I’ve started this several times. I’ve debated about how to share, how much to share. Tommy and I have talked about it, wondering how to walk this road we never thought we’d walk.
At some point I probably will share the whole story. For now though, we’re keeping it between us. I never thought I’d write something so deeply personal and post it on the interwebs for the whole world to be able to see. But here I am. I’ve done a lot of things this week I never thought I’d have to do.
We have been so excited for this sweet baby to join our family! Beyond excited. We recently found out that we are having a boy! We have so badly been wanting a little brother for Jack. But we also found out that our baby has a lethal chromosomal syndrome — trisomy 18. With this syndrome, 90% of babies don’t survive pregnancy. Of the ones who do make it to term, 50% are stillborn. Of those who are born living 90% die within the first year. Our baby has problems in his brain and with the development of it, and a severe heart defect. His major heart defect is known as double outlet right ventricle, which means the 2 main arteries to the heart are connected to the right ventricle, rather than one to the right and one to the left ventricle. Our sweet boy has some other indicators of this syndrome as well, including the sweetest clenched hands and crossed fingers I’ve ever seen on an ultrasound.
We are devastated. Crushed. Broken. We have hope that we will survive this. We know we couldn’t have gotten through what we have so far without strength from God. Without Him sustaining us every step, every word, every conversation. The best we can do these days is put our feet on the floor in the morning– taking the step of faith that He will get us through the day. The crazy thing is that while we feel like we’re sitting in a place where time stands still and our world is broken, the world outside goes on. Work happens, people do the things they normally do, the house still needs to be cleaned, the bills have to be paid. How can it be that our world stops, yet everyone else’s goes on?
We have named our baby boy Gabriel. Gabriel Patrick– he’ll take his Daddy’s middle name. Gabriel means “God is my strength”, and it couldn’t be more perfect. And these words arrived from a dear, dear friend to us, and I couldn’t have been more touched by them as I feel like they perfectly describe our sweet baby:
How apt for this special boy: Gabriel came down from Heaven for a short time to fulfill a mission from God. His part in the Christian story took only a few minutes but was still important, and he was never forgotten.
We covet your prayers. Please pray for Gabriel. We serve a God of miracles. Please pray that Gabriel’s heart will serve him well, defects and all. Please pray that fluid will not continue to accumulate in his brain. We of course so desire to get to spend some time with Gabriel after he is born, so we are praying that he thrives through this pregnancy. Right now we are so overwhelmed that we often don’t know what to pray except for God to be glorified and His will be done.