Tuesday, March 23, 2010

24 week check-up

Today was the day we went back for another ultrasound. Of course we were hoping for a miracle...that the cysts would be gone, that the hole in her heart would be smaller, that her growth would be right on...

What we saw is still a miracle! We saw our baby girl alive and kicking. The truth is, God is the only one who can really see her with the clearest of 3-D imaging. We do know that the doctors have tests and things they see and can tell us, and we are thankful that we can prepare for what we may have to face. But we are also thankful for a God who is bigger, mightier, and more amazing than any doctor or test!

We did get the blood test results after the ultrasound a month ago, and that test showed elevated levels of Trisomy 18. This was heartbreaking news, and we have been praying that if there is a chromosome problem that it would be Trisomy 21. Today we saw that Audrey still has the two cysts, one on each side of her brain. She has grown to 1 pound (she was about 10 ounces a month ago). Her arms and leg bones are still measuring about 2 weeks behind, but her head is right on with 24 weeks and her abdomen is about 1 week behind in measurement. They still think the nasal bone is missing, and she still has the VSD in her heart.

The encouraging news is that she waved at us very clearly and she is very active. These two things do not typically go along with Trisomy 18. But the truth is we don't know, and neither do the doctors. We will not know for sure how God has created her until she is born. Yes, we could have had a test to tell us almost accurately what the issue is, but we are not willing to take the risks that go along with that test, so we will rest in the peace of God while we wait.

We will return in another 4 weeks for another ultrasound, and after that be referred to the cardiologist group at Vanderbilt where they will also do an ultrasound to determine for themselves what will need to be done for her heart after she is born.

Thank you again and again for your constant prayers and also the reminders that you are praying for us. We cannot say that enough. I expected today to be nerve-wracking but it was amazing the calmness and peace that God gave me. Our hope was to hear that things had improved, but we are thankful they didn't get any worse! So we will continue to wait, live for Him, and enjoy what God has given us.

Someone once said to hold loosely to the things God has given me, because then it won't hurt so bad if He has to pry them out of my fingers.

Flexing for her cousin

Audrey would like it to be known that her muscles are bigger than her cousin's!!!


Over the past 4 weeks we have been overwhelmed by the love and support from friends and family everywhere! We are experiencing the peace of God in ways we had not before, and we are learning to trust Him with every day that passes. We are so thankful for the emails, letters, cards, phone calls, and everything you all have done to assure us that you are there to help hold us up through this time of unknowing. The prayers that have been lifted on behalf of Audrey and us have encouraged us over and over. There were days we did not feel like dealing with what was going on, and then a lot of days where we have been able to enjoy the blessings God has given us in spite of the hurt and questions we are also experiencing.

I have asked God "why" but i have also accepted that He knows what is best for me, and for our family, and that He will never do anything aside from what is best for us. If the Lord is trusting me with this, then I hope I am worthy of the task! He promises that there is no testing in my life that I cannot handle with His help. I think back over the past 8-10 years and the things I experienced. But never did I think those things would not even compare with the news we would learn about our precious baby.

In January, I heard a song and the only line I could remember from it was "Silence doesn't mean that God's not there, I'm resting in the peace that only comes in the waiting." I like the way God gives us promises to hold on to when the trials come. So during this waiting time I am trying to lean on Jesus and the promises I know to be true. My desire is for us to be blessed with Audrey being a part of our family for years to come, and if that means a healthy Down Syndrome baby then we are just as excited about having her! But more than that my desire is to please God with my life and my testimony. So I will delight myself in Him, and He promises to give me the desires of my heart. Psalm 37:4

February 25, 2010

Today we went back for another ultrasound. We found out that the baby actually has a cyst on both sides of her brain. Just one cyst could often be something that will go away on its own. However, the doctor said a cyst on both sides is a sign of an extra chromosome, so they look for other things. From the ultrasound they could see that her femur and humerus are both about two weeks behind the rest of her body in growth. The doctor also looked for a missing nasal bone, pinky pone, for some difference in her bowels and kidneys, and for an extra fold of skin on the back on her neck. Her bowel and kidneys looked ok, and they did not see the extra skin on the back on her neck, but she was missing a bone in her nose as well as her pinky finger. She also had her fists clenched, that being another sign. These all led the doctor to believe that she is showing signs of the extra Chromosome 21, which is Downs Syndrome. The cysts are in the supply part of her brain, which could be hindering the growth of major organs, especially her heart, and she does have a hole in the Right Ventricle of her heart.

The results of the blood test will be back on Monday, and that will give us more information about what the extra chromosome could be. The next option is to have an amniocentesis, which would give more information about the health risks of our baby. But we will not be doing this, not only because of the risks it poses, but because more tests will not change our minds about the love we have for our baby girl. All these tests are so they can give us statistics about her chances of being born with an extra chromosome. But we do not believe Audrey is a statistic, and if God created her with this then we will love her just as much.

We will return monthly for ultrasounds so they can keep track of her growth, as well as monitor her heart. There is the possibility we would have to go to a cardiologist group at Vanderbilt if the hole in her heart does not improve, and perhaps deliver there so they can take care of her right away. Of course all this is unknown to any of us right now, but God knows what He is doing and we will trust Him as we see what the following months bring.

God is a God of miracles, first of all for this life that He has given us. We also know that when God’s people pray we see miracles that cannot be explained. We would ask for your prayers that His grace would sustain us, and that Audrey would be born healthy and totally shock the doctors. If this is not what God has in store for our family, then please pray that we will learn to lean on the Lord for the strength to bear this situation. We will not be able to express our gratitude to you all who have been praying and will continue to.

Chad & Rebecca

Psalm 139:13-18
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

It's A Girl!

On Monday the 22nd of February we had an ultrasound and found out that we are having another baby girl. We also found out there could be some other things going on because of a Choroid Plexus Cyst they saw on her brain. They took a blood test and scheduled another ultrasound for 3 days later because the baby was not in a position where they could see all they wanted to see. Also, the ultrasound doctor was to be in later in the week.

So the waiting began!