Not the News We Wanted

Daniel and I sat hip to hip on the waiting room couch, his arm around my shoulder.  We went through our list of baby names for the twentieth time in the past week, and he asked me if I would always remember this moment.  I told him our lives were about to change--we were about to find out if we were having a little boy or a little girl and it would determine a lot of how we choose to handle things in the coming years. He agreed, and squeezed my shoulder.  We were so excited.

Two hours later, we walked out of the hospital.  I was crying because we didn't find out the gender--the tech said the baby's feet were closed tight and she couldn't see anything.  We knew insurance only covers one ultrasound unless there are medical reasons for others, and finding out the sex is not considered a medical necessity.  I didn't want to make us pay for another ultrasound out of pocket, but we were just so excited to start planning for a boy or girl and to start calling our child by name, and my emotions were a little shot from the craziness of this past weekend--I felt disappointed.

I feel silly now, looking back on that moment, because I didn't know half the weight of what I would be feeling just hours later.  After I got back from running the dogs this morning, I had a voicemail from my midwife asking me to call her.  She needed to talk to me about my ultrasound results.  Her voice sounded strange in the message, and I tried to tell myself I was being paranoid when I called her back.  When I was told she was in an appointment and would have to call me again later, I started to feel a little anxious.  I called Daniel to tell him the birth center already had our ultrasound results (they don't do those kinds of tests there--the hospital had to send the photos and video to them) and that I thought the message sounded like it could be bad news.  He was at work and we talked several times throughout the next couple of hours while I waited to hear back--he was very worried and I told myself I probably got him worked up for nothing.  I prayed that God would teach me to praise Him either way, and waited.

Our midwife called back and said she had bad news.  She said she wanted to start out by saying the brain and heart looked great, which gave me a quick wave of relief.  I assumed that meant whatever she was about to tell me had to be minor.  She then said baby's abdomen hasn't developed correctly and the organs appear to be outside of his or her body.  We need to see a specialist to confirm what they assume they're seeing and the severity of it. She will set up that appointment immediately and we'll know more details on what that means for the rest of the pregnancy and beyond from there, but she said she wanted to go ahead and tell me she believes I will be transferred to the hospital for the rest of my prenatal care and am no longer a candidate for natural birth. Baby will most likely have to be delivered early, will undergo a number of surgeries, and be fed through a feeding tube at the hospital for a prolonged period of time, if this is the case.  This defect is extremely rare and has no known cause.  However, there is always room for error at these ultrasounds, and we can't know anything for sure until our next appointment.

What she was saying didn't really hit me until I called Daniel and repeated it back to him. And now, after six hours of crying and praying, I'm still not sure I understand. I don't think I'm able to call those of you I trust most to pray and ask you to do so individually, so I thought I'd go ahead and share it on here, where I don't have to speak the words out loud.  I told myself I'd be open about this journey of being newly married and on our way to parenthood with you all, the good and the bad, so here it is.  

I have never felt so much fear. I want our baby to be okay and not in pain. I'm praying they somehow misread the ultrasound. I'm praying that if they didn't, the Lord will go before us on the road ahead.  Please pray for Baby Rock, for us, and for the doctors. Thank you all so much for your constant outpouring of encouragement over our marriage and our child.

-J