When I was 22 weeks pregnant with Littlest, a regularly scheduled sonogram revealed something wrong with the precious baby nestled in my womb. She’s our fourth Little and I took the doctor appointment for granted and was focused on confirming her gender. I was alone for the appointment as few days prior, Husband underwent major back surgery to correct years of disc and spine problems.
The details of the doctor appointment are vivid. I knew immediately from the nurse’s face that she had detected something abnormal and the joy of confirming our baby was a little girl was overshadowed by confusion and worry.
Have you ever had your reality change in a split second?
Our reality is Littlest was born with a spine defect. I could toss around medical terms like congenital scoliosis, kyphosis, hemivertebrae, lumbar curvature, vertebral osteotomy, but then I would sound like her doctors, not her mother. In the first few weeks after her birth I found it easier to explain the situation as ‘She has a perfectly monogrammed spine – an S for Sarah’.
Littlest is three now. We routinely monitor the progression of the curves and are trusting her doctor to discern the timing for the surgery. It’s not a matter of if, but when. She has two hemivertebrae (mal-formed, half or triangle shaped veterbrae) that will be removed. It will not correct the curves, but it will keep them from progressing and chances are she’ll have subsequent surgeries in her life.
The timing for this surgery is tricky and truthfully more of an art than science at this point according to her surgeon. Too soon and her tiny size is an issue and the risk of of a spinal fusion greater. Waiting leaves the risk of spinal compression.
Tomorrow morning, Littlest will have another MRI. This will be her third, so it ain’t our first rodeo. But let me tell you, the only thing worse than seeing your child under general anesthesia, would be watching her not come out of it. It’s terrifying to see your baby go limp and still under the affect of the powerful drug. And, it’s grueling to watch her kick and scream in confusion as the anesthesia slowly releases its hold. But, each time in those awful moments I have found peace. Yes, the one that surpasses all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)
The older three Littles just returned home from a week at camp. Their voices have filled the house with camp songs and cheers, much to my hearts delight. My enthusiastic campers taught their sister the rally cry of the Alpha and Omega teams (Go Omegas!)
God is good, all the time!
All the time, God is good!
To hear Littlest cheer with all her might God is Good! is comforting, especially this week. She’s too young to understand the implications of her monogrammed spine. But someday she will. And, my prayer is that she will know and love Christ Jesus so that she, too, will be comforted by the peace that transcends all understanding.
We would love your prayers as we continue our journey with Littlest.
Thank you, dear ones.
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Philippians 4: 6-7 (The Message)
Children’s Hospital just called and cancelled Sarah’s MRI for tomorrow. We have rescheduled for next week. The nurse explained that ‘all hands were needed on deck’ for an emergency surgery tomorrow morning. Keeps things in perspective. And, provides an opportunity for prayer for this child and family who are clearly in need. May they know the same peace I claim for my own.
Margaret Works says
I love you Kristin! And I love Sarah and all your littles. Do not worry, please do not worry. I am praying so hard for Sarah, that God will be with her during her MRI and the rest of her long life. You have a big trip to be preparing for! God’s wholeness will settle you down.
Maggie Tate says
Kristen – I will be thinking about you guys – hope the MRI goes well, drs get the info they need and Sarah has an easy time as possible. I love that version of the scripture in the Message. Prayers of peace going up for all of you –
Praying with you for sweet Sarah (and the rest of the family, doctors, nurses, and everyone else who will care for her)!
April Karli says
Kristen, I know exactly what you’re talking about with the anesthesia. My youngest only had to have ear tube surgery, but she had a terrible reaction to the anesthesia after the surgery which was so scary! I pray your little one has an easy time of it and that God continues to bring you his peace throughout.
jennifer mouritsen says
hello my dear friend! I was so delighted to get your email this morning about the cookbook because it led me to your blog which led me to this…you are always on my mind and in my heart! especially tomorrow — I will be praying for you and for sarah. love you!
Thank you all for the sweet prayers and encouragement. I just updated that Children’s rescheduled our appointment for next week.
I’m so grateful for each of you. xoxox, K
Praying for Sarah (and you!)! I’m sorry they rescheduled for next week; I’m sure you wanted to get it over with. Will be thinking about and praying for you guys next week!
Having walked this road, I so know where you are coming from and your feelings. I never treated my little gal any different. The surgeries and casts were hard, but you know, you get through it all and do what you have to do. I knew God selected me to be this child’s mother for a special reason.
Much love to you and Miss Sarah and the rest of the Schell’s. Keep us posted!