We’ve been wanting to start a blog for several weeks to document our journey, but as you can imagine when you read a little bit further down, it’s been an roller coaster of emotions the last 5 months.
Around 16 weeks of this pregnancy, on the day we found out our Gracie was going to add a little GIRL to our family, we also heard from my doctor that a screener came back positive for Down Syndrome. There are lots of false positives for this particular screener, and she assured us that since we met none of the risk factors usually associated with having a baby with Down Syndrome, she was sure this was a false positive.
She encouraged us to make an appointment with UAB to get a hyper-sensitive blood test done that is 99.2% accurate in detection. There are other things we could have done, like an amniocentesis, but that comes with a risk of miscarriage, so that wasn’t something we were willing to do. But the blood test? Why not.
If you’re wondering why we even agreed to any screenings, that’s a fair question. In the last few weeks, we’ve had people tell us their OBGYN offices don’t offer it because it isn’t the “Christian thing to do.” Regardless of what you may believe, for us, terminating a pregnancy — no matter what the outcome of a test was, would never have been an option. Based on that, we saw many more benefits of doing the additional screening — and it turns out we were right on the benefits (another blog post on that is in the works!)
So, we got additional blood work and waited another 10 days.
In the meantime, we had a very detailed ultrasound at UAB that basically showed nothing. Maybe a small “marker” on a finger, but other than that, no physical markers.
I (Jamie) remember seeing my doctor’s number pop up on my caller ID. I was finishing up an appointment for work, so I walked outside to the waiting room to take the call. She told me the test was positive — the 99.2% accurate test was positive.
I don’t remember too much about our conversation, except her asking me where I was and if I needed her to call my husband to come get me (I love her by the way…she is amazing). I remember her telling me her sister works with children that have special needs, and that she adores her children with Down Syndrome.
I remember thinking, “How am I going to get to my car?”
“How am I going to get out of the parking garage and drive to my husband?”
“How am I going to tell my husband?”
I remember physically shaking as I returned some stuff to the office I was at and walking to my car.
I drove to Les’s office and told him to come outside and told him. And my husband – my amazing, wonderful, unwavering husband, took a deep breath and said, “OK. So this is our new normal. We’re gonna be just fine. Let’s rock this.” I can’t even express to you the strength of my husband. God put us together. I was a basket case and my husband was strong.
We immediately got some amazing prayer and support from Les’s two co-workers and then spent some time talking to our families. Our families had the same reaction as Les. We can’t ever thank them enough for the amazing support. And to our friends, many of whom we’ve had some hard, tear-filled conversations with – thank you. The community that God continues to build around us is truly a gift from Him.
We know there may be many challenges ahead (like open heart surgery — more on that coming soon), but we also realize what a mountain of blessings awaits.
One of the things we’ve held tightly to is that this is God’s Plan A for our lives. This isn’t a mistake, or a second-best plan. This is His Plan A for us. Praise God for that. Our hope is found in Him alone. Our faith has been tested and we’re humbly looking forward to the faith journey that lies ahead. At the end of the day, as followers of Jesus, it boils down to trusting our Sovereign God. Period. It’s not easy. We may not be perfect at trusting all the time, but we’re hopeful in this new normal and ready for all the joy Gracie will bring us and ultimately we pray her life will bring God great glory.
So . . . welcome! Welcome to our journey. We’ll blog about life, our family, our hope, and more stuff too. More than anything, this blog is about things being normal as WE know it.
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