Saturday, January 17, 2009


It’s an interesting thing when crisis strikes, you have the opportunity to find out what you’re made up of. I haven’t felt made of much the last few days.

Meet Isaac Brigham Nielson. This is my baby boy, still living in womb, perfect to us in every way, but not so much to the doctors. We found out he has a neural tube defect called Anencephaly, which means he will be born with little or no brain and scull. His prognosis is death, shortly after birth.

I cannot even express what it meant to my world to hear this news. I felt dazed. Shocked. I cried, and couldn’t stop. I sobbed. I drove to pick up my husband from work and couldn’t remember street names and numbers, where I had driven hundreds of times. And the children. WHAT would I tell my children?

After thinking for the last couple days, I’ve decided to write. And write in such a way that is healing to me. I’ll have this record not only for myself, but for my family, so we can look back some day and realize then we are strong enough now to get through this battle now.

After receiving the news Thursday, I didn’t sleep that night. I stayed up all night researching on the internet about my boy’s condition. I read, I looked at photographs, I laid my head down on my desk and sobbed. Friday night? I decided to stay off of the internet. The kids and I made a huge bed in the living room, and we slept together. I think I was able to sleep last night for 4 or 5 hours, forcing myself to push thoughts out of my head, trying not to weep. Weep over silly things. Things that haven’t even happened yet. Like. Who of my family could be there for me when I have the baby? What happens if I cry too much when Isaac is born? How will I be able to dress my child for burial. I weep because I can’t stand to see my children is such pain, grieving. I weep because it isn’t fair. I weep because I don’t know how I am going to come home from the hospital with empty arms. I weep because my husband is in pain, and I sob because I feel so devastated and heartbroken.

God is good. I am not being punished. For some reason, Andrew, the children and I have been given this trial and blessing in our lives, and I can only cling to the knowledge that we, as a family, some how are strong enough to survive this. Not only survive, but be better for it.

I’m beginning to hate the night. It’s now Saturday evening, around 8:00 pm. Right around 6:00, it started again. The horrible sorrow. My heart aches so badly, it makes my chest hurt. Tonight I keep thinking of all the things I feel cheated out of. I keep thinking “The last time I ran the vacuum, I thought my baby was alive” or “The last time I cooked a decent meal for my family I thought I was a mother of three, preparing lovingly for her fourth child”. My husband took the crib down this afternoon, and I couldn’t watch. Each time I gaze into Ian’s room, there is a huge hole where my baby should be sleeping in May. I walked into the bathroom, and I remember last giving the children a bath and thinking I needed to buy my Johnson’s and Johnson’s shampoo for the baby. I thought today about how I wouldn’t be happily exhausted feeding a baby into the wee hours of the morning. Instead I get to come home - bleed like I’ve had my healthy newborn, feel my milk come in, and get to lay there at night, alone, and wishing for my child to be with me. I weep with sadness as I think of these things.

And now, now it’s time for movie night. The kids want to sleep together in the living room again, and right now, anything seems better then being alone in the night with my tears, grief, and thoughts I cannot quiet.


Kami said...

I cannot even imagine what you are going through Misty and if writing about it here helps you work through this, then do it.

I will be here, reading and sending you strength and love.


Lara said...

I have no words, but I have read your feelings and I am so sorry.

There is an organization called "Now I lay me down to sleep" They have volunteers who are professional photographers come and take pictures of your baby in the hospital while he is still alive. Check out their website and see if there is someone in your area. I have a couple of friends who have had situations similar to yours and they treasure the pictures they received from NILMDTS.

Love you.

Lindsey said...

I'm so sorry, Misty. I'll be here with you, weep with you, pray for you, and wish I could give you a hug. Lifting you in prayer!

just jamie said...

Oh Misty...I have so few words that can even come close to this sorrow. I am so truly sorry, for you, for Andrew, for the kids, for baby Isaac. Your strength is bigger than I can grasp. I love you. You are loved. Prayers for the entire Nielson family...

And you know? If you need someone by your side during any part of this, I will come.

Anonymous said...

Oh Misty. I am so so sorry. Like the others, I don't have words to convey my sadness to you, or to ease the pain.
I too sat up Thursday night, researching and looking at pictures. I prayed you hadn't seen pictures online, fully knowing that you would research this. It killed me. I called a dear friend and asked him to pray for your family. I am praying, praying, praying.
I'm so sorry. And I know you don't 'know' know me, but I would come if you needed me to.

Gavin said...

I am your sister and I will be there. I will stay with you and go home with you and do whatever you need. Gavin can stay with Ben's parents. Just tell me the dates. You are so special and important to me. I admire your strength your courage and all that you do. And I want to apologize for being a putz when I visited you, once I got home and slept a little I realized I was out of it, alot. Sorry. I am praying for you all day, I think of you all day, I send my love and sorrow over the miles to you. I am here, I love you.

Amy said...

No grief is the same, I know. No one will feel what you feel... no one will feel what I felt. And yet, as I read your post, I breathe each breath with you, sob each aching sob, feel each sigh in the heaviness, and fulness of my breast, and feel you my sister even more than ever, and feel my life blessed that we have each other.

Trish said...

Oh my gosh Misty. Oh my gosh. Your heartache is reaching into me and squeezing my heart too. I am sorry for what you and your family are enduring and I will be praying like crazy for ALL of you!

Kat said...

I am so sorry. I know nothing I can say will lessen the pain. But I am praying for you. For your baby. And for your family. I am so sorry.

And I'm so sorry I am just catching up with you now.

Jason, as himself said...


After you commented on my blog, I came over to meet you. I do not know what to say; what a horrible thing. How could anyone possibly understand what you're going through?

Hopefully you'll continue to find support and friendship through your blog. I have learned that during difficult times our "virtual" friends can make a big difference. I'll be coming back to see how you're doing. I hope you'll be able to continue writing.



PS-I encourage you to look into "Now I Lay Me Down to Rest", too. A friend of mine is a photographer for the organization. I think you'll be glad you did.