I would say its been way too long since I've posted on here, but with the season we've had since January of this year, you'll understand. God has been at work in ways that have been incredibly challenging and yet deeply miraculous. If you haven't heard the story from my mouth, let me tell you it in writing.
His name is Samuel, and he should arrive any day now! The sooner the better - I say. But whenever he arrives, it will be an amazing day. He wasn't supposed to even make it. Here's his story.
We found out we were pregnant in November. We were excited and I decided quickly in December of '09 that I needed to quit Starbucks (which I still miss), and just have two jobs - worship pastor and mommy. It was a good decision definitely inspired by God. He knew what was coming.
At 7 weeks pregnant I was exposed to Fifths Disease without knowing it, or really being worried about it if I was. At 13 weeks along, I broke out in a itchy rash on my hands and feet and a few days later woke up feeling 80 years old, arthritic and slow. I googled my symptoms along with pregnancy and up popped Fifths Disease. I immediately called my doctor to get tested. After the blood test, of which came back positive, they began a continuous ultrasound check every two weeks on my growing baby. The first test showed no signs that the virus had passed the placenta. We were grateful . . . but that didn't last long. The next ultrasound came in conjunction with my Quad Screen, which tests for genetic issues - and mine came back positive in regards to Downs Syndrome. The bomb went off.
We were scheduled to head to a specialty hospital for deeper testing. This ultrasound was the first of many that were incredibly difficult. The images that the doctors got were scary. This baby, of which we had just found out was a boy, was very sick. He had most of the hard markers for Downs Syndrome, and was showing significant signs of Fifths Disease (parvovirus B19). He was extremely anemic with holes in his heart and there was deep infection in his body, and the list went on and on. We were told that he would probably not survive.
After praying, weeping, and trying to decide what to do in regards to amniocentesis and an inutero blood transfusion, we decided that we weren't supposed to do anything. God settled our hearts after a conversation with the 5th doctor we had met on the baby's case. She said he may even have fetal leukemia, and if that was that case, he would miscarriage soon. We wanted the womb to be a "holy place" as long as it could be regardless of his sickness. So we waited and prayed. We sent out prayer requests across the world, and in return received incredible notes of encouragement from people we didn't even know who were praying for our son.
We decided one morning with deep spiritual conviction that we needed to name him. God wanted us to name him. So I looked at my husband and said, I think I keep hearing the name "Samuel". My husband teared up and said that was the name he had been hearing as well. We went to the computer and looked up the meaning of Samuel. It said, "God heard, or requested of God." We cried. I called my mother who had been up that morning praying and she told me on the phone through weeping, "I told the Lord as I prayed for my grandson that I didn't even know his name, and the Lord said, 'his name is Samuel'." Wow - the Lord had named my son.
Around week 23, we went in for yet another specialty ultrasound - by this time we've had numerous appointments and consultations. We went through the ultrasound searching for any signs of encouragement from the technician working on my belly - we were grateful to hear his little heartbeat if nothing else. The consulting doctor came in and said he wanted a few more shots and aided the technician through some different views. He kept saying, "Beautiful, beautiful!" What was beautiful?! We didn't know. Yet.
We went into the consultation room to wait. The doctor came in - a lovely 60+ British man with white hair and a calming smile. With a thick accent that sounded like angels singing, he said, "Now tell me what WAS wrong with your son?" What WAS wrong . . . . . we rattled off the list of maladies and then waited. "Well," the doctor began, "Your son seems to be pulling out of all of this. He has some remaining issues that we want to watch, but I believe your son is becoming well." In his long explanation of maladies, he even referenced a "miraculous event". I'll say!
From then on, we had a couple set-backs that were perhaps just the doctors being cautious. Our last intense check-up was at week 36, and they said he looks fine - "If I hadn't have looked at your son's file, and how sick he was, I would say just by looking at his ultrasounds today, that you have a perfectly normal son." Praise God! Who knows what will happen when Samuel arrives, but we know this - he was sick and God healed him. And if he has Downs Syndrome, although I don't think he does since God spoke to my husband during a board meeting and told him "Samuel is fine", then we know this - God is still God, and He still has a plan for us and for our son Samuel. Amen!