The Lusk Clan

The Lusk Clan

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cause for Concern

I was armed with my girls and a pan full of warm brownies. I arrived at my 17 week appointment early and hopeful. I was not scheduled for an ultrasound for four more weeks to determine the sex of our unborn baby, but I hoped my sweet talk and brownies would change that.
In typical pregnant lady fashion, my bladder was on the verge of exploding when I walked into the office, so I made my way to the bathroom and found a bit of spotting. I wasn't worried about it, but told my nurse. 

The docotor came in and said we could go ahead and do an ultrasound, just to make sure everything was fine. I was elated! I was going to find out the sex! I wasn't at all worried about the spotting, it hadn't been happening and again, I was a bit used to it. 

I laid on the table with my girls in the chair beside me doing my best to sweet talk the tech into telling me the sex. "No, we generally don't even try to look this early on because it can be difficult to determine with certainty what you are having." I had found out at 16 weeks with Maggie, so I wasn't buying what she was selling.

"The babies head is curled up to its chest, so I'm having a hard time getting all the measurements needed," she said. Ok, whatever...I was a bit grumpy with her for not helping a sister out.
After a few more minutes of her clicking around and taking pictures, my girls were over being still and quiet. I was led to another exam room to await my regularly scheduled appointment. Minutes later, the incredible Dr. Charles McCain entered the room and sat down. I was juggling my girls, trying to keep them happy and relatively quiet when he began talking.

"The ultrasound showed signs for concern. The baby's head is measuring three weeks smaller than it should."

I was shocked! Everything had been fine. I had been feeling regular movement for a few weeks now and the heartbeat had registered normal!

He went on to tell me that because of this reading, there could be many things that were wrong, but it was more than likely a genetic disorder. I was a bit shocked, and upset, and trying with everything in me to hold it together with my girls crawling all over me. I asked if there was a chance things could be wrong, maybe because the baby's head was curled up they were wrong. Maybe, it showed something now, but the baby would grow out of it. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

"I'm not going to say that an ultrasound can never be wrong, but it looks like your baby has a genetic issue. There are hundreds of possibilities it could be. Sometimes babies can even be born without a brain. We are just going to send you to a Maternal Fetal Specialist to get a better ultrasound and try and determine what we are seeing."way to the back. I discovered that I had begun to spot a bit, but wasn't overly concerned about it. I spot my entire pregnancy with Ellie and nothing was wrong, but I mentioned it to the nurse anyway.

I asked to call Scott, and he left me then. I called Scott and told him what I had found out. He was concerned, but we still had tests to be done. I called my mom and asked her to begin praying. And then I cried. Maggie asked me why I was sad, and it broke my heart I couldn't hold it together for her. Looking back though, I did hold it together. I wasn't a puddle of mush on the floor, though I wanted to be. I explained that our baby was sick and we had to find out what we could do to help. She was content with that answer and went back to her iPad.
I was scheduled for an appointment that afternoon and immediately began thinking of who could keep my girls. I did not want to do this without Scott beside me. My dearest friend Missy, though fighting her own battles dropped what she was doing and assured me she would watch my girls. 
We text a few dear friends who we knew would pray for us as we faced this situation. 
As I drove home, I prayed. This is a big deal. Typically, when things are not going how I would like I call my husband or my mom. They will fix it. They will encourage me. They will make me feel better. But I knew, they couldn't fix this. I prayed for strength, I prayed it was a mistake, I prayed my baby would be ok. I prayed for different genetic diseases that I thought I could handle. Then I heard a song. "He Is With Us" by Love & the Outcome. I felt Him speaking to me, and we'll being with me too. 

What truth, I didn't know where I was going, I didn't know the story of tomorrow, but I could trust my God, even if it did hurt now. So, I rested in that as I drove home. I put my girls down for a nap and crawled into my bed. I opened my bible and felt an urging to look at Psalm 46. This is what was waiting for me.

I needed that. I didn't know what was coming, I felt strongly that God could have this go away. It could be a couple hours of deep fear and hurting, and then it could be over. Later in the chapter it tells us to, "Be still and know that I am God." I for a moment thought, ok great! He's got this, its going to be a big misunderstanding! Then for a second time I felt Him tell me something. "Even if it isn't ok, I'll still be your strength and refuge."
A couple of hours later we arrived at the specialists office. We couldn't find a parking spot, and after two trips through the lot saw a parallel parking spot available. Scott backed in and we sat for a moment preparing ourselves for what was coming. As we made our way into the building, I noticed that the cars we were parked in front of and behind still held drivers. We had cut in front of someone waiting in a school line! It was a moment of levity that was needed.
We waited for about an hour in the waiting room, but I remember texting my mom that at least I wasn't waiting at home with no answers in sight. After the in take inforamtion was completed (another blessing to be connected through people in our church to the nurse made for a few moments of normalcy in talking about people we knew in common.) I was called back to the ultrasound. The tech would complete a series of measurements, leave the room to consult the doctor, and then return with the docotor to let us know the findings.
What seemed like only a moment later, the doctor entered and asked to be shown another view of our baby. She then told us with a straight face that our baby suffered from a genetic condition called anencephaly. Our baby had not developed a brain or a skull and would not live.
And just like that my world changed. I lost it. I wailed. No! Not my baby! No! Please no!
"Can you tell us if its a boy or a girl?"

"It's a boy."
I continued to wail. Scott held my hand as I continued to cry without thought to anything but the devasting news that I was hearing.
There are varying levels of anencephaly, and our son had the worst case. If our son had been able to live through the entire pregnancy, he would not have been able to live beyond a few hours. Becuase he did not have a brain he would not be able to do anything, including breathe on his own. We left the office devastated, and had to stop a couple of times on the way to the car to weep.
I called my mom with the news and we drove home.
The hours that follow that devastating announcement were so difficult, but the presence of my dear friend Missy helped in ways I will never be able to explain. Scott took our girls out to dinner giving me time to share my news. The first thing she did when I told her was jumped on me and hugged me. She sobbed with me and felt my pain. I didn't feel alone at all, because God had put such a blessing in my life with her friendship. I hate that I made her sad, but was so grateful that I had a sounding board when my mom was so far away.
My journey continues a few more days, but I'll pause here for now. I will say that I have learned so much through this tragedy that God saw fit to allow me to experience. I'm grateful for the lessons, as hard as they have been to learn. Please join me in a few days, as I share how I had to say goodbye to my son, much earlier than I ever would have wanted.

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