Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Landons Letters

Landon is the name of our beautiful baby boy. He is 22 weeks and already weighs 1lb 1oz. He never seems to stop moving :)

I had hopes of starting a blog to document the time I have with him inside of me, but I didn't know it would be like this. You see, Landon is a very special child. We had our first ultrasound two days ago, the 6th of Dec. It was amazing, just watching him move around and punching the whole time. Seeing that his heart is beating and that he has all of his organs was such a relief to me. She told us we were having a boy and we couldn't have been more happy! We were both hoping for our first born to be a boy. Someone to protect and look after all his future brothers and sisters. I also work with almost all boys so I felt like God was preparing me for the chaos, cars, and dinosaurs :) and there is just something about a mommies relationship with her son that is so precious. I could tell Ryan was on cloud 9. We left the ultra sound room like two giddy children and sat in the waiting room looking over and over again at our pictures. When we finally were able to see our doctor she told us that she is thrilled about Landon's weight. He is a healthy big boy. She said that, from the ultra sound everything looks great, except they had some concerns with how it looked like the blood was flowing through one of his heart valves. She told us it may be nothing, but they wanted to check it out more so she scheduled me for a fetal echo the next day at 3:00. I was not that worried about it because it seemed to be a minor thing. I figured the main thing is his heart is beating at a good rate... he's fine. Me and Ryan celebrated that night with dinner. We also went and bought Landon his first toy. We got him a small froggy pillow pet and we finally found the perfect fabric to make our baby boy a blankie. We also went to the mall and had his name put on a Christmas ornament we've been waiting to get :) We went home, had sparkling cider and made our Landon his first blankie. It was the perfect day!

Yesterday I woke up and my heart was very heavy. I think it just sunk in that there could possibly be something wrong with Landon. I tried to push the thought away and went about my normal routine. Ryan went to work early so I headed off to spin class on my own. When I got home the apartment was empty and all the lights were off except for our tree with Landon's blankie and frog sitting perfectly underneath. I walked over, sat down and grabbed the little frog and held it close to my chest, so many emotions came flooding all at once and I just broke down in tears. I told God I was scared. I was not only scared that something could be wrong, I was scared that I already have this powerful, relentless love for this child. I can't imagine him ever hurting, the thought just makes me sick. I thought of how long it took me to let Ryan in and be able to truly trust him and now I don't even have the choice to let this little guy in, he's already in, he's a part of me. I told God that whatever happens I trust Him. Landon is his not mine, he is His. I truly believe this, but it doesn't make living it out any easier.

Work went good, my boss actually scheduled someone in my room and she didn't even realize she did it or know why, so I was able to leave in time to make it to my appointment. I knew that was just God telling me that he knew this was coming, even though no one else did. I got to the hospital and as soon as I walked through the doors I wished Ryan was there with me. It felt like a hospital, not like the warm, inviting women's clinic I was used to going to. I went to the heart and lung center, signed in, and waited. There was no other pregnant women waiting with me like there usually is. I felt alone. I was so full of every kind of emotion, but the strongest was just the need to protect my child. Finally, after waiting for what seemed like eternity, my name was called. I went back into a dark room with nothing really in it except a bed and a big monitor and keyboard. I wasn't sure what this procedure would be like so I was relieved that it looked like it was just going to be another ultra sound. The nurse explained to me that she was going to get pictures of Landon's heart and then a doctor would come in, check things out, and explain what they find to me. So I laid there and watched as Landon's picture appeared on the screen, there he was, so perfect, so safe. I thought of how I can't see Him, but God is right there with Landon. Landon started putting on a show for me, which made for a fun watch for me, but the nurse was having a really hard time getting good pictures because he was moving and flipping around like crazy. She asked me if I'm ready to chase him around? I just smiled :) There was a small amount of time that he just laid still and sucked his thumb. That is a picture I will hide in my heart forever. He is so perfect, so beautiful. The nurse looked for probably 45 min or longer. Finally the doctor arrived, he was an older gentleman with a british accent. I liked him right away. He explained to me again, what he was going to be doing. He told me that I would hear them talking, but that he would explain everything when he's all done. It wasn't even 2 min into it and he was already amazed at how much Landon moves. He asked how old he is, and then in his british accent, told me that Landon is going to be a runner, the nurse had told me gymnast. I like runner better :) All of these memories I'm hiding away in my heart. I felt blessed to be able to watch my baby for close to two hours. To see his heart so closely for so long. Not many moms get to do that :) He is strong, he is perfect :) The more the doctor looked and discussed what he was seeing with the nurse, the more I began to think, ok there really might be something wrong. But how can something be wrong with his heart when I'm watching him move around with ease? The more I laid there and listened to them talk the more I wished Ryan was there beside me holding my hand. I needed his strength. Fear would flood me every time I heard them say the words massive amount.... or no flow.... or closed. I began to brace myself for the news, but knew that I was on the verge of tears. I have never been super sick I have never sat and waited knowing that there would be bad news and now I was waiting for news about this tiny little life inside of me that I care more about than my own.

I wiped the goop off my belly and sat up in the bed. I doctor pulled his chair close to the side of the bed so he could write. He told me that Landon has a very rare heart condition, but the good news is it is fixable. He went on to tell me that right now Landon is fine. He is perfectly safe because he is getting everything he needs from the placenta. I tried to listen to all of the technical terms but I was just trying to hold it together. I was crying and just shaking my head in agreement to what he was saying like I was understanding, but really I was just getting bits and pieces. Landon has what is called Pulmonary Atresia and Intact Ventricular Septum, it's a very rare heart condition where one of his heart valves is completely closed. Right now he is fine and he will most likely have a normal pregnancy, but once he is born there will be no way for blood to flow to his lungs. The doctor told me that he can live up to week with medication, but he will need surgery within the first week in order to survive. He told me that he will talk to my doctor and I will have to be moved to be treated at University of Minnesota where they have specialist that will help Landon after he is born. He told me that I can have a normal delivery and Landon will not have to go straight to surgery, but they will want to start fixing it as soon as possible. He told me that Landon may need to have up to 4 surgeries within the first 2 years of his life, depending on how successful they are. I asked if they know what causes it and he said they don't, they think it has to do with one gene, but there has not been enough research done to say for sure. He told me that he will talk to my doctor and give me a call the next day to let me know when I will have to go to Minneapolis. He told me again that is treatable and he could live a very normal healthy life. I thanked him, and then he left.

There I was in a room all by myself. I had just heard some of the scariest news a mother could get and I was numb. I couldn't hold back the tears and I wondered how I would ever be able to explain this to Ryan. On the way out I called my boss and told her I wouldn't be coming to work the next day. Ryan called while I was walking out, he could tell right away that I wasn't ok and I could tell he was scared. I told him I would be home in a little bit. I don't remember the drive home. I pulled up to our apartment, stopped the car and just laid my head on the steering wheel and sobbed and sobbed... I remembered this morning, telling God that Landon is His not mine. I looked up and saw Ryan in our patio window watching me. I couldn't look at him so I just turned the car off and walked inside. Our door was open and Ryan was there waiting. I collapsed in his arms and sobbed uncontrollably. He didn't say anything just held me. After a while he walked me to our bedroom and we sat on the side of our bed. I began to tell him everything I remembered... I could tell it was like he got the wind knocked out of him. He wasn't expecting bad news at all. Just the night before we were so full of joy and now we're clinging to each other and crying. He told me that it's going to be ok, Landon's going to be ok. He told me that God is in control and He'll take care of him, we need to trust. I just knodded my head, seems like that's all I'd been able to do for the past 3 hours. He asked if we could pray I agreed, he prayed the most honest, heart felt, scared, prayer I've ever heard. It was a daddy's prayer begging God to take care of and heal his son. When he told God that Landon belongs to Him not us we both broke down. Then we just held each other because no words could describe what God was doing in both of our hearts. I told him I couldn't believe it, babies are born everyday, why our baby?? Even now writing it the sadness is so deep I can't see through my tears. Ryan told me to stop, that Landon is our blessing, we can't ask why. I know he is right. He told me that I'm strong, but I sure don't feel it. I've never felt weaker actually. It's as if everything I thought I knew, I thought we had, has been torn away into the unknown. I know Ryan is right, we can't ask why, we can just thank God for every day that we get to have with Landon. I do thank God for the memories that I already have hidden in my heart of my precious little boy and I know that whatever the doctors tell me, his heart is strong. He is strong and he is a fighter. We are believing God for a miracle.
I am still numb. I am still processing, but I am clinging to Jesus. We know that he is the only one who knows Landon better and loves him more than we do. I will continue to write and keep you posted on what is happening in Landon's life. Please pray. Nothing is to big for our God. He is holding Landon right now and I truly believe that He's already written out his story. Our little boy is special. I have no doubt that God is going to use his life to bring glory to His name.



Michelle said...

I Love you, I Love you, I Love you, I Love You. I so wish that I could be there to sob with you. Thank you so much for recording your journey. I am amazed at your ability to so clearly tell an already amazing story. I think Landon is a perfect name. He will forever be my little LAM(B). I Love You! Know that I am praying with every breath I breathe.

Ken and Natalie Simerly said...

A friend of mine wrote on FB to read and pray for you, your husband and Landon! My husband and I plan to do just that. Currently, I am 28 weeks pregnant...I understand the amount of LOVE and fear that comes from carrying your little guy! I want you to know that we are praying for you and your family!

misslaurie said...

Natalie and Ryan~
My thoughts, prayers and love to you and Landon. This kind of thing shakes you to the foundation of your faith and all else seems to fade into the background. As a parent, we will do anything for our children and right now your prayers, as well as those of family and friends are what we can give.

A word that the Lord brought to mind is James 1:1-6. Count it ALL joy ... Hard, yes ... impossible, no. You have so many people who will be holding you three up in prayer that you will not be able to doubt that God is in the midst of where this journey will take you all.

Love to you~
Laurie Thompson

Patty said...

Natalie & Ryan,
Please know that you are not alone on this journey,God has blessed you with many friends and family to join with you in prayer. Sharing your journey will help us to pray, and help you as well.
God promises that "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts & minds through Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:7
Praying for a miracle.....
Roger & Patty Thomas

Nancy Peterson said...

Natalie and Ryan,
I just read on Woodland's prayer chain about your little guy. My heart breaks for you and the pain you both are feeling. God has promised to work all things for our good. It's obvious already that you and Ryan are even closer now than before. It reminds me of a quote I heard today. "God can't use anyone deeply unless we first have been hurt deeply." God has a perfect plan and I hope you find comfort in all the prayers and love that others have for you and your little family.

JVerworn said...

Natalie, Ryan and Landon,
Thank you for sharing this difficult journey you are facing. I can feel all the emotions as if they are my own. God will use you through this in ways you probably can't imagine at this point.
Love and Prayers for you all.
Julie Verworn