Our story begins back in 2006. We are Jarod and Krystle Pauly. We met in December of 2006 through some mutual friends. Prior to our meeting I had just had a baby girl in October. Jarod came into our lives when MaKenzie was two months old. I was living at home with my parents and Jarod was living with some friends. Years passed and Jarod and I continued dating.
In 2008 Jarod asked MaKenzie and me to move in with him. I agreed. We went looking for houses together and bought the perfect one for the three of us. I was working for a major aircraft company here in Wichita and Jarod was working for a reputable sheet metal company. In 2009, I returned to school seeking my degree in Human Resources Management. In 2011, I was laid off from my job due to major cutbacks. Unsure of what my future held career-
Later that year Jarod proposed to me. It was one of the happiest days of my life. During the planning of our wedding, we were required to take an Engaged Encounter class over a weekend. A lot of the topics we covered were topics we had already discussed: what our future held, finances, love languages and children. Children were definitely something we wanted. On September 1, 2012 Jarod and I were married in front of hundreds of our closest friends and family and so our journey began.
After our wedding we waited three months to go on our honeymoon, a cruise, with our family too! We are both very close with both of our families, so why not take them on a cruise with us?
When we got back from the cruise we decided it was time to start trying for a baby. We talked about all our options for creating our family. We discussed adoption and conceiving naturally. We decided that we wanted to have a child created as God intended, between a married man and woman. We found out in May 2013 that we were expecting our first child and we were so excited!
Having been pregnant once before with no complications, I expected this pregnancy to be no different. My expectations quickly came to a shuddering halt on July 24th, 2013. It's a date I will never forget. That morning started out like any other morning. I got up with Jarod as he got ready for work and got MaKenzie up and ready for the day. My 19-
I remember lying on the table excitedly telling the sonographer not to tell me what the gender of our baby was. Jarod and I didn't want to know. As the sonographer was going over all of my baby's fingers and toes, legs and arms, I was so excited to see this little life inside me! When the sonographer got to the head, she kept moving her wand all over trying to get a good measurement on the baby's head. After about ten minutes she said she could not get a good measurement on the baby's head. She excused herself from the room to go speak with the doctor. I thought this was normal-
When the doctor walked in by himself, something just didn't feel right. The doctor sat down in his chair, wheeled himself close to me and not close to the sonogram machine. Dr. V. said words I will never forget. "What I am about to tell you is difficult. Your baby has a fatal birth defect called anencephaly." Dr. V. then went on to explain what anencephaly was but once I heard fatal I pretty much stopped listening. How could this be? How can my baby have a fatal birth defect? I have been taking multivitamins; I never drank, smoked or did anything that would have harmed my baby. I asked to step outside because I really had to use the bathroom since I had to have a full bladder for the sonogram. Dr. V. stayed in the room with my mom and said, "Your daughter seems to be handling this very well."
My mom told him, "I think she's still in shock." I came back into the room and told my mom I needed to call Jarod. My mom went out into the waiting room and made the call and I was moved into a different room that did not have a sonogram machine in it. When Jarod got to the doctor's office Dr. V. walked in with him. We sat in this room for an hour with our doctor. Dr. V's other appointments scheduled for that hour were seen by other doctors in the office. Dr. V. answered all of our questions, even if they were repetitive questions. He never lost patience with us. Our doctor explained our options to us: we had the option to continue to carry to term or we could terminate the pregnancy altogether. We both told Dr. V. without hesitation we are carrying the baby to term. Dr. V. said he respected and supported our decision. We asked if our appointments would be any different since the baby had anencephaly, and he responded that he would continue to care for us the same way he would if we had a healthy baby. He explained to us that when carrying a baby with anencephaly, you have a 50-
This was the longest weekend of our lives. Our appointment was scheduled for Monday morning at 9 o'clock with Dr. W. All weekend long Jarod and I surfed the internet looking for information about anencephaly. And everything we found kept returning the same: Fatal. We prayed so hard that the sonogram findings were wrong before we walked into our perinatologist appointment. When we went into Dr. W's office and had our sonogram, it was confirmed that our baby had anencephaly. I couldn't wait anymore. I needed to know what the gender of our baby was. It's a girl! Our sweet little princess, Sophia Corrin Pauly. Dr. W. offered his sincerest sympathy to us as well and spent 45 minutes with us answering our questions, the same questions that we had for Dr. V.
Before we left Dr. W's office, he too, handed us a brochure about Choices Medical Clinic. When we got home we read through the pamphlet and were unsure of whether or not we should call Choices. We didn't know what they could do for us beyond what our doctors could do. So we decided to go ahead and call and just go see what Choices had to offer. Our appointment was set up for the middle of August 2013. Upon approaching the clinic we noticed it was right next to the old Dr. Tiller Clinic. I remember telling Jarod, "If this place is inside that clinic you might as well keep on driving, because I will not go in there." Much to my relief it was right next door and we walked in and were greeted with such compassion.
We were taken back to the conference room where we met Dr. Stringfield and some of his associates. We met with Martha and Denise, Debbie and Susan. It felt kind of like an interview. Little did we know, we just met our team of people who were going to walk the rest of our journey with us! We had our consultation with Dr. Stringfield and he told us what he knew of our case and asked us if we had any questions that he could answer. Again we asked the same questions, and again we got the same answer: it's fatal.