We've had a bona fide, genuine healing miracle in our family today. And while some may not believe in modern day miracles, I do. And I will shout from the rooftops the Lord's goodness to us!
Six days ago we had an appointment for a second ultrasound. At my first ultrasound almost exactly one month ago, they determined that the baby's due date was off. He was actually younger than we thought. Because of this, or so the ultrasound tech said, she needed us to come back in a few weeks to get a better look at his heart and abdomen. She simply said they were too underdeveloped at that gestational age to get the good measurements she wanted.
I took her words at face value, and actually I thank her for not telling me her real thoughts because I would have been a mess for those weeks before and during Christmas. However, six days ago, she no longer sugar coated any news for us.
It was obvious - even to our untrained eyes - that our little man had a small chest cavity. His heart was taking up more room that it should have and we could even see some fluid around his heart. It was clear that his diaphragm was pushing up against the chest cavity causing it to be smaller than normal. Although this picture is not of our little one, this is almost exactly what his chest looked like:
There should be a much more gentle curve from the abdomen to the chest. And she was unable to get any measurements on his neck and throat area because of how his chest pushed up.
Our ultrasound tech thought that perhaps she was looking at a case of CDH (congenital diaphragmatic hernia). We had no idea what that meant, but knew it didn't sound good. After coming home and doing a bit of research, our concerns multiplied rapidly. CDH is caused by a hole in the diaphragm (which should not be there) that allows organs from the abdominal cavity to enter into the chest cavity. This causes a lessening of space for the heart and lungs. Babies born with this defect are usually whisked off to surgery immediately after birth to move the organs and repair the diaphragm. And then it's a wait and see game as you hope the lungs will develop enough for the baby to breathe. Many babies don't live long.
We were devastated by the possibilities and were driven to our knees. Not only were we concerned for our little one, but the financial burden was also overwhelming. Our insurance does not cover maternity benefits - one of many reasons why we were hoping to do another home birth. The diagnosis of CDH would not only mean many tests throughout the pregnancy, but also a c-section in the hospital because of his weakened lungs. A normal birth costs anwhere between $8-12,000. I didn't dare look up the price for a c-section! But through all of our thoughts and concerns, there was one thing that I could not get out of my mind. It was something that had happened many weeks prior at just the same time the baby's diaphragm would have been developing.
Around 10 weeks of pregnancy, there was one night when I had continuous, strong contractions. I was terrified that I was about to miscarry and cried out to the Lord in desperation. I'm not sure that I can explain in clear language what happened, but it was as though I felt God's hands reach into my womb and cup the baby. A gentle whisper assured me that the baby was safe in His hands and would live.
As I prayed during this past week, I continually brought that moment to the Lord. Although Josh and I have labored to submit ourselves to whatever God's will may be for this child, I could not help but have hope that the whisper I heard early in pregnancy would carry through to our current concerns.
Today, we went back for another ultrasound. The tech had showed our video and pictures to an OB/GYN and he had suggested getting a few more measurements before sending us to a specialist.
The moment we looked at our little one's chest cavity was incredible. There was no doubt that things were different. In six short days, his diaphragm had returned to a proper position. His heart was a perfect size in relation to his chest cavity - meaning that his chest was expanded. We saw healthy lungs. And the liver which had been pushing up into the chest cavity was now back in the abdominal cavity. Every single measurement was perfect.
The ultrasound tech was amazed. She kept saying again and again, "I just can't believe it! I can't explain this! Look at how different this is from last week!" And we kept saying, "God has healed him. We've been praying so much this week, and each of these results is directly correlated to what we've prayed for."
Y'all, God has healed my child! There is no doubt in my mind that this is a miracle. There were no medical explanations for how everything in his tiny body has healed and returned to normal so quickly. And you know what? We don't need medical explanations. The Lord has done a mighty work!
There was even a little icing on the cake. As we watched the 4D ultrasound we saw our little one rooting in the womb. Rooting! I've never seen that before, but it was the cutest thing, and was such evidence of his health. Praise the Lord!
And here's our healthy little one now:
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." - Psalm 139:13-14