the following notes were written by a woman in my church that we have been praying for, be sure to read all the way to the bottom ...
Our sweet baby
by Esther Buzzell on Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 4:35pm
Well everyone, unfortunately I have some sad news to share with you all. Korey and I went in for a routine ultrasound last week, hoping to find out the gender of the baby. We haven't been able to find out the gender yet, but they did find some other concerning things that led us to several more ultrasounds with a perinatal specialist. There we found out that our baby has bilateral renal agenesis, which simply means that he (or she) has no kidneys. Since the kidneys are necessary to produce urine and the baby is not doing that, there is almost no amniotic fluid surrounding the baby, and this means that the lungs haven't and won't have a chance to develop properly. In addition, his heart is over enlarged and is not pumping blood properly, a condition which is often related to renal agenesis.
This is a fairly rare condition, and our doctor has told us that there is approximately a 50% chance of the baby surviving in utero until full term, and no chance at all that he will survive more than a day or so after being born. I know that this is very sad news to share, and of course we are in the process of mourning the child that I'm carrying, knowing that our time with him is so short. The reason that we're making this public knowledge is that we are requesting the prayers and support of our friends throughout the coming months. We've made the decision to continue to carry the baby while he is alive until at least 35-36 weeks (8 months), not feeling any peace about inducing labor and by doing so ending his life ourselves now. We absolutely trust God with the life of our third child, knowing that his life belongs to God to begin with and not ourselves as his earthly guardians. No matter what the length of this baby's life, we love him with all of our hearts, and we ask for prayers for continued strength and peace through the coming days, weeks, and months. We know that it will be difficult, especially as the pregnancy progresses (I am almost 21 weeks now), and we know that God weeps with us as we feel this loss in advance, but we also know that our child will be welcomed into heaven in joy and with open arms, and we look forward to the day when we are reunited as a complete family.
Thank you so much to everyone who has been praying for us this last week - I know that the absolute peace we have in this comes from God alone. As I posted earlier last week, "Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore (Psalm 113:2)."
Update on our Baby
by Esther Buzzell on Friday, August 12, 2011 at 7:44pm
If you remember, back in May I wrote about how the baby that I'm carrying, then 20 weeks old, was diagnosed with bilateral renal agenesis, meaning that no kidneys had developed and as a result the baby's urinary tract could not make any urine, a condition that affects about 1 in 15,000 babies. The result of that condition is that there was no amniotic fluid with the baby. Also, the baby's heart was over large and the left ventricle of the heart was enlarged and not functioning properly. The neonatal specialist sadly told us that there was about a 50% chance of the baby making it to full term alive, and a 0% chance of the baby surviving more than a few hours once born. We made the decision to carry the baby to full term if we could, and hopefully get to spend a few precious minutes or hours with our little one when the time came.
I've since gone back to that neonatal specialist to confirm the diagnosis and also had 3 other ultrasounds done over the last 3 months to try to determine things like the gender and if we should prepare ourselves and our children for any physical, especially facial, deformities, and things like that. At each of those times there has still never been any amniotic fluid present or any sign of kidneys or arteries going down to where the kidneys should be, and we were never able to determine the gender because ultrasound technology largely depends on fluid to travel through to get good pictures.
I know that a lot of people have been praying for us through the last 3 months since we found out, and we've appreciated and depended on those prayers through this time. We knew that whether God chose to heal the baby and let us raise him, or chose to take him in His arms so soon, that it didn't change who He is or His goodness, or prove or disprove His love for us or for the baby. We gladly and gratefully put our trust in our Savior, and learned to lean on his comfort as He grieved with us.
This last Monday, August 8th, I went in for another ultrasound that I had requested and my doctor had agreed to, she knowing that I would have precious little time to look at the baby and happy to be of assistance. To our great surprise, not only did we determine for sure that it's a boy - we learned that there is a normal amount of amniotic fluid around the baby at this time, and fully functioning kidneys, which my ObGyn couldn't explain. She since has done lots of research on the subject and conferred with many specialists in this field, including the director of the neonatal unit at Strong Hospital, which is the main hospital in our area. None of the people she has spoken with have ever heard of a situation where this has happened, and have declared it medically impossible. However, they have also confirmed that there was no error in the diagnosis, which has been confirmed over and over since then, and according to many of the physicians looking at our case, the only explanation that can be reached is that God has chosen to reach down and miraculously touch our child. At this time where there were no kidneys, there are now kidneys. Where there was no fluid around the baby, or in the baby's stomach or bladder, there is now fluid. Where there were no arteries developed down to the kidneys, there are now arteries and blood flow. The baby's lungs, which are behind on development from not being able to breathe the fluid in and out, are now doing just that and will have a chance to get stronger before he's born. In addition, we just found out this morning that the heart that was over enlarged and had the left ventricle that was not functioning properly is now in absolute perfect working condition and all chambers are completely symmetrical.
This week my doctor's prognosis has gone from there being absolutely no chance of survival to every chance of survival. We have gone from planning out our baby's memorial service and burial to thinking about getting a room ready for him. We have gone from grieving our loss in advance, and feelings pangs of sadness every time we feel a kick, to raptures of gladness and flashes of joy at every movement! How great and powerful and loving and wonderful is our God!! I know that there is hurt in the world and sickness and sadness, and I know that this is so because He has allowed us the free will to make our own choices. Sometimes the choices that we or other people have made, including the original choice Adam made to leave the perfect garden of Eden for a world of pain and hardship, lead to hurt and sickness and sadness in our lives. But praise Jesus for being there for us in that hurt, and hurting alongside us, and allowing us to lean on Him through it. We are so grateful and so in awe of this miracle that He has chosen to give us out of His love, but the truth is that He didn't need to perform this miracle to make his love and presence known in our lives, and that our personal relationship with Him is worth more than even the life of our baby. But how grateful and humbled we feel for this unexpected gift, and how loudly we want to proclaim His love and power and mercy from the rooftops! I've heard others speak of the miraculous happening before, but I've never experienced such an obvious example of it in my life as I have this week.
I am so full of joy and thankfulness today that my heart could burst, and I'm so grateful to all of the friends and family who have been praying for us these last 3 months. God certainly does answer prayer!! We have decided to name our baby Jaden Michael - the name Jaden means "Jehovah (God) has heard," and the name Michael has a double meaning, "Who is like God?" and "Gift of God." We are looking forward to holding our precious Jaden in our arms in just 7-8 weeks. Please join us in rejoicing in this wonderful news, and in praising God for blessing us in this way.
(Nan here) Jaden Michael was born today, and the doctor's words were "This is not a Potter's baby" He is 3 weeks early, 6 pounds exactly and breathing on his own :) God is still working miracles today; only He knows the plans He has for this little one and all of our lives that have been touched by him.