Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The first ultrasound since... (2/21)

This morning began the way every day should (I must admit it’s not always the case) with quiet solitude with the Lord.  During this prayer/devotion time, I felt like I should/wanted to read my pregnancy devotional.  You see, I have this book for weekly devotions to go along with baby’s development.  I never read ahead and since I’m not 37 weeks till tomorrow, I technically shouldn’t be reading it until tomorrow. Anyways, I saw it, felt like I should go ahead and read it, so I did.  It was all about “anticipation/fingers” (each provides something that is growing along with an emotion).   Here is the prayer that goes along with 37 wks: “anticipation/fingers”

Father, thank you for my baby’s ten little fingers and ten tiny toes.  I can’t believe he can grasp already.  I know one thing: he already has me wrapped around one of his miniature fingers!
God, I can’t wait for my baby to touch me with his hands, to curl his fingers around one of mine.  What an unspeakable blessing!
Will you help him as he grows to always grasp tightly the important things in life?  I want him to know that life isn’t about money and possessions or success and awards.  I want him to hold tightly to God and family, to loving and serving others, to making a difference in his world that will last into eternity. 
I want him to look forward to each new day with excitement and anticipation.  I hope he wakes up wondering, “What does God have in store for me today?”
As long as my child holds tight to you, his can be a life of unparalleled adventure.

Reading the first part obviously brought a sad reminder that Thatcher may never be able to grasp onto my fingers.  We have been told if he lives he will not have much movement ability at all, including his ability to use his hands.  Of course, that is something I’ve dreamt about this whole pregnancy, finally getting to feel his tiny fingers wrap themselves around one of mine.  Eric and I have discussed this many times since last week, all these hopes and dreams we have had may have to change, and that’s okay, our child is still perfect, he is made in the image of Christ.  Regardless of what happens after delivery our love will not change!  Reading through the rest of the prayer helped me move away from my old dreams and go back to what is important.  That Thatcher holds tightly onto our Heavenly Father and values each day.  Waking up with anticipation to see how God is going to use that day.  These are the things I need to be focused on and praying for, not the possible prospect of what might not happen!  The following prayer time was sweet getting to pray these things for my child and for myself.  It seems to be how God is moving in our lives currently, we pray for our sweet baby and then God turns around and reveals the same things in our own lives.  Even more humbling about this/my prayer is that God is already using him to make a difference for the Kingdom!

The rest of the morning was quite chaotic. From a call from my school looking for missing information, to a switch in the Ultrasound appointment, to my doctor’s appointment on Friday getting canceled, pushed till next Friday, then finally rescheduled for this Thursday, it was quite the opposite of the peaceful morning we had hoped for.  At the same time, we already began to feel God at work in the midst of the chaos.  In the end, my doctor’s appointment was moved to an earlier date.  and although we found out our “worst case scenario” doctor was in charge of ultrasounds today I knew there was a reason he needed to be there.  Whether we needed his expertise or he needed to see God working in some way, I was confident, not weary that he was going to be the doctor we interacted with today (which is not the normal feeling, Eric has commented every time this particular doctor leaves after a consult that he feels defeated).    The ultrasound appointment started with us finding out we would not be taking measurements of Thatcher’s body, or of his head, which was both surprising and honestly a bummer to us.  This ultrasound was a regular biophysical profile (bpp), where they would check for amniotic fluid, heart rate, movements, and breathing movements.  In each in bpp Thatcher has 30 minutes to complete each category.  As soon as she turned on the ultrasound machine there was a picture of Thatcher’s stomach and arms.  His arms were curled in tight and his little hands were clenched.  This was a punch in the gut simply because it was exactly what the doctors predicted (I guess I just wasn’t expecting to see the results of his brain atrophy so quickly).  As soon as I caught my breath again I remembered that regardless of what we find on this ultrasound or regardless of what we don’t find, God is still God and no circumstance will change that, nor do I love my child any less, he is perfect just the was he is!  As the ultrasound continued his heart rate was 134, just as consistent and strong as it has been for the past couple of months, my amniotic fluid was 17.87, a good median number.  He passed both parts of movement!! He kicked/punched 3 times (he really moved a lot more, they just needed to document 3), and he stretched out, what they call a tone movement.  And finally, he passed his breathing movement!  Since there was time left, I asked if we could get a rough measurement of the ventricles to see if the swelling has gone up or down or stayed the same.  Genevieve, our wonderful sonographer (ultrasound tech) the same one who was at the hospital, agreed and got some quick measurements for us.  The right ventricle measured around 10.2 mm of fluid, and the left 11 mm of fluid, right around the same measurements as last week.  This just confirmed what they speculated last week, the fluid is due to atrophy in Thatcher’s brain and not due to some sort of blockage.  Genevieve then decided she wanted to get some good pictures of Thatcher’s face for us.  As she moved the Doppler down (up rather) to his face we were blown away by what we saw.   Thatcher had his left hand flat on his face with his thumb in his mouth!!! Mind you, this is the child we were told last week that any movement he has now is solely reflexive, and his arm movement will be very stiff and uncontrolled and will have no ability to move his hands.  This same child had his fingers relaxed flat against his face and he was sucking on his thumb!!!! (sucking, yet another thing he “won’t” be able to do)  Genevieve attempted to get a 3D picture of this, but as she changed it to 3D he grasped his tiny fingers into a fist and showed us what you would normally think of as a sucking hand!! Once again she kept on trying to get a good picture (he is smashed up against my placenta so every 3D picture looks distorted) and Thatcher moved his arm back down to his chest and pointed up with his pointer finger!! Yeah, nice “reflexive” movements….  It was incredibly humbling to see my sweet baby boy defying doctors!   Why was God allowing us to see this?  It’s not like we were being rewarded for praying so many times on the way down to the appointment, or because we used the name of God so many times yesterday.  God was/is working with Thatcher’s abilities but He didn’t need to show us what He is doing.  We are so undeserving of any affirmation that God is healing our son, but oh what an amazing gift to see those tiny fingers move, and see him suck!  Regardless of if his fingers are clenched in the next ultrasound or when he is born, God revealed He hears our prayers and is working in and through His child, Thatcher Caleb!!  I fully believe this little show was less for our benefit as it was for our “worst case scenario” doctor.  This is the doctor that told us Thatcher may not live to birth, or perhaps only a few moments, or months but with no quality of life.  Today, he came in and said “Baby actually looks pretty good today” and went through how Thatcher passed his bpp and he mentioned how Thatcher sucked his thumb.  Mind you, the brain damage is still there so all of our prognoses are still very possible.  BUT a) The doctor called Thatcher a “baby”, last week he was a “fetus” b) he acknowledged our child was moving with the tiniest hint of surprise in his voice c) he acknowledged Thatcher was sucking his thumb, something exactly a week before he declared would never happen. All I wanted to do in that moment was yell out  “God is in control and He is proving you wrong!” but I figured God was clearly showing this doctor something and really didn’t need my “in your face” words. 

When we got in the car, I looked down and saw the pregnancy devotional I read earlier and brought with me.  Once again God provided a little reminder that He is always with us.  This devotional about fingers that I read a day early, reminding me I may never see my child use his.  God allowed me to see my sweet baby boy use his fingers, grasping and relaxing them.  Why in the world did He choose to bless us in such a way today, or allow us to be apart of Him defying doctors, I will never know.  All I know is that the same thing I said yesterday, I will say today and will say tomorrow, “God is sovereign and He is in control of Thatcher’s story, no one else!” 

     Thank you Father for hearing our prayers and allowing us to see how You are moving.  We are so undeserving of Your grace and Your goodness.  Thank you for today and the many mercies you have poured down on us.  Thank you for pressing it upon people’s hearts to pray for your child, Thatcher.  Thank you for using him to remind a doctor today that You are the Great Physician.  I pray that we will remain thankful for each day and the mercies and challenges it brings.  Lord, we know more than ever that You are the ultimate Healer and we boldly come to you and ask for Your healing hand to be placed on sweet Thatcher’s head and you perform such a miracle so no doctor can deny You or Your sovereign power!
In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen!


  1. HE delights in the "watch this" moments of life. Thatcher was saying, "I was just chillin' Mom and Dad. Watch this."

    I love how well you are sharing your journey, both through pregnancy and through life. Your faith is evident.

  2. So grateful that you and Eric are experiencing all the wonderfulness God has for you. Thatcher ROCKS!!! He amazes me with his strength and his obvious tenacious spirit....what a perfect name Caleb. God must have inspired that name for him long ago. Rub your beautiful tummy and sing a song to baby Thatcher from Dee. Tell him I love him!

  3. You do not know me but I heard your story through my sister-in-law Angela Pitts and I want you to know that I am praying for you as is our entire women's bible study group!

  4. Praying for your precious baby! I LOVE the Scripture you used at the top of your blog...I recently wrote a blog post about it! :) Remember HE is able!

  5. Whitney and Eric, I have been sitting here tonight thinking of you guys and it came to me that the extraordinary people that God used mightily faced some fierce tests of faith right before God presented Himself. There were 3 that faced a burning fiery furnace for not bowing down to the idol. Their Fate was sealed and the furnace was heated 7 times more than it usually was. ( isn't it awesome that God's perfect number 7 was used.) Nebuchadnezzar asked them "who is that God that shall deliver you? I know that Shadrach,Meshach, and Abednego were men of great faith, but they were also human and i imagine that they had questions in their hearts as to the outcome. I imagine that they felt anxious and were afraid, but stood their ground and stayed strong in the face of great odds. Daniel 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. They were bound in full dress and cast into the furnace falling down bound into the midst of the furnace. Then comes the greatest verse when the king realizes verse 25: Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. A long story to tell you that it is not just you 3 (Eric, Whitney, & Thatcher) that face some great odds and a fiery furnace, but the FOURTH man is with you and that is good to know. I believe in MIRACLES!!! I'm excited to know how God is planning your story.

  6. My friend, Jodina Plumley, told me about your blog and sent it to me. I'm amazed. Father, please continue to knit Thatcher Caleb perfectly in his mother's womb. May Your name be glorified among the nations. In Jesus' name, Amen.

  7. Wow. What an amazing day. I am praying for baby Thatcher every day, and for your supernatural strength and wisdom. God is in control.