May 17th Peter and I took off early in the morning to see Doctor D in Nashville. Soon after we got there we were put in an ultrasound room. The ultrasound technician spent almost an hour measuring and snapping shots.
At first we were so in awe with the little form that I barely realized something was wrong. Then I took note of the technician who was so quiet the whole time. I knew that if everything was alright she would have said so.
I finally got brave and asked her, “Is everything okay?” She avoided the question (as I’m sure it was her job to do) and said the doctor would be in to talk to us in a little bit. I knew then something was wrong. Doctor D came in. She was incredibly sweet. She put her had on my leg. I briefly glanced down at it, I knew what that meant. I had the doctor do that more than once already. She gently said these words, “I know you came here to talk to us about your mthfr defienciency, but we’ve found some serious abnormalities with the baby.”
Life sort of stopped at that moment. I really didn’t feel like she was talking to me. I really didn’t feel like I was there, but was listening to someone else have this conversation with her. I really didn’t know how to receive the information she was giving us. Peter took my hand. She continued to tell us that the baby had a cystic hygroma, which is basically a moisture filled mast or cyst, in this case which was prevalent around the babies brain and abdomen. She pointed the cystic hygroma out to us on the screen. She said in 85% of these cases the hygroma was an indicator that the baby could have a syndrome, such as Down sydrome or Turner’s syndrome or major heart defects.
She went ahead and gave us the option of a test, (I can no longer pronounce it, okay, so I never could) which could be done that day and a few days after. She described that this test would go between parts of the womb which would be growing so quickly even one week later her window of opportunity would be gone. She also said there was a 1% risk of miscarriage with this type of test. So 1 in every 100 pregnancies that go through this procedure result in miscarriage. There also wasn’t anything we could have done with the information from the test to actually help the babies condition. This test would be more for us and the doctors.
We asked for a moment alone to process all of the new information she had given us. She left. We just looked at each other, tears swelling up in my eyes. I was a little bit overwhelmed at this point. I couldn’t trust myself to make any decisions. I looked at Peter and said, “I don’t know what to do. Please decide.” He didn’t say anything for a moment, then with tears in his eyes he looked at me and said, “I just can’t knowingly go through with anything that might harm the baby.” I was so proud of him. I fell in love with him all over again right then and there. He led us in prayer, that’s all we knew to do. When the doctor came back in, Peter shared our decision with her as well as our faith that helped us come to that decision. She gave us a few of our other options later on down the road and asked for us to come back in 4 weeks. She even said in 15% of these cases the hygroma can go away on its own.
We left sort of numb. We walked slowly to the van, got in and just sat there. We cried, being at rest with whatever God was doing, but feeling completely inadequate at even the thought of caring for a special needs child. Peter got a phone call he felt he needed to take. Frankly, I was a little miffed. We had just received the most serious news of our married life, and he was taking a phone call. This was a former co-worker of his. I waited. I listened. The conversation went from informational to personal. I listened as Peter gave good biblical counsel to this young man, a man he considered to be lost. As he did I realized Peter started to congratulate him and encourage him as a brother in Christ. Once he got off the phone he told me he was just about to timidly share the gospel with him when the young man announced he just got saved.
God reminded me in that moment of His power. Peter and I met in the workplace. For years I had been praying for these employees to come to know Christ. I left the workplace before Peter and I even got married, but I continued to pray for the employees there often. It was so neat in that moment that God reminded us that He can do anything – that He hears our prayers and pleas. God was with us that day. His peace was evident, His power was real and we rested in Him. We drove around for quite some time and just talked. We went to eat. I remember our waitress was very pregnant. We prayed for her.
As we were en route to pick up Shaylea from a friend’s house the story of Jesus told about leaving the 99 to go after the 1 which was lost came to mind. That affirmed in my heart Peter’s decision. The one matters to Christ. We got home and Peter went to work on our house which was in shambles from being painted. Shaylea and I went to my mom’s and we both just fell asleep in the middle of the day. I thought I might wake up and it would all be different.