Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"And though she be but little, she is fierce."

A few of you have asked what her name is, so that you can pray for her by name.

Back before we ever knew anything was at risk, we were struggling with names. We had lots of names that we liked, but couldn't really match up on how we wanted them to go. We had a boy name for a bit and then we just didn't really discuss a girl's name. The committee (aka the group text that consists of me, my sister Jessi, and our friend Jessika) informed me that I'd better get on it.

Brandon and I wanted our baby's name to be a surprise of the day. We planned to only give initials until the big day, because we wanted to introduce our girl for the first time to our families. That's how you meet people anyways. Plus, we really didn't want to hear any "Oh I don't really like that name" business.

About three weeks ago, we decided that we were for sure on a first name for our girl. It met our criterion - a family name (my great-great-paternal grandmother was Lillian), very feminine, and depending on the middle name she'd have a nickname as well.

And for those of you that have read my blog for awhile, she was even a Gryffindor. In fact, she's named after one of the bravest of them all. I loved it. The thought of my girl being brave and strong as part of her legacy was something that I was going to be proud of when she grew up.

Her first name is Lily.

Then April 24, 2014 happened. On Friday afternoon, Brandon and I were alone for a little bit and I told him that I still wanted to name her Lily.

She was still all of those things we had talked about.
She was still our girl.
She was still our Lily.

Lily means purity or innocence. It never occurred to me to look up what her name means until right before we had that conversation. When I saw that it was crushing, but it also was her.

Her middle name is Faith.

In short, her name means Pure Faith.

But this little girl has a lawyer to be for a momma. So you know there is more to the story.

Brandon and I couldn't agree on her middle name before we knew anything. We both liked our options, but favored one name over the other. I told Brandon that we should hold off on the middle name and see what happens. I further said that we would know what to do.

Well. I can tell you that we didn't know what to do when we found out.

When we saw my doctor's partner, she mentioned that we should take the weekend to sleep and think about the questions we would have. We didn't need to worry about our next stops and options until we had an official diagnosis.

When we went to see the specialist on Monday for our amniocentesis, he told us that we could carry her as long as we could or we would be eligible for early induction since she would have a condition that is "incompatible with life."

I'm going to level with y'all. At that point, I didn't really think I could handle carrying her.

The abnormalities the doctors were seeing were not good. A normal brain has two sides that mirror each other. Lily's looks like it's fused together. Lily's heart abnormalities lead the doctors to believe at this point she will have a congenital heart defect. Most of the time, they have a whole other host of problems to go along with what I've mentioned.

Say what you want, but I felt like my girl was suffering already. I didn't and don't want that pain for her.

All the happiness and dreams I had for my girl were gone. I thought about being further along in the pregnancy and people asking me what we were having and when we were due and are we excited and everything else that's supposed to be happy with pregnancy.

And thinking about those hypotheticals were hard for me.

I don't want to be the girl who had a baby born with Trisomy 13. 
But I am and it hurts. 

I want to be the girl that is a first time momma with a healthy little girl on the way.
But I'm not and it hurts.

So while at the specialist, I asked what an early induction would look like. I needed to know.

I realize that is quite the sentence to read. But it was something we had to take into consideration.

After the amniocentesis on Monday, we began the waiting for the official diagnosis game. At the time we were looking at an induction that weekend.

On Tuesday, I woke up thinking about Hebrews 11:1. For those unfamiliar with this verse, it says, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

I told Brandon that I thought we should call her Lily Faith because I felt like this was going to be "the test" for us in our lives. We were going to find out what we are made of and I wanted her legacy to include that.

He readily agreed.

On Tuesday night, he went to bed wondering if we were doing the right thing with the early induction. He didn't say anything to me. But he prayed about it.

On Wednesday morning, I woke up thinking about it. I felt like I couldn't breathe. Not because I wasn't getting enough oxygen, but because I felt like I was carrying a huge weight. We got out of the house and at times I felt like I could spontaneously combust at any moment.

I told Brandon that I didn't know if we were doing the right thing. I just wondered if I was playing God. He just sat and listened and let me talk. He told me to pray about it. And that was it.

I felt better, but I knew I needed to talk to my dad.

Jesus had an inner circle of three. His circle was Peter, James, and John. They were his closest confidantes.

For me, it's Brandon, the Jessica/ka's and my dad.

I knew I wouldn't make it through the conversation without crying. I needed my dad to not have to translate crying daughter conversation. So I texted him. I let him know that we hadn't heard anything on the results yet.

And then I asked the million dollar question, "Are we doing the right thing?"

My dad told me that was our decision, but that he was so heartbroken that we were in this place. The loss of dreams and hopes just made him ache for us. He told me that the loss of a child was something no one should have to endure.

I told my dad that I felt like I was carrying a weight around because I still couldn't believe what we were facing. The doctors could be right. And they could be wrong. But even if they are right, I was still looking at making decisions that no one should ever have to make.

And my dad said, "It's almost like God is saying, 'Do you really trust me?'"

I was bawling at this point. I told my dad that we shouldn't do this based on convenience. I felt like if we wait, that God would honor that. Even if Lily had it, God would still bless us.

And he said that he agreed with that. Then he said, "Sometimes we think we have it all figured out and God says, 'Hold on, that's not my plan.'"

I knew that it wasn't God's plan for us to be in the hospital that weekend.

My dad said, that if we went through with the induction, we would always wonder. If we do our part, and God still takes her home with Him, that we would be doing what we could for her as her parents.

I told my dad her name.  I told him that I felt like I've got the faith of a mustard seed right now. But it's there. God needs to be honored through her with that. I told him, "I just think that if the doctors are right about the trisomy 13 diagnosis and she goes to be with Jesus after all of it is said and done with, then so be it. And if we have to scramble to buy everything under the sun because the doctors were wrong, it'll all be okay. I don't want her to think that I ever gave up on her as her momma."

My dad told us that no matter what, he would support us. He knew that if we were headed for the worst, we would be okay.He said that he'd continue praying for us. He also wanted to tell the family and Dick and Karen.

At the end, he told me that he had always loved the name Lily.

I talked to Brandon after the conversation and I told him that I wanted to give Lily the best and safest home while I could. And we cried.

It was the lightest I had felt since we'd found out.

So that's the story of my girl's name.

Like Shakespeare said, "And though she be but little, she is fierce."

She's my brave little lion.


The Macons said...

Oh Sam. I can't even begin to imagine what you and B are going through. All I can do is pray & cheer for little Lily Faith. A beautiful name for a beautiful girl that is already so, so blessed with beautiful parents. Peace & love :)

Sarah said...

My heart just aches for y'all with what you're going through. Lily Faith is good and perfect. I am praying for her, for you and B, and for y'alls families. Thank you so, so much for sharing your story with us, and allowing all of us to be blessed by your mighty girl!

Darci said...

Thank you, Sam, for sharing this story. I can't imagine how it must have felt. Lily Faith is and always will be perfect. Prayers continue Baby Lily Faith, B and you!

Lily Faith is not the only fierce, but she has one strong and fierce Momma!

A Nerd and A Free Spirit said...

I LOVE the name Lily, and she clearly gets her bravery from her momma! Lily Faith is a perfect name. Hugs!


Erica said...

Okay, I haven't left a comment on a blog in ages...but Sam this is beautiful. I love that you wrote that your heart "felt light" after you cried with your husband, and how honest you are about your faith. You are being the biggest and best advocate you can for your daughter and for our God. Way to go Mama. Hugs!

Erica (used to be @Midwesternita that would comment ages ago! Lol.)

Rachel said...

Oh Sam. What a beautiful and heartbreaking post. Your beautiful girl has such a special name. I love it. So so much. And my sweet friend, I am praying for you each day as you walk this path. Lily Faith is so so lucky to have you as her mama. (and PS....LOVE the HP reference with her name...such a strong and brave character)

Brittany Nolan said...

Samantha, I have been away from the blogging world for several months and am just now catching up on you and your precious little girl. I am in tears reading your story. Your words are inspiring and encouraging, and your sweet little girl is already making a huge impact. I am praying for you and your husband and family.

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Hi y'all! The name's Samantha. You can call me Sam if you like. I am a lover to a boy I met at Falls Creek in the summer of 2005, that is a student of Jesus, a Sooner born and Sooner bred and when I die I'll be Sooner dead, Democrat by party, blonde to the core, and oldies but goodies kind of girl.
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