And now we pray again.

“If you prayed as much as you worried, you’d have a whole lot less to worry about.” ~ Rick Warren

As I have sat here in my office getting caught up on my long to do list I was a little surprised to have my phone ring. I’m rarely one to be in my office because I’m typically all over campus keeping myself busy. In fact, I believe this maybe the only time I’ve actually been sitting in my office to have my phone ring and answer it.

The call was from my doctor informing me of the results of the NT ultrasound and tests that accompanied it. Thankfully she has informed us that the baby is low risk for down’s syndrome. However, she said the test returned a positive result for AFP (Alpha fetal protein) that is often an indicator of potential neural tube defects. My heart stopped. Though I can’t say I knew the details what this could mean I did realize that associating the word neural and defect was NOT a good thing to hear. As I have said all along, the doctor’s have been absolutely amazing and she made sure to fully inform me as best as she could over the phone. I was informed that if there are neural tube defects present that it could potentially mean the baby may suffer from issues such as spina bifida. Again, I don’t know enough about this condition but I know it does not sound good at all and it totally frightens me to think anything could be wrong with the baby. The ONLY reassurance I have now is that this NT ultrasound and the tests that accompany it are intended to help doctors spot issues such as this and there are often times false positives. In fact, the last thing the doctor reminded me of was that there was still so much hope because typically this positive result only leads to a one out of four chance of the baby actually having a defect. So she reassured me that leaves me with a 75% chance that the baby does not have these condition.

Instead of doing my ultrasound at the doctor’s office on October 20th I will be scheduled for an appointment in the next 1-2 weeks to have my 20 week ultrasound done at Winnie Palmer Hospital where they have the absolute best equipment to help them more clearly spot the possibility of issues such as this. The other big concern is, even if the ultrasound comes back showing that the baby does not have a neural tube defect, it has raised concerns why this AFP hormone is so high. There are concerns that perhaps there is a “leak” stemming from the baby releasing this hormone or that the placenta could possibly be producing too much of the hormone. So it’s tough to say the extent of the concerns but the doctor did say I would be considered high risk and be monitored very closely for the remainder of this pregnancy to ensure I and the baby are cared for in the event any additional risks arise.

Of course at this point I’m quite emotionally taken by this news. I was warned by the doctor not to go out “googling” the topic and that if I take time to seek out any information on my own to look at reliable web sites such as the Mayo Clinic’s web site. I say this now because I know for the many friends and family who care about me that you too may find yourself trying to learn more about the potential risks. I was  reassured that as I begin to learn more about the extent of the concerns that I am encouraged to seek my doctor’s advise and guidance through every single question and concern I have – which obviously helps me tremendously knowing they aren’t leaving me out here alone after giving me such shocking news.

And once again…I find myself reflecting on words that have helped me so much this past year:

Job 2:10: “Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?”

James 1:2-6: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt…”

So once again, I share far more news than some might ever care to share publicly…but knowing so many of you have known of our trials over the years. And at this point, I share this because again…I don’t know how much Jason or I can or will be willing to talk in detail about these concerns as we continue to try to understand what we have ahead. More than anything I share this news because I know now, more than ever before, our family could use every single prayer that could possibly be said in hopes that everything will be okay.

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September 27, 2010 - 7:56 pm

Betsy - Amanda,
I think a great mom does what is uncomfortable (sharing hard news) when there is even the slighest chance it will help her child. I am sure prayer is a hugh part of the Miracle I call my son & I will lift your own sweet baby up to God hopeful for great things.

September 27, 2010 - 10:23 pm

Jaime Scott - I’ll be praying for you and your baby.
“You made all the delicate inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb…
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.”
Psalm 139:13,15,16
All I know is the Lord loves you and your baby and He is with you both through this.

September 27, 2010 - 11:03 pm

Angelique Sm8th - Amanda, I have to believe that Winnie Palmer is the best in the business. I too was high risk with this last pregnancy. The bright side is – you will have more fetal checks, heartbeat opportunities, and ultrasounds than you could have ever dreamed of! You’ll get to this God’s precious gift growing from the inside out!!! This is a special blessing all its own. I remember walking away from my first meeting with the genetic counselor at Winnie Palmer just certain that my baby didn’t have a chance with their continued reassurance that chances were 75% certain that everything would be fine. One of the nurses waliked me through the power of visualization. Through careful prayer and visualizing that our baby girl was going to be born just perfect – the universe responded appropriately. I will believe that this presious gift of yours will have the same beautiful beginnings and make your family a perfect FIVE! If there is anything I can do – please don’t hesitate to call upon me! You are loved more than you know!!!

September 28, 2010 - 9:27 pm

Aida - I will pray to St.Jude for you and the baby. You know you can count on me…I’ll wait.

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