In trying to watch what I say by speaking positively and in striving to claim health for Anniston, I’m afraid that there may be some misconceptions out there. While praising God for her wonderful Biophysical Profiles, I never thought about the fact that to everyone else, this might seem like Anniston has been just fine from our doctors’ point of view, that our situation isn’t a big deal, or that her problem has “solved itself” (which is impossible in our doctors’ eyes, by the way). I just want to clear up a few things and kind of recap the last few months from our doctors’ as well as our perspectives. I’m sorry that this is such a long post, but I’ve realized that there are a lot of things that I have neglected to share.
The end of January, when we went to the doctor for our ultrasound to discover if we were having a boy or a girl, thinking only of how exciting it would be to see our baby moving around and wondering what in the world its name would be if it were a boy, the ultrasound tech took a good look at our baby, measured her, took detailed pictures of all of her organs, and told us that we were in fact having a girl. Stan and I were so excited that we barely noticed the tech excusing herself for a moment. A thought jumped to my mind that it seemed strange that she was leaving, but I quickly dismissed the idea and continued talking in amazement with Stan about the sight we had just seen. Before we knew it, the ultrasound tech was back, asking us to follow her to our doctor down the longest hallway I have ever walked in my life. I remember grabbing Stan’s hand and telling him that we shouldn’t have to see the doctor unless something was wrong. After waiting quietly in the room we were assigned, our doctor walked in, and she told us not to panic but that something looked strange with our baby’s heart, like maybe she had a hole. An appointment was made for us in Jackson with a specialist, and from that moment on, we would no longer have a “normal” pregnancy.
I cried when we got to the car that day, and Stan was so strong. We prayed, dried my tears, and called family, friends, and even posted on this blog to tell our good news that we were having a girl. Knowing that some types of holes close on their own and not wanting to worry anyone over nothing, we decided not to say anything about what the doctor told us since the specialist had not yet confirmed what was seen.
Two weeks later, we went to Jackson, sure that there must have been some mistake. Stan and I even planned to have lunch at one of our favorite places after the appointment and to register in Jackson that afternoon! Needless to say, our plans did not come to fruition. The specialist, ultrasound tech, and cardiologist each looked at our Anniston that day, and they all came to the conclusion that she had an Interrupted Aortic Arch in her heart and that this had caused the VSD (hole). *Let me interrupt by saying that we have had the best doctors and medical staff tend to us, and we are so very grateful that God has given us them.* They tried to explain it to us, and I remember Stan getting really pale and almost passing out. So, I’m laying there, trying to understand how serious this issue was when the cardiologist tells us that one in 100 children have some form of heart defect and that 4% of that 1% have a condition as advanced as Anniston’s. The cardiologist said that it was very rare and that she only knew of one other child in our area who has had this defect, and he is now 7 years old. Wow. Okay, now it hit me.
That day was horrible and wonderful, all at the same time. Stan and I cried and prayed like we never have, and we began to seek God like never before as well. It was hard to realize the trial we were facing, but it was great to already see God working in such a powerful way in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
We’ve had several appointments since that first meeting with the cardiologist, and the diagnosis has not changed. Stan asked at our second appointment in Jackson if this defect was something that could correct itself as Anniston’s heart matures, and we were blatantly told “no.” The heart is fully formed at 7 or 8 weeks, and nothing is supposed to change for the better on its own (God has already proven this to be untrue.) At that visit, it was discussed in more detail that after Anniston is born, we would need to go to Pennsylvania so that she could have surgery on her heart to attach the arch and to close the hole.
It was really hard on us at first. I’ve had tears rolling down my face since starting to type this story because it’s so difficult to remember those initial feelings. We’ve had our selfish moments wondering: “Why us?” “What did we do wrong?” and thinking: “This isn’t fair.” But, God has always quickly assured us that He has a plan, and that we need to completely put our trust and faith in Him that He is able to heal and that He will heal our little girl.
While we believe that God has healed Anniston, I just thought you needed to know that we have not seen much physical evidence of this yet and that we do continue to covet your prayers for her miraculous healing. We have sat through 9 ultrasounds and have seen the hole EVERY time. Our doctors have also not been able to see clearly the Aortic Arch (except for one time that they thought maybe they saw it but could not verify). BUT, our God heals! This fact has already been confirmed in our story as you will remember in the beginning when the left side of her heart was a normal size, and the right side was twice as big, but now, it is symmetrical! We TRULY believe that He has healed her even beyond what we have seen and that she will be born just perfect. I guess the main reason I am writing all of this is so that Jesus can receive all of the glory that only He deserves instead of us forgetting these details of our journey and chalking the good report that we believe we will hear up to chance. We are so excited to see what God has in store! I do apologize if I haven’t shared enough in the past. We still want to speak positively and claim nothing less than healing over Anniston, so thank you for joining us in that endeavor. Thank you also for hearing me out, and thank you most of all for your prayers of faith.
“The prayer offered in faith WILL make the sick person well; the Lord WILL raise him up!” James 5:15