September 9, 2017
Hello again, dear reader,
We had another ultrasound with the pregnancy specialists we had been referred to. I wanted to share a photo or two of our boy. We know that he looks strange to anyone not accustom to the look of anencephaly but all I could think about was how cute he is. He’s got a perfect little nose and pudgy lips and even though his eyes seem to have the tell-tale swelling due to his condition, I know I will want nothing more than to see him look at me and let me kiss his little lips and feel that I love him. Feel that our family loves him. The rest of his body, below his eyes looks very normal. He’s measuring about 2 weeks smaller than he should and we’re hoping to see him pudge up and gain some weight to increase our chances of meeting him on earth.
My amniotic fluid levels are slightly elevated, which can happen with this diagnosis. The brain controls so much- nearly everything, and so Ethan seems to be unable to swallow as much as he should and therefore the normal flow of fluid and the normal processing of that fluid isn’t happening correctly. If my levels increase too much it can cause severe pain for me, and increase the chances of pre term labor substantially. We will watch him close and I will keep enjoying his kicks whenever I eat dessert.
Emotionally we have serious ups and downs. My belly is undoubtably round and pregnant so I am enjoying the “congratulations” and the innocent questions about my due date and the exclamations about how crazy it is going to be to have 3 boys…. of course I battle with the reality of what’s to come and I break a little whenever I need to field the questions I get. In many ways I love this process because I know he is safe and without pain and close to me. The choice to see a situation in a certain light is just that, a choice. I have been gifted with this little baby boy and will always be his mom. My family will always be his aunts and uncles and brothers and grandparents and cousins.
I’ve heard it often said that we are God’s children. I believe that this is true, regardless of whether we chose to see God as our Heavenly Father or not. I really have had to think about the gravity of that relationship lately. I have come to see a beautiful and devastating image of giving Ethan back to God, since he was always His to begin with. My older kids that I’ve been given are both specifically designed for me here and are designed to benefit others they meet and in turn be part of my life’s challenges and joys and triumphs and I say that with pride and humility both. I know God made them to do great things in this world. I know that God has a purpose for all of us. It seems like he is asking for Ethan back a little early. My little lion has a life that has already taught us so much and forces us into a new dimension of love and trust and obedience. If in my humanity, if I can love my kids as much as I do, I have to believe that our almighty God loves my Ethan even more deeply than I ever could. Who am I to argue with him if he wants to hold Ethan for us until we leave this place?
I wish all this was as simple in my heart as it is in my head. Love is a powerful thing.
As before, we ask for prayers and wisdom and strength to make the most of everyday.
Ethan Lion at 27 weeks. We love you little man ❤️