The First 4d Ultrasound
After waiting for weeks, the day of the 4D ultrasound with the specialist had arrived. Jeremy and I drove to the appointment, waited for the doctor to come in, all in a whole bunch of silence. It was a heavy day.
I guess we expected something earth shattering was going to happen that day. We knew the doctor would probably confirm that our baby did not, indeed, have a brain, and we were “prepared” for that. As “prepared” as any parent can be to hear their child will not survive. I suppose the other option was the tiny sliver of hope that we had that the original ultrasound was wrong and that there was nothing wrong with our baby. But, that just didn’t seem likely.
The doctor came in, confirmed that we were the parents of the baby diagnosed with anencephaly, and proceeded with the ultrasound. After taking some pictures and looking at his chart and NOT talking for what seemed like forever, he finally said: “Well, it’s too early right now for me to make any conclusions. Come back again at 25 weeks when the brain is more developed.”
What? No answers? I was dumbfounded. More waiting? That made me want to throw up.
He didn’t give any reassurance, I thought to myself. Obviously, things are bad – just as we thought. I didn’t have a lot of hope. In fact, I’m not sure I had any.
This appointment put me deeper in my shell. I didn’t cry….in fact, I felt like I was all cried out.
But, then, something started to change.
My boss/friend Jenny gave me a CD one day after that first appointment….Casting Crown’s LIFESONG. My routine each day became getting through the day until I put Quin, my only child at that time, down for his nap after lunch. I would come back downstairs and fire up the CD player that only ever had the “Lifesong” CD in it. I would listen to all of the songs but, the one I listened to on repeat was “Praise You in this Storm”. (If you’ve never heard it before, please click and listen!)
I knew that God was with me in this storm….but gosh darn it if I didn’t feel like praising him in it. “I’m not Job.:, I thought, “I’m not Abraham. I am not the kind of person that loses a child and still says ‘blessed be the name of the Lord.'”
What in the world was blessed about this time in my life?
“This sucks, God.”, I admitted, “I don’t know why this is happening to us. To me. To our unborn little one. Did I do something wrong?”
Natalie, I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Psalm 31:3)
“Nope, this feels a lot like failure and not anything like unfailing kindness.”
My child, don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:40)
(continue my strong words of anger and unbelief followed by God’s word, peace, and comfort here)
Sometimes, I would relent and proclaim: “Oh, Lord….let the words of the song be true. Let me praise you in the storm knowing that you are God alone, no matter the crap that is happening right now. Help me see that every tear I cry, You hold in You hand. I want to believe that so, so desperately.”
Fast-forward to the present for a minute. I am sitting here on my couch, FLABBERGASTED. Did you hear what the lead singer of Casting Crowns said before he started singing in that youtube video? “This is Erin’s song.” I have never known the story behind “Praise You in this Storm” until today. Read it here.
This song was written about Erin, a girl who struggled with cancer and a mom who praised God through it even though she didn’t feel like it.
My son….the one I’m talking about….the one who grew the brain….his name is Aaron.
Shut the front door.