She told us we were having another son! Wyatt Nathaniel Finchum. You should have seen the look on Joseph's face... his entire face lit up. But why was the technician frowning as she was taking measurements? With a shaky voice at best, I asked her what was wrong with Wyatt. She just told me that, "his legs were extremely short and that a doctor would be in to talk to us in a minute". When the midwife came in to talk to me, she said we were most likely looking at a case of dwarfism, but that they couldn't get a good look at his heart. We were scheduled for a second ultrasound with a perinatal unit on the 18th and left with a whirlwind of questions in the meantime.

Of course Joseph and I were heartbroken, but when it came down to it, we just hoped there wasn't a problem with his heart. Dwarfism or not, Wyatt was still our son and we were completely at peace with the idea of having a child who would face obstacles in life. But that nagging feeling that there was more to this wouldn't leave me alone. I didn't sleep the days prior to our 2nd ultrasound. The entire car ride to the doctors I kept praying for strength. Joseph and I didn't even talk the hour drive to the doctors, instead we bombarded God with pleas to heal our son.

When we finally made it to the doctors, I couldn't stop shaking. The doctor gave me some sheets to warm me, but being cold really wasn't the source of the problem. Joseph held my hand during the ultrasound and I laid there praying. God answered our prayer for Wyatt's heart... it was fine... it was his body that wasn't. The doctor diagnosed him with Thanatophoric dysplasia. A lethal form of dwarfism. He was given a 30% chance of making it to term, and we were told he would die within the first 24 hours of birth. His odds of survival have been reduced every time we go in for another ultrasound, but he is still with us fighting. We unknowingly picked a very appropriate name for our son. We chose Wyatt because it meant "little warrior"...

So this entry will bring you up to date on what is happening in our lives right now. We are living our lives in a balance of expecting the worst and praying for a miracle. We are cherishing every second we get with our son Wyatt. We are learning a whole new meaning to trusting God, because let me tell you, I don't understand what his plan could be in all this... I just ask that you keep our family in your prayers. We need it desperately. Letting go and letting God is much easier said than done, but we are trying.

((UPDATE))

Since writing this post, our sweet Wyatt has gone on to his eternal home in heaven. He made his way into the world on June 1, 2009 and graced us with his presence here for 2 minutes before leaving his earthly body. We are so proud of our little boy for fighting his way into this world! He weighed 4 pounds 0.6 ounces, and was 12.5 inches long. We miss him dearly, but rejoice in knowing he is in a better place.

4 comments:

Lorie said...

I am sitting here sobbing over your video of your beautiful, precious little Wyatt. God's grace is so immeasurable, and the fact that you can tell your story and still sing his praises is evidence of that. God bless you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss yet encouraged by your strength.

Grant's Story said...

Your video was beautiful. I just now saw your post on my blog. Your page is wonderful and the quote about a moment being a lifetime is true. My Grant has been gone 10 1/2 months and it feels like yesterday! I miss him so much and never even knew him on this earth, but someday I will. I know he and Wyatt are playing in Heaven as we speak. Your family is beautiful! Lots of love and prayers, Lisa

Heather said...

As I read this, it brings back so many memories of my pregnancy with my daughter, Madelyn, now in heaven. We too were given a poor prognosis at our anatomy scan, only in our case, there was severely low amniotic fluid. In fact, it was so low, they couldn't get a clear look at the baby to tell us what was wrong, only that something was and we wouldn't know how serious until the baby was born, though with fluid so low, it was likely that the lungs would not develop properly. So we new that regardless of what else was wrong, we were looking at low chances of survival because of the lungs. I was hospitalized at 26 weeks so they could monitor the baby. They told me it might not help, but we felt any chance was a chance worth taking. She did so well the whole time she was monitored, we though for sure she was going to pull through and be ok. At 34 weeks they decided to induce me because the baby hadn't grown since the last growth scan 2 weeks prior. My first child was born 8/28/09 and she left this world a little over an hour later. We found out later that she had a rare genetic order that is not always fatal, but in our case it was.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know I understand - I understand the scary pregnancy, and then, the pain of losing a child. Many hugs to you.

EvansMommy said...

I stumbled upon your blog today and I'm so grateful I did. Your faith is an inspiration to me. I watch the slideshow of Wyatt. He is beautiful, as are your other two children. You will be in my prayers. God bless you and your family.