Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Evie's Story: The Beginning

My husband, David, and I became parents to our first children, fraternal twin boys in Dec. 2005. Twins do not run in our families and we were not using fertility treatments so it was quite a shock to us to learn I was carrying two little lives. The boys were born at 36 weeks, vibrant and healthy. We left the hospital on Christmas Eve and got to spend Christmas day at home, basking in the glow of our new additions. Two years later, I became pregnant with another little boy. The pregnancy was uneventful, and we welcomed our sweet baby in March 2008.

Now, pregnant for the third time, we went to our 20 week appointment in August. The ultrasound technician confirmed we were expecting a little girl due December 30th. I still wasn’t convinced it was a girl; something just did not feel right. I did not realize that my maternal intuition ringing had little to do with the baby’s gender.

Then, as David and I sat in a stark, cold room, the doctor dropped a bomb on us. He told us that our baby was showing multiple abnormalities: a ventrical septal defect (heart), omphalacele (abdomen), and a club foot.

I was in absolute shock.  A nightmare had just turned into reality. I felt like I was watching a scene out of a movie. This was not happening; this was someone else’s life. I thought, “I have three healthy boys at home, and no one in my family has ever had these problems. How could this happen?” I just prayed over and over in my head, “Jesus, help me.” The doctor said that because there was more than one issue, he would send us to an ultrasound specialist and we could figure out if this was part of a syndrome or a chromosomal disorder. 

So with tears streaming down my face, I walked out of the doctor’s office. I couldn’t think. David hugged me and said, “It is going to be okay. Whatever it is, we will get through it.”  At first, my family was devastated but we quickly began to pray and feel the Lord’s presence in this situation. We decided to name her Evelyn Naomi; Evie for short.

After several more appointments and tests, we learned that our daughter has a rare chromosomal abnormality. In short, a large part of her third chromosome is duplicated. This is such a rare diagnosis; it has been very difficult finding information about it. There have only been a handful of cases ever recorded, and none with her exact duplication. Man's prognosis for our daughter is bleak and disheartening. We, of course, do not believe men have the final say in her life. 

The doctors call her a “fluke” but to us she is already a miracle. Most babies with these issues are miscarried in the first trimester. They asked us twice if we wanted to terminate the pregnancy. The thought of ending my baby girl’s life just because she isn’t perfect breaks my heart. She has made it this far; obviously God has a purpose and plan for her.

I have went through a roller coaster of thoughts about my faith and God. At first, I wondered if this was a form of discipline God was using to wake us up and transform us into better, stronger people. After reading endless blogs and stories of families who went through losing a newborn with a fatal diagnosis, and those living with a child with severe special needs, I wonder if God is giving us this child as a testimony for His unbiased love. I often wonder if this is a test of our faith, that if we just believe, He will heal her.

The point is: I don’t know God’s perfect will, but I trust Him. I don’t know what He has in store for my daughter just like I don’t know what He has in store for my other children. Does that mean I love her any less? That my hope for her is any less? I trust Him with my whole life. I have to trust Him now as He is weaving her together moment by moment. Only He knows the days ordained for each of us. He knows what we can and can not handle.

There is one thing I am positive of; God has chosen us to be her parents. She was formed for this moment in time, and she will be a testimony of His great love and mercy. We thank God for our miracle every day. I savor every roll and kick, and I can’t wait to hold this special life in my arms.

Thank you for your prayers and love! 

Psalm 139:13-16:

13For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother's womb.
14I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.