Saturday, January 16, 2010

Grey

As a little girl, I thought every decision made was black and white. Now, as an adult, I've come to know I couldn't be more wrong. My husband and I have had to make so many tough decisions over the past three years. Decisions with weighty consequences.

Three years ago {this month} I got pregnant with six children at one time. Six weeks into my pregnancy, my fertility doctor told me I needed to selectively reduce the number of babies I was carrying. She said this pregnancy wasn't safe. For me or the babies. When Ryan and I told her no, she proceeded to speak to us in a way the was completely unproffessional and unbecoming of a doctor. Pressuring us. Doing her best to force us to do something that went against our beliefs. In that moment, we were confident. We chose life.

But that decision to carry all six of the babies wasn't a one time thing. Almost every day of my pregnancy, I forced myself to choose life for my babies, in the midst of fear, ridicule and morning sickness so terrible that for days I was in a state of delirium.

When I was admitted to the hospital at 17 weeks gestation, we were told that babies are considered viable at 24 weeks gestation. We then had to decide at what gestation we would resuscitate. After praying and trusting God, Ryan and I said that if I made it to at least 23 weeks, we would give our babies a chance. At the same time, expecting to go much further than that.

At 22 weeks and 6 days gestation, when we knew the babies were coming, we had to choose yet again. This decision was so much more difficult than the last. Do we do everything we can to give our children an opportunity for life on this earth or is it more humane to call it a miscarriage and let our babies go peacefully to Heaven where they would be alive and whole?

It's so grey, and who are we to make decisions such as these?

Ryan and I didn't know what to do, but while I was lying on a bed, sobbing and terrified, a most wonderful NICU doctor said to us, "Lets try it. Let's just see what happens." So once again, we chose to give each of our babies every possible chance for a life on this earth.

But two days later when we were told that three of our boys, Bennet, Tryg and Lincoln, all had severe hemorrhaging on their brains and their bodies were quickly deteriorating, we had to decide again. Do we watch them die a slow painful death just so we can have a few more hours or even a day with them or do we allow them to rest in peace? To let them go, because we love them?

We chose to let them go.

Losing three boys in three days. Hell. Complete Hell.

All for love.


{I originally started this post with the intent to tell you about recent decisions we've made regarding the treatment of Sy's Cerebral Palsy. I soon found that I couldn't do it without getting all of this out first. Thanks for listening. I'll post about Sylas soon}.

33 comments:

  1. I'm hooked. And confident whatever decision you make is the right one for your babies.

    Steph

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  2. You are so strong and brave to stick to your convictions and make decisions that may not have been easy, but were right for you and your babies.

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  3. Bri,
    How incredibly beautiful that you and your husband gave all that you had to your babies. As with all things in life, when all we have isn't enough, God fills in the rest.

    I am blown away be what an incredible woman you are. Simply beautiful.

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  4. What amazing parents you are! I'm at a loss for words but so admire your bravery and strength!

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  5. Oh, Bri. I don't have any words for this. Just wishing I could give you a hug or hold your hand while you tell your story. We'll be here listening.

    -elizabeth

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  6. I got pregnant with Layla sometime the 1st week of February the same year. I will never forget your babies.
    We all have to make a lot of "grey" decisions in life. You never know how many people have been impacted by your story. God is still using you, even in those times that you feel like you're not strong enough or that someone else would have done a better job.

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  7. I know you will make the right decision. thank you for sharing this story...i am thinking and praying for you!

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  8. You are indeed an amazing family!

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  9. This post is definitely a tear jerker! Wow. Such hard decisions you had to make. I cannot imagine. Honestly, it sounds like you made good ones. You were your children's advocate and fought for their life when you were pressured to do otherwise. But nothing shows your love to your three boys more than knowing you had to let them go. God bless you!

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  10. I can't even imagine what you and Ryan went through during that time, so incredibly strong you two are! Good thing God was there each step of the way to hold your hand and try to heal you!

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  11. Although only with one of my babies, we too, had to make this hard decision. It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and although there are days I still question it (grief is always there and makes your mind run wild) I do believe it was the best for not only our son, but his surviving siblings as well.

    I appreciate the honesty in your posts. Thank you!

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  12. So very true.... As children the world really does seem so very black and white and we're confident that we'll never have difficulty knowing what to do in any situation life throws at us. Then we grow up. Realize that life is often so very grey. I'll be praying that God gives you a sense of His wonderful peace that you have made some tough decisions and He is pleased with you and how you have handled what you have been given.

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  13. Thank you for choosing to share your story with us. I have been quietly reading with amazement at how you do it. You should be proud of the mother you are to all of your children.
    Kim Jones

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  14. I am very sorry for everything you and Ryan have both had to go through. Losing Ian was the hardest thing me and my husband have ever gone through, but we never had to go make the hard decisions you did.The Lord made them for us, which is comforting in a way. I think Sylas is an absolute miracle. If you ever need to talk, I am here.

    Praying for you and your family.

    -Misty

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  15. What difficult decisions to have to make. It sounds like you guys did what you had to do, what you knew was right for you. I commend you for that, and look forward to reading your future posts!

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  16. You guys have been through so much at a young age in your young marriage. You grew up a faced stuff that many of us won't and have handled it with God's grace shining on you. Thank you for sharing.

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  17. Don't know what to say, but just know that we are praying for you and that you are loved. There were lots of us praying for you then too. I hope you felt it.
    I remember thinking each time the news reported that one of your sweeties had died, how glad I was that you were not giving out alot of details to the press. They have a way of rubbing hell into your face and I was glad you spared yourselves that grief. It makes me cry just to remember those days. awful days (and I've never even met you ;)
    You are loved by a King that died for you. What joy that brings, Amen?!
    Amanda in oHio

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  18. oh, bri. what i'm so proud of you for sticking to your convictions, making the hard decisions that were right for you and your family and for holding tight to your faith.

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  19. Brianna.

    Thanks for sharing with us. You said that you had to "get this out" so I hope that it is helpful for you as you continue to grieve your precious babies.

    We were so proud of you for these decisions you made. I remember reading the articles in the Star Trib. and seeing how you were trusting God for the outcome for your children and making a stand for life and truth in the process.It made quite an impact. Such hard decisions. I'm glad you chose life...even though it cost you so much. And I'm so glad that the Lord allowed one miracle baby to live on.

    May God continue to guide you through these hard decisions. Praying for you today.

    Julie

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  20. You did what you felt was right for your babies and for you. No one can ever fault you for that. And you have beautiful Sylas now!

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  21. I have been following your story, your progress, your life ever since you and your husband and the children made national news. I know now that God has a much greater purpose for this all. Thank you for blessing me with your strength and faith and for allowing all of us, mostly strangers, into your lives.

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  22. Keep trusting yourself. It's hard...I know it's so very hard when faced with those decisions. And not to question your decision after it's been made. But continue to trust in yourself and know that you make the right ones at each point in time.

    You are a wonderful mother...always trust that!

    Hugs and prayerS!

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  23. Once again such a beautiful RAW post.God helped with those decisions, they were the right ones. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

    Nicole

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  24. What an amazingly honest and beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your grief and pain with us.

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  25. Briana,

    Delurking to tell you about, if you have not already heard, the Center for Loss in Multiple Birth. If you google their website, you will find many stories -- those who chose as you did (one mom who had only two survive out of a set of sextuplets said "one of the babies they wanted me to abort ended up being the only one born healthy" or something to that effect, and those who choose differently. All the situations are a little different, but many have had tiny multiple preemies and had to make terrible choices. You also have the opportunity to contact the director, whom I know personally, who will set you up with others who have walked a path of tiny babies all coming at once, and hard choices, if you so desire. It doesn't matter in the slightest how long ago your losses were. If you only want to talk to pro-life parents, that's fine, too. They also send out a newsletter, with new parents' stories, about once every 3-4 months.

    My husband and I had treatment choices, too. But after making it up to the third trimester, neither baby ended up living (twins). I don't know if the road not taken would have led to at least one living baby.

    Briana, I have followed your story from the beginning, and you are an incredible mom, with incredible faith. Take care.

    You may contact me, if you wish. Just respond here, and I'll send you my email. Sarah

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  26. Thinking of you.
    I can't find the write words to say...and don't want to say anything wrong but I think you are a very strong woman.

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  27. You did the right thing, but only God could have given you the strength....

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  28. Oh Brianna...you are amazing and your testimony through all these dark valleys takes my breath away. I can't wait to hug you and visit with you again next week. Until then, I'll be thinking of you and praying for the decisions you have yet to make with Sylas.

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  29. I remember this from years ago and felt such pain for you in these agonizing decisions but I believe two things strongly...1. You made the very best decisions, based on love and the best information available at the time and 2. The love and grace of God is sufficient for our decisions, their outcomes and all children here and in heaven. Thank you for sharing.

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  30. Bri~ tonight I was watching Ken Davis speaking on Moses (the wimpy prophet) and he talked about how God doesn't care who you are, just if your willing. He talked about David Ring ~ I don't know if you know him. But all I could think was about Sylas. I prayed, went online and found his story. Here:

    http://davidring.org/about.html

    Some days I don't feel that there is hope for Jacob. How can he go to school when he can't speak? How could he ever have a wife when people are too busy seeing how un-normal he is? Will he ever be happy, truly happy. My husband prayed with me tonight because I've cried so much about it lately. I worry I've missed the mark for Jacob. That's I've done wrong. Ryan reminded me Jacob is God's son first. No matter what I do right or wrong God will protect him (Sylas) God will grow Sylas, God will love on Sylas. Be strong (even when you are weak) Your Heavenly Father is also Sylas's. And all of Sylas's brothers, sisters and his Father (God) are calling out for him each day to make it.

    Don't know why I'm writing. But my heart went to Sylas tonight, and to you. Sylas has an amazing testimony.

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  31. You are so brave and have been through so much. No one can question that the love you have for you babies is completely in black and white even if the difficult decisions along the way force you to think in grey.

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  32. Such a beautiful, emotional and honest post. I'm really at a loss for words. I just think you are so strong.

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  33. This is a beautiful post. I am in awe of your love for your children.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to share. I love hearing from you.

P.S. I'm sorry for the word verification step, but oh, my. I'm getting lots of spam.