On December 17, 2008 a little angel sent by God was delivered into our arms. He weighed 4lbs 13oz and was 16 inches long. We went through a lot of trials and tribulations to get him here. But it was all worth it.
After 4 miscarriages I was pregnant again and VERY scared this would be number 5. I spent a lot of time on my knees praying this little baby would stick. My anxiety was so high I would shake and sweat in the waiting room before seeing my doctor. I worried there wouldn’t be a heartbeat. It was very nerve breaking. I had a hard time sleeping and functioning throughout the day until a very good friend, Michelle suggested I go to my bishop for a blessing. It was the best thing I could have ever done. I remember him telling me, along with a lot of other encouraging words: “He felt really good about this one.” My anxiety went away and I was at peace for the first time in months.
But, my trials did not end there. Back in July 2008 Marco and I received some scary news. We had a triple blood screen due to my advanced maternal age. The blood screening revealed a 1 in 5 chance of Down syndrome and a 1 in 7 chance of Trisomy 18 (fatal). I asked the genetic counselor if she had ever seen results like mine and the baby was born fine. She responded very quietly with a sympathetic “No”.
Talk about scary!!!! I knew I could handle Downs but Trisomy 18. I just didn’t think I could be strong enough!!!! I could not stop crying. All I could think about was hugging the children I already have and holding them tight. As I was driving home, bawling of course, I was praying for a miracle. Just then I looked at the license plate in front of me. Lo and behold it said “miracle”. Wow, I think that was a sign.
I learned as much as I could about Trisomy 18. I came to the conclusion that I would do my best. Whether the baby lived only an hour to a full year I will love it forever!!! I could never terminate the pregnancy. I knew it would be hard but I have a great support system. I already loved the little guy!!! You see, 2 days after the scary news, I felt him move for the first time. From that time forth, whenever I would get nervous I would talk to him and he would give me an encouraging tap in my uterus. It was like he was saying, “Hello, everything is fine!!” I prayed a lot and knew in my heart he would be born with Down syndrome and healthy.
On December 16, 2008 I went to my doctor’s appointment with Ashley and found out my umbilical cord was not working properly. I was to go straight to the hospital for delivery. Wow, I wasn’t expecting that at all. Marco was in Vegas for business and wasn’t scheduled to come home for days. He did, however; catch the last flight of the evening. Good thing because the following day they closed the Vegas airport due to snow. What are the chances of that happening?!
The following day they started me on pitocin and three and half hours later Aaden was born. His big sis Ashley got to cut the umbilical cord. It was very special to have my husband and daughter present for this special delivery. By the way, this is a very good form of birth control for teenage girls to witness a live birth! She only passed out once.
Aaden ended up going to the NICU a short while after birth. My mother and I felt a very strong feeling that he should have a blessing as soon as possible. Marco escorted the Bishop and another member of the priesthood to the NICU for the blessing. It was a good thing they did because the doctors were convinced he had a lesion in his heart. They did several tests and called in experts to evaluate him. They said it was a true BLESSING he did NOT have this heart defect. The next day they ran a test that showed his blood was thick like ketchup and they were going to have to do surgery to thin it out. My doctor wanted to repeat the test first and found out that was NOT the case. His blood was just fine! Again his doctor stated it was a true BLESSING he did not have this disorder. The only other obstacles were due to being premature not Downs. He was in the NICU for 17 days.
Aaden has overcome lots of odds!!! At two days of age he would creep up the bed and the nurses had to keep moving him down. He also held his head up high. You see Down’s babies are supposed to have low muscle tone. This is not the case with him. He has repeatedly surprised everyone. So far, he has rolled over from belly to back at 6 weeks of age. Shortly after that he rolled from back to belly.
His brothers and sisters are VERY close to him. He is definitely meant to be in this family. We have been waiting a long time for this special spirit. He has healed many hearts and will continue to touch people’s lives. We couldn’t be happier. He makes every day better! We would NEVER change a thing! When you meet him you will understand!! We look forward to this amazing journey that lies ahead.
Words by Trish Vranish
Photo by Jen Schow