The 18-Week Outlook

It has now been 18 weeks and 5 days since the Lord saw fit to bless us with the life of a child. Yesterday, we had the privilege of getting another look at our unborn boy, Abel Paul, at our first sonogram in almost two months. As you can imagine (and all parents know) it is a special thing to watch your baby move around, full of life in his mother’s womb. We were excited for this time together as a family, as well as anxious for the next round of data surrounding the certainty of Abel’s diagnosis. Here’s a shot of our boy!
Abel2 9.1.15
Our new prenatal specialist is Dr. Kevin Magee, and we feel like he and his nurse Seeley are going to be a blessing to us this Fall.  That said, unfortunately his initial observations were not encouraging — several ‘soft markers’ of Trisomy 18 were confirmed in our son, listed below.
Abel’s 18-week sonogram
  • Brain – two matching cysts, one on each side
  • Heart – exterior is ‘outlined’ on sonogram (not a good thing) and slightly smaller than average
  • Feet – slight ‘rocker bottoms’ (curved like a rocking chair) / right foot mildly clubbed
  • Hands – not clinched in tight fists (common for T-18) but slight posturing in his middle/ring fingers
  • Intestines & Kidneys – looking a little swollen/enlarged
  • Skull – hard to tell for sure, but possible ‘strawberry’ shape
Other observations:
  • He is ‘on target’ for overall size/weight (tipping the scales at ½ pound)
  • He is a mover! Busy boy in there, and Kelly should feel him any day now
Supportive words from Dr. Magee:
  • “I don’t want to take away your hope. As humans, all we have sometimes is hope and my grandma always said a doctor should never take that away from their patients. I will be realistic and honest with you, but I also want to leave room for your faith.”
  • “I’m okay with your decision to pass on the amniocentesis (invasive test that could confirm T-18 at 100%, but with a small risk of triggering a miscarriage that we’re unwilling to take). You’ve committed to your baby’s life, and we will too…”
  • “We’re here to help you enjoy the time you have with Abel. We hope he’s with you for a long time, but encourage you to enjoy every kick. It is a gift.”
  • “Some people say babies don’t know what’s going on in the womb. That’s wrong. They feel and react to things. See, you can connect with him right now.” (took our fingers to press into Kelly’s stomach and see Abel’s movement on the sonogram)
  • “We consider the Crawford’s as high-priority patients… Any time y’all need to schedule a quick appointment to come in and see him, we can do that.”
As any parent would tell you, in the blink of an eye we’d take Abel’s illness upon ourselves instead if we could, but we also know it doesn’t work that way. So as bluntly as we can say it, it really sucks to know that your child is sick and there is absolutely nothing you personally can do to change that fact. In and of ourselves, we are totally helpless and completely weak. So please don’t mistake anything we ever say or write as individual ‘strength’ because it’s simply not true. We’ve got nothing.
We do have a strong God, though. Not just in a sense that He created everything and remains actively & all-powerfully involved within our time/space… He’s also strong in the sense that he can take up residence in broken, weak, helpless people and become their fortress and their refuge. No other human being can be that for us, at least not in the complete sense. We need the Lord, badly (I mean we always do, even if we sadly & frequently neglect to recognize that). As challenging as this entire circumstance is WITH Him, I don’t even want to imagine it without His Word in front of us, His Spirit within us, and His incredible people around us. Again, we are weak… failing to lean into Christ and seek His strength on our behalf would be the worst thing we could do.
So we’ll continue to pray and we’ll continue to plead. We’ve only scratched the surface of intimately experiencing the character & nature of God in this life, but we’re fortunate to at least know that He is good, that He can be trusted, that He loves Abel… that our first son was His idea to begin with, and that He has a plan and a purpose for his little life in one capacity or another. We also know that the Lord has an uncanny ability to use every awful situation for His glory… but that in any outcome, we believe in the present that he asks us to ask Him in Jesus’ name for the things we desire. So we’re going all-in on that, and here’s how you can prayerfully join us:
  1. We pray that the Lord will glorify Himself by miraculously healing our son; that somehow, in someway that doesn’t make sense to us, Abel would be born healthy.
  2. If He chooses to glorify Himself differently, then we pray that we would have the gift of time outside the womb with our son.
  3. In all these things, we pray for His strength to cover our weakness, and that we would “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Next sonogram is set for Monday, Sept 28th @ 2pm, but we will post again between now & then. In the meantime, thank you for the prayers and the loving support.

6 thoughts on “The 18-Week Outlook

  1. Daniel, you and Kelly are amazing, and a true example of faith and trust in God. God is, will and does bless you. I send continued prayers and virtual hugs for you all.
    Nancy Ellison


  2. Oh my gosh! Thank you Daniel and Kelly for the very beautiful, faith filled update. Thank you for giving insight into your specific prayer requests. And thank you for being the hands and feet of God. Love, Grace


  3. Father, I call out Baby Abel’s name to You. I thank You for this sweet child and ask for his complete healing. Heal him for Your glory and let him serve you all the days of his life. In Christ’s name Amen.


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