Dashing Dreams and Building Faith
Life can feel like a roller coaster sometimes, can’t it?
Our family has been on one the past month or so. Almost a month ago, we found out we are having a BOY and we were overjoyed… at the top of the level that our happiness usually goes. The very next day, we found out that the same ultrasound that gave us such great news also revealed a troubling area called Echogenic Bowel, which basically means that there are some areas in the little guy’s colon that come through on the scan as dense as bone (so they appear bright) and they shouldn’t be there. They should be grey like the other organs. This shows up in only 1 or 2% of 2nd trimester scans and there are a number of reasons this could happen, 25% of which are very concerning.
Through a follow-up ultrasound, blood work and genetic testing, we were able to fairly quickly (within a couple of weeks) rule out some main causes for this finding: infection, Cystic Fibrosis, and Trisomy 13 and 18. What remained was the possibility of Down’s Syndrome.
Now, Nate and I know and love a couple of great kids with Down’s Syndrome. It is not a death sentence. But, a diagnosis like this would mean the death of many of the dreams we already have for our son, and adds a number of potential health complications. The first day after hearing the news that our son could have a chromosomal disorder was definitely a low point in this pregnancy.
What I’m really interested in conveying here is the enormous sense of peace that washed over both of us in less than 24 hours after hearing the troubling news. I can hardly describe it accurately, but it was so real. We had prayed for this little one before he was even conceived. We had thanked God for his life from the moment we knew he existed, and from the beginning, we had placed his fragility in God’s hands. We knew that God had a plan for his life, no matter how short or long it would be. I’ve written him several letters (our son, not God) already, and feel very connected to him. And in these weeks that we’ve waited to find out whether he was 100% healthy or not, God has stilled my heart and convinced me more than ever that He has been knitting him together in my womb… that He knew exactly how he would be formed, when he would be born… and that he would be PERFECT. No, I don’t mean perfect by the world’s standards; rather perfect for our family. And that no matter what, He would equip us to care for him.
I LOVE how God did that. As we told a few friends, family and prayer warriors, a few of them just kept saying, “Don’t worry!! Everything will be fine! He’s going to be fine! Don’t worry!” I wanted to say, “You know what? We aren’t worrying. And not because we have any guarantee that he doesn’t have Down’s Syndrome, but because we know that our God is loving and awesome and doesn’t make mistakes. If he does have Down’s, God will use it in our son’s life and in ours, and HE will be glorified.”
I think that’s the thing that I’m taking away from this: that many of our circumstances are given to us that we may not have asked for, but they are still gifts. I know that I’ll look back at this past month with gratitude that we were given an opportunity to fully trust in the Lord and His ways instead of our own sense of control over our lives.
This morning, we found out that our son does not have Down’s Syndrome. A new technology only available since October allowed us to find this out without any invasive or risky procedures! We are grateful that he will be born without a disorder that could pose health risks and delay his development. We appreciate the prayers of those of you who knew what was going on as we went through this process. We ask that you continue to pray so that the Echogenic Bowel will disappear on it’s own so that we can discontinue our monthly follow-up ultrasounds and not have to be under the care of a high-risk OB any longer. The worst case scenario is that he’ll need a minor surgery to clear out a potential blockage after his birth, but we feel pretty confident that this will not be necessary.
I hope that if you’re going through a period of uncertainty or loss that you can find some peace that your Creator doesn’t make mistakes and He loves you so much. I welcome your comments and shares on this post. I want God to continue to be glorified in and through our son’s life.