First off, I have to tell you that I simply cannot believe the outpouring of love and prayers we've received in less than 48 hours. (Say what you want to about Facebook, there's something amazing about that many people being able to convey their support so quickly!)
I could say "Thank you" from our family, but I don't really think that would cover it. I can say with 100% certainty that the prayers you lifted up were immediately sent back to us in peace from above. I'm not sure if I can adequately describe the feeling, but even in the dark hours, lying in bed when the monsters can creep in, there was an overwhelming sense of calm. It was almost like a blanket came and settled itself right over our house, enabling us to pass the time between test and results quite a lot easier than I'd thought possible. I can't thank you all enough for that.
They told us at our appointment Wednesday not to expect any answers until Friday afternoon, sometime after 3:00 pm. As a result, Mike had decided to go in for a half day at work, arriving back home around 2 to stare at the phone with me. He wasn't too happy about leaving this morning, but I assured him we would be fine and that I would call him if any developments arose.
Jeremiah and I passed our morning quite normally-- we ate some breakfast, played puzzles for an hour (that is our current obsession), and watched George. Just before 11, my phone rang and I didn't recognize the number. My heart started pounding, but I somewhat wrote it off as it was nowhere near 3:00. I answered it. It was sweet Stephanie from the perinatologist's office.
"Mrs. Knoll? We got your test results back this morning."
(I think I temporarily lost hearing and vision in the split second between that sentence and the next.)
"I wanted to let you know that the preliminary results are normal on 13, 18, and 21." **medical jargon translation: no life threatening defects and no Down's syndrome**
I started making some sort of noise that probably, to her, sounded like a cross between a rhinoceros and a vacuum cleaner (hey, my cold hasn't gone away yet). I vaguely heard her ask, "Are you okay? Because I am calling to tell you that you are okay!"
I squeaked out some sort of thanks to her, she told me that she'd see me in January and to go have a happy Christmas weekend with our good news. I think at that point I started snorting in an effort to regain my breath and figured it would just be better to hang up so I could cry and say, "Thank you God" over and over again.
God love my little three year old boy. He was sitting next to me on the sofa, enraptured in his Santa book, and finally got so annoyed with my antics that he said, "Take a deep breath, Mom."
*That's one of those moments that you need to record and replay at a later date. It can really all be boiled down to that one simple statement. "Take a deep breath, Mom."
I did just that, and managed to call my husband. He was elated, obviously. I told him to go ahead and stay the full day at work, but that we'd drop by around lunch to have a group hug. The rest of the day was spent finishing up Christmas prep and celebrating at the Cracker Barrel. Parker is apparently REAL FOND of the Cracker Barrel 'cause I ate every bleeding thing on my plate.
We've cleared Hurdle #1. They threw SO MUCH at us on Wednesday, including the "if it's genetic, you may want to consider termination" conversation (um, not happening). Then they told us to go home and come back in 2 weeks. I fully understand that they were being thorough, telling us what we might be up against, etc. etc. etc. Unfortunately, having so many "It could be this..." statements leads to so many "Then our life could be..." scenarios in the waiting.
I'm not going to blow sunshine and tell you we didn't veer off into some pretty dark places. Sitting at our table on Wednesday, clutching that sweet baby's ultrasound photo, Mike said, "This can't be the only picture we ever have of him."
I found myself at times having to remind myself that I was still pregnant, believe it or not. I was so consumed with worry about what could happen to my baby that I actually forgot that I currently have a baby in my belly. That's probably difficult to understand, but for a while Mike and I were unable to think about Parker as a person instead of Parker as one of 50 possible medical scenarios.
That was a hard realization. Parker doesn't need to feel anything but warm, safe, happy, and loved. He's not a medical specimen, he's our little boy. Knowing that he's an actual Parker instead of a Marianna makes it a lot easier, and we use his name as much as possible when we talk to him or about him. It's also so much easier after today. We're still in the woods, but we at least feel the woods taking shape around us. We still have 100,000 questions and 100 hurdles to clear.
Today, however, we are choosing to let all that wait until January. We have a gigantic reason to sing God's praises, we have a thousand blessings to count, and we have a weekend ahead to celebrate the birth of Jesus. As it says in A Midnight Clear, we're going to "rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing." You should come, too. :-)
Merry Christmas! Much love from the Knolls.