"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

11 October 2010

Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart

Last Thursday morning, Nich and I made a trip down to the OB/GYN at Albany Medical Center for a Level II ultrasound. Here's a bit of the background on the situation.

After our first ultrasound on September 9, we discovered that they'd found some choroid plexus cysts in Baby G's brain. The choroid plexus produces spinal fluid, and the cysts can point to Trisomy 18, spina bifida, or Down's Syndrome. In most cases, the cysts disappear during the third trimester, but the doctors wanted to get a closer look anyway. Needless to say, the past month has been one full of prayer. In fact, after finding out about the cysts and calling Nich (he wasn't able to come with me to that OB appointment), I sat in my car in the rain praying, "Jesus, I don't know what to pray, so I'm just going to pray for trust in Your goodness and sovereignty. I want the strength and courage to love this baby well regardless of any extra needs he may have." As I drove home, the chorus of the hymn, "'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" kept repeating in my head. Over the following few weeks, we were both reminded over and over again about the goodness of God, and honestly, we felt an unnatural sense of peace about the unknown.

The first hour of the Level II was a bit nerve-wracking, because the technician was looking so closely at the baby's brain and spine. She wasn't allowed to tell us if she saw anything unusual, and since we didn't really know what she was looking at most of the time, it was long, tedious, and definitely more uncomfortable to be on my back for that amount of time than it had been for the first one.

But then the doctor came in, thoroughly explained everything as he took a good look, and said that although he couldn't ever call any baby a "perfect baby," ours was looking perfectly normal! The cysts are GONE! He said that usually, the cysts go away after 24 weeks, so it was super good news that they were already gone (we were at 22 weeks). He checked out the bottom of the spinal cord, the top where it connects to the brain, and some other things to ensure that there are no signs of Down's Syndrome or spina bifida, and all was clear! Baby G is right on target size-wise and weight-wise (all of a whopping 1 lb., 7 oz.), and he was his regular, squirmy little self throughout most of the ultrasound. 

Another reason this is especially relieving to us is that Nich's employer has begun "letting employees go" as of last week, something they have not done in the company's history. Nich's department has yet to be affected, for which we are extremely grateful. Although we trust in God's provision, it was more to think about insurance-wise and such with the baby. Thank goodness it looks like we don't have to worry about special needs/medications!

We did have a small handful of close friends praying us through this past month, and we know that it made a world of a difference to have that kind of support. They sent words of encouragement and words of hope, even when I was too timid to hope for the best. We couldn't have made it through quite as calmly as we did without the support of our dear prayer warriors, and we are so incredibly grateful, not only for Baby G's excellent health, but for our friends and for the lessons re-learned about trusting in Abba.

As we're in the harvest and Thanksgiving season, I am reminded of an old song:

Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ His Son

And now let the weak say, "I am strong"
Let the poor say, "I am rich"
Because of what the Lord has done for us

Give thanks

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