I have an appointment today to peep into my baby's world. An ultrasound. The ultrasound event does not hold for me the charm and delight that many expectant mothers harbor in their bosoms for it. They've been mixed bags in my experience, to be sure. Today will be my 13th ultrasound in my baby-making career, and 5 of the past 12 have been heart-wrenching, tearful experiences. When I was pregnant with Grace, I was almost physically sick with fear and panic prior to the scans. The silent, unmoving screen is a powerfully eerie reminder that "the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord."
I'm thinking she's gonna have daddy's full lips, too! What do you think?
And yet, today I hesitantly look forward to "seeing" my little one. We had a routine, precautionary ultrasound 5 weeks ago due to Grace's congenital defect that revealed the possibility that this one could have the same condition. Honestly, I really hadn't prepared myself mentally for the possibility. Only 1 in 5,000 children are born with the defect she had, and my mathematical mind statistically brushed away the chance that a second child of ours could carry the defect as well. The technician's sudden unexplained hunching over the screen and long consult with the doctor before returning to the room made my heart lurch with trepidation and fear. The doctor's apologetic verdict of "slightly dilated bowel" made my own gut wrench. I so badly wanted a normal delivery and baby, I refused to consider the alternative until confronted with the possibility. Because that is what it is. Today's ultrasound will, in all likelihood, show whether the bowels have continued to dilate and churn due to obstruction, or it will show that the doctor was just being overly cautious as a result of my past obstetrical history.
And, crazy as it sounds, I am thankful for even those hard ultrasounds. Knowledge is far superior to ignorance, despite the old adage, "Ignorance is bliss." Had Grace's condition been unknown to us prior to her birth, I would have been devastated by the turn of events. Seeing my 2-day-old baby strapped down, intubated, and taken away by ambulance unable to go with her is one of the hardest things I've ever experienced. Second only to the 5 hour vigil with our parents during the midnight hours in a silent hospital waiting room waiting for news from the emergency surgery team. Sure of nothing except the extreme necessity of surgical haste to save her life, Ben and I wandered the deserted halls, crying and praying for our little one. Had I not been mentally prepared for the possibility of these events, I shudder to think how much more difficult the experiences would have been.
Her facial profile, with a hand up by her forehead
Prayerfully, I have been preparing myself for either answer today. I know that it is in the Lord's hands. It is well within his ability to heal, but I also rest content that He always does what is best for His children. As an earthly parent, I strive to put my child first, and yet sometimes I selfishly consider myself first. But not God, my Father. My Heavenly Father is perfect, and His way, although so high above my way that at times I cannot understand His purpose, is perfect. Every time.
This post is linked to Finer Things Friday.