Candid Chatter

Just Say It

Days Like This August 20, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 9:34 pm
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This morning, as I got ready and rushed out the door to my ultrasound appointment, I have to admit I had worries about what we would find. I haven’t been comfortable with this pregnancy from the get-go. As soon as I saw the baby on the screen, my worries melted. It was moving all around: waving its hands, kicking its feet, scratching its head, and all sorts of cute things. I felt that connection that we moms feel with our yet unborn babies. Everything clicked. It was exciting.

I got home and dove into cleaning up the breakfast mess pigsty I had left behind. My sweet husband headed down south for a meeting regarding a possible career move.

He called me around 4:30 to tell me all the good news about how the meeting went. They were going to make him an offer and alluded to it being “one he couldn’t refuse”. Towards the end of that conversation my doctor called. I told Rich I’d call him back.

The ultrasound went great she said. However, there is something mildly concerning to her. On the baby’s brain there is a spot. This spot could mean nothing and could resolve all by itself in the coming weeks. In the vast majority of cases where a spot like this is found and the baby seems to be otherwise completely normal, that’s what happens… spot goes away, healthy baby is born. In very rare cases, the spot is a marker on an ultrasound alerting doctors that there could be an abnormality; most commonly Down syndrome also known as Trisomy 21. She told me she was going to order a more detailed ultrasound and to wait for the call from them to make the appointment. Her parting words were, “I don’t want you to worry. This is just a precaution and most of the time this turns out to be nothing.” I tried to remain positive and said, “I would rather you err on the side of caution, Doctor.”

And I would.

I called Rich back, let him finish telling me the good news from down south, and then I told him what my doctor had said. He didn’t really react. My husband doesn’t worry much. He accepts things and moves on. He’s rock solid in situations that tear me to pieces. Solid.

For about 3 hours after the call, I was a mess. I tried not to cry, but the harder I tried the more painful the lump in my throat. The tears started to roll down my cheeks. I found that I wasn’t crying for me. It wasn’t a pity party oh poor me my child may not be normal. No. It was for the baby who, if not normal, will have such big challenges his or her whole life. People will stare. Some will make fun of him or her. Some will feel awkward and not know how to interract. It was tearing me up inside to think of my poor sweet child having to come against a world full of jerks who think it’s funny to make fun of people who aren’t “like them”.

Three people came to my rescue. Lana, my mom, and my mother-in-law. All three of them lifted me up and helped me by saying things that are true. They wouldn’t allow me to accept that my child is abnormal. The truth is, chances really are in my favor that the baby is fine. Ultrasounds cannot predict Down syndrome. They can only shoot up red flags when something looks a little off. The only way to know for sure is to have an amniocentesis, which I’m still 80% against. There are about 7 ultrasound markers to be found in a Down’s baby. Ours only has one of seven. All other organs and measurements appear normal.

Thank you to those of you who read my comment on the last post and prayed. Thank you Melanie for responding so quickly to my e-mail asking for prayer. What I need most is peace. It’s funny because today on Steve’s site I said the word that would get me through the day – my ‘keyword’ – is TRUST. Little did I know how much I would have to work on doing just that.

But I am. I am trusting that, no matter what, God has our best interests in store. No matter what.

I’ll surely keep you posted. I have a regular OB appointment Friday. They will do my glucose test and the AFP blood test which is another way to detect a Down syndrome risk. Later (hopefully sooner rather than later) I will have a specialized ultrasound. After that, who knows.

On a more positive note, they did make Rich an offer that he can’t refuse. It blew us away. I had to read it about 3 times just to believe it. Pinch me, this can’t be real. He’s only 31 years old. What a super success. He didn’t apply for a job. They contacted him because they want him. They really, really want him. Bad.

Good news mixed with not so good news. I am choosing to be positive and until someone shows me medical evidence that cannot be disproven that there is something wrong with my baby I am choosing to believe that he or she is perfectly fine and normal.

As always, thank you for your support and prayers. It all means so much more to me than you know. And, once again, I am praying for you. I am praying that God will doubly bless whoever prays for us. You guys and gals are awesome!! From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!

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12 Responses to “Days Like This”

  1. Heidi…no simple words from me, or cliches today. You don’t need them nor want to hear them. Heck, I don’t even want to say them.

    God is good. All the time, God is good.

    I have no doubt that the baby who is forming in your womb is the baby placed there by God Himself. Yes, I remember biology–didn’t do well in it, but remember taking it! Sperm and egg come together to form that small cell of life. Ain’t it great how God planned that just for us! The fun of sex and the benefit of creating life…all at the same time!

    God will guide you through this process and days of waiting and watching. Follow your own keyword, TRUST. That was just as important to you before the news as after the call.

    Trust. Obey. Be still. Not a bad pattern to follow.

  2. candidchatter Says:

    Steve: thank you — i am trying very hard to trust and remain in a positive frame of mind — moment by tiny moment.

    heidi

  3. tonyyork Says:

    Heidi,

    I know you want me to be careful about how I use scripture, but in this case, its scripture that helped me immensely. You know a little of the story of my oldest daughter, Lauren. She has spina bifida and we learned of it from an ultra sound on December 23, 1992. The doctor brought us into her office and had these words for us – “You have a non-viable fetus”. She wanted to schedule an abortion as soon as possible because we were approaching the gestational limit of when an abortion could be conducted in our state.

    I had to leave the office and I melted in my car… I was broken and hurt to my very core. This was our first child – we had already chosen names, I had been reading to her in my wife’s belly, I had been dreaming over her. And they wanted to abort her – to take her away from me. But most of all, I felt broken because I couldn’t fix it. At the time I wasn’t aware that God was working on teaching me that I am not in control… that He is.

    Long story short, we decided against the abortion because we just couldn’t live with the “what ifs”. We wanted this baby – abnormal or not. We were scared for all the reasons you listed in your post… but we wanted to give the baby every chance we could.

    Lauren decided to come early. January 23, 1993 at 24 weeks gestation, she came into this world at a whopping 1lb 8 ounces. She died twice that day and was resuscitated before having a surgery that the doctors said she wouldn’t survive. She survived it and many more afterwards; there were many, many times we stood beside her wondering if this was the last moment we would spend with her. God chose to bless us by keeping her around.

    Today she is a loving 15 year old girl in High School. Sure she is in a wheelchair and a long way from being as cognitively gifted as the kids around her. But wow, can she love people and empathize with them. She loves to read Harry Potter and Little House on the Prairie books and we can’t separate her from all those medical shows on tv.

    It took me a long time to learn what God wanted me to know though.. and that was that He created her just the way He wanted her. Psalms 139 says He knit her together in my wife’s womb and that she is fearfully and wonderfully made. He made a beautiful creation and blessed me with the ability to take care of her. And I spent the first 10 years of her life thinking she was less than normal because she didn’t measure up to what people would expect her to be. I wanted to believe that God had allowed her to be handicapped because that was the view that I had of a loving God – that He would never do this to someone on purpose.

    His word taught me differently. Besides Psalm 139, I read how He told Moses that it was He who created the deaf and the dumb… and then in the New Testament, the disciples asked Christ whose fault it was that the man was blind and Christ answered them by saying that it was nobody’s sin but that the man was created blind so that God could show His glory and then He healed the man.

    Think about that… my little Lauren was created so that God could show His glory not the opposite. I had been so wrong in my devaluing His creation. Its been amazing to watch how people respond to Lauren… of course she gets stared at or overlooked – but don’t we all? But more importantly, people talk about how beautiful she is in spirit and how she is a joy and blessing to know. That feels my heart to overflowing because that is God at work in her because of how He created her.

    What once I judged as a deficiency I now see as God’s fingerprints and I don’t see Lauren as abnormal or handicapped. She may not be able to do everything that other people do… but neither can I.

    I don’t know if this helps but know that God is in control and He is fearfully and wonderfully forming your child. His hand is at work in your very abdomen and He is creating something special…especially for you and your husband.

    My prayers are with you.

  4. Cynthia Says:

    We’ll be praying for you and your baby.

  5. candidchatter Says:

    Tony: Your comment means so much to me. This morning has been very hard. We are leaving in about 10 minutes for a play date for the kids. I am hoping to get my mind off of this and on to something else. Thank you so much for sharing your story about your sweet Lauren. I didn’t mean to make you feel strange about sharing Scripture. I was just irritated and took your post wrong that day. I don’t know. Right now I am very confused and trying desperately to keep my chin up.

    Thanks again.

    Heidi

  6. jaymi Says:

    I am sending (more) prayers your way too. As much as you have prayed for my and my pregnancy it is the very least I can do. If you just need an ear to listen give me a call!

  7. daphne Says:

    Praying.
    When I got pg with #4 I did not know for a while because I thought I was having a period but it did not stop. Turns out I am pregnant so I call my OBGYN and being high risk AND the fact I am bleeding they send me to the hospital lab.
    Long story short, for about 4 weeks my lab results said the pregnancy was not viable and I was told I would miscarry.

    God said otherwise and I was ok. Eventually my doctor had to accept I was not going to miscarry and see me in the office instead of the lab DESPITE my test results.

    Ask God what He says and ask for something to stand on. Look, I know that is easier said than done. I have the t-shirts. But our God still reigns. Grace & PEACE, daphne

  8. My wife and I are both older (none of your business on the exact oldness! 🙂 My birthday is Sunday so the oldness is just getting worse!).

    Anyway, when we got pregnant last year, the doctor kept telling us about the advanced genetic tests that were available and how they had really improved over the years. She recommended a doctor and hospital in our area that even specializes in it! She told us to think about it, and let her know at our next visit…seeing that we still had time before the 12-13 week deadlines.

    As we walked out of the office that day, I said to my wife, “Do you know what she was talking about?” She said, “A little.” I said, “She’s saying if something is wrong with our baby, we still have time to abort it.”

    At our next visit, she again brought up the testing. With every bit of calm I had in me, I said, “Doctor, thanks for your mentioning these tests to us; however, we both believe that the baby my wife is carrying is the one given to us by God. If you know of a problem, we want to be told about it; however, if we are simply talking about aborting the baby because we wouldn’t want a child with Downs or another problem like that, we believe God will give us the strength to do for him/her whatever needs to be done.”

    End of conversation.

  9. candidchatter Says:

    Thank you, thank you everyone!!

    Steve: I agree. I would never terminate a pregnancy — no matter what the medical community said to me. Even if that meant my child would only live for 1 second after birth. I know what you mean about the tests being offered too. I told them up front that I am not interested in an amniocentesis. I still feel that way for right now. I understand there is sometimes a need for it. However, there are a lot of risks to the baby with that procedure.

    Update: I have my appointment with the specialist next Wednesday at 3:00. So I have to wait a whole week. My regular OB appt is still tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll have the results of the AFP before I go to see the specialist. If they are negative, I’ll feel a little better.

    Heidi

  10. jalack Says:

    Praying for you…like always

  11. mommato3blessings Says:

    Heidi,
    I am praying for a peace that simply doesn’t make sense for you. I have experienced that kind of peace lately- the kind that leaves you scratching your head wondering how on earth you could possibly be THAT overwhelmingly calm and trusting in a moment when you otherwise would feel your world crashing down around you. You have been a constant thought in my head throughout the day- and every time I think of you, I am praying. May the God who gives that peace bless your socks off today, sweetheart. I love you.
    HUGS and more HUGS!
    -Mel

  12. Jen Says:

    Heidi,
    Your family will definitely be in my prayers. I hope that God will provide you peace and an understanding that no matter how he has chosen to create your baby, this baby will be such a blessing to you life. If this baby is perfectly normal, He has a reason for this. If this baby has any thing not “normal,” be it Down Syndrome or anything else, there is a reason that God has chosen you and your husband to be the parents of a special child like that. There is a reason for all His actions and He knows what you can handle and He will prepare you for whatever type of child He choses to place in your loving care until one day this child will be with Him forever.

    In my job, I work with people of extremely varying levels of disabilities, and I have to tell you, my clients that have Down Syndrome are some of the most special of all. And ironically, I am “reading” a book on CD by Karen Kingsbury right now, Just Beyond The Clouds, that has several characters in it with Down Syndrome.

    God has special plans for this baby of yours, Heidi. Believe and know that He has special plans for you too. You will have such a blessing in this baby no matter what!!!

    You will be in my thoughts and prayers…


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