March 2008 we found out that we were pregnant with baby number 2.....
I was scared. After my pregnacy with Jaxin, I didn't think that I could physically handle it again. But this would be a pregnancy that would go down in the books as a test of my mental/emotional strength and my faith.
May 2008 my Grandpa Leavitt passed away unexpectingly. Before he passed, he had to hear from every single grandchild. When I was saying my good byes Grandpa opened his eyes and firmly squeezed my hand and said "stay strong". I had no idea what he meant by that, but I knew that he did.
At the end of the month of May we moved out to Iowa to be near my brothers and sisters. I had a job lined up and I was feeling good. July came and I was starting to feel something that was all too familiar, kidney stones. I took myself to the ER one evening, sick as could be. They did an ultrasound, and we found out that baby #2 was a boy! They transferred me to the maternity floor and I knew that something was wrong when the nurses and the ER doctor were whispering back and forth. They didn't tell me a damn thing. I made it to the maternity floor, where an OBGYN came in and sat next to me. He started out by saying, we found something on the ultrasound that is quite concerning. He told me that there was an obvious cleft lip/nose and palate in the ultra sound. He also told me that he couldn't promise that that would be the only issue with the baby. Til this day, I can't believe that I even had to hear this, but he said " You have 2 weeks to decide if you want to abort". What? Why would he say that if it was "only" cleft. I knew there was much more to it than that. I was alone, and I didnt even know how to feel or even to respond to that comment. Could I do this? Over and over in my head I could hear "stay strong, stay strong Terril".
I declined the idea of abortion and asked what I needed to do next. I was sent to a specialist so that we could get 4D ultrasound pics of baby boy and keep an eye on the entire pregnacy. 3 or 4 weeks later I went to the specialist and got the 4D pics. I cried and cried and cried. It was so hard to see my little baby boy so disfigured. How was I going to react when he was born? How was everyone going to react when he was born? Hpwever, the amazing thing about the 4D was that we knew exactly what he was going to look like. For the next 10 weeks I showed every neice and nephew the ultrasounds so that they knew what to expect when they met baby boy.
7th month of pregancy, not only did I have the stress of my child being born disfigured but the kidney stones came back with a vengance. I was BACK in the ER and to make a long miserable story short, I had to have another kidney surgery while pregnant. Except this time they place a nephrostamy tube through my back and dierectly into my right kidney. And at the other end of the tube was a bag for my urine to drain into. I had to tape that bag around my leg for the next two months. It was painful, miserable and extremely uncomfortable.
Week 36, October 18, 2008: We just had the missionaries over for dinner and we were headed out the door for family home evening at my brother's house. I was having contractions all night,but I thought I could make it. I stood up and immediatly dropped to the floor. I wasn't sure what this pain was, but it wasn't just labor pains. Wil rushed me to the hospital. I don't remember much for the next 12hrs except the pain, and hearing my mom and baby sister crying and pleading the nurse to give me more pain medicine. I thought that I was going to die. It was the most surreal experience that its hard to even explain. I remember the doctor finally arriving late that night, and not leaving my side. I could hear him telling my mom and Wil that he was giving me so much medicine for the pain that it would take out a horse. He didn't know what was wrong, but he new it was serious. I couldn't handle the pain anymore, I passed out from the pain and the next thing I knew I was being prepped for a c-section. They began the surgery and when they pulled baby boy out I heard "code pink, code pink". Im thinking "what in the hell does that mean"? I turn my head and see my little boy, purple, and about 10 people around him shoving tubes down his throat....the next thing I know is the doctor yelling at me "he doesn't look like he is going to make it Terril, if I tie your tubes this will be it." I couldn't go through this another time, he had to tie them. Til this day, I'm not sure if I would have made a different decision if I was more coherent, but its the decision I made and now I have to live with that as well.
A scream, I heard my baby scream! And then I don't remember anything after that until a nurse was quietly talking to me in my hospital room. She said " he survived and he is in the NICU, I can't tell you anything except that he is stable." I was so scared to see him. It took me all day before I did, but once I did, it was love at first sight. Kingston Maddox VanderKallen , 5lbs 2 oz was born on October 19,2008. A day I will never forget. He was born with cleft lip/nose and pallate, CHARGE syndrome, deaf and 100% blind. This is my lifes calling, to make sure Kingston has the best life possible and to teach him as much as I possibly can and to let him meet as many people as possible, because he WILL change your life like he did our family. For the best.