Friday, June 30, 2017

Pregnancy & Life Updates

+JMJ+

When I recently returned to blogging after several months (almost years?) of sporadic posting I had every intention of writing at least one thing a week...and then our 18-week ultrasound happened. The past 6 weeks have managed to drag on and on while somehow also passing by in the blink of an eye (those of you that have experienced pregnancy or life with young children will know exactly what I mean).

Once I shared about our baby's medical condition I found myself flooded with messages of support and promised prayers for at least 3 days straight and for that I am so grateful. Thank you to all of you that have reached out and/or offered prayers for our family during this time!

Right now we mostly have a lot of waiting to do, so my husband and I have been focusing our efforts on all kinds of "nesting" and new-homeowner projects to productively pass the time - things like gathering estimates and booking people to fence our yard, help us remove the awful landscaping the previous home owners left behind, manage pests, and more. My husband has also been doing an awesome job leading the way with all kinds of negotiations and price-comparisons as we get closer and closer to purchasing a van any day now (I seriously cannot wait!) while I continuously work on personalizing and decorating the interior of our home (Curtains! Artwork! Frames! You get the picture).

This week we do have one major update with the baby, though:

On Monday, which marked week 24 of this pregnancy, we had our fetal echo-cardiogram and I'm happy to say that everything about our baby girl's heart looks perfectly healthy and normal!!!

None of our ultrasounds had shown any red flags about the heart's development so we weren't too concerned they would find anything. However, heart or additional brain anomalies are commonly seen with severe ventriculomegaly so it felt really good to rule out cardiovascular concerns and know that our baby's ventriculomegaly still appears to be an isolated issue.

It was refreshing to have one appointment that reported entirely GOOD NEWS and as Michael and I walked out of that office I felt a huge wave of relief and sense of peace rush over me.

Capturing the moment after some joyful news!

That afternoon gave me further excitement and internal peace when I spoke on the phone for an hour (God bless naptime) with the co-founder of a Catholic non-profit that ministers to parents given a prenatal diagnosis. This ministry can help us navigate all kinds of things within the medical community so that we can focus on enjoying our baby rather than stressing about the logistics of surgery, the NICU, a hospital baptism, and more. The ways in which they accompany parents on the journey is truly a gift and I look forward to getting to know them better in the months to come.

Then, we were blessed on Monday a third time because I managed to secure the next-available consultation appointment with a neurosurgeon at Duke which is THE big appointment that can answer so many of our logistical questions. Meeting with a pediatric neurosurgeon will help us make better sense of all the data we have been given in terms of what to really expect when our baby girl is born, so I eagerly look forward to the enhanced clarity it should provide Michael and me in just a couple more weeks.

So, the Lord is with us and we are moving forward in all the ways we know how. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the loving messages of support and prayers. Words cannot properly convey our appreciation. Right now I just ask you to please, please continue praying for us in the several weeks to come!

"Be at Peace. The same everlasting father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and everyday. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations."
-St. Francis de Sales

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