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Presley Marie Martin Lozano

 

Presley Marie, baby girl with anencephaly

April 19, 2013

In August of 2012 my husband and I finally felt like things were going our way, we were a combined family with 9 kids together and extremely excited to finally have a home large enough for our family. Within a few days of moving in we found out we were expecting another baby. We were excited! We had a home now, more space, work was good for my husband, things seemed perfect for a minute.

October 12, 2012 I had an ultrasound appointment, I woke up early and laid in bed thanking God for everything we had, everything we had been blessed with, our health, our family, our new home, and now our new baby on the way. I told my husband to stay home with the kids, it was just a routine ultrasound (we had already had 3 within the first few weeks) I'll be home soon as I was done.

Unfortunately there was noting routine about my appt. The ultrasound technician did her job and never hinted there was a problem, she left to call the dr, I never for a second thought anything was wrong.

The dr looked at the screen with "uh-huh's" and "oh yes, I see" turned to me and said "your baby has acrania". My look of confusion kept him talking "your baby did not develop the skull, there is no protection for the brain, this is a fatal diagnosis, your baby can not live without a skull, it will not survive outside of the womb."

Those words sent me into shock, anything he said after that might as well have been in another language because I couldn't hear what he was saying, much less understand him. All I could do was cry and repeat his words in my head over and over; that my baby would not live.

He helped me sit up and began to discuss termination.

I couldn't believe what was going on, it felt like a dream and I had wished it was a dream so I could wake up to my happy life I had a few hours ago. I understood what termination meant but I couldn't understand how I could terminate my baby; I just saw a perfect little heart beating on that screen and I didn't feel like I had the right to stop it. It wasn't something I could do.

I asked to call my husband, I needed him there before I could do anything else. I called him and told him something was wrong with the baby and I needed him there with me as soon as possible.

They put me in another room to wait for him to arrive and it seemed like forever. I sat there and cried and talked to God. I couldn't get over that I had just woke up that morning thanking him for everything and now he was doing this to me. Of course asked the question of why. As I sat there I felt a calming voice tell me "through all things give him praise". "But God,they said my baby is going to die!" Again I felt the same calming voice say to me "through all things give him praise". I said "ok God, if this is your will I love you and I will trust you."

I didn't stop crying and I didn't stop praying; I just sat there letting this all sink in.

When my husband arrived, the doctor explained to us what the diagnosis meant and our options. The doctor explained we could chose to carry our baby to term. My husband and I right away agreed that termination wasn't an option for us. This was our baby, not just a fatal diagnosis, this was our child and we would carry our baby as long as God allowed us to.

I went home and couldn't imagine how getting through the next 6 months was going to be possible knowing what the outcome was going to be. How could I carry this baby and go through everyday life knowing my baby was not going to live at the end of this?

It felt impossible in the beginning, but God came through for us every step of the way. We had to explain to our other children what was happening, and what was going to happen. Try to comfort them and wipe away their tears while trying to keep mine from falling too. How do I tell them to be strong when I couldn't be strong myself?

My husband was my rock, I know he was hurting, but he was so strong for me. I'm sure I drained him with my crying and worries but he never let it show and held me and encouraged me every step of the way.

Every doctor appointment I left in tears, every appointment the doctor seemed to have little to no compassion and continually tried to convince us to terminate. They reminded us constantly of all the bad things happening to our baby and explained the acrania and anencephaly diagnosis.

At 22 weeks they actually had me doubting my decision to continue through with the pregnancy. I cried to my husband "what if they're right? What if we are only hurting her and not helping her? What if she is suffering and we're letting her suffer? Maybe we should induce and just let her go home..."

There was hurt in his eyes but he said "no, God wouldn't let that happen, if she was suffering God would take her home". I knew he was right, I know God is not a cruel God and my moment of doubt passed and we continued through with the pregnancy.

We got to the point with the doctors that we were not, under any circumstances going to terminate our pregnancy! We asked for them to stop mentioning termination and let us have this time with our baby.

We found out we were having a girl, which felt like a "kick us while we're down moment". My husband had sons, I had daughters and my husband was an amazing step-father and treated them like his own but this was his daughter, the one he had prayed for.

Somewhere in all this hurt was a lot of joy too. We met people through social media who helped us with prayers, scriptures, encouragement, and even received gifts for our daughter.

My husband is a huge Elvis fan for many many years and we had always agreed if we ever had a daughter we'd name her Presley. We almost changed our minds because of the situation we thought maybe we needed a more meaningful name, like naming her after our moms, who had both passed away. But Presley was our daughter, since before we knew she existed that was always going to be our daughter, so Presley it was!

We were encouraged to make memories with Presley while we had her here with us. It had been my husbands dream for over 20 years to go to Graceland and through the grace of God we were able to go to Graceland. When we entered the house of Elvis Presley, the alarm went off on our phone that said "Presley, 8 month old today". I had set these alarms/reminders months ago just to remind us of every time we made it to another month with Presley. My husband took it as a sign that this was magical moment for us. We made unforgettable memories with her, I thought what a better way for my husband to remember his dream of finally going to Graceland then to remember being there with his daughter Presley. It was there we decided on the middle name Marie.

We had done research on acrania and anencephaly during our pregnancy and had asked our doctor for a c-section. We thought if there was a greater chance of our daughter being born alive through c-section we wanted it. Unfortunately our doctor adamantly refused to perform a c-section. Their words were "we do not perform c-sections for babies that are non viable" and "it's not worth putting your life in danger for a baby that is incompatible with life". No matter how much we asked and pleaded the doctor refused without consideration for what we were asking for. It was heart breaking.

At our 40 week appointment, Presley looked good and everything seemed ok. We went to lunch to celebrate another week with her but when we got home we got a phone call from the doctor saying my blood pressure was too high and he wanted me to come in and get monitored. I knew what that meant, I knew once we went in, we wouldn't be coming home with Presley.

It was April 18th, it was my mom's birthday. My mom had passed away in August of 99' and this was a hard day for me already. I told my husband "lets just wait for a few hours, I don't want to have her on my mom's birthday." It is already a hard day, I didn't want to make it hurt more. We took our time going to the hospital, I felt fine and Presley was still moving around like always.

We finally went in around 1 in the morning and the nurses monitored my blood pressure and Presley's heartbeat. The first doctor came in and explained to us, to make sure we understood, our baby's condition. I explained to this student doctor our side of things. I explained to her our want for a c-section and was met with the same answers we had gotten in our doctor appointments. She excused herself and went to call the head doctor on call for that night.

I had never seen this doctor before, but she came in and there for the first time was a doctor with compassion. I said "please, I know the outcome of this pregnancy but for us to be able to have 10 minutes or even 5 minutes with her alive would be worth it. I held Presley inside of me for 9 months and I want her daddy to hold her and feel her. And I want her to feel her daddy holding her in his arms." I said "my husband is a singer and she has heard him sing to her this whole time and I want him to hold her and sing to his daughter in his arms. Please!"

The doctor felt my stomach and said your baby is breech! I said "yes she is. Even being breech, our doctor refused to even consider a c-section." She replied "well any baby that is breech we automatically schedule a ceserean without hesitation. Your baby is breech so I will authorize the c-section for you if you want it."

I cried "yes, yes, yes!"

Presley Marie, baby girl with anencephaly

She was technically supposed to perform an ultrasound to confirm the breech position of the baby, but she just brought in the machine and left it there. She said "you can choose a vaginal delivery but there is a chance you could be in labor for days and if your water breaks there is risk of infection and a very small chance of your baby surviving the stress of a stressful vaginal delivery." I could tell by her tone and slight smile I knew she was saying these things to let me know she also agreed with our choice and she signed the authorization for our c-section.

Presley was born April 19th, 2013 at 10:02 am and lived for an hour and 20 minutes.

In that little bit of time, we got everything we prayed for. She was in her daddy's arms and he sang to her. He sang an Elvis song called "young and beautiful" and she slowly opened her eyes and looked right at him! It was the moment that made every second of this journey worth it!

Not a day goes by that we don't miss her, not a day goes by that she's not on my mind.

I find myself always wondering what if. This pain of losing our baby girl is so so hard but I am so happy we chose life for her. I do not for one moment regret our decision to carry our baby to term. To me, it is one of the best things I've done in my life.

We are currently expecting our rainbow baby, due July 24th, 2014. A little girl we have named Memphis. She won't be Presley, but we believe she will bring us something special from her sister.

I'm sorry for any other family that get this fatal and heart breaking diagnosis; but the decision to carry to term is rewarding. We feel honored to have been chosen to be the parents to such a beautiful precious angel baby, and I know God will let us see and hold our daughter again some day. I look forward to it!!

 

 

Update:
We had our rainbow baby on July 9th, a prefect beautiful little girl her name is Memphis Reyna she was 8lbs 3oz and she's doing great...

 

 

Last updated August 27, 2014