The ultrasound began with Angie (Patti had been called to another office) looking things over. Nothing really looked remarkably different, other than that she is facing up, so we got another look at that beautiful profile. We don’t think she is transverse…it looks like she is still in the “one leg down and one up” position. She looked cute as pie to me. In my head, as the list of visible problems grew longer, I kept thinking, “Now, Lord. It’s not too late. Do it now. Let everyone here see the miracle.”
Dr. Fortunato came in midway through and took over. He and Angie discussed things in scientific terms that I don’t understand, but after every string of words, he would look at me and translate. While the prognosis remains the same, I want to share a few details so that you can pray specifically for her. The first thing is that her kidneys (diagnosed as “polycystic” from the first appointment…remember the Belgian man?) don’t really fit the diagnosis anymore. They are not at all enlarged, which is part of what you would see with polycystic kidneys. This was really puzzling to him. At one point I asked what that meant, and he said, “When doctors give your child absolutely no chance of survival, we expect the development to continue to stay true to that prognosis. This doesn’t.”
Again, this does not “fix” the problem. Audrey’s kidneys are non-functioning, and the lack of fluid has prevented (from what we can tell) her lungs from developing. While her head, arms, legs etc. appear to be on track as far as growth, her little abdomen has started to fall behind; an indication that the lack of fluid is catching up with her. It is also an indication that her lungs are not developing, because while we can see lung tissue, there is not room for them to be a sufficient size. Dr. Fortunato also said that the heart was not the problem, but rather what it indicated about the lungs. This was new to us.
I cannot express to you how much we consider him a blessing to us. If you are ever in a position where you need someone to fight for your baby, you need to come to Nashville and see him and his partners. It is routine for them to treat a woman who was told to “go home and wait to lose the baby” when her water broke at 16 weeks, only to deliver a healthy baby close to full-term. If anyone knows how to rebel against logic, it is this man. And so, based on what they are seeing, we are faced with the same ultimate outcome. This is not a baby God intended for us to keep.
I feel like I need to address that last sentence. You may remember that I asked for you to pray for a miracle today, and you might feel like He failed me. He didn’t.
I want you all to hear me on this, especially those of you who are in a place of questioning as far as God is concerned. As much as I want to have my Audrey, I am (truthfully) completely at peace allowing Him to have the final say. It isn’t because I’m so super-spiritual or because I have a more direct line to God than anyone else. It is because He tells us we can trust Him with our lives, and I simply choose to believe Him.
I told Todd I was scared to write this post tonight, because the truth is that I really wanted to be writing something else. I wanted to be the leper who ran away with clear skin, praising God. I wanted to be the blind man.
Most of all, I wanted to be the one who watched Jesus resurrect his little girl.
What He chose to give me was a different miracle.
I prayed and prayed after my appointment about the words I would post, and I kept asking God for wisdom. As my parents and my grandmother left my house late this afternoon, I went to sit on our front porch with Kate. It was a spectacular day here today, well above 70 degrees and as clear as glass. But as we sat in the shadow of our house, it got cold. The wind whipped through and made us shiver. I was tempted to go inside, as neither of us were dressed for what was turning out to be a pretty cold evening. It was just so beautiful, though, and I felt my mind start to rest. It felt so good to just sit in the silence for a minute and gather my thoughts. I looked at Kate, thumb in her mouth, her other arm wrapped around her shoulder.
“Honey, do you want to go inside?”
She knew that the implication was that I was going to stay outside. She shook her head.
“No, I wanna stay with you.” She continued to stare straight ahead although her body gave a quick shudder, as if to acknowledge that she agreed that it was uncomfortable.
Against my better parenting instincts, I let her sit, and as I watched her bare feet resting on the cold brick, it occurred to me that regardless of the cost, she wanted to stay with me. She would rather shiver and suffer than be on the other side of the door.
This is how I feel about my Jesus.
It is cold. It is uncomfortable. It is not the perfect situation in my eyes. I am barefoot and unprepared for what happens when a summer day turns unexpectedly to a winter chill, but He sits beside me. I guess I always have the option to run and get warm, but like my Kate, I would rather see what He shows me from this perspective. If you live in Nashville, you probably know what is coming next.
Tonight, God gave us one of the most beautiful sunsets you have ever seen.
As I watched it, I couldn’t help but think about the fact that I only got to experience it because I didn’t do the comfortable, easy thing.
And as the sun pierced the sky, the only thing I could hear was a still small reminder.
It was worth every second.
“…in all these things we are more conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
Love (and more love),