On Thursday, March 15th at 6pm, Guy and I checked into the Birthing Center at St. Elizabeth Hospital to have our baby. I was being induced and we were excited to meet our little boy. 13 hours later we welcomed Austin Christopher Domec. Born at 7:53am, on March 16th. 8 pounds, 4 ounces and 21 inches long.
He was face up and after 2 hours of pushing, my doctor said we either try forceps or you will need an emergency c-section. I agreed to try because I was a little nervous to have a c-section. She first tried using the vacuum and that didn't work. I pushed 4 times and with the help of forceps, he came out. The first thing my doctor said while she laid him on my belly was don't worry about his cleft palate, we can give him surgery and it'll be fine! That was very unexpected. I was so confused and exhausted that I couldn't believe that's what she said. It turned out to be a very busted and swollen lip that is in perfect working condition today. :) He came out very bruised from the forceps and had a bit of jaundice (Braylen did too). He had a rough delivery. He also didn't have a name for about 2 hours. We were very thankful to meet our new little boy, and I was very thankful that the delivery and the pain was over. I had no idea what the Lord had planned for us over the next few weeks.....
We were released from the hospital on Sunday afternoon, knowing that we had to come back on Tuesday to check his jaundice. We went to have him checked on Tuesday afternoon and my doctor called me three hours later, saying we needed to come up and stay overnight in the hospital for 3 days. Austin's bilirubin count was 21 and a very dangerous number for his "age" was 25. We stayed in the ICU in a small room for 3 days. Austin stayed under the lights the ENTIRE TIME. The only time he came out was when I nursed him, which was every 3 hours. I slept on a little fold out chair and Guy slept in the recliner. There were no showers (not even a community shower) and nothing to really assist mom's who just went through labor. My body was still healing and very, very sore. We made it through and Austin did awesome. He maybe cried once. It was so hard to see him in the little "box" and not be able to hold him or comfort him.
We came home with Austin on Thursday night and met with my family. My sister and nephew were in town to be with us too. My mom told me that while we were in the hospital, she had been meeting with her doctor about the results of an ultrasound that she had. Mom had been having some very horrible pain in her lower stomach and her doctor thought it may be her gallbladder. It wasn't. And the ultrasound showed tumors and legions on and around her ovaries.
2 weeks later, on April 10th, she had a total hysterectomy. We would find out while she was in recovery whether or not she had cancer. For 2 weeks I had been in constant prayer that the Lord would heal my mom. That she wouldn't have cancer. That he would protect her thoughts and keep the fear out of her mind. That he would lift her out of this pit and give her a firm place to stand. I had prayed so much that I really believed that she didn't have cancer.
My friend Angie just wrote an incredible blog post about these life altering experiences that she refers to as game changers. These moments/words spoken to you that completely change your life in an instant.
You are forgiven.
I love you.
Will you marry me?
I'm breaking up with you.
I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Vince and I are moving to Charlotte.
It's a boy.
Yes, it is cancer.
I'll never forgot the moment my mom's doctor said, yes it is cancer. It was the worst experience and pain that I have ever felt. Confused. Terrified. Angry. Breathless. At that moment, everything in my life had completely changed. All of us felt that way. Austin was turning a month old in just a few days and I felt like I had been completely robbed of joy of having a baby.
The next few days and weeks have been a overwhelming mix of emotions. I feel torn between taking care of Austin, Braylen, my husband, my family and my mom. I want her to feel so overly supported and loved that she feels annoyed by it. But how do I balance everything? I'm nursing a baby every 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I'm sleep deprived. My house looks like a tornado flew through it and my yard looks like a jungle. I haven't made dinner for my family in a month. Guy works full-time and is in school and his schedule is so demanding sometimes. My priorities have changed and things that seemed important have become less.
My mom was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. I'm so angry that this is what the Lord has in store for us but at the same time I know that he is sovereign. There are many times in my day where I just have to stop and breathe and repeat scripture in my head. I need to remind myself that God is in control, that he is loving and powerful. There are times when I don't know what to pray because I am either angry or I just want to block everything out of my mind, and all I can say is His name. I picture Him lying near my mom, holding her hand or healing her body. I picture Him kneeling beside her, just loving her and comforting her. This is the hardest thing that I have ever dealt with. That any of us will ever deal with.
There seems to never be "good news" when you are dealing with cancer, but my mom's doctor said that her case looks favorable and that he believes she will return to a normal way of life after the chemo. They first reported that her cancer cells were not aggressively spreading but came back to say that they are aggressively spreading. However, the chemo is designed to knock out those cells that are aggressive so he doesn't seem to be too concerned with it. Her cancer did not spread to her lymph nodes, which is a good thing. The fear is so present with this disease and there are so many statistics that literally make me sick if I read about it. But there is ONE who is bigger and more powerful than any cancer statistic and to HIM we hold tight. Through HIM and by HIM we are saved and have hope everlasting. My sweet mom is clinging tightly to his promises.
Mom, I see Christ in you. I see his love radiating through your pain and struggles. I already see him transforming you to become more like Jesus. I see hope in the midst of this horrible trial and we will fight this with you and love you through it.
We will continue to update our blog and use this as a way to support and love my mom, and hopefully add some more pictures of our family. Some of you have asked for her address-you can message me and I will send you their info. Mom starts chemo on Thursday. Please life her up in prayer!!
"Do not let your hearts be troubled;
trust in God, trust also in me." John 14:1