The morning felt like a peaceful one in the midst of the thoughts my mind could have been racing towards. So there I was, deep breath. I sat down on the table, looked at the ultrasound tech and said, “Can you please do me a huge favor and look for kidneys first?” And she was a kind woman, so of course she honored my request.
There they were. Two tiny little black dots (kidneys) with tiny little black lines (renal arteries) in his belly. Never did two tinier things make me cry so much. They were there, Samuel has kidneys and in one foul swoop I was so thankful and missed Gideon all at the same time. I came to realize that ultrasounds of Gideon counted immensely in my time spent with him. I saw him move. I saw him squirm and it was more than he would ever do while here. Watching Samuel made me think of him, made me miss him, and made me thankful too. Amazing how complicated feelings in this life can be.
Everything else checked out too and as the ultrasound moved along more and more peace flooded over me. I don’t know what the road ahead looks like, but I know it doesn’t look exactly like the one we just walked…its different.
When the doctor came in to double check everything, I was excited and happy and that probably added to my “this lady is going to get kicked out of our office” responses to his questions. FIRST thing he said when he sat down, “Why didn’t you get the blood screen we suggested?” I said, “WHY??? What do you see???”
To explain…rewind 7 weeks to our 11 week ultrasound where they saw a concerning “indicator” called a high nuchal fold measurement. Blabidy blah blah measurement led them to suggest an amniocentesis, CSV (testing the placenta), or to get a blood test screening. Considering the fact that I was freaking out, crying down the hallways, we decided to wait on the blood test decision after an emphatic “NO” to the other two. Later that day (when more calm and right minded) we went back for the blood test to which all major concerns came back negative. Since we came back later, the doctor did not have record of the test at the 18 week ultrasound.
When the doctor sat down and said that, first I went all diva in my brain, “You are really going to sit down here and say that first?? As if your scare fest at 11 weeks wasn’t enough? Did you even read my chart? We did get the and now do you see something that doesn’t match its results in the 1.2 seconds you looked at Samuel?? Did I mention I really don’t like you right now?” See, Dave doesn’t even have any idea all the things I held in that I wanted to say…but instead just sat there and awkwardly stared at him.
I proceeded to explain to him that all the blood tests were negative. Apparently he didn’t believe me and had the nurse pull up the results for him to see. Grrrrrrrrrr. “Is my baby okay? Do you see something concerning?” I asked (out loud).
“Well,” he said, “All the major things we look for at this scan look good. But there are minor chromosomal irregularities that could still be here that we could better grasp from the results of an amniocentesis.”
Me: “Minor things such as?”
Doc: “Well, you could possibly look at autism down the road or other mild to moderate chromosomal abnormalities.”
Me: “Mm hmmm, and having that information would do what exactly?”
Doc: “Well you would…know.”
And that’s just it isn’t it? Nowadays knowing is always power. Its always better to know. Is it? I mean, I would be the very first in line to say that God surely does bless us with information when we need it. Knowing that Gideon would not survive was a huge ministry in preparing us for his loss. Hope remained while the knowledge led us how to pray.
But is knowing better all the time? Certain things I’m just better off not knowing and trusting. Trusting that we will find out what we need to, when we need to, and sticking huge needles in my belly is not currently a how or when I want to make happen. Afterall, what is there to actually do?
Remember, I struggled fervently with this with Gideon. There were days when I thought the better thing for our family and for our baby was to do something. To bring him into this world early to lessen the pain of the inevitable. Knowing was doing and doing was knowing. It was only through fear filled tears and pleas that I finally gave that up to God…gave it over to Him to do and to know.
The look of contempt for that doctor slowly moved to that of compassion. He, very literally, squirmed under the discomfort of us choosing not to know and thus choosing for him that he could not know either. There was a craving in his eyes for the statistics. For the report in his mind to be completed and the gaps to be filled. For the “whys” to be answered immediately. My disdain for him drastically reduced as I realized, “I am so thankful for the peace I have being on this side of the chair.”
As the visit continued the doctor moved to questions about Gideon. Which honestly, I cared not that it felt like more gathering of information, I simply love talking about Gideon and was happy he was a part of our visit.
Doc: “Did he cry?”
Doc: “Why a c-section?”
Doc: “How long did he live?”
Doc: “Did your family get to meet him?”
My heart welled with pride as I told him the story of Gideon’s day and it became clear that all is well with Samuel. All was well with Gideon too…just a different kind of well. Actually the best kind of well there is.
As we continue on this journey, and as you continue yours too, may we be prayerful in seeking wisdom and knowledge from all the best places in all the best times. Ironically as it might be, this passage came mind and it reminds me that certain knowledge is just not ours for the taking:
Genesis 2:15-17 “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”