Ashe Background

Ashe Background

Thursday, September 16, 2010


One year ago today was the day that we found out our youngest daughter had hydrocephalus. I hope to not always remember the date but unfortunately that day's events will be etched my mind forever. Eric and I bounced all the way to the radiology department in Wilford Hall to found out whether we would be having a boy or girl. 20 minutes later I would quietly beg to go back to that happy; blissful moment. Where I thought as long as Eric and I were good people, great things would happen to us. I remember laying on the table when the technician told us that we were having a girl. We started to laugh and immediately started talking about Ethan and how disappointed he was going to be that we weren't having a boy. It was then that the technician excused himself. I distinctly remember Eric asking "Is it normal for him to go get the doctor?" It was at that moment that I knew. I knew that our lives were going to change but I only reassured my husband with, "Yeah, I am sure everything is fine". It wasn't fine. Two doctors and the technician explained that our daughter had hydrocephalus and her brain was being compressed due to all of the pressure. I really can't remember anything else that was said after that. What I can remember is that the doctor had really blue eyes and I just kept looking at him like he was lying to me. He had to be lying to me. This wasn't how it was supposed to be for us. I could feel his uncomfortableness as I started to cry but I couldn't stop staring at him. I needed to know that I wasn't in some horrible dream. I was in such a shock that even when he left, I who never stops talking, couldn't even mutter a word. We were asked to wait in the waiting room until an appointment with the OB/GYN could be made. I remember thinking how cruel they were. We had to go out into the waiting room where other pregnant parents waited impatiently to find out the sex of their child and not learning the most dreadful news they ever heard. I have never wanted to trade places with someone else more in my life than at that moment. Of course, I was still crying and having to even sit in the same room as them made me want to hurl. I wanted to scream that we were cheated and it just wasn't fair! After what felt like a lifetime in the waiting room, the technician returned to inform us that we needed to make our way upstairs to the 5th floor where Dr Faucett, the High Risk OB, was waiting for us. When Dr. Faucett appeared in our room, I remembered that this was not the first time I had met him. I met him at the parent orientation that every pregnant woman must attend when delivering at Wilford Hall. I had tried to get out of it by telling the nurse, "I have had two kiddos already, I know what happens". However, she didn't relent and I attended the class. At this orientation he discussed the future care of our pregnancy, nutrition and spent an unusually large amount of time going over genetic issues that may cause problems in utero. I grudgingly sat through it and have no problem saying that I thought the classic thought 'it won't happen to me'. Well back to our second meeting, you could say I felt he jinxed me. If I wasn't forced to go to his class, I wouldn't be one of his statistics. I didn't want to know him. Unfortunately for me, Dr. Faucett is one of the nicest men I have ever met. As soon as I was placed on the table, he grabbed my hand and asked me what we had been told. I immediately started out with "The people downstairs said our baby has hydro....." I couldn't even finish the word. More tears started to roll and I immediately looked at Eric who jumped right in and rescued me. He explained everything to Dr. Faucett and we started another ultrasound. There has never been a word that could bring me to tears like the word hydrocephalus. Even months later, it would take everything I had to not start crying as soon as the word would spill out of my mouth. Lexie hated the ultrasound machine and made it known that time and many times afterward that she was not going to sit by and have them examine her. She was a belly fighter! Although it was at that examination that we were told more details about Lexie's conditions and what possible outcomes we could expect. Throughout this entire meeting he seemed so positive. Somehow by the end of the meeting, I felt a little better. It sounds odd for me to even write that I had that feeling but he has that kind of energy where positivity beams and I have later found out is quite rare for doctors. It is not like he sugar coated it at all but he didn't act like it was the worst thing in the world either. As we started to leave I remember him saying, "I will say this and only say this once, some people choose termination". It was at that exact moment that I realized the severity of our situation. From all of the discussions that day it never once popped into my head that people would choose that option. My first thought was "Ughh I am not some 15 year old that got knocked up and couldn't handle it." I was an adult, was sure of myself and all of my decisions. However, just that little sentence would soon cause so much chaos in my thoughts that I still feel will follow me past my judgment day. I am of course, my worst critic and that guilt will never ever cease.

I love Lexie as well as my other children with all of my heart. I can't imagine my life nor would I want to without them. However, that day all I could feel was "God,why me?" I wanted our lives to go back to how they were. Where I was trying to the best mommy to Ethan and Gracie. I remember I kept saying "I was their mommy first and now all of my time, energy and worry will have to go to just one child". It wasn't fair to us, to Ethan and Gracie, and especially to her. She was robbed and nothing could be done to fix that. When we left his office, Eric and I literally had to put our happy faces on. We had family visiting us and we were throwing a party. It was such a happy time that we didn't want to ruin our families happiness and to be frank we just weren't ready to talk about it yet. We needed to soak it in before we told anyone. I remember I couldn't fall asleep that night. The tears just wouldn't stop. I woke up sometime during the night and helplessly tried convincing myself that it was a horrible dream. But, like all things reality set in once again. I remember Eric reaching for me and we just held each other. It was horrible to watch each other suffer during this time but there was a sense of comfort knowing that I wasn't alone. It was by far, the longest night of my life. When I look back at that day and all of the days following, I punish myself for what I have thought and felt. I see it all different now and know it will continue to be that way. Every time, I look at her, I just can't get enough of her. I think how we are so lucky to have her and I don't want to ever take it for granted again. Because of that I sometimes fear that God will take her from me as a way to punish me for not embracing her from the beginning. I know it doesn't work like that but the fear is still there. I don't know how long any of our lives are but we are going to make the best of it regardless what has been or continues to be thrown at us. I smile whenever Eric says that he just wants to squeeze her real tight so she will never leave him and that is exactly how I feel. As soon as we started sharing Lexie's condition with our family and friends, I was prepared to hear everyone's opinion. I have never let people's opinions bother me before so it really doesn't bother me when people speak before they think. They have no control over my life so I never give it any weight. Another thing I expected was how I would be changing. I can't deny the fact that Eric and I are just not the same. Is it for the better? I feel that as long as I continue to be the best mother, wife and person than this change must be for the better. Now, what I was not prepared for was the amount of friendships I would gain and the ones that would slowly fade away. Eric replies with "If it is not in their immediate world, people would rather not talk about it nor see it." I know they would never come right out and say it but I feel that there are some people that do find it difficult to be around us or to hear about Lexie's medical needs. I am not like a broken record and only talk about Lexie's condition even though my life sometimes feels consumed by the therapist and doctor's visits but sometimes it just has to come up. So too bad!!! My world is my children and I will talk about my world. Now that Lexie is about to be 9 months old and is loved by everyone who holds her. I can only say that we are happy with our lives and are enjoying it to the fullest. I thank God everyday for bringing her to us and I only hope that I continue to make him proud of his decision. Lexie is not in any way our punishment or a reason for other people to pity us. I get to spend more time than anyone else holding her, loving her and just being in the same room makes my heart want to sing. I enjoy everyday with my children. Even more so now that we have Lexie because she has showed us life can change in a instant!


Caryn said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. You made me cry. I am sure that God is very proud of you and Eric and kids for how you love and care for sweet Lexie. She is such a doll.

Torres Times Two said...

Lexie IS a doll, and God chooses special people to take care of special children. He loves you - and Lexie - so much, and He CHOSE you & Eric to take care of her. He knew you would do the best job! I don't know how anyone could be in the same room with Lexie and not want to take her home with them. She is so happy and such a joy! It takes great courage to say all that you've said and to reflect on your journey. I love you, and I admire you for everything you do. You're a fantastic mom!!

Anonymous said...

Well said!! Oh how that day will forever be etched in our minds.

Special babies are born to special parents.

Love from the Hendrixes!
Parker and Amy

Anonymous said...

Destiny, your words made me feel like I was right there with you. Thanks for sharing. You are an amazing mother, and God knew you could do it. I luv ya! Tia Helen

Brad and Amy said...

Amy Hendrix shared your blog with me. My husband and I recently discovered that our daughter, Claire, has hydrocephalus. I was completely moved by your post, because I felt all of the same feelings on the day we found out about Claire's diagnosis.

I am so glad to hear that Lexie is doing well. I will keep you guys in my prayers!

Brenda said...

Ok, so I have never been a reader, but if you ever wrote a book that would be one I would read! What an uplifting life you and Eric have lived just this past year. God Definately chose you and him to be parents to this beautiful little girl. You are such an inspiration for others who have to go through this.

Jen Bodley said...

You are an amazingly strong woman and wonderful mother. This was beautifully written. It's hard to believe you are the same carefree girl I met in Bunco all those years ago. Watching you grow and mature has been a pleasure to watch. I would never wish hardship on anyone, but you and Eric have certainly come through this with strength, love, and always that Destiny sense of humor. I feel honored to be one of those friends who has shared this journey.