Sunday, January 22, 2017

on choosing life.

I've been promising to start this blog for months. Technically, I did make good on my promise and created it months ago. I just never posted anything because, well, I have a lot of babies, and it's a scary thing to welcome the world into your life.

Today seemed like a fitting day to launch this blog as it marks the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. As a Catholic, I am pretty familiar with the pro-life movement and am proud to be a pro-life feminist. However, I never thought that my husband, Matt, and I would find ourselves on the front lines of this fight for life in our first year of marriage.

Over the Easter Triduum 2016, Matt and I found out we were pregnant again after a few frustrating months following an early miscarriage. We were overjoyed at the gift of new life and were so grateful to be parents again! On April 13, at just over 6 weeks, we had our first ultrasound. Matt and I were nervous about an ectopic pregnancy because I had been feeling a sharp, specific pain. At the beginning of the ultrasound, I thought I saw four gestational sacs, but just assumed I was wrong for super obvious reasons.

When we saw the first baby's heartbeat, we both cried with joy because we had never seen that before with our first baby, Francis Jude. Our sonographer chuckled to herself and said, "Here's Baby A!" Next, she labeled Baby B. We got so excited about twins! Then, the sonographer found Baby C's heartbeat, and we laughed and made jokes about how triplet moms actually grow a third arm during the pregnancy to accommodate three little ones. The sonographer took a look at the fourth gestational sac, and it was empty. We were sad but at peace, and I thought about how that little saint would join Francis in heaven. Our doctor stepped in to take a look, and I noted that we hadn't gotten a photo of Baby C, and as the sonographer went back for it, Baby D appeared in the fourth sac! QUADS! Cue two full days of laughter followed by a solid evening of panic.

our sweet little babies' first photos.

Because of the high risk nature of the pregnancy, we were referred to a perinatologist for care. At 8 weeks gestation, we met with them, ready to put together an action plan for a healthy and safe pregnancy. Matt explained that we wanted to talk about what to do to ensure four healthy babies and one healthy mama and didn't want to discuss selective reduction at all. The perinatologist told us that most couples come in initially wanting to keep all their babies but change their minds once "reality" sets in, so she wanted us to know the facts to make what she considered an informed decision before it was too late.

She proceeded to then tell us all about selective reduction, telling us we would have the best chance of bringing home the most babies (she used the word babies!) if we reduced down to two. We were just shocked. Here we were coming to these specialists seeking care for our babies. It's amazing how quickly you get attached to the idea of four, so to be pressured to reduce was a slap in the face. Her tone implied that we had somehow made a mistake or done something wrong or that we were not looking at this situation correctly; basically, we were crazy.

We chose four the instant we knew there were four. Knowing the ache of losing our first baby only affirmed for us the impact of a person, no matter how tiny or short his/her life. We miss Francis deeply, every single day. We can see so clearly in our children that each life is unique and unrepeatable.

On October 16 at 32 weeks and 6 days gestation, we welcomed our miracle babies.
Cora Immaculée (3lbs, 8oz)
Raphael Gerard (3lbs, 9oz)
Theodore Ambrose (3lbs, 5oz)
Benedict Peter (3lbs, 2oz)

Our babies are now 14 weeks old. We are so thrilled to be their parents and love watching them grow. We hope you'll join us on this adventure with four! Please keep our family in your prayers!

Cora, Raphael, Theodore, Benedict