Burdens

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Image credit: here

So this past weekend I went on a women’s retreat and one of the activities that we did was let go of all the many burdens that we carry around with us each day and give it to God.

Well, those who know me, know how much losing Lamar still hurts and affects me.  I have had this post for 2 years now in my drafts in fear judgement and criticism of others. What I have learned is that I am forgiven, redeemed, and loved by God, and that is why I am able to finally be lifted of the burden I have been carrying around for years and share with you all.

So here is my story of my son Lamar Grant Johnson:

So this has been a long time coming, and let me tell you, some of my best friends don’t even know the real story of what happened with Lamar.  So please if you are a close friend, don’t think this the wrong way that you don’t know the truth, because only a select few do.

On March 26, 2012 the day we found out we were pregnant with Lamar, was probably one of the best days of our lives.  He was our first baby, and we just barely tried for one month and got pregnant! We were imagining our life together, welcoming our first child in November of that year. (I honestly think my due date with him was Rochelle’s birth day)

When we first got our first “abnormal” screening from my blood work around week 16, my Doctor didn’t think much, as I was a young 22 year old that was healthy with no previous history of anything.  He gave us the opportunity to go see a specialist if we would like, or we could just wait another month to get more blood work done and a better view of the baby on the sonogram.  It was this week that we found out we were carrying a boy, and boy were we excited!!

At the specialist on week 19, the doctor stated multiple problems with Lamar (ASD,VSD, Tetrology of Fallot) basically stating that his blood flow is opposite of most people and he would not be “compatible with life”. His entire heart was formed wrong, his hands were inverted, and did not open up correctly and they knew he was having multiple genetic problems, and then offered me the option of getting this brand new blood work done to test for chromosomal abnormalities.  Of course, Shane and I were on board since we did not want to do an amniocentesis unless absolutely necessary.

The blood work came back that everything was fine(no chromosomal abnormality), but the specialist still had her doubts and highly suggested that we get an amniocentesis done.  I was so hesitant, and crying so hard that the amniocentesis felt like the worst pain in the world, and I could feel the long needle going through every.single.layer of my stomach.  On July 6th, 2012 this confirmed our worst fear.  The doctor and counselor both stated that this did not come from Shane or myself and it was called no translocation. The doctor stated that he would be stillborn, or we would have to watch him suffer while taking his first and last breath as I delivered him.  They kept saying and saying over and over again the word “abortion” and some how convinced Shane and I that, that was really the only option we had.

I was right in my finals of my LVN program, and was heading towards my second semester of my RN program the semester after that.  I knew that if school ended in December, and I was due in November, that I would not be okay with having my child pass away and then me having to return to school that next day (the nursing program RARELY lets you miss a day of school–ever).

I was 23 weeks and 6 days, when we made the choice to have an abortion.  We prayed, and our asked for our families for prayers, and we just did not know what the right answer was, and we felt like God was not responding to our prayers at all (little did I know that we were not exactly waiting or being patient enough to hear His response as well).  We were new to the Christian life as a married couple and did not Jesus at the center of it all.

We had a week to make the hardest choice in our life from the moment we found out he had Trisomy 18, to the moment I had to make the hardest appointment in my life. On July 14, 2012 at 9:57am our son was born.  No, he was not the way I pictured him, and he looked exactly like the sonograms, I got to see his hands folded inward, his perfect pale skin, and even though they had to “put him together” for me to see him, I will never forget how perfect he looked. I am so sad that only I got to witness him, in front of a team who could care less about our situation, but I am so glad I did not take a lot of medication and got to feel everything.

While yes, we do think twice about our decision to have an abortion and still have our “what if” moments from time to time but we know we did what we thought would be best at that time.  It does mess you up, physically and emotionally having to end your child’s life knowing that at even given moment his would end on his own (inside of me, or at the delivery).

Because of our choice on July 14, 2012, we knew that if we were ever faced with the same situation, that we would continue the pregnancy.  You want to know why we fought so hard for Rochelle?  It’s because not only were we fighting for her, we were fighting for her brother, who never got that chance at life.  I am so glad God put Rochelle in our lives, and we knew exactly what to do with her, without ever for once thinking we were going to go through what we did with Lamar, again.  No, I will never again have another abortion, but it doesn’t mean we are bad people.  It means we did what we thought was best for us at the time.

I know, so many of you are going to be shocked, mad, hurt, and angry at Shane or I, but please do not express it to us in a rude or hurtful way.  This took so much courage for me to be able to speak about this, and I finally will have nothing more to hide and feel ashamed about.

Thank you to all of our family and friends who were there to support us, in making the hardest decision we have ever had to make in our life.  I am so glad that none of y’all judged us and you tried to put yourself in our situation as much as possible.  If you have ever been in my shoes, know that it is okay to speak about it.  It may take a while, but letting it go will eventually heal so many open wounds.

©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

4 months

4

ANOTHER wild, busy, crazy month has passed by and now our foster baby girl is 4 months old!

Height: I swear I keep telling myself I will find my tape measure.. but every month I fail to do so! So I will def. get it on the 12th at her 4 month appointment!

Weight: 13 pounds taken at home scale.

Likes:

-To grab her feet! It’s the absolute favorite thing of hers at the moment!
-To play with her sisters! She LOVES Brielle and our 17 month foster baby girl SO much!
-To eat, I swear she is going through a growth spurt, because this girl can eat a lot! She is up to 4 oz. every 2-3 hours (sometimes every 1-2)!
-To sleep! She loves to nap, and is great at sleeping at night.
-Her mouth! Well, she has been teething like crazy!
-To be outside. I remember it used to be one of our “tools” to keep Brielle happy!

Dislikes:
– Still only a fan of the “perfect temperature” bath.
– Hates when she is trying to feed herself her own bottle and it falls out and she can’t quite grasp it to pick it back up to put in her mouth.

Teeth: She FINALLY has a tooth!! About a week and a half ago! Her second one will be here one day soon as well!

Language:
She is cooing and interacting so much lately, it is adorable!

Milestones: She is SO close to rolling over, that I am sure she will accomplish this any day now!

Upcoming:

Family visit (1 hour every week on Tuesdays)

MD appt: 4 month appt sept. 12th

monthly visits with ECI team

Monthly visits with team (now just legal worker and case worker)

I will leave you with some CUTE (but blurry due to her being in foster care) pictures! We just love this baby girl so much!💓

©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

12 weeks and growing!

So we got to see our perfect little baby a couple of days ago, at my 12 week check-up!

At first when I got called back, I was able to pay the $10 to get a copy of the ultrasound and it was so amazing to see this fully formed baby now on the screen, instead of the little blur we saw a few weeks ago! His/Her heart was just a fluttering away, at a rate of 154bpm, and he/she was just kicking away!

We decided to not do the genetic testing early on (unless something was to appear abnormal on the ultrasound) and the sonographer did what is called NTS known as Nuchal Translucency screening which is:

The nuchal (say “NEW-kuhl”) translucency screening is a test done during pregnancy. It uses ultrasound to measure the thickness of the fluid buildup at the back of the developing baby’s neck. If this area is thicker than normal, it can be an early sign of Down syndrometrisomy 18, or heart problems.

This test was performed during Lamar and Rochelle’s sonograms early on to detect that there was a problem.  Both of their measurements were thick, which led us to find out more about them having Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 13.

The results were almost immediate and the sonographer stated the measurement was 1.4cm and said that the baby was in the “normal” range(which is <3.5cm I believe) for a healthy baby!

I was have this overwhelming peace throughout this pregnancy that I have never had  before.  God is protecting us and this baby wholeheartedly and it just amazes me each and every day that I have another child of His growing inside of me! I am so glad to see how God works each and every day in this baby’s life and story.

I will leave you with the two sonogram pictures that we got, and just wanted to let everyone know that we will NOT be revealing the gender of the baby the entire pregnancy, due to the fact that we are waiting until delivery to find out the gender!

***Thank you to everyone for your sweet prayers, and your kind thoughts! Please keep them coming, we have <28 weeks until we meet baby Johnson!***

©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

9 weeks + a heartbeat

 

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On June 27th, I had my first OB appointment since the confirmation of pregnancy was determined.

It was so surreal to start back to getting my labs drawn, having an ultrasound, and then having an exam from my OB.  It doesn’t seem that long ago since we got pregnant with Rochelle, but so much has happened in the mean time that it kind of slipped my mind!

My OB scheduled my appt. early in the morning knowing that I would be there for quite some time, since I had to get all the “initial stuff” done.

After I was called back and had to get my weight, give a urine sample, and get my labs drawn (took them 2 sticks.. I am a very hard draw), and then I got to wait for the exciting part!

Seeing my baby on the ultrasound machine was utterly amazing.  I just couldn’t believe that, that little blur on the screen was the life that God has blessed us with.  It is just so amazing to know that God chose me to have the chance to carry this little blessing to life, and I can’t wait to see him/her grow! (Oh and to make things a little different this go around… we are waiting to find out the gender until birth)! At my clinic they won’t let you hear the baby’s heartbeat until after 12 weeks, but the heart rate was 153 and I was so excited to see it beating away! After I got a couple of cute keepsakes of the baby, I was off to go see my OB.

After meeting with OB, and discussing plans such as where I want to deliver, talking over all of the testing options for the baby, and just the overall health of where everything looks right now, I was very happy that things were going well at this time.

I do know that this is VERY early to some people to be showing off our good news, but God blessed us with so much more than we could ever imagine, and this little blessing deserves to be documented on and talked about and prayed upon already ♥♥

I hope everyone everyone has a great rest of the week, and I hope to update many more times this precious life inside me and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for our future!

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©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved