What this ultrasound means for his diagnosis: nothing. Unfortunately, regardless of how magical and special each positive sonogram is and how much we treasure getting to see our sweet little boy, nothing done prior to his birth can erase the doctor's early findings of a high AFP and the genetic testing. A baby can look perfectly fine on the sonogram (like Boston) and still be born with Pierson Syndrome, so we will still have to wait for him to be born to know for sure.
I also had my first non-stress test (NST) yesterday. It is a very simple procedure where they hook up monitors to my belly and listen to Boston's heart. They are watching for movement and heart rate accelerations that accompany the movement. Each NST is 20 minutes long and they are looking for at least 2 accelerations in the 20 minutes. Boston had his first two within the first minute or so, but we still had to wait the full 20. I will be getting NSTs every 3-4 days until he is born. Luckily, I snapped up all of the 7:30 am appointments so I won't have to miss any work.
Yesterday I also met with Elaine Swinehart, the Maternity Care Coordinator, who helped me fill out all of my admission paperwork and consent forms. She read through a copy of our birth plan and said it was very well done. She took me on a quick tour; I will have a more extensive one when I go back to meet with the neonatologist. I was not expecting how the visit to the NICU would affect me.
I walked into the NICU and all of a sudden it struck me that this was not a place I wanted to be. Although they try to make it as friendly as possible, you don't have to be there for more than a few seconds to know that the babies here are sick. On the ceiling, part of which you can see in the picture, is the phrase "Wish I May, Wish I Might, Grant the Wish I Wish Tonight." It hit me that the wish these parents wanted granted was for their babies not to die, and that was overwhelming -- a parent's plaintive plea for their child to survive. All of the doors are glass for security reasons and so you are surrounded by room after room, bassinet after bassinet, of babies who are gravely ill. I teared up as I realized that Boston could be coming here and I had such a surge of protective mother instinct -- thinking "I don't want my baby to be here -- I don't want him to be sick. I don't want to have to wish that he would live." I am pretty sure that this aversion to the NICU will pass; after all, I want Boston to be where he needs to be in order to get better. But I was surprised how much it affected me.
The title of this blog is from a Sara Groves song. As we celebrate our positive sonogram and wait for Boston to be born, I recognize God's faithfulness. We will not be tempted to fall into sorrow or despair, or to let our hope wane. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Here are the lyrics to Sara Groves' song "He's Always Been Faithful"
Morning by morning I wake up to find
the power and comfort of God's hand in mine.
Season by season I watch him amazed,
in awe of the mystery of his perfect ways
CHORUS: All I have need of his hand will provide.
He's always been faithful to me
I can't remember a trial or a pain
he did not recycle to bring me gain.
I can't remember one single regret
in serving God only and trusting his hand.
This is my anthem, this is my song,
the theme of the stories I've heard for so long.
God has been faithful, he will be again.
His loving compassion, it knows no end.