We’re not really sure where to begin to thank people for all of their love and kindness over the last three weeks. I blogged about our little girl so I wouldn’t have to explain her issues a million times and in hopes that our friends and family would pray for her. I never expected the outpouring of love we received as people shared, and shared, and shared. Within a week, nearly 8,000 people read her story, many of whom offered up prayers, words of encouragement, cards, phone calls, flowers, visits, and hugs. My heart will be forever changed to know that so many people, friends, family, and perfect strangers, would even care about our hurts, let alone take the time to reach out to us.
Today we had another ultrasound and various follow up appointments. We were hoping and praying hard (along with many others) for healing and were hoping to hear and see that the obstruction had opened. At the same time, we had prepared our hearts for the worst, knowing that a risky intrauterine surgery was a very real possibility. I told a few close friends last night that I was actually excited for today and just wanted to know either way. What I hadn’t really prepared myself for (and the news we received) was not the good news we hoped for, nor the worst case scenario. It was sort of, both, and neither.
Essentially, the blockage remains and the urine is backing up even more and entering her other organs. At our last appointment, it was only in her bladder. It is now into her ureter and her kidneys, and both are dilated, though not severely at this time. This was not the news we wanted to hear. But just as we found with our last appointment, there is good news. My amniotic fluid is still completely, 100% normal. It isn’t even low. I knew that the amniotic fluid level was important, but I didn’t really realize just how important until some of the conversations I had today with various doctors. Essentially, that is the measurement that will determine if we have the intrauterine surgery, or wait until she is born for intervention. Not only does the amniotic fluid protect and cushion the baby,but more importantly in our daughter’s case, the fact that it is normal indicates that her kidney’s are functioning properly. If the amniotic fluid is low or depleted, it becomes a very serious situation and an indication of damage. If it remains normal, although she is likely to have issues after birth that will need attention and probable surgery, the long-term outlook is much more hopeful.
How to Pray?
Moving forward, we will have ultrasounds every 2 weeks to monitor the amniotic fluid levels as well as the size and appearance of the bladder, ureter, and kidneys. Intrauterine surgery will remain a possibility until 32-33 weeks, should my levels decrease. (I’m currently just about 25 weeks) After that, if the urine continues to back up and the amniotic fluid level decreases, they will weigh the risks to her kidneys and other organs with the risks and possible complications of an early delivery. The doctor explained that this is a specific problem that has the potential to be resolved after she is born, and that premature delivery (if brought on by intrauterine surgery or just the choice to take her early to protect her organs), introduces a whole new list of developmental risks and problems that my baby doesn’t currently face. The team of doctors will have to continually monitor and weigh the risks so that the baby is facing the lesser of the evils. Our prayer will continue to be that the obstruction is removed, that her other organs are not damaged, and also that my amniotic fluid levels remain normal. And as always, that we are continually reminded that God is our comforter, and that while He does promise to “prosper and not harm us” and to give us a “hope and a future,” (Jeremiah 29:11), the way that plays out is according to His plan and His ways, not necessarily what we might view as “prosperous.”
On our Hearts
It is an interesting thing to have a baby growing inside of you, to feel her every kick, to watch your belly growing, yet to know she is very sick, and that her ultimate outcome is unknown. I never before understood how truly painful and difficult it is for a mother with a sick child still inside of her. Even worse, the dear mothers, so many, who have lost children in utero, during delivery, or shortly after birth. I could imagine it was so difficult to watch an older child, one whom the parents had gotten to know and raise, become ill or, even more difficult pass away (though having never experienced either, I do not fully comprehend them), but I was completely oblivious and insensitive to how it feels at this stage of the game, before ever meeting your child. It’s something you can’t truly grasp, understandably, unless you have experienced it. I surely didn’t. At one of my appointments today, I met a lady who told me she was sorry about our baby and then went on to share with me that she has had a lot of trouble with pregnancy, having children etc. In that moment, I knew that even though this is not the path I would have ever chosen, the Lord opened my eyes and my heart to what this sweet woman was feeling and going through in a way that I could never have truly understood before. We can’t control what happens with our baby, but we are holding on to every lesson the Lord teaches us along the way, in hopes that when this is all said and done, our daughter will be well, and our hearts will be more refined to who God wants us to be.
All our Love <3