Between Nashville appointments I’d be lying if I said I stayed at peace with all that was happening. There were moments when I rested in His truth and I was fine. There were moments of complete and utter anger at God. There were moments I shook my fist at Him and desperately fell to my knees questioning what He was doing. But after wrestling with Him, I kept coming back to what He had spoken to me – that if it was for His glory, it was all going to be okay. Not necessarily good, but used for good.
By the time for our next visit in Nashville, I had warmed to the idea of having a special needs child, even if I did feel completely inadequate. I still had many fears and worries and I still held on to the fact that all of this might turn out, with the 15 %, to be nothing.
Our next visit was on June 8th. We were to see the Nashville Doctor, then pick my step-sons up at the airport for their summer stay. My dad accompanied us because he was flying out that afternoon as well and he entertained Shaylea in downtown Nashville while we were with the doctor.
We had a new ultrasound technician this time, and she was so sweet. She was very talkative and sort of hyper – I liked that. We talked about a lot of things and she shared with us about everything she was doing, explaining things as she went along. It was obvious as we watched (by now we sort of knew what to look for) that the cystic hygroma had grown an incredible amount. I also noticed the babies legs weren’t moving quite as much, although she didn’t say anything about that. Even with the deformities it was amazing to watch the sweet baby move. We could see his/her fingers and toes and we were in awe of the heartbeat alone. It’s funny how you appreciate those things a little more after the news we had received.
We were then moved to a room to wait for Doctor E. When he came in he introduced himself and sat down to talk with us. I sat nervously waiting. He was very kind and gentle as he explained our situation as being “very grave”. He said with the amount of deformities he saw on the ultrasound, it was very unlikely that the baby would survive. If the baby was to survive to term, his knowledge led him to believe that the baby would not live very long thereafter, perhaps a few minutes, maybe a few hours. He said it was too early to tell, but that our sweet baby probably had major heart defects. The fluid he saw on the ultrasound was not just in the form of the cystic hygroma, there was also visible fluid around the heart and lungs and the babies feet were turned in.
We sat listening, nodding our heads. He continued saying some parents can’t endure the thought of their baby going through such circumstances and choose to terminate the pregnancy. We were adamant that wasn’t an option we would entertain. Peter was able to share with him why we felt that way, because we believed in Jesus Christ and life, and his words were, “I’m right on board with you.” He mostly counseled us for the death of the baby, although admitting he couldn’t be 100% sure of anything. He said if a miscarriage was to take place I would need to deliver so as to ensure chances of future fertility and pregnancies. He said if it came time and it looked like the baby would indeed survive delivery, we would need to discuss what measures we would take to sustain life. He said there is only so much you can “do” for a baby, before you are doing “to” a baby. We asked several questions which I can’t even remember now and most of them were not to be addressed until closer to delivery time.
After spending over half an hour with Doctor E, we made another appointment with him 4 weeks out and we left the office to walk around a little while we waited for my dad to pick us up.
Before this visit, I was almost excited at the idea of a baby with one of the syndromes. I was getting geared up to start researching and preparing for it. I hadn’t prepared myself for any of what the doctor had said.
To be completely transparent, I was almost relieved. I began thinking of me trying to care for a severely disabled child, and the thought of the sweet baby being at the feet of Jesus wasn’t so bad. I feel like I don’t do a good job with normal, healthy children as it is, how could I handle a tougher situation? Certainly the best place for this baby was in Heaven. It was a selfish thought though, and I knew it.
Really there wasn’t much time for Peter and I to talk about it. We were wanting to share the news with the kids together, so we would have to wait until the evening hours to do so. The boys flight was rerouted because of weather and they would be a few hours later than anticipated. So Peter, Shaylea, my dad, and I toiled around downtown Nashville for a while. We ate and did a little window shopping, although I talked Peter into getting a cowboy hat, *smiles*. Shaylea and Pop (my dad) had their boots shined. It was terribly hot that day and I was terribly exhausted. We finally got my dad to the airport and we waited about an hour and a half for the boys flight to arrive. I couldn’t wait to tell the kids. I’m with them all the time, and it had been so hard not to share with Shaylea why I felt so bad for the past few months. But I kept thinking I only had to wait a few more hours and we could tell them all together.
Their flight finally arrived and it was so good to see them. I phoned my mom on the way home and asked her if she’d make us supper. We stopped by the house for a bit, then went over for a quick supper at Mom’s. It was so nice not to worry about supper. I hid away giving the news to my mom, and then calling my dad. We had never had an opportunity before he boarded to tell him how the visit went.
Once we got home I was ready to tell the kids. We had gotten good advice on how to share the bittersweet news from my parents. But Peter wanted to wait. It had been a big day and he didn’t want to load anything else on top of them. He was right of course, but I was disappointed. Certainly I could wait one more day.