Pippy's Journey

God is in Control

God is in control

I found this picture when I was looking for inspiration and strength before starting this update. I think it’s a little bit perfect. It reminds me that God is holding our sweet baby in His hands, that He is completely in control and she is safe.

Our doctor appointment Monday was rough and the days following have been up and down for both of us. The ultrasound Monday revealed some new findings. They said as the baby continues to grow and as I have more amniotic fluid building, it will be easier to see some things. First of all, good news, she gained 9 ounces. I’m thankful she is continuing to grow, even if it’s little by little. She is still falling behind in growth (now 4 weeks behind), but that is expected given the circumstances. She now weighs 1 pound 9 ounces.

Now for the more difficult news. We were told that they are seeing some problems in her heart. Her heartbeat still sounds good, but they said it doesn’t look like a normal functioning four chamber heart. They didn’t have any other details to give us and told us heart defects are extremely hard to diagnose with ultrasound. My doctor said only about 1/3 of heart problems are diagnosed by ultrasound because of angles and shadows and babies moving.

We were also told she has double cleft palate. This was probably the hardest news for me to hear. I had been praying that she would not have any facial deformities. I’ll be honest, I’m a little scared of how she will look when we see her. I know she will be my beautiful baby girl, but it still makes me nervous.

They also told us about a deformity to one of her hands. It looks like she is making the “hang ten” sign, pinky and thumb extended. The ultrasound tech said she was unable to tell if the middle three fingers are missing or if they are fused into a fist. We asked if possibly she was just holding her hand that way and the tech said she believes it is a deformity.

The tears fell uncontrollably as we watched the ultrasound. There was no noise, but the tears just kept coming. After the ultrasound we went to wait in a small waiting room before going to a private room to meet with my doctor. I tried to keep it together as I was surrounded by about six or seven women with their protruding bellies, I assume all expecting healthy babies. I sat holding Timmy’s hand and dabbing at my eyes. He kept wispering to me that he loved me and everything would be okay. Finally we were called back to wait for the doctor. Once the door was shut, my Timmy held me and I just sobbed.

When the doctor came in we talked to her about the findings the ultrasound tech had given us. We talked about how difficult it was to hear about these new problems. And then we talked about delivery options again. Throughout the pregnancy we have said we would like to go with a natural birth with drugs and avoid any induction or C-section unless necessary. My doctor told us that was still an option and was of course our choice; however, she felt it was important for us to have a better understanding of the potential complications.

We’ve known from the beginning that there is a possibility the baby could die during delivery. This had not been explained to us in any more detail, so I just assumed that meant her body might not be able to handle the stress and her heart would stop during delivery. While that is true, there are other potential complications to consider as well. The doctor explained that her little body literally may not be able to handle delivery intact. She suggested to a C-section to avoid this.

Originally I felt that scheduling a C-section meant we would be choosing when her life would end and not leaving it up to God. However, my doctor explained she didn’t feel it would be necessary to do the surgery until closer to my due date, probably around 36-38 weeks. A completely healthy baby born at 36-38 weeks is considered viable and has a good chance at survival. 38 weeks is considered the start of being full term. With that information, we’ve decided that a C-section is the best option for our baby in order to get her out safely and in one piece. Once she is delivered it will still be in God’s hands how long she breathes and how long her heart beats.

Each doctor appointment is hard and we feel that at each one God is telling us this is the road we are headed down. I’ll say it again, I believe He can still heal her completely. My faith in His abilities has never waivered. But each appointment feels like confirmation that we are headed down a road that does not include earthly healing for this child. We have been trying to process the new information the last several days. We have moments of acceptance and even joy in the thought that our baby will be in Heaven and not suffering or struggling here. We have moments of extreme fear and sadness too. How do you explain the feeling of sorrow and joy at the same time to someone who has not felt it? This experience has opened up all kinds of feelings and emotions that I can’t quite put into words. Over the past few days a thought will come into my head and I’ll just start crying. Tim has been on the roller coaster too this week.  We are both up and down. We are both trying to be there for the other. We are both trying to process and feel whatever it is we’re feeling. We are both desperately trying to hold the pieces of our hearts together. And we are doing all of it side by side, hand in hand, as a team.

I don’t know how we’ll feel in the coming weeks. I’m expecting things will get harder once the C-section date is scheduled. I’m so thankful that we’ve felt God’s presence around us and He’s giving us peace. I’m so thankful that He gives us the strength to keep breathing and make it through each day. I pray that we continue to feel all that as we near the end of this journey and approach what will be the hardest part of it.

14 thoughts on “God is in Control

  1. My prayers have been with you and Tim, I can not feel your pain, I can only try to imagine the heart ache that you are enduring. May God continue to give you each strength.

  2. Oh, Jess, I can’t even imagine what you and Timmy are feeling. But just know that we are thinking of you and praying for you daily. We love you and know that God indeed has your sweet little baby girl in His hands and has a plan for her. We may not understand what or how or why, but just know that He is in control. We also know that He is the Great Physician, and has the ability to heal her and all things are possible through Him. Just keep praying and try to be optimistic, even though it’s hard right now. Hugs from Omaha.. Love, Cindy and family

  3. Jessica, my heart goes out to you and Timmy. I can’t imagine how hard this is. please know that I am keeping all of you in my prayers. Big hugs to you both.

  4. No matter what happens there is certainty in this: Because of her amazing mom and dad, this baby already has an amazing ministry even before she is born. That is not something most people can say. Her little life thus far has already witnessed to and inspired so many people – myself included – and she will continue to be a shining light for the love and glory of Jesus Christ for as long as she lives and for long afterwards. She is a miracle, and you and Tim’s faith is a miracle worked through her.

    Regarding the C-Section … You may actually find it relieving to have a set date. My pregnancy was difficult (though of course not nearly as hard as yours) and I remember that once we scheduled the induction date I was so relieved, because finally there was a certain, for-sure, wasn’t-going-to-change fact I could count on. So many things in life are out of our control, and pregnancy really made me feel how helpless I was. However, a date on a calendar is something you can control and rely on. I hope and pray that having at least 1 certainty in all this brings you an element of peace.

  5. Thank you for your amazing strength and faith-example! You may not know me, but I have been praying for you and your situation. I know God will give you the ability to see your beautiful baby through His eyes. It sounds like she has a lot of the same features as my son-in-law’s infant brother did. My precious gandson is named after him! I can’t imagine how difficult this must be-praying for peace and strength for you all!

  6. Jess & Tim,
    God is Bigger than any problem, and He is able. Trust His… Hold on to His promises. Hold on to Him and to each other… God will make a way. I will pray for you and for your baby… and for miracles!

  7. My heart hurts so much for you Tima nd the family.
    God bless and keep you nd the baby in his hands. Yuo are stronger than I could ever hope to be.
    God bless and prayers.

  8. Jess…my dear Jess. I love you so much and you are very strong. I had a friend who went through similar struggles. It’s very difficult to be happy, sad, worried, excited all at the same time. I am keeping you and Timmy in my prayers every day.
    A C-section is a scary thought, but this day and age, they are very safe. It will take you a little longer to recover, but if it’s a safer option, just know that you are in good hands. Between your doctor, the nurses and God. If you need anything let me know. If you ever want to talk about anything…and I mean anything…my number is still the same.
    I will keep praying for you my dear.

  9. Jess,
    I don’t have much words to say except that I had tears as I was reading this. You are so incredibly strong and I really, really envy your ability to keep your faith in God and know that He is there throughout all that is going on. I’m not sure I would believe in Him still after the first hurdle. The fact that you do and will continue to no matter what the outcome, just astounds me, but not surprising because you are amazing like that.
    So, I love you so much and I am praying real hard day in and day out for you and Timmy that you will receive happy news and that the worst of this ordeal will be over.

  10. Hi Jessica,

    I just want to say that although we’ve never met, my husband and I have kept you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. We met your husband at Cheesecake about 2 months ago, when we came with our (then) 2 month old daughter, and two of our friends who were both pregnant. Tim shared some of your story, and then told us about your blog, which I had asked to get the link so I could follow it 🙂 After reading this, I could only imagine how hard it must have been for him to serve us, yet he kept a cheerful heart the whole time and was eager to share the excitement and nervousness you both were experiencing over this pregnancy. I also realized after reading this, that God is clearly using your daughter, you, and your husband (as painful and unfair as it may be) to reach out to others…. in one way, shape or form. I want you to know that after reading your post, I just cried to my husband, sharing the update on your story, and realizing how blessed we are with our daughter.

    I also want you to know that although we don’t know you, and have only had a brief encounter with your husband over lunch one day, you all are in our thoughts and prayers. While I don’t want to in any way, shape, or form provide false hope, I have witnessed a miracle happen with my friend’s daughter, who was told she should terminate her pregnancy because of deformities, yet her daughter was perfectly healthy upon delivery. I sincerely pray that offers more hope than harm by sharing, but just remember that God does have the power to heal, but that He has a bigger plan for whatever happens.

    From one mom to another, I am crying out to God for your sweet family tonight.


    1. Holly,
      Thank you so much for commenting! It is such a blessing to know that God is using this baby to reach farther than we could do on our own. I’m so grateful that you shared this with me. I know it will be an encouragement to Tim as well, to know that his conversation with you has led to blessings on both ends. It is very difficult to keep a positive attitude in the serving industry, especially when going through personal struggles. I hope reading your comment will help him get through the more difficult days at work, just knowing that he is appreciated and making a difference for some people. And thank you so, so much for praying for us and our baby!!

  11. God can defy all the odds. i read a post my trainer had put on her page about “all things come together for the Good” And i do feel that all things are going to come together for you & timmy and your baby girl. He is already using you both to touch the lives of so many through this journey . He will continue to bless you and keep you both whatever happens we love you and will be here for you.

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