You have prayed. God has listened. We have been blessed.
On Tuesday we thought that our Baby Girl had almost no chance of living. It sounded like it was likely that she had a fatal chromosomal disorder and that even if she didn't, that her herniated diaphragm was severe enough that surgery wouldn't help. We spent two and half days in the depths of despair, mourning and grieving and trying to make sense of the incomprehensible. We have had more tests and talked to more specialists than we could have imagined. We have heard words and phrases that we wish we'd never had to hear. We have asked questions that are heartbreaking and had conversations that we would wish on no one. And through it all we have pleaded with God and begged for mercy. Our friends and family across the country have extended love and support and prayers when we couldn't find the words ourselves. There are countless strangers who have added us to their prayer lists and hurt and grieved with us, without even knowing us.
Today we received several pieces of good news. The results of our amniocentesis came back and confirmed that Baby Girl's chromosomes are normal. Robert and I were sitting together in the nursery when we got the news and both burst into tears - the first tears of joy we've cried in many many days of tears. The chromosomal syndromes that we were anticipating would have meant a clear death sentence for her, and this was the first window of light and hope that we had heard. We then met with a neonatologist to discuss the details of her diaphragmatic hernia. This is still a very severe and potentially life-threatening condition. However, he also had encouraging news for us. The MRI yesterday revealed two pieces of good news: the liver and spleen are not in her chest cavity (although all of the stomach and much of the bowel are) and her right lung showed "a surprisingly significant amount of lung tissue." The left lung has no significant lung tissue because of the herniation. However, given this information, we know that Baby Girl Hardy has a new chance at life.
Her delivery will not be picture-perfect. She will be intubated and ventilated immediately and stabilized at Forsyth Hospital's NICU before being transferred to Baptist Hospital for surgery. There are many complications that can arise, but we are prayerful for the best case scenario - surgery to repair the diaphragm followed by several weeks of hospitalized recovery. We are adjusting our expectations of our first few months of her life, but giddy with excitement about the fact that we can now imagine her life here with us.
There are more details, of course, but that's the big picture. We stand in awe of this answered prayer for miracles and will take one day at a time from here. We are experiencing relief and thankfulness while recognizing that we still stand in serious need of more prayer. We share this with you so that you may rejoice alongside us and be encouraged by your answered prayers, but also so that you will not stop praying. We have 20 more weeks until delivery and are begging that you pray for her every day between now and then. We will list more specifics here as the weeks go by and ask for specific prayers for many of the details. If you subscribe to an RSS feed, we ask that you add our blog to that, or if you would like for us to add you to an email list to remind you to pray (and give specifics to pray for) we would be glad to do that as well. If you have prayer lists at your church or among your communities we ask you to please add us to them. We recognize that the news we have heard today is not by accident or chance and that we must remain prostrate before our Lord for further miracles in her life.
Today we feel that, more than anything, we have been given a second chance. Baby Girl has been given an opportunity to experience life and we have been given a chance to stand as a testament to the powerful work of a loving and merciful God. Thank you again so deeply for your prayers and your love. They have sustained us and will continue to do so.