Kelly here! On Monday (Oct 19), we had our ~25-week sonogram and left with something we hadn’t really gotten so far… a visible glimmer of hope. Babies with Trisomy-18 will normally have their fingers clinched in tight little fists, as we’ve seen evidence of in Abel’s previous sonograms. On Monday though, not one but BOTH of Abel’s hands were open, as we saw all 10 of his fingers out and moving around 🙂 At one point he had his pointer finger in his mouth (his dad’s old go-to pacifier method, or so I hear) and also saw a finger wipe his little nose. His heart is still pumping wonderfully, and he is growing right on pace at 1lb 12oz. We also saw him appear to chew (see video below!) which was encouraging because Abel’s ability to swallow is an area of concern that we monitor.
All that to say: While Abel’s road to health & wellness remains an uphill battle, we do hope your hearts will be encouraged alongside ours by what his open hands represent… that we serve a God who has done far more miraculous things than healing a baby boy conceived with an extra 18th chromosome. That may or may not be His plan for our son, but we will fervently petition Him with our prayers as we wait.
I had actually intended to follow up Daniel’s reflections from a couple weeks back with a post from the Mama as well, but never quite finished it. I revisited those thoughts the other night after our appointment though, and decided to round it out — so here is a quick letter to my little boy who I’ve had the honor to carry around with me for these past 6 months. Thank you SO much for your ongoing support, encouragement, and prayer for our young family!
Doctors appointments are hard days for your mama. As your dad is jotting down every word the doctor says and asking all the necessary questions, I’m looking at you wiggling around on the screen, in awe and broken-hearted at the same time. How can you be broken? Other mothers burst with innocence and excitement as they share about the children in their womb… and though I wish it were different, that just hasn’t been our story together these past several months. Sharing about you in that light-hearted way still feels a bit flippant right now, as our time together so far has felt more hallowed and heavy. Yet, even though this season has been one filled with tears and suffering, it has also been full of honor and reverence for your little life.
Dr. Magee remarks again about what a ‘mover’ you are as he begins to points out your young features. Your head is in my pelvis and your bottom is sticking upward. Your feet are pointed like a ballerina for a moment, but still showing signs of rocker-bottoms. Your brain has matching cysts on each side, but your sweet face is displaying early signs of high cheekbones like me 🙂 Tears of joy mixed with sadness. How can you be broken? Son, sometimes I forget what a miracle it is that you are still alive in the womb — you have beaten so many odds already! You are an undeserved gift, and I hope you can somehow feel the love and pride your dad & I have for you. You are ours, and we couldn’t imagine the Lord entrusting you to anyone else.
As we leave the doctors office, I can’t help but think that in many ways you look like a healthy baby. Again, the thought crosses my mind: How can you be as broken as doctors are saying? To our human minds your brokenness seems unjust, but I am often reminded that your brokenness is just a small picture of the broken world we live in. Below is an excerpt I read from a sweet friend’s blog that articulates my jumbled thoughts:
“To the world, your brokenness is a tragedy. But you’re not alone. You share that brokenness with the rest of us. Because we’re all broken in a thousand ways. Bodies. Spirits. Minds. We’re tattered and we’re broken and inwardly we’re groaning. We’re pleading to be fixed.
But the worst part? In most of the moments that make up most of the hours that make up most of our days, we forget that brokenness; we build our lives around trying to forget. The real tragedy is not the brokenness itself, but the belief that we can – that we need to – fix ourselves before we can be truly loved.. But everything we know about Jesus is that it is in this brokenness that we are made whole. It is in the messiness and this collapse that comes when our bodies wear down, when the weight of it all is just too much to bear…that is where Jesus meets us. That is where the light of His Glory is made to shine brightest.”
On the last night Jesus was alive, the words He spoke to the ones He loved were this: “This is my Body, broken for you.” Your body is broken too, Abel. But the sweetest news? In that brokenness, you share so much with the One who knit you together in my womb. You are closer to Him in your present brokenness than many of us will ever be in our “bodily wholeness”. The light of His glory is shining through you, and even now, you are sharing in the greatest act of love ever known…
As I continue to beg the Lord to heal you physically, I am comforted by the fact that we are all offered newness of life in His eternal presence! Whether it is His will for your life here on earth to be one of only a few hours or if the Lord grants the desires of my heart and you are miraculously healed, you and I can both be made whole and new by the Gospel of Grace… and not by any outside striving of our own, but by Christ’s finished work on the cross. Lord, let it be so.
With love, -Mama