We are coming up on the 4 year anniversary of the beginning of our CDH journey. The other day I met a woman who was pregnant with her second child who would be going in for her ultrasound in a few days. I told her I would be praying for her appointment. I didn’t tell her why I have a new appreciation for the 20 week ultrasound and just how many things I know they are looking at. How a healthy pregnancy is SUCH a miracle in and of itself. How every says they just want a healthy baby – and the complete and utter shock it is when your baby isn’t. I remember my thoughts the day of my 20 week ultrasound and how I was so incredibly excited to learn the gender of our baby. That was my focus. I assumed everything would be fine. I was not worried about birth defects. We had opted against the earlier amnio because we knew it wouldn’t change the course of our decision if we were told the baby had Downs or another birth defect. Looking back at the journey – the highs and the lows – I see God. In so many ways and places.
I am a different person today with a different faith. You see, the person who started this blog was quiet about their faith. I definitely did not lead with it, and I was afraid. I remember the first posts I made where I quoted scripture and boldly asked for prayer – how that was such a step outside my comfort zone. I was afraid of alienating my non-christian friends. And then… as my world was being broken down all around me with the knowledge of this baby that was growing inside me, might not live outside of my body. I stopped caring what others might think. I knew I needed God in a way I had never quite needed him before. Not just to heal and protect my baby – but just to endure each day. I felt like such a mess – yet people always commented on my strength. I was quick to remind them whatever they saw, whatever strength perceived. That did not come from inside me. That is entirely God. I am still awestruck and at a loss for words that God would do all that he has for me. Why? When we were given this diagnosis I never gave much thought to why me. Why not me? So many sad, tragic things happen to much better people in this life. Why not me? But more often, since it all happened and I have seen so many babies not make it – I do ask myself – why did Finley make it? Why are we so blessed? I wonder what the plan for her life is and what God intends for her to do still. And I come to the verse, we are blessed to be a blessing. “I will save you that you may become a blessing” (Zech 8:13) That is what I want with my whole heart. To be able to support and love and offer hope by sharing Finley’s story. By walking with other families the way others walked and supported us. I don’t think God did this to us.. but I think this is a way that God uses all things for good.
4 years later…
I have a healthy, happy 3 year old. She is such an amazing little human. To see my two daughters play together (and fight) – it is thousand+ answered prayers. Finley had a lung function test back in December and actually did the test correctly (2x! Yes, I am totally bragging on her!) and she had above average lung function for a 3 year old. How could that even be possible? Well, the comparative data pool isn’t huge since many 3 year olds can’t even do this test accurately. The office said they don’t usually do this until they are at least 4 or 5 – but after spending some time with our precocious Finley, they decided she was not average. How many people prayed for lung tissue for my girl? Just hearing those results was to me a total confirmation of answered prayers.
My faith was lit on fire. I am no longer lukewarm.
I have a CDH family that I am so thankful for. Such amazing people I have met along the way. We are bound together and understand each other in such a powerful way.
Our friends and family and even perfect strangers that prayed and supported us in countless ways. I love you all so much. I will never forget any of it, and it is because of all of you that it inspired me to be the blessing that you all were to us.
How God planted a seed about a race while Finley was in the NICU and how that has grown to a Foundation, a Portland race (now in it’s 3rd year), and next year – a Seattle race. None of these are things are things that feel comfortable to me. But somehow, God has always brought me the people to make it happen. I am excited and terrified to see where he leads me next.
Sorry for such a rambling post – just a lot of thoughts that have been going through my head…