Words from doctors, words from strangers

Words from doctors

On Tuesday, May 30, I had another sonogram and echocardiogram.

  • The sonogram went well. The umbilical cord dopplers and amniotic fluid levels were good. Ronin is only at roughly the 1st percentile for weight (estimated at 2 lb, 15 oz), but he has still been growing.
    • Since things have improved from when I was admitted to the hospital – praise be to God – the OB doctors have decided to push back my scheduled induction date from 34 weeks (June 11) to now something closer to 36 weeks (June 25). But it could change any day depending on how Ronin’s NST monitorings go.
  • The echocardiogram gave us some very difficult news. There’s now concern that heart surgery may not be feasible due to the way Ronin’s heart is structured; it’s all confusing to me, but it’s something to do with the relative distances between the aorta and artery.

I only spoke with one pediatric cardiovascular specialist that I hadn’t met previously, so it’s hard to gauge how certain the team is of anything at this point. For one, the echocardiogram images were much less clear than a month ago because Ronin’s no longer breech; now the images have to look through his spine to view the heart. But in general, the doctors really won’t know what they’re dealing with until he’s born and a CT scan can be done.

The doctor ended the conversation by telling me how much she loves the name Ronin, and that it’s perfect for the little warrior that he is.

I want to think that the purpose of the doctor’s conversation was just to prepare me for the possibility that medical intervention won’t be an option; not that she was trying to sugar-coat something that was already known by everyone except me. I think that the doctors just don’t know. I trust that only God knows.

Words from strangers

This latest update hasn’t made me a complete wreck, but it is incredibly hard to know that we might not be able to bring our baby home with us. In the last few months, I’ve faced the realization multiple times that Ronin might be called up to heaven as a baby. It’s being caught in this prolonged state of unknowing that makes it so difficult. I know my role is to stay positive and faithful through these days; but it’s not my own strength that makes that possible, it’s only through His.

I’m so grateful for the army of people – family, friends, and strangers – who have been praying over me throughout all of this. Thank you for praying that I feel His peace (Philippians 4:6-7) and that I continue to trust in God’s character more than my circumstances. I imagine my hospital stay would feel much, much lonelier without feeling Jesus’ presence here with me.

Within days of the echocardiogram review, our family was witness to God’s presence made manifest – clear and obvious.

On Wednesday evening, Ray and the girls were headed over to our church’s youth group. While waiting at a taco shop drive-thru, a stranger drove up, parked her car, and walked up to Ray’s truck and said “God wanted me to come tell you that He will work it out.”

She told him she was driving home, then was led to turn around to come find him so she could give him that message. She was an older black lady that he’d never seen before, doesn’t attend our church, and who knew nothing about our current circumstances. Ray told her that his wife has been in the hospital for over a month and that the doctors just let us know that they might not be able to save our son once he’s born. After that brief exchange, she got back into her car and drove away.

Then on Friday, God placed a woman in my life to give me encouragement and hope. She was visiting the Antepartum floor as a nursing student, and was able to attend my morning sonogram as well as my tour of the hospital’s NICU and congenital heart surgery floors. I had explained a little about what we’re facing with Ronin’s heart and other health concerns, and I told her we’re trusting God. I started crying when I was explaining Tuesday’s echocardiogram report, and she spoke such beautiful words of encouragement that I needed right in that moment. She told me that she could tell how much I love Jesus, and that she knows He’s with us. That our God is bigger than anything in medicine, and that He’s doing a mighty work through this difficult time. She told me to keep praying life over Ronin. And she told me she loves me, because we’re sisters in Christ.

I was emotionally exhausted that afternoon and had to lie down for a nap. But I told myself that if she was still at the hospital when I woke up, I’d ask her for her contact information so we could keep in touch. I knew that might seem strange, but I still felt like I should ask. And you know what happened? As soon as I woke up from my nap, she knocked on my door and gave me her contact info – without me even asking! I’m sure that crossing paths with her was because of the Holy Spirit, and I’m thankful that we’ll be able to stay in touch. Today is Sunday and she asked her pastor in Memphis, Tennessee to pray over baby Ronin! I was able to watch online.

I had heard of providential encounters like this happening, but I had never experienced anything like this before this week. I didn’t come out of Tuesday’s echocardiogram seeking a sign from God, but the Comforter sent comfort to find me – just when I needed it.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. (John 14:16, KJV)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *