Joy and I are walking side by side on two different paths right now. I can still hold her hand, but we are definitely in different places mentally about everything. I'm being cautious. Joy is not. She has decided to move forward full speed and throw caution to the wind. She even painted the nursery last week because we are having a baby!
That's a very real thing to her because she feels our baby girl kicking inside her belly every day. Joy knows our daughters strength through the pain she causes though each somersault in the womb. I don't get that. I hear what the docs say, I research it, and I draw conclusions from that. Currently I'm prepared for the worst.
The "snow-pocalypse", as the southerners are calling it, hit the north end of Texas. We didn't get much of it in Austin (just cold), but Dallas got hit pretty hard and that's where we were set to go for our MRI appointment. After a VERY rough day filled with anxiety that manifested itself as gut-wrenching sickness, we finished the drive to Dallas and spent the night with my Aunt Susan and Uncle Buddy. It was a real blessing to spend time with them. It was great to have their prayers before we left and Aunt Susan has the "mom hug" down pat. I needed that this morning.
The MRI was pretty incredible. I sat in the back of the room while Joy sat motionless for 40 minutes. Who knew they did MRI's on babies? Aside from a short bout with claustrophobia, Joy did great. Her ability to lay still for that long without moving was quite admirable! I know it sounds silly, but I love her for that.
We weren't expecting to get results from the MRI today, but when it was finished Dr. Twickler -- one of the top baby radiologists in the nation -- sat down to give us her findings. She started at the brain and quickly showed why we made the tough trip. The ultrasound photos weren't conclusive, but the much clearer picture from the MRI showed me that the brain situation wasn't quite as bad as I had expected. While her brain was formed without two parts (the corpus callosum and the cavum septum pellucidem) the doctor speculated that a child with a brain like that would experience slower learning and struggle with coordination, but could live a pretty normal life. That's good.
What wasn't so good was the next finding. We talked about the right kidney that is non-functioning, then she pointed out what she called abdominal ascites. This means there is fluid in the abdomen that shouldn't be there. That's scary. The brain and the abdomen have fluid out of place.
The truth of the matter is that any one of these issues would be something the doctors monitor throughout a pregnancy. But Mabee's list of concerns is getting into the double digits now. That's a problem. And for the third appointment in a row we had a doctor talk to us about the real possibility of losing our little girl before or right after birth.
So, now we wait. We are planning to have a happy little girl who we will have a long life with, but first we have to make it to the due date. Then delivery. Then through surgeries. There is a long journey ahead, but we're going to take it one step at a time. Lets just get this girl born.
I'll be very honest. Satan is working hard on me right now. He's beating me up and I see him sneaking into the lives of the people around me too.
This is my prayer:
God I'm tired and I feel worthless to the world around me. While I know I need to recuperate and take care of myself I know Joy and other people in this world need me. Please fill me up Father. Please let me experience my grief in a more healthy way.
Father, through this agonizing process teach us to lean only on you and your strength.