We have finally decided on a name for this little one.....as if we have much more time to think about it? We're going to name him Elijah Ned and call him Ned. We've been really sure about the Ned part for some time, but picking a name that goes with Ned is really difficult. I always thought it was weird that my grandfather (whose name was Ned) didn't have a middle name. His name was just Ned Beam, but after trying to put something with it for so long, I completely understand why my great-grandmother opted to just go with plain ole Ned.
I haven't posted in some time and there are several reasons for that. Other than Christmas and the holiday schedule, we have been infested with the stomach virus at our house. Someone in the house has been sick for the past two weeks. It has finally gone through everyone so I think we should be clear now:0)
I also haven't really received any big news at any of my appointments over the past several weeks....which is always a good sign. I went to CMC last week and had an appointment with Dr. Stubbs. Not sure if I've ever mentioned it, but he was the first specialist we saw after the original diagnosis at 18 wks. During our first visit with him, he told us very little and then several days later he faxed a report to me at work diagnosing Ned with a severe heart complication and a genetic disorder basically saying he wasn't capable of surviving. Both of those diagnoses have either been ruled out since then or multiple other doctors have said that they don't see any evidence to come to such conclusions.
Anyway, I was much more prepared for my time with Dr. Stubbs this time around I guess because I knew what to expect with his bedside manner and such. The appointment was really weird and uncomfortable as expected....he kept asking if I had been going to doctor's appointments? He also called both Kings Mountain and Chapel Hill to make sure he was comfortable with the level of care I was receiving??? I left there so thankful that I had known early on that he and I weren't compatible. I felt sure that this pregnancy would have been much more difficult and stressful had I remained under his care.
The only real information we received at the CMC appointment was that some of the umbilical cord is looped around the baby's neck. When I first heard this I felt somewhat panicked, but all of my doctors have assured me that this actually happens all the time and that lots of babes are born with cording around their necks? I am just praying that the cord doesn't tighten during delivery causing complications that will lead to a c-section.
Other than that, my fluid levels have come down some and leveled off- still high, but not increasing. Baby Ned continues to practice breathe all the time which seems great to me since I've always heard that "practice makes perfect". His growth has continued on the same "normal" growth curve which he had earlier fallen off of for a short time. And still no sign of hydrops. While all of this seems uneventful, for me it is solid evidence that God's hand is in control of my situation. According to Ned's diagnosis regarding the severity of his birth defect, he should be having a very difficult time processing fluids; however, he seems to have mastered it at the moment. It doesn't mean very much from any medical perspective, but it does show me that God's healing powers aren't limited by our knowledge and our abilities.
Travis and I will head back to Chapel Hill on Wednesday for my last OB appointment there. I guess I'll get detailed instructions about what to expect on the induction date set for 01/20 or 01/21. I'll keep everyone posted on that.
Again, I need to say that I am completely overwhelmed and blessed by the amount of prayer and support that we have received during these past 5 months. The effects of such prayers have been so evident in my spirit. Your faithfulness has given me a peace and a comfort that I never thought I could have experienced facing this unknown.
Even now, at night, I find myself awake for long periods of time just praying and seeking God's will and purpose in all of this. And in the dark, lying there, I know that we are being lifted and held up by the prayers of others and I am just so very thankful for the place that God brought us to and the people that he placed in our lives for this moment.
I think back a lot to Abraham when he was wanting to ask God that if Lot was the only righteous man left in Soddom and Gemorrah, would God spare him. He never really asked God for what he wanted. He narrowed down from like "if there are 100 righteous" to "if there are 10 righteous", but what he really wanted was to say, "God, if Lot is the only one, will you save him," but he never asked......God would have assured him that Lot would be spared.
I have kept this in my mind during this pregnancy knowing that I am coming fully to the throne of God seeking what it is that my heart desires. I originally began praying for little blessings like, "please God don't let this baby need ECMO" or "if you'll just let his liver be back down so some more lung can form". But then I got real and asked God to please heal and restore my son's little body. I don't care how he does it or what kind of medical challenges we have to endure to reach that point, but what I really desire is to bring my son home whole. I would, of course, love a medical miracle, but my desire is not that I don't have to suffer some through the process, but that my child be healed. In all honesty, that is my only prayer request at this time.
Much love to you all,
Travis, Betsy, Jack & Baby Ned