Friday, November 30, 2012

Comfort in Christ -Transparency Revealed

Sweet Friends, I come to you this evening humbled, honored, and heartbroken. Humbled and honored for the opportunity to join a young couple in praying and trusting God will answer prayers. Heartbroken for the heartache they have experienced in their journey.

At the close of this post, I offered my contact information soliciting the opportunity for readers to "trade for transparency" and allow me to share in their struggles and rejoice in their answered prayers.

As I prayed fervently that God would use me, a reader contacted me poring details of the trials she and her husband were experiencing. I wept as I read her story. Literally wept. Substituting moans and tears as no words seemed to convey to the Lord my hurt for this sweet girl. Romans 8:26 says, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."

Read her story and join me in prayer.

Hi Jennifer!

I will first of all confess and say that I have been "stalking" your blog postings for the past 4 months or so! My husband plays men's softball with a guy you went to high school with. He sent over your blogpost link to my husband to share with me for me to follow your journey with parenting a child with Down Syndrome. I will share just a tad bit of my story to allow you to see how relevant and all around great it is for me to read your posts. In a way, I am living parenting my child through you.

* Sounds weird I know, especially since you have no idea who I am; but just give me a second.*
My husband and I were married in 2009, after being together for a total of five years. We had been through the dating realm, the newly married realm, and after a bad case of birth control pills, I decided to quit taking them a year into our marriage. Just put them away, what happens happens, no thoughts or worries. We were both ready. After about 7 months I decided to go see my OB and just get "checked out" and told him of our "trying" and from past bad experiences with cycles and such I just wanted to be sure I was healthy. Of course, no doctor would see me about fertility until actively trying for one year. So I made my way back to a total of four different doctors after that year was up. Most told me to keep trying, some said I needed surgery - just a big mess. I was entirely too young for surgery! Surely there was another route. I made my way to a local doctor and he immediately diagnosed me with PCOS - Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. This is a disease of the ovarian products which causes sometimes no ovulation at all. He put me on a drug called Metformin and said he would see me at the first of the year - this was the first of September.

The Friday before New Years..........POSITIVE TEST! We were so overjoyed! We spilled the beans right away, even though I couldn't get into the doctor until the following Tuesday. Things were great starting out. I had lots of ultra sounds, lots of pictures, and lots of growth progress..........until about week ten.

We were diagnosed with a growth on the baby's neck called a "Cystic Hygroma" which is found in most Babies with Down Syndrome. Some grow rapidly causing a miscarriage, some just happens with time. We left the doctor scared, upset, not really knowing how to feel; but full of faith that our God was in total control. We prayed, had the elders pray for us as well, and went on week by week in love with our growing little one.

The next week's doctor visits proved our God was working. The hygroma had decreased from a 7.4mm size to a 4.3! We were ecstatic! The doctors stated that these hygromas normally grow with the child if they are the bad ones. He suggested I take a CVS test to test the baby's chromosomes to see if there would be a deficiency with this child.

He is a local small town doctor that specializes in fertility; but the hospital is not equipped with a high risk NICU in case I needed to deliver early, or the baby needed an immediate surgery upon arrival. The ONLY reason I opted to go was for this reason. To see if I needed to be seen by a specialist.
Week 12 - I had an amniocentesis, and it was the worst experience of my life. They put you in a small room with these genetic counselors who pretty much tell you to abort your child unless you want to live with a special needs child or a child with multiple organ defects causing several surgeries to be required. You simply nod and listen to their whole spill and FINALLY after the torture, you smile and say NO THANKS, I'M KEEPING MY CHILD! God blessed me with him/her and God is in control and I am prepared for this battle. Then they shoo you in a small room with an ultrasound on the wall up high where you can see everything taking place. Then the doctor comes in with a huge needle, along with a numbing needle. They process the numbing shot through your entire abdomen, then follow up with the other "suction needle" which penetrates through the uterus to suction a small amount of the amniotic fluid for testing. Aside from the pain, you are watching a needle on the ultrasound screen go through your stomach to the tip of where the baby is to pull out this fluid. After I thought it was all over, and am filling up with emotions the doctor comes back in and exclaims that they did not get enough for all the testing required, and needed to go back in. I was horrified! All over again I was filled with pain, hurt, emotion, and opted to go ahead with the procedure for a second time, that way I could take the ultimate best care of myself and my new child! They told me the results would come back in exactly 1 week.

Week 13 - This week was sort of morbid, if that's the right word. Sort of gloomy, sad - just like a run through that I really don't remember. The doctor called as my husband and I were awaiting with anticipation a negative report and we would all be just fine. He then confirmed that our little baby was a GIRL, and she was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. My heart fell to the floor. Not because I was having a Down Syndrome child, but because of struggles I knew my little girl would face ahead of her. But, I picked myself up, thanked God for blessing me with a little girl, picked up the pieces, and took it in stride and kept smiling!

I spent the next few weeks seeking God, praying as much as I possibly could, and believing we would be the couple with the complete miracle package coming!

Week 14 - I went back to my OB and we discovered our little girl had developed a form of ascites, which is a growth of fluid all around the body. We had faith it would clear up, and we would be back with a good report, and took the bad news with the good and kept on keeping on.

Week 15 - The hygroma was major growth, as well as the ascites and my doctor didn't expect her to last through the weekend. As the news sunk in, my heart was gone. It literally felt like the walls were collapsing and my heart had been ripped out. I had no idea really how to feel. Just numb mostly.

Week 16 - I went back and found out the worst was yet to come. My little girl, my angel, ANNA KATE, had now developed heart failure from the ascites and it would be a matter of days until she went on to be in heaven. Can you even begin to imagine walking around with a pooch belly, not knowing if your child is alive or not? And constantly asked questions about your due date? At this point I sort of locked out the world. Focused only on God, and made the days pass as quickly as I could to go crawl in my bed to rub my stomach and spend all the time I could bonding with Anna Kate.

Week 17 - My girl was fighting hard, but at this point the fluid was all over her body and the doctor was astonished she had lived this long with me. But I am so thankful she fought for her Mommy.

Week 18 - On Monday, he confirmed no heartbeat, and all my emotions hit the fan. Especially since he had to give me induction medicine to actually give birth to her which would make it go into effect WEDNESDAY. Again, can you imagine walking around knowing your little girl has passed and you will be delivering her in 2 days? I was lost. I spent the days praying, reading my Bible, doing all I could do to get through what was about to be the hardest day of my life.

The day came and I was rushed to the ER with heavy cramps.....labor pains.....and I gave birth to my angel, Anna Kate, at 5:56 AM. She weighed .6 ounces. After that I was rushed downstairs for a D&C and don't really remember a lot about the day. I do remember my husband bringing me my little tiny girl to hold as I said my final goodbyes. To some it may not be so, but to me she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Perfect in every way possible, and I will always cherish those moments. Our grandparents own a funeral home, so as I put my child in the tiny white box for her transportation to the funeral home, I wept, sobbed, but was thankful she was going with family and I knew she would be taken care of. We opted to have the funeral with family only, the same day, as soon as I left the hospital. I wanted to live all the emotions then...not wait 3 days. As I laid my hand on her tiny burial box I felt a gush of wind and knew it was God telling me she had entered the gates of heaven with Him forever.

The next months were extremely hard and I fought with depressions, sorrow, grief, the whole 9 yards but with God's help, each day got a little better. I knew God had taken her for me because my last most sincere prayer for her was that is her life would be free from heartache, surgeries, hospital visits day after day, and all around hurt. For me, that I could wait until it was my time to enter heaven to hold her again as long as she was healthy and happy.

I wanted to get back on the baby trail right away and since then we have had more complications. The fertility meds are piling up daily, and I see my doctor about every week. I hope I am close to on the right track and will soon have the joy of having another child.

****Back to you :)) I had a lot of negative people say through crowds, I can't believe she would have kept it, and such as that. So to see you raising this child with all you have, in God's will, is such a blessing to me. You believe God blessed you for a reason, he is watching you everyday, and he hand picked you to be the mother of a this child. Baker is an extreme blessing to me and I am so proud he is in the 90th percentile with his accomplishments! Thank you for living a Godly lifestyle and trusting in all God has for you. I wish everyday, God would have allowed me to keep my Anna Kate, but I know His plan is greater than I will ever understand.

I had searched for a way to get in contact with you and tell you how thankful I am to my friend for showing me this blog. When you posted the other day about if anyone needed extra prayers to contact you. Well here I am. I have just started another round of fertility meds and I am hoping and praying God will heal my body and help us through this struggle of conceiving again soon. It has been 8 months of trying again Dec. 4th and I know God has a plan, and it must be in His timing, but the struggle sometimes overwhelms me. I pray for your family and Baker often, and have even told Anna Kate about him as I visit her at the cemetery.

I hope I haven't overwhelmed you. But thank you! It is good to express so many feelings at one time. It sort of relieves my heart for the time.

In Christ,
Faithful Reader
Here is my prayer for her today:

Most Gracious Heavenly Father,

I come to you on behalf on my friend and my sister in Christ. Today, I pray that you give her peace, insurmountable peace. Peace that you are the Ultimate Healer and Provider of all our needs.

Lord Jesus, I am thankful for her honesty, her boldness to share her struggles, her fears, her faith. What a testimony of trust she has shared.

I pray that you answer her prayers of a child. I pray that you restore her strength and restore her spirit. I am trusting in your plan for her life.

In your Most Precious Name I pray. Amen.
Will you join me in prayers for this couple? If you have words of encouragement, or prayers for her, post your comments on the blog for her to read in the comment box below. You can post your name or post as anonymous.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! I am confident I will be sharing another story from her soon - a story of hope, of love, of God's faithfulness in her life.
"Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."
2 Corinthians 1:3-4


  1. To Faithful Reader, I am lifting you up to the Loving King over all. You are not alone. I look forward to how He continues to show Himself to you and your husband. Jennifer, I continue to pray for you. You are one of a kind. To Jesus be the glory in both of your lives!

  2. Jennifer, this brought sweet tears to my eyes. Thank you for the inspiration you are to everyone you meet. And thank you for your transparency! It blessed my heart this morning!

  3. To Faithful Reader: I pray that your struggles to conceive end soon with a blessing from God. My daughter struggled to conceive and lost her first in a miscarriage. It was discovered that she had a low progesterone level and after that was corrected, she conceived a beautiful daughter that is now 2 1/2 years old. She had the same trouble conceiving the third time, but knowing the problem, the doctor gave her what she needed and she had a boy! There are reasons why certain things happen and we don't always know God's plans for us. My stepdaughter has lost 2 of her children, one at 2 months born with cancer, and another recently at 13 years with seizure problems. It is hard when children are taken and we don't always understand why. I've tried to look at it that only God knows the future and maybe he takes some to keep them from suffering a tragedy on down the road. He loves each of us more than we'll ever understand, so much that He sent His only Son to die for us! Keep up positive thoughts and I'll certainly be in prayer for you. :)