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.