May 24, 2010.
John & I sit in yet another ultrasound room. Yes, it has only been five days since our last one. I could not bear to wait one month until we knew what was going on with baby Lovell #2. I decided to take matters in my own hands, after all, this is our baby & I felt if something wasn’t quite right it would be better to know now rather than later.
Once again, an ultrasound tech with a poker-face. Must be a pre-requisite for working in ultrasound. I lay staring at a flat-screen tv scanning every inch for a possible problem. Yet, I can’t see anything but a squirmy baby sucking his or her thumb & kicking every time the ultrasound probe comes near. Hope fills my heart, and I think just maybe everything is ok after all.
I couldn’t have been further from the truth.
I’m handed an ultrasound picture of our baby, & told “it’s a girl!” Yet the joy in those words is overshadowed by fear of the unknown. Finally, the doctor comes in, sees my expression & tears, and offers what I’ve been waiting to hear.
We are told our baby girl will be born with spina bifida-a fairly rare & complex defect in the spinal cord. The doctor explains he can’t see the actual lesion on the spine, but he’s sure of the diagnosis. While my mind shifts into shock & survival mode, the doctor proceeds to tell us of our options-terminate or surgery.
My thoughts are scattered during this time, but somehow I have peace in the middle of the chaos. I know God has prepared John & I for this. I know God is still knitting this baby girl together. I also know that although it feels like I have been serving a God who’s just dropped the proverbial ball on our family, I am in fact serving a God who intends this baby’s life for our good. I know He is intentional about what He creates, it was His hand who formed her tiny spine & it will be His hand who works out His purposes for her good. And ours.
So surgery it is.
Overall, her prognosis is good. The problem with the spine is on her sacrum, which is good news, meaning she should be just like any other kid with just extra doctor appointments & a few bumps along the road. But really, whose life doesn’t have some bumps along the way?
We decided a lot easier with this baby what her name will be-Zoe, which means “life.” John & I believe Christ came to give us “life to the fullest,” and that’s what our prayer is for Zoe. I am reminded of the story of the man blind from birth, & the disciples who asked Jesus who sinned that caused the man to be blind-he or his parents? And the sweet response I love & believe holds true for Zoe is this, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, [...] but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life” John 9:3.
I know God is always at work around us. I also know He sometimes chooses some very odd ways in our human opinion to make Himself known to His people. After all, this is the same God who chose a manger for His son’s crib & cattle to welcome him into the world. Who am I to question what God chooses to do?
Zoe will have surgery after she’s born at Vanderbilt University to fix the spinal lesion. Our doctor is confident she will walk & that our biggest hurdle will probably be potty-training which may come a little later than normal. We are praying everyday that God continues forming Zoe just as He wants her-in His image, that He protects her, that any complications can be minimized & that He prepares us to be the parents she & Faith both need. We’d love for you to join us in this prayer for our daughters!
BTW….here she is at 19 weeks!