You know, I feel for the doctors who know that they are about to have to give parents or patients some troubling news. There we were, sitting in a pregnant (pun intended) silence as the perinatologist waved the ultrasound wand back and forth across my belly, looking at my baby’s heart from every possible angle. I felt like blurting out, “Ok, I know something is wrong. What is it?!” But instead we waited as the silence stretched out forever and I contented myself with praying.
First of all, the baby is a girl! Just call us the Bennets; although, quite frankly I don’t much like the idea of being Mrs. Bennet. I promise not to call one of my daughters “the beautiful one” and try to force one of them to marry her cousin.
But on to the heavy stuff, as I must divulge because I have grown to love the support system I have here, and we need all the support we can get. Baby girl’s heart has a defect, that will need surgery after she is born. We don’t know exactly what the defect is yet, because she was a wiggler and didn’t let the perinatologist get as much of an in-depth look at it as she would have liked. We have to go see the fetal heart specialist soon to ascertain what exactly the defect is (the perinatologist gave us a few possibilities, but of course I didn’t recognize any of them, so I cannot remember them) what kind of surgery she would need, and when.
She also had some physical markers that could signal Down Syndrome or one of the Trisomy disorders. I declined the amniocentesis because I didn’t think the risk of losing her, no matter how small, was worth it since we would find out what exactly was going on after her delivery regardless. I did agree to do the blood test, but there is a small chance the blood test results could be inaccurate. We get the blood test results back in about a week.
I know the reporter at this point would ask me, “So how do you feel?” Well, I feel how you would expect me to feel, I guess. I have cried a lot, but I have made sure to wipe the tears, fix the makeup, and put on a cheery smile for the girls. I’m not at all concerned if our girl has Down Syndrome, because I know too many precious children with Down Syndrome. What I am devastated about is her heart condition and the possibility of one of the Trisomy disorders, because I know those can be deadly. I am worried sick. But Padre Pio said, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.” The question is, what is my prayer? I would think that most importantly, I pray that we do God’s will, and for what we cannot control, God’s will be done.
It’s all extremely painful for Scott and me, but I am actually looking forward to the rest of this pregnancy now, with baby girl being all snug and safe inside of me. Right now, I am doing all of the work for her and shielding her from any pain and suffering, just as every mother desires to do for her children. If we could, we would shield them from it for the rest of their lives, but that is not feasible. So, I am going to relish every second of this. As the Dread Pirate Roberts once wisely said to Princess Buttercup, “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
Jesus never promised us a life free from suffering. He said: take up your your cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24.) So, here we are. We love this baby girl and with God’s grace we will take up this cross of her health complications and follow Him.
If you could spare a moment to pray for us, I would be forever grateful. One thing is for certain, this is going to be a long journey and I am going to need plenty of courage for it.
I wish I could put a picture of baby girl’s sweet profile here, but the perinatologist didn’t give us any of the ultrasound photos. I don’t know why. I asked for them, but they said that they would email them to me and I still haven’t received them. Hopefully, they will send them soon. I did enjoy seeing her cute little face. She was yawning and putting her little fingers in her mouth.