HOPE for Robert James
Robert James is the newest cousin on the Giesen side of my family. He is due September 27th, 2015.
“Having a child is like having your heart go walking around outside your body…” Elizabeth Stone. This has always been one of my favorite quotes of all time.
Baby Robert James' mother is my God mother. She has always been there for me. In many ways she has been like the cool older sister that takes your good and bad moments, sheds some light, and says she is there if I need her, always. Most of our family lives in Minnesota, and we live in North Carolina. So you can imagine the comfort it has been to have family just a phone call away when the rest is over 1,000 miles from me.
Her pregnancy with Robert James began just a couple weeks before we left the country for the first time ever, together, with my grandma(her mom). We left for Italy and Germany, for 10 days! We all felt butterflies as new adventures were being born and the turbulence of the flight was getting the best of us. We learned how Italy had wine, olive oil, what real truffles were and a new way of life, very different from home.
We had many snacking adventures that helped educate us on what Italian food was, andwhich foods weren't for us. Baby Robert was a huge influence on what new tastes were good and what smells were not going to work out! We did not know then he was a boy, but now that we know we can say how we have taken him to Rome, the Spanish steps, the Coliseum, the Pantheon, Vatican City. We walked on some of the oldest roads in the world, and stood an arm's reach from the most hopeful pope in history, Pope Francis. How many fetuses are world travelers and get to meet the Pope?
After our return to the US, Kahle’s pregnancy blossomed. With all the symptoms of pregnancy, her glow, a growing baby and a heartbeat, all was pretty perfect.
Kahle was sent to a specialist due to her age with her pregnancy with baby Robert. There she learned of his diagnosis called Trisomy 18.
For those reading who do not know or understand Trisomy 18, here is a helpful website you can read to learn more about Trisomy 18: http://www.trisomy18.org/what-is-trisomy-18/
I have seen what loss looks like and how long NICU stays affect a mother. They are not points on a scale, they are not judging panels. They are real women surviving with their hearts outside their body. Try that on for size; it is not a “one size fits all”. And the ones wearing this grief are just like you, just facing the unimaginable and trying to hold themselves just enough above the water so not to drown. Because if they drown, no one hears their story or how significant their alternate journey has opened their hearts and that no matter what “kind” of pregnancy they have, this baby is this moms life everyday, always.
I have always been close to my aunt, I have experienced my own child being born early, losing a nephew who was born still at 24 weeks, and since then seen friends and other family go through these same roller coasters with their babies. Where is the hope if we don’t talk about it, share their journeys and possibly help another family, possibly save a life?
We do not know what will happen in the labor and delivery room tomorrow, but already baby Robert James is a world traveler, a baby boy, a permanent member of our family and stringed to our hearts.
This is a message from Kahle, baby Robert’s mom,
“I want people to know our story. Anything that can help someone else survive this unimaginable experience and just for people to understand that it doesn't have to be all negative. These babies are not statistics. It's ok to hope. The unknown of all of this is very scary. But I refuse to let fear guide me through this. I find something to celebrate everyday. Some days that is hard. If I am scared, then RJ will be too. I just couldn't live with that. It's my job to protect him and make sure he is happy. I am not expecting a miracle. I already received a miracle when RJ was conceived. No matter what Gods plan is for RJ, my hope is to experience joy and happiness in his existence.
This is our prayer request:
We ask that God continues to give us all the strength to stay positive through this experience and that our precious RJ is always comfortable, safe and loved, no matter where he may be. We are so grateful that God has chosen us to be RJs parents.”
If you want to follow Kahle on her cartridge journey, here is the link, check him out! http://Www.caringbridge.org/visit/rjmanley
We are told Rubies and big diamonds are rare, yet we see them…a lot. I feel it is because what we go through to get them, to find them, that is what makes them rare. We are told Trisomy 18 babies are rare, yet there are a lot of babies born with Trisomy 18. Not all have made it to live but some are living into young adults.
Baby Robert James has made it with a heartbeat to 38 weeks. He has shown growth, he is up to 4 lbs and 13 oz! He kicks!
He has given us hope and so we cannot give up hope on him.
Baby Robert, tomorrow is your birthday, we get to meet you finally! You are already a rare treasure! Until I can say it to you, I love you!