Friday, November 20, 2009

13 Week Letter

Dear Cleitus,

It's been a while since I've written to you, but CHILD, you have scared your mama and daddy to pieces over the past month. It started with a little bit of spotting followed by that thing on the back of your neck. That 'thing' is gone now and you look amazing, and for this we are so, so grateful.

Cleitus, I'm going to tell you something that may make you think your mama is a little crazy. I believe God healed you over those few weeks. I don't have any proof other than two ultrasounds that look dramatically different from one another. And the doctors did say that sometimes nuchal translucencies resolve on their own. But baby doll, I don't think it was random. There were so many people praying for you. Your grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, cousins, friends, and of course your daddy and I were praying for you constantly.

I also have to confess that at the beginning, I wasn't praying for a miraculous healing. I was praying for the translucency to mean something not-too-severe. I was praying for you to live. I was praying for strength for your daddy and I. But then, the day before we went in for the CVS test, it hit me. God is SO MUCH BIGGER than what I could imagine. God could make this whole problem go away! God could make it so that I wouldn't even need the test. A tiny part of my mind wanted to stop thinking these thoughts because I didn't want to be disappointed, but I held onto that hope and prayed fervantly for it that night. And my prayers were answered, so directly. The joy I feel is overwhelming and I can't help myself from telling everyone what happened.

And Cleitus, I'm writing this down because one day I want to tell you. I cannot wait to tell you how much Jesus loves you and how amazing He is. I canoot wait to tell you, a child of God, that He can do more than we ever ask or imagine. I cannot wait to read you Bible stories with miracles and to tell you about your own miracle. I just cannot wait.

Love always,

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Good, The Bad, The Insane

I got a call from the genetic counselor. The results from my NT scan show a 1:10,000 chance of Down's and a 1:2088 chance of Trisomy 18. Both of these risk levels are way lower than what one would expect based on my age, so it's great news.

The not-so-great news is that my free beta HCG levels are in the 0.5 percentile. Low. And apparently this result puts me at risk for pre-eclampsia, pre-term labor, miscarriage, placental 'issues', growth restrictions, and clinical insanity. I've already started developing the latter. Because, it seems that it is just one thing have another. After the bleeding episode, I walked around for several weeks terrified that I would miscarry at any moment. And just when I got more comfortable with this pregnancy and this baby we had that fateful ultrasound that cast us into fear and sadness for another few weeks. And NOW! After getting some AMAZING news I can't even relish it for 30 seconds without learning that DUDE, I am one high-risk mama.

I DO thank God that so far all indications point to a healthy Cleitus. But I wish that I could really love this pregnancy. That I could, upon telling a friend, not feel a stab of fear that I might have to untell. That I could buy maternity clothes without wondering if I'll need to shove them in the back of a closet to avoid seeing them. That I could be happy that I don't have a doctor's appointment for 3.5 weeks (the longest I've gone since my BFP!) instead of wishing I could go in to hear the heartbeat every week. And that on the mornings I wake up without feeling nauseous I could be happy instead of poking my boobs to make sure I still have some pregnancy symptoms.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


My CVS test was scheduled for yesterday. I had taken two days off work and my mama had come up for the 'occasion'. They started with an ultrasound to determine the best route for the test and as soon as we saw the baby I knew something was different. It didn't look the same as the last two times.

After a few minutes of squinting at the picture I asked the technician, "so, um, where is the nuchal translucency?" She replied something vague about needing the baby to move and then after a few moments went to get the doctor. I laid there, silent. Trying not to say anything that might get my mama excited. Trying not to let myself get excited. The doctor came in the room. Eleven days ago the nuchal translucency was 4.2 mm. "Normal" is under 2 mm. Now, it was 0.8 mm.


As she talked about my options I half-listened and half-restrained myself from jumping off the table, screaming, crying, or grabbing the ultrasound wand as a fake microphone and singing some ecstatic song. I knew my options. I knew what I would do. I had gone over this scenario a million times in my head. I had hoped and prayed for this scenario. And now, it was here.

I declined the CVS. I let them go ahead and do a proper NT Scan. All the other measurements look perfectly normal. Cleitus has a prominent nasal bone and is measuring right on time. We'll hear about the blood results in a week or two.

The doctor and genetic counselor were careful to say that we're not out of the woods yet. That there WAS something there and it COULD mean something. But me? I'm not letting reality step in the way of my joy. I believe in miracles. And I believe that I've got a healthy baby in there.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Are You There Loretta? It's Me, God

The days are dragging until we can have the tests that will tell us more about our precious baby. I'm scheduled for a chorionic villus sampling next Tuesday and we should get some preliminary results a few days later.

We are scared, but coping. We have friends, family, and creepy Internet strangers (mwah!) praying for us and I have never in my life felt God's presence as closely as I have over the past few days. It became clear to me when I walked into church Sunday and saw that the sermon's title was "Anxiety over Loss". The pastor talked about Psalm 23, a passage I've memorized, but never internalized. I've started reading through the Psalms and have begun to identify with David's fear, but also his faith that he served a God who saves.

I feel hopeful. Hopeful that our baby WILL live, hopeful that the nuchal fold is signalling that Cleitus has an issue that is not serious or easily treatable, and better yet, hopeful that nothing at all is wrong.

And when I DO get down and start thinking about the scariest scenarios? The scenarios that end with me delivering a baby that does not survive? I feel peace. Sadness, yes, but also peace. And still more hope, for the future. Hopeful that our lives and our baby's life will serve to glorify the God that created us, no matter how short those lives may be. Hopeful for our family's happiness.

I am being blessed with a hope that is kicking despair's butt.