We have had and have coming up some really special things. I’ve never appreciated expressions of love from people so much before. We have been so blessed by the hearts of others. It is so obviously a way that God is taking care of us during this time — by surrounding us with the body of Christ to love us, encourage us, pray for us, and bless us. Unreal how loved we feel. And while tonight I’ve felt LOTS of emotions, right now what I am feeling the most is loved and cared for. So to friends who are dear to us and blessing us so much, thank you. We could never express how much it means.
This week has been tough. There have been high highs and low lows. On Monday we had our 32 week OB appointment. It was by far the best appointment that we have had since learning Gabriel’s diagnosis, with the exception of the last part of the appointment. The ultrasound went so well. Gabriel looked great again! He is active and awesome. A couple of praises — he has gained a pound since our last growth ultrasound! Amazing. So thankful for growth. A huge blessing to us was that his brain looks improved. There is still fluid on his brain in the back, but the ventricles look pretty good. One is even within the upper limit of the normal range! They had told us when we found out his diagnosis that it was likely that fluid would continue to accumulate on his brain. Not only is that not happening, but it appears as if there is less fluid. We are so thankful for healing in his brain!
His stomach is small, heart the same — but no signs of heart failure [ya!]. He is strong, active and doing well. They estimate his weight to be 2 pounds 14 ounces. We’re so thankful he’s doing great! We’re so thankful for him.
We had my favorite ultrasound tech again. She did our amnio and has done the the 24, 28, and now 32 week growth ultrasounds. She was so good to let us spend lots of time watching our baby, even in the 3D/4D. It was really fun to watch him move around and see that he is a real baby hanging out in there. We got some really good 3D pictures of the little guy. He’s grown a lot since the 3D pictures we got of him 10 weeks ago.
Next we saw one of my favorite nurse practitioners. She’s funny and easy to talk with, so I always enjoy seeing her. I appreciate the humor; it helps distract from the seriousness of it all. Our visit with the doctor was my least favorite part of the appointment. He’s great, so it’s nothing against him. I know he’s just trying to help us get to where we need to be decision-wise, but it’s hard. I am very thankful that he not only allows but also encourages us to make this decision ourselves. So thankful.
Let me explain the decision I’m talking about. Tommy and I have the incredible responsibility of deciding on how our son will be born. This appointment was the time we had set to discuss this, our birth plan, with our doctor. So Tommy and I worked on our birth plan over the weekend. Discussed lots of things about the birth as well as care for Gabriel. We went to bed having agreed on how we wanted Gabriel to be born and were at peace with it. Or so I thought. But I changed something in the birth plan after Tommy fell asleep. Not to be sneaky, but he was tired and conked out. And I just wanted to ask a question so I made a note to ask. That was the point that the doctor called me out on. He called me out on being in the middle, and he was exactly right. And it took him calling me out and thoroughly explaining things for me to see that I was saying I was OK with something, when I wasn’t. So he handed our birth plan back to me and said to keep thinking on it. When we left Tommy asked me if it felt like I’d just had my term paper rejected. Exactly, I said.
Since then, I’ve been a wreck. The weight of this decision weighs very heavy on us. One way is an almost guarantee of meeting our baby living, but it has consequences. Another is having zero control over any of it, with complete uncertainty as to whether we’ll meet Gabriel alive or not. Both have pros and both have cons. But what we’re really concerned with is which direction God wants us to go. Is He calling us to walk a particular path? Or is He ok with whichever one we choose? We don’t know. We are trying to be prayerful. Trying to seek out God’s heart to know Him more. And we are asking for lots of prayer. This is by far the biggest decision of our lives.
So that is hanging over me pretty much always. Sometimes I’m OK, sometimes it feels so heavy. Sometimes I forget about it and I’m laughing. Sometimes I’m overcome by the weight of it, the implications of it, the reality of it, and I can’t help but cry. Like tonight, at our Bible Study where I pretty much cried my way through the last part of it all. But then God surrounds us with His people who care for us, and He lifts us up in that way. And I know that even when it feels unbearable, we have hope. And I must cling to that.
In other news this week. Jack has kicked it up a notch in his level of curiosity and adventure. Yesterday I’m fairly certain it was his goal to destroy the house, possibly taking himself down with it. It kept me busy though! Not much time for thinking when you have to go from rescuing decorations, flowers, and candles to sweeping up glass, to refilling Goldfish, to fishing things out of the toilet, and back to vacuuming up glass. Then he snuggles up on the couch and wants our faces to touch, and I forget about all of those crazy toddler moments.
Finally in news for the week [is this week over yet??], today I lost my job. It’s okay. I’m so thankful it’s not our source of income and not something we rely on. For me, it was a way to stay connected in my field and to get out and do something for me. I’m bummed. I was planning to get back into it later in the summer. But mostly, I think it’s a pride thing and a “really, now? on top of everything else” thing. Even if it wasn’t a performance-based firing, it’s still insulting and not a good feeling to lose your job. So I’m now a member of the “I Lost My Job Club”. And while I’ll be fine, I just feel like it’s adding insult to injury. The big picture, which Gabriel always reminds me of, is that that job doesn’t matter. My family is more important and enjoying my time with Gabriel now is more important. So we’ll be fine.
Thank you for your prayers and we ask that you keep them coming. Specifically pray for wisdom as we make this huge decision and peace that we’ll know which way to go and be able to sit comfortably in that decision.