Monday, May 2, 2011

Being a mom is hard. Info & update on our baby.

If I have learned anything in the last five months, it is this:
You can not prepare your heart for a baby. 

You can prepare your house.
Your car.
Your budget.
Your mind, maybe.

But not your heart.

No matter what you do, what you read, who you talk to, what experiences you witness... Until you ARE a mom, you can not prepare your heart to be a mom. I tried to. I imagined what it would be like to be a mom and I have tried very hard to understand and empathize with other moms. But it is so true what people say... you have NO IDEA until it is you.

I have never loved another person the way that I love this little girl growing in my belly. I have never prayed so hard and so long for another person in all my life. I have never had my mind so consumed by a simple name. Never.

She is not yet born, but she is most definitely alive. And I love her more today than I did yesterday. And will love her even more tomorrow. My heart has officially become a mother's heart. And I know... it will only be more so when I finally hold her.

Being a mom and having a mother's heart is wonderful, beautiful, exciting. But it can also be terrifying and challenging. The last few weeks for me have been terrifying and, to put it lightly, challenging.

A little over two weeks ago we had our "big" ultrasound. I updated and said that all the organs looked good and she was actually a little ahead of schedule size wise, which is all great. What I left out was a big "but" our doctor gave us. "All the organs looked normal and her growth is excellent but..." This was the moment our hearts stopped. She continued to explain to us that there was the appearance of clubfoot in Morgan's right foot and that we'd need to go see a specialist in Little Rock to get that checked out.

"Do yall have any questions?"

Ha. Nope. No questions. At the time I didn't even know what clubfoot was! I had no idea. So what? Her foot looked a little turned? No big deal, right?

It wasn't until I got to my computer later that day and had a nice long visit with Mr. Google that I began to worry and have about 300 questions. But the questions would have to wait until April 26.

Last Tuesday, Marty and I both took off at noon and headed to Little Rock to the specialist. This visit was not the most pleasant to say the least and I felt like we were treated like children by almost everyone there.  After hundreds of questions about ourselves, blood tests, and a 4D ultrasound we got our final verdict. At least until she's born.

The doctor confirmed both feet are turned inward, resulting in clubfeet.

That's not anything a mom or dad wants to hear, but that part isn't too bad. It's just feet.

The scary part is what's causing the clubfeet. In some cases clubfeet can exist in total isolation, meaning nothing else is causing them. But in other cases there is an underlying disease, disorder, etc. that causes the deformation.

Because we chose not to get the quad screening done and said no to the amnio test because of the high risks involved, we will not know anything else until she is born. The doctor ran all the tests and looked at all of our answered questions and we do not fit any single category or characteristic for a case of isolated clubfeet. That doesn't mean that the problem can't be isolated. It still very well can be. It just means that our chances of there being an underlying cause are a little greater.

This leaves us with four months of waiting. wondering. anticipating.

We have no idea what to expect in those first few weeks with Morgan. We may be facing a life-altering disorder, or we may simply be facing some twisted feet. She may need a surgery or two, or she may just need some casts and braces for a while. We have no idea. Of course, we are hoping and praying for the best-case scenario, but we are also not wanting to be naive about it. We know the possibilities and every day we are coming more and more at peace with them.

Like I said, there is absolutely no way to prepare your heart for this. For that moment when the doctor says your little girl is anything put 100% perfect. For that feeling of did I do something wrong? For that intense desire to be able to take it away from her and give to yourself, to fight this for her, to make it disappear. For the fear of what it might bring for her.

No books, no advice, no conversation, no amount of babysitting can prepare you for this. Nothing.

Sometimes I feel silly letting this becoming such a heavy burden on my heart, but I think any mom out there knows how heavy and devastating this can be. I want nothing more than to be able to hold my little girl in my arms and look at her and know that everything is going to be perfect for her. Not having a clue what we will be facing come August is almost crippling at times. I'm just so thankful that while I can't hold her, she is being held. And God's plan for her life is perfect.

It's been hard telling people about this. I don't want to tell someone there's something wrong or different with my daughter. It would be a lot easier for me to ignore it and hide it until birth, then deal with it. But Marty has really pushed me to be open about it and not hide anything. So I'm trying not to.

Most people have tried to be comforting in their response by saying, "Well I'm sure she will be totally okay and not even need a surgery!" Or "Well I know so and so who had a kid born with that and they are perfect now!" I understand their hearts. And of COURSE I want to focus on the positive and be hopeful for the best. But the truth is, I don't want people to try to protect us with these statements. I want to understand and come to peace with the fact that while this could turn out to be very minimal and easy to deal with, it could also be something not at all easy, not at all simple. And I need to be okay with that. And I really think I'm getting there.

I was talking to a man who has a disabled daughter and went through this whole experience when his wife was pregnant with her. He was talking to me about it and said something that totally made sense. He said, "From this point on, in these next four months, nothing else will matter besides this baby. Nothing else will really matter until you know she's okay and you know what the answers are."

That has been so true in these last few weeks and I know it will be true until we see her, hold her, and know exactly what's going on in her little body. When your baby is facing the possibility of anything but a perfectly normal life, everything else seems so insignificant. Of course other things matter and we will still continue to work hard and give our focus to our jobs, families, and friends. But in the back of our minds will constantly be this little girl and the prayers for her health and protection.

Our pastor's sermon yesterday was perfect for us. A big chunk of it was about how God is constantly saying to us, "Trust me." Even when we don't get it, when we're angry, when we have no idea how it makes sense, we trust him. Because we know that He sees what we can't see. His ways are higher than our ways. And He loves us more than we can imagine.

So that's what we're doing... we're just trusting. We know God is completely sovereign and faithful, and that's enough for us.

Please pray for us as we make important decisions in the coming weeks, as we meet with a neonatal orthopedic surgeon, choose a special pediatrician, and discuss further plans and actions with our doctor. Pray for peace of mind and release from anxiety and worry. Pray for Morgan Noelle and her little body that is so perfect for her life and her purpose.

And when it's all said and done, I wouldn't trade the opportunity to love someone this much in all the world. I am so blessed to have my daughter. And I am SO blessed to have such an amazing husband beside me.

As we were falling asleep last night Marty leaned over and hugged me and said, "I love my little family so much."

I couldn't say it better myself.



Morgan Paige said...

love your attitude! praying you will be at peace about that sweet little girl!

Lindsey said...

What a beautiful, strong and smart mother Morgan has! I can't begin to imagine all that it going through your mind but I want you to know that whatever happens with your precious girl, she will always have a loving supportive family (and friends) to take care of her (not to mention her momma & dad!). Being in PT school I have discovered how much I LOVE pediatrics. I hope that she would never need it, but in the case that she would, please give me a call. I won't be practicing when she's born but I will have lots of resources and be able to get you in touch with the best of the best for her. And of course I would be happy to do anything myself! Congratulations again on your perfect girl!