Friday, September 9, 2011

How the 20 Week Ultrasound Went

Look at that perfect little baby!

"God created man in his image;
 in the divine image he created him;
male and female he created them."
-Genesis 1:7

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you..."
-Jeremiah 1:5

Yesterday at the Perinatologist's office, we brought along Mary Hannah and Ballerina Rosie.
I told them that if they wanted to go, they'd have to get up early, my appointment was at 8am
They got up at 5am.
I'm serious, they wanted to go so badly and didn't want to miss seeing the baby.
After seeing the baby for a long time, the technician checked everything,
she asked that daddy bring the girls to the waiting room, so we could talk
with the Perinatologist.
Tom said he knew something was up at that point.
Of course, I didn't.
(I thought it was different, but didn't think much of it)
Then, the technician told me
she suspected cleft lip.
My first thought was 
"Our baby is going to be ugly."
I've come to realize after a day to think about it and process all my thoughts,
that I would never think one of my children ugly.
Tom's first thought was,
"This child is so blessed to be born into a big family who will love him/her unconditionally."
He's right.
My second thought was,
"I haven't prayed as much with this baby."
To which my husband said,
"I've prayed more, I added a decade to my rosary each day for the baby."
We listened to the doctor as my head filled up with questions.
He explained it is the most common of birth defects
 and that if he had to choose a birth defect for his child, 
this would be it.

We do not and will not know if it is a cleft palate until the baby is out, 
this is disappointing for me, the not knowing.
I guess it lets us know what to pray for.

With a cleft lip, the baby will need surgery around 12 weeks to repair the lip.
With a cleft palate, the baby would also need surgery around a year and possibly 
more surgeries to correct it.

I'm already there at the hospital, for the surgeries, crying about it, worrying about the baby, 
telling my husband I will not leave the baby's side, I will stay at the hospital the whole time.
I'm worrying about things I don't need to worry about yet.
I need to trust and only worry about today.

I will not be able to nurse this baby.
The baby will not be able to attach correctly.
I guess they make special nipples for bottles, 
so I will pump.
I don't even own a bottle.
I don't know how to do all that.
I love nursing my babies.
It is one of my favorite things about having babies.
I think I've been mourning this and been so sad about this.
The kids are excited and Tom is too, he's never fed one of our babies.
He tried with Jedi once, but he wouldn't take it, so out went the bottles.
I worry about bonding with the baby without nursing, with all these kiddos, 
Will I ever get to feed my baby?
I will, all the nighttime feedings.  
Oh, how I love feeding my babies in the middle of the night.
I am always so in love with each of my babies, 
I am already in love with this one.
I will have to get up and warm up a bottle, instead of immediately 
nursing the baby, but I can do it.

This, according to the Perinatologist, was not genetic (we do not have this on either side)
but just a random thing.
I asked him if my type 1 diabetes could have caused this, 
He said a very confident "NO"  
My diabetes is under very tight control
(A1C 5.9, which is as normal as a non diabetic, which puts the risks down to nothing)
He said that diabetes causes things like heart defects, much more serious things.

I felt happy to hear this.
I know it is nothing I did.
I know that God made this baby this way,
He made him/her perfect, 
from the beginning of time, God knew this baby and He chose us for his/her parents.
God knows we will love this baby no matter what.
He trusts we can do it.

The baby is healthy, this is only cosmetic.

The Perinatologist also found fluid around the babies kidneys.
Normal level is .4, our baby is at .6
The doctor said he is not concerned with it, but needed to mention it 
and needs to follow up in 3 weeks to check if it has increased, decreased or stayed the same.

We know what we need to pray for.
Fluid to be gone around his/her kidneys
No cleft palate.

I called my good friend Sarah, in Fargo yesterday and cried and cried to her.
She said to pray for a complete and total healing, a complete miracle.
I feel like if I do that, I'm not accepting what God has given us.
She said do it anyway, but let God know I accept whatever His answer is.
So, I'm praying for a miracle.

Although, I know the world would view my baby as not perfect, God knows he/she is, 
and that is all that truly matters.

I want to thank you, readers & blog friends, for the emails and calls, 
you are wonderful, thank you for your concern, and mostly thank you for your prayers.

Today is my birthday!!
I'm 42!

This will end our birthdays for the year!!
(this is exciting after 4 in 2 weeks)


  1. Prayer, and love are the two biggest gifts you can give your child and you are going to give the baby as much of both as is possible I am sure. Your child is a blessing and you are blessed. Try to stay in the moment and focus on the positive. All the best to you and your family!

  2. ((((((Jamie Jo)))))) First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope it is a glorious one for you. And, I agree with your husband. This baby is tremendously blessed to be born into this family. I am praying, too. Even if there is a cleft palate, there are no limitations on him/her and what thhey can accomplish. Some friends of ours had their first child and were devastated when he was born with a severe cleft palate. However, sugeries behind him, he is a really handsome 18 year old. This baby is blessed because you all will love him/her no matter what. Please keep me posted!

  3. Happy birthday, Jamie!!
    May the Lord, through His Blessed Mother, pour down abundant graces on you today.
    My mass and rosary are for you (baby too!) today, sis!
    Love and prayers,
    PS Noelle offered up her fever/headache for baby yesterday and last night :)

  4. Happy Birthday, Jamie! May God bless your special day!

    I'm so sorry I missed your call last night. These worries can wreck havoc on our emotions. I wish I was there to give you irl hug. The baby is indeed blessed to be born into your family. He/she will have no worries about acceptance or love. I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it. There might still be ways to experience nursing with this baby. Have you heard of using a tube attached to the breast filled with your own pumped milk? I had to do this with a few of my babies. Lactation specialists and speach/occupational therapists may be able to help you with this. We had to use a special bottle that you could squeeze with Little Man because of his prematurity. We also had to have a speach/occupational therapist come to the house weekly for 9 months to help him. I know there are all kinds of things you can try. Even if you have to bottle feed, I know you will be very close to this child. Maybe even more than you were to your other babies because of the circumstance.

    When you find yourself being overwhelmed by fear or anxiety, try to stop yourself and meditate on the life of Our Lady. Especially during her month of Sorrows. Then offer it up and let go. It is in God's hands and He only wants the best for us and our families. Trust in this.

    I will continue to pray for you and your littlest one.
    God love you.

  5. Jamie-
    Henry was suspected of having a cleft lip at his 20 week ultrasound. So, I understand what you are going through. My very first thought was about nursing also- I was so sad because I knew no other way of mothering.
    They set us up for a bigger ultrasound downtown three weeks later. So, I spent those weeks processing it and was all prepared mentally and emotionally and then the ultrasound revealed there was no cleft lip after all. (I have a deep groove between my nose and lip and that was apparently passed on to Henry and showing up on the pictures.)
    It sounds like they may be already more sure in your case, I'm not sure. But, I do know that this baby IS being born into the most amazing family and I love the things your husband said. All will be well with this sweet, blessed, little...
    Oh, just find out the gender. ;)

    Happy Birthday, dear Jamie. Thank you for sharing all of your beautiful children with us.

  6. Happy Birthday, Jamie Jo!!! Thank you for being the blessing that you are to all of us!

    I will be keeping your little one in my thoughts and prayers. I love all the things that those before me have posted, especially Jill and Kelly.

    My only advice for you is this...ENJOY this pregnancy as much as you did the others...which is so much easier said than done.

    With Luke, our 1-year old, I was told at 16 weeks that he had a high probability for down syndrome. I was given 1 out of 9 odds...while other women my age (40+) were given the 1:450 or 1:2500 odds... I was devastated. I prayed all the time. I felt like I was being punished for past sins...

    I know. All ridiculous.

    I too was worried about nursing. Many DS babies cannot.

    But many more can.

    It was a difficult decision, but after much prayer and pastoral counseling, we actually decided against amniocentesis offered by the perinatologist. We knew that we would never abort...even a Trisomy 18 (fatal) baby.

    We already have 5 sweet babies watching over us from heaven...I just couldn't risk adding one more.

    The agony of "not knowing" was horrible...and I was terrified on delivery day. Even though I was in contact with DS message boards and the national website, etc.

    Our baby was born without down syndrome...even though many markers were there...

    In then end, it wouldn't have mattered b/c even if Luke wasn't perfect...and had that extra magical chromosome, it would have been b/c it was God's plan.

    You are so blessed to be pregnant with this baby...and this baby is so blessed for being born into this large and loving family.

    Praying for your all,


  7. Jamie, so much to say...I want you to know that everything will be fine...God's plan is always perfect, even if it doesn't seem so from our end. I really like what you're husband had to say. Smart man. I want to send you a PM/email, just because even though my son has a different disability, I know what it's like to have something come up with one of your children that was unexpected. As for nursing, I have only nursed my last three children, and I actually have a condition with my breasts that makes me have to supplement them for the first five months. It's honestly a miracle I'm still nursing Sonja (and nursed the other two for over two years each). With the ones I didn't breastfeed, I carried in a sling. You will still bond with this baby, for sure. Breastfeeding is great, but it can't always be done. I had two very good friends have to bottle feed their last baby because of medical issues (one baby had a major heart defect, three actually, and was in the hospital for over two months, he actually died twice on the table..he's 15 months old now and we call him Rocky :-) The second was our friends 4th child, but she had an obstructed bowel that required surgery, then had a PIC line that went into her heart..long time in the hospital and she ended up having to bottle feed her. Point is, these babies are AMAZING kiddos and so are their parents, and these parents feel so BLESSED to be the mommy and daddy of these you so much.

  8. Good friends of mine went through this a few years ago with their beautiful daughter. If you get a chance, read her blog.

    Happy Birthday!

  9. Happy Belated Birthday! Also, I will be praying for your baby and you and your family--for a miracle and for an acceptance of God's will.

  10. I totally forgot to say Happy Birthday!!!!

  11. Oh Jamie, so many prayers. I have a birthday present for you. Can you email me at: amycaroline93 at gmail dot com? I am going to mail it next week!

  12. Jamie,

    I'm sorry for the worry that you are going through right now, I think you and your husband are handling it very well.

    My baby was also not born "perfect", he has autism and is imperfect to the world, and it was devastating to us, but he is perfect to God! You're right in saying that your baby is exactly how God wants him/her to be. (I keep thinking it's a boy!) But remember that if this is what it is, surgery can fix it. You're lucky to have a problem that can be fixed.

    I also wanted to mention breastfeeding. When I had my heart attack, I was not allowed to breast feed Anna because of the heart medications I had to be on. This was very hard, as I had already begun to nurse her before the heart attack. Then we had to force her to take the bottle which was very difficult for her. She was very hungry and got constipated a lot.

    When I got home, I had missed out on nearly 3 weeks of Anna's life, she was barely a newborn anymore. Everyone was telling me how to hold her and what she likes and doesn't like and now I couldn't even breastfeed her. (By this time she was used to the bottle anyway.)

    But I want you to be assured that whether you breastfeed or bottle feed that there is nothing stopping the bond between mother and child. The child was yours first in your womb and you are the first to hold him/her. Your voice is the first they hear and they know your heart beat. I learned to bond with Anna by holding her close and snuggling her against me as she drank her bottle. The bottle fed her, but my love gave her more. So please don't worry about bottle feeding.

    My son with autism was also unable to nurse for oral reasons. He couldn't latch on. But again, we bonded through the bottle. It doesn't really matter either way, as long as you are doing what is best for your baby and giving him/her all that they need.

  13. Happy Birthday to you my dear friend. I was so glad I caught you before Mass and gave you a big hug and touched your belly. We all love you and your family and your beautiful unborn baby.

    At Mass this morning, I was praying and praying because I didn't know what was wrong until I saw you and you told me. I was like "whew" inside because I thought it was something really serious. Not that this isn't but ALL will work out.

    I think people not so much on the our world does...but the soul on the inside. We will all get old and wrinkley and saggy and just old. Our bodies will not last forever but souls are eternal. This baby is eternal!!!! Our eternal home is heaven. Not sure how long we all have on this planet but we must pray for holy souls!

    Today is beautiful out...well sorta too hot for Sept. but glad you had a great day for your birthday! You OL'MAMA

    hee hee!!!!
    ps. love and hugs!

  14. Sending you prayers! Please don't feel sad. This is a huge blessing that God is sending you. It is a scary time! I know! I had a child born with a VSD and one kidney and I remember after our 20 week ultrasound how scary everything was because I didn't know what would happen. Have faith in God and in his plan. Don't blame yourself and most important thank God for putting that baby in your life. It will be so blessed to have such a wonderful loving family!! Prayers!

  15. This baby is already so blessed. He or she will be born into such a loving and caring family and has so many people praying and loving him or her already!!

    As moms we all want to hear that our baby is perfect, healthy and fine. We worry and wonder through all of the appointments and what ifs. Most often, until baby is born we cannot know for sure. Our worst fears may be realized or our greatest sighs of relief breathed.

    You are an amazing mom, Jamie, and I firmly believe that grace and prayer will get you through the coming weeks and months.

    I will join you and be praying for that miracle. We never know what wonderful plan God has in store!!

    Many {{hugs}} to you today, especially on your birthday! Be sure and let Tom and the kids pamper you in a special way because you are one special lady.

  16. Happy Birthday my sweet friend and know without a doubt that we are joining you in prayer for your precious baby. We don't know what God will eventually do in this situation but there is nothing wrong for wanting a complete miracle. Of course if we end up going to plan B I feel the advances in modern technology will be able to correct anything quickly. Try not to worry because every second you worry is a second wasted. Try to concentrate on how lovely and wonderful this gift from God will be when you hold him/her. God bless you and your sweet family.

  17. Just chiming in to send more love and happy birthday wishes! You know you're in my prayers.

  18. First, God bless you today and always, happy birthday!

    Your constant faith inspires, you are a blessed family.

    My kids heard me sighing over this email. They're attune to the sounds I make when I am sad. In reply I told them the gist of it and asked them to pray.

    We will pray, Jamie Jo.

    In simplicity, the older boys quickly reminded me that your baby is healthy. This CAN be fixed. (They lost a cousin in utero this year.)

    God knows what a good and loving momma you are, what a special role model your family is. He will use this for a greater good. Yes, healing, yes...His will be done...


  19. So many others have said it so nicely already that I will just say that I will pray for you, your sweet baby, and your family.

  20. Jamie- I went through something similar when expecting my fifth baby. At our ultrasound, we were told they had been unable to view our baby's spine accurately and that they would have to do a repeat u/s. My Dr. later informed us the fear was spina bifida. We had to wait a month for the 2nd u/s and I spent that month worrying and picturing my newborn being whisked away from me right after birth to undergo multiple surgeries and being hooked up to wires in a hospital as I went home without her.

    I prayed and prayed but also worried and worried. We called a wonderful priest from our parish and he and my entire family prayed over me and blessed me after Easter Sunday Mass. Thankfully, at the 2nd u/s they found out she was fine. I don't know if it was a miraculous healing or if she was okay all along but if you are able maybe you too can be blessed by a priest. If nothing else it will give you peace. I will pray for you and your baby but know God is already watching over you both and blessing you.
    Happy Birthday and hang in there, Kari

  21. Happy Birthday to you, Jamie!

    Everything will be OK. That is what my husband always tells me! And it will. Your sweet baby is truly blessed to have you as a mommy!

    I'm adding you and your family in my nightly prayer intentions.

  22. So much I want to say, but where to start?


    You are such an amazing woman, Jamie.

    I'm going to call you (or email) about all the remaining thoughts on my heart concerning you, the baby, your wonderful husband and family, etc. Too much for me to write right now, I don't have the time.

    You are surrounded by so many loving thoughts and prayers - you are truly blessed!

    Love, blessing and {{hugs}}~

  23. Happy Birthday, dear Jamie!!! You and your precious little one will be in my prayers! My sweet and adorable little niece was born with a cleft palate last year, and just had her operation. Like my niece, your little one has also been SO VERY BLESSED already to have such a wonderful and loving family! The power of prayer is amazing (I am reminded of that every time I think of how our little "Rose" didn't need heart surgery after all, even though there was only like a 5% chance that her heart would heal). We will be praying that, if it is God's will, your little one won't end up needing surgery either. {{{HUGS}}}

  24. Oh Jamie Jo. I an so sorry to read this. Will be praying right along side you for a miracle.

  25. I am so overwhelmed with your kindness and prayers, you are all wonderful!!

    I am feeling much better today, (I'm not crying or feeling sad) I know it is because of your prayers and the hope you've all given me, the hope of possibly nursing if it's only a cleft lip!! The hope of seeing the beautiful little girl Paula linked me to, wow, that gave me so much hope.

    I wish I could answer you each individually, I have soccer for 2 kiddos this morning and then out lunch with grandpa and grandpa for all of our b-days, then Tom and I are going on a movie,dinner date this afternoon....

    Please know, I feel so blessed to "know" you all and for all your prayers, I feel as if I am walking on a prayer today.

    My prayers are for all of you too.

  26. Jamie, I'm so glad you posted. Talked to Sarah yesterday, but this is the first I've had time to read your comments. You'll still have my prayers... asking for a miracle and accepting God's will.

    Happy Birthday!!

  27. Tears in my eyes from your post. So glad Paula sent you my way. And trying to send a glimmer of hope your way, making sure you keep in mind that every case is different, but I nursed Catherine (she did not have palate issues), took lots a patience, it was not an easy task but we did it! So I would not rule it out until you know if your baby has palate issues as well. Your baby will be absolutely beautiful! Praying for you all! I will be contacting you privately because I am more than willing to share my experience with you and help you in any way needed. Too much to leave in the comment section though! ;o) Happy Belated Birthday! Blessing to you all!!!!

  28. Prayers for you, dear Jamie. And birthday blessings.

  29. Jamie,
    This baby will be so blessed! I am praying for you and baby, that if it be God's will, baby will be completely healed before birth, and asking Sanjay's intercession. No matter what, this baby is LOVED, and that is the most important thing. May God bless you and keep you, may He shine His face upon you and give you grace and peace...HUGS!

  30. My dear sweet Jamie-we will be praying for you and that sweet babe. All will be well no matter what plan God has in store. I am unable to nurse for physical reasons, yet, I was able to bond with my babes. Praying for peace for you, and healing for your baby.

    Happy Birthday, dear friend!

  31. Happy Birthday Jamie! Thank you for my sweet message. I will be praying for your courage and spirit. For a peaceful mind through all the worries you may be feeling. Remember God has chosen you to love this precious child! He chose YOU!

  32. Happy belated birthday, Jamie! I am so sorry to hear about all the worry and anxiety you're experiencing right now. I will keep you in my prayers!

    I also wanted to share a link with you that you may find encouraging. I don't know if you read her blog but Beth is a faithful Catholic mother of three beautiful children, the youngest of whom was born with an unexpected cleft palate. She recently posted a very moving talk that she gave for World Breastfeeding Week and I thought you might find some comfort in her words:

  33. Happy Birthday and big hugs! I am so sorry about your news. You and I and we all know that this baby is made special by God and will be loved and cared for regardless. It will be a trial, certainly, and we will be praying for you and tuning in to see how and why God is orchestrating this for you and your family.

  34. Jamie,
    I have been out of the loop regarding reading blogs so I'm just now seeing this. You have my prayers and lots of cyber hugs!

  35. I had a very scary ultrasound with my number 6 too. If this baby DOES have a CL or CP, I have a VERY close friend whose fourth little one had both and she would love to talk about the feeding challenges/surgeries and such. Just email me laura7550atyahooyouknow the rest and I'll pass along her info to you. :) I haven't been on any blogs in a while. Life is so so so busy these days but I was called tonight to check yours out. Gosh, your kids are growing like weeds! Miss you!

  36. You are so strong! You are so brave! This is not the news that any woman wants to hear about her precious child. It must be even harder to have to wait (and wait and wait and wait) to find out whether Baby will need surgery only for its lip or whether it will need more extensive surgeries. My heart is with you.

    My heart is also with you as you look toward the possibility of not being able to nurse, even if Baby does get breastmilk by bottle. I also love to snuggle, cuddle, and let my babies nurse themselves to sleep in my arms. I think that it would take a lot of grace for me to be able to surrender that luxury.

    I'll pray for you! I'll pray for confidence, grace, strength, whatever you need to get through the rest of this pregnancy and bring yet another beautiful baby into the world. I'm very relieved to know that Baby's defect is only cosmetic and that s/he will be healthy overall. (I already know you are too, but that doesn't make dealing with cleft lip and possibly cleft palate any easier.)

    Prayers and hugs from another C-Mama. ;)

  37. Jamie~ This is the very first time I have ever been to your blog. Today. Of course, it's no accident. I had a nine-week ultrasound today (this is our ninth baby). They are not sure if the Baby has died, or if the dates are off and it's just too early to see the heartbeat. I had some bloodwork and will find out for sure tomorrow. (By the way, I am also 42!)

    Oh how I pray that the "worst" thing wrong with this baby was a cleft lip. At least you'll have a Baby to hold. I may not. Though I am in prayer and absolutely believe God's will is perfect. So please don't despair about some cosmetic flaw that surgery can fix. Please stay focused on being thankful that God has given you this baby.

    I will pray for your miracle; the complete healing, but also that you accept whatever God blesses you with. That is my prayer for me, too. :-)

    I'll check back on your blog so I can keep up to date. God Bless You and yours.

    White Oak, PA

  38. Oh, Jennifer, I pray your baby is alive and the ultrasound was wrong. I'll be praying for you. I miscarried at 9 weeks once and it is so hard, AND YES, I know what I'm faced with is so much better than losing the baby.

    I hope you check back....please know I'll be praying for you.

  39. Happy belated, Jamie! You are in my prayers. I have been following your blog for some time and I am always amazed at how real your blog is. Your love of our Lord is so apparent. I too, will pray for a miracle.

    Do you mind if I give your name and describe your situation to our rosary making group leader? She sends out prayer requests to everyone in the group and to every place she has ever sent rosaries (that's like a lot and lots more prayers). This group has prayed for so many personal intentions and miracles have truly happened.

    Your baby is so blessed to have you as a mom. Love and prayers.

  40. Yes!! Tina Marie, please add me to your rosary list!!

    Thank you so very much for your prayers!!!

  41. so has it really been over 6 months that i haven't read your blog? today i came over here to check because i knew you were expecting a baby and i am so behind on everything...i was trying to play quick "catch up" here i am way back in november and i am bawling my eyes out, not because of that dear baby, he is a sweet little saint...but because of YOUR faithfulness and devotion to Our Lord and HIS will in your life. what a beautiful testament of faith you are, jaimie...motherhood is never easy, even when our children are born seemingly normal (outward appearances do matter so much in this world) but that is not what Our Lord sees (we have talked about this before you and i...the other side of the tapestry) and i am just in awe of you...i am so unfaithful, overly anxious and worriesome over things that usually do not come to pass and do not even matter for the long haul...but enough of that i just mostly wanted to say hi and wish you baby blessings. you have my prayers for this new chapter of your journey...all of life is a journey, isn't it? and i hope that you continue to be on the receiving end of God's choicest blessings...dear, sweet, jamie. xo.


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