…expectant parents who, when asked if they wanted a boy or a girl, said simply, “we just want a healthy baby.” They lie! Surely everyone must have a preference!

Then it was my turn to find out. I had no idea as to what we were having, and didn’t really want to even venture a guess. I just wanted to know my babe was in there, alive, cooking and growing.

When we went for our first ultrasound at 9 weeks, our ultrasound tech was checking the cord blood flow and saw something she wasn’t sure about. She said she definitely saw a cyst on the cord, but that wasn’t too worrying. What was worrying her, was that it looked like the baby’s intestines were developing outside his abdomen.

“Let me go get the doctor and have him look at this.” Not really what you want to hear the first time you see your child, but I was still feeling pretty good. After all, nothing really looks like much on an ultrasound.

They looked at the area that was concerning them for several minutes, looking at it from a couple of different angles. The doctor stood by my spread, sheeted legs, one hand resting on my left knee as he told me it looked like the baby had gastroschsis, developing intestine outside of the abdominal wall. “What concerns me,” he said, “is that this can be an indicator of Down Syndrome…” I remember thinking, I can handle that. Not what I was expecting to hear coming here, but we could handle that. “…or it can indicate Trisomy 18 or other chromosomal defect.” Now is when I start to freak out in my head a little. You can’t live if you have trisomy 18. I’m only 24, and they’re telling me my baby could have a defect and die. No, no, no. That I could not handle.

I had been memorizing Psalm 46:1-2, and kept repeating it to myself:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea

Our ultrasound tech decided to do a little more research while the doctor talked to us about going to see a Maternal Medicine specialist he highly recommended. I knew from a friend who had been through two pregnancies with this doctor, one with complications, that you didn’t need to worry unless he was worried.
And he was worried.

Our lovely, wonderful, fabulous tech returned saying that where we were in our development, the intestines were most obviously out of the abdomen (originally, our intestines develop outside our bodies and then are pulled inside.), so there was a chance things could be okay and perfectly normal.

The doctor did some research and compared our pictures to what an actual gastroschsis looked like, and said he felt confident that that was not what he saw. But, he still wanted us to come back in two weeks, as opposed to four, to make sure everything was developing well.

I spent the next two weeks in an anxiety-ridden fog, praying and clinging to Psalm 46:1-2.

Two weeks later, you could see a clear line of skin covering the abdomen, and, to top it all off, the cyst was gone too. We were given the “all-clear,” everything looked good and our risk for Down Syndrome was very minimal.

Still, even up to the 20 week appointment, I didn’t really believe everything was okay. I wasn’t sure I was feeling movement, and felt like something could still be wrong, even though there were no indicators of problems.

Now, I feel movement a couple of times a day, and feel more relaxed that things are really, truly going to be okay. And what I’ve realized through this process is that even if things hadn’t have been okay, even if we’re still thrown a curve ball when Junie is born, everything will be okay, because I know my God has everything under control. I know I don’t need to fear I will be childless, or that I need to fear something happening, because even if it does, God is my refuge, and I know and believe that more now than I ever did.

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