A mom never wants to get a phone a week after having blood taken at a prenatal appointment. They only call when something is wrong, never to congratulate you for having great blood work or for gaining only two pounds in four weeks.
We got such a call last Wednesday and the timing could not have been worse. I had taken Colby to a Build-a-Bear class and about ten other moms had the same idea. Crowded space, crazed children, and obnoxious music playing over the loud speaker. I couldn’t find a quiet corner but could make out enough to understand the weight of the moment: “Quad screen blood work. Down syndrome – fine. Spina bifida – fine. Trisomy 18 – positive. Sending you upstairs to see the high-risk specialist.”
The room whirled and I couldn’t even articulate a question, didn’t know what questions to ask, and felt like the room had turned upside down while the weight of my feet kept me planted. Blinking back tears and trying to occupy Colby with a stuffed military bear, I called Brad and tried to put the pieces together for him.
Inhale. Focus. Faith.
I committed to limit my internet research and especially not visit pages with pictures of children with Edwards Syndrome (trisomy 18 defect). At the three sites I briefly glanced, I found the information we needed: the test is an indicator of risk and not a diagnosis, only 11% of women who have the positive test actually have a baby with the defect, and most sobering, it’s a fatal disease with most children not living past age 1, if they survive childbirth.
A week later, I walked into the specialist’s office and wondered what kind of change my afternoon would hold.
Genetic Counselor. God is my counselor.
High-risk Specialist. God is the author of Life. He is the perfecter of my faith. He knew we would be sitting in this room before the beginning of time and He sits here with us now.
Level 2 Ultrasound. He is knitting this baby together and creating his inmost being.
It’s a boy. A healthy baby boy without a single trace of a genetic malformation. Head shape: normal. Heart chambers: normal. Function of hands and feet: normal. Growth rate: normal. Heart Defects: none. No cleft lip. No swelling around his head. Praise the Lord.
For us, the suffering was limited to a “what-if” scenario and we were kept from having to walk through a deeper trial. His goodness would not have waivered had the ultrasound shown all the markers for the syndrome. His craftsmanship doesn’t stop when He creates babies to have physical imperfections and His promises are certainly not void when an earthly life lasts only a few short days, weeks, or months. He is good. His love endures forever.
And we can’t wait to introduce you to this baby boy sometime in February.