Thursday, October 14, 2010

God and Tomas, part three

Another month went by and it was time to go check if the double bubble was still there. The baby came into view on the screen and even I could see the two black spaces in the abdomen. So here we were, 6 months into it and it was a done deal. Surgery would be necessary. The doctor now switched gears and pushed for me to get an amnio to find out if the baby had DS. I didn't see the need as I didn't see how it would make a difference, and I didn't want to take any risks with an already compromised fetus. He went on to caution me about heart defects associated with DS and the Duodenal Atresia, and tell me that since the baby could not swallow amniotic fluid I would have too much, and be as large as someone carrying twins. He wanted Non-Stress tests every two weeks with increasing frequency as the pregnancy wore on. I saw a doctor (either him or the ob/gyn) every two weeks.
This was in October and as of yet we had not told any family about what was going on. . My bible study had ended in mid-September but the author of the books was holding a conference about an hour away from where we all lived. Most of the members of the group signed up to go and many of us were going to carpool. Also during this time my husband and I listed our house for sale so the job relocation could push forward. A quirky but fun Catholic tradition is to bury a statue of St. Joseph in your yard to help with a quick sale, and I was sorely tempted, but never got around to it. In the evenings after the kids were in bed I researched about the surgery, and also looked up the saints for expectant mothers. St. Joseph was one. I told my husband that maybe we were supposed to name this baby Joseph!
A few days before the conference a friend called to ask if I still felt up to it, and if I still wanted to go. I told her I did, that I felt a particular calling to be there. We drove over and got settled in the church. Well, as settled as a 6 month-extra-fluid carrying pregnant woman get get settled in a tiny church pew. The speaker got up and began a talk about the sanctity of the womb, and how every sperm and every egg were chosen specifically to bear fruit in the creation of that individual baby. That each conception was planned precisely by God, and that even though we may feel our pregnancies are a mistake, God knows better. Every one of my friends turned and smiled at me, and I was very grateful to God for clearly calling me to this place for this event. But it gets better.
Following the main speaker, a priest, who often helps her on her videos and at the live events, came out to talk. He walked on the stage and told all of us to take notice of the statue he was standing next to. It was St. Joseph! (As a side bar - at this point I was convinced the baby should be named Joseph - so if he was it is not on my head!). He talked about families and the men who protect them, then he went on to tell us about his younger brother. He was born 40 years ago with Down syndrome, and how his father would not leave him in an institution, and how his parents brought him home against the recommendations of the medical community and well meaning friends. When his brother was five years old he turned blue and stopped breathing. His mother drove to the hospital and his father did CPR in the backseat the whole way there. He died that day in the arms of his parents. The priest's sister was now expecting her fifth child and it was highly suspected that the baby had DS. His parents were overjoyed at the prospects of having another DS person in their lives, even though the loss of their son hung as heavy on their hearts as it did 35 years ago. Five years of wonderful, followed by a lifetime of heartache, and they would do it all again. Not only that, but they would have their daughter go through it; five short years and then devastation vs. never knowing the love of a DS child.
I was frozen. Really, how is it that God could care so much about me to send me these messages. How many other women in that room were pregnant? Maybe 4 others. How many with a now 1:2 chance of having a baby with DS? And how many NEEDED to hear that fathers love their children no matter what? Just one. Yet again God was leading me through the fog, guiding me to the peace that comes from resting and trusting in Him.


  1. No words this morning, and I forgot the tissues! I am hanging on your every word!!!

  2. What a wonderful experience at the perfect time. Tell me, when did you decide on the name Tomas instead?