First of all, let me apologize to all of you that my posting has been so sparse over the last few months since summer. I am now 20 weeks pregnant with a baby GIRL! Her name is Lydia Jane Rios, and she is our fourth child (third girl) and she is due to arrive sometime around April 5, 2018. This pregnancy has been eventful, to say the least…
Back in September, we had an NIPT test, which determines the gender of the baby and screens for genetic disorders. We also had had this test done with our last pregnancy. I had blood drawn from my arm at 10 weeks and it was sent off to a lab for the test. Talk about a long two weeks, waiting for those blood test results! When I finally did receive the results, my OB called me and left a voicemail on my cell phone, saying, “Jordan, please call me as soon as possible. I have the results of your blood work. If I am in a room with a patient, the nurse will come and get me so that I can speak to you.” My heart sank…
I called him back as soon as I received the message. I was at school, actually teaching a small group of first grade students. When Dr. Vick answered, he began by apologizing that it had taken them so long to receive the lab results, and then explained what I had been dreading, that the blood work indicated that there was a chromosomal abnormality: Trisomy 13.
I had NO CLUE what Trisomy 13 even was. I asked him to explain it to me, and he said that, like Trisomy 21, which is Down’s Syndrome, it is an abnormality in which there is an extra chromosome. However, this trisomy is much more severe than Down’s. He said that there is a 50% chance that our baby would not survive the pregnancy, and an even greater chance that if she did survive the pregnancy, that she would not live more than a few hours or a few days after birth.
I tried so hard to hold it together. After all, I was in the middle of a classroom of precious first graders. But, I am sure that a few of them looked up at me and saw me on the phone and crying, because the room got really quiet. I asked Dr. Vick, “So, what do we do next?” He then informed be about an invasive procedure called amniocentesis, that we could do to truly diagnose if Baby Lydia had Trisomy 13 or not. He said, “I want you and your husband to do some research and pray about it, and let me know if you want to do this test.”
When I told Miguel, he was completely calm. He was calm almost to the point that he couldn’t believe that I was even upset. I had no idea what to make of that reaction. “Jordan,” he said. “God is in control, and this baby is a gift from God, and we are going to love her no matter what happens, no matter how long or short of a time that we have with her! Everything is fine.” I was stunned. Miguel was excited, as a matter of fact. He was thrilled because he had wanted another girl from the time when we first found out that I was pregnant.
So I did what Dr. Vick said. I began researching amniocentesis. I was just about ready to schedule the appointment to have that done (because I thought that knowing for sure one way or another would help me) but then a lot of thoughts started to swirl in my mind. In this whole process of googling Trisomy 13, I began to obsess over what could happen, all the what-ifs. I had gone from extremely joyful in my pregnancy to extremely frightened and worried. In my googling (which was a bad idea to begin with) I found out that most babies born with Trisomy 13 are born with birth defects affecting every system of their body. They may have extra fingers and toes. They may be born without eyes. They may have heart defects, cleft lip palate, and mental retardation.
I sought God, and what I heard him say to me was that it was not his plan for me to have the amniocentesis. What it all boiled down to for me was the question of my trust in him. Miguel was completely right, this baby was a GIFT from God, no matter what the doctors said. Was I going to trust in a medical test to give me peace, or was I going to trust in God to give me peace? The test would be very invasive, and after praying about it and talking to Miguel, we decided that we would decline the amniocentesis.
Needless to say, with this news, and along with having low progesterone in my first trimester, I have had a lot of extra doctor’s appointments. We settled it in our hearts that we were going to trust God no matter what the outcome of this pregnancy. Our church laid hands on our family and prayed over Baby Lydia. I was able to feel at peace again.
Fast forward to November 10, when I had my 20-week anatomy scan. I went into that appointment with full confidence that everything was alright. And do you know what? The medical staff confirmed that to me, when they examined her on the ultrasound. They counted five fingers on each hand. They could not only see her eyes, but also her actual eye lenses. All of her measurements were where they needed to be. They could see all four chambers of her heart, and both hemispheres of the brain. Bottom line, they could not find one single thing wrong with her! The doctor came in and said that he was almost 100% sure that there was no Trisomy 13, that the blood test had been WRONG! Praise God!!!
We are overjoyed that God has chosen to give us a fourth child. It has been emotionally vexing at times in this pregnancy journey, but God is so good in the ups and in the downs. I can’t wait to introduce you to Lydia in April!