Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Prayers for Parker

Dear friends,

We found out today that we are expecting our second baby boy. Parker Edward Knoll is on his way! We are terribly excited (I like matching sets of things, and two little boys is about as good as it can get), but I'm writing today to ask for your prayers.

Our ultrasound today (17 weeks 4 days) showed that he is DEFINITELY a boy, growing right along. He was moving and gyrating all over the place, much to the chagrin of the ultrasound technician. She spent an inordinate amount of time examining his heart, then went to get the perinatologist to do a final scan.

My mommy radar was going off immediately, but we spent those few moments alone celebrating the knowledge that he was a little Parker and imagining our lives with two little monsters.

The perinatologist came in, wearing the most ridiculous Christmas tie you've ever seen in your life. He looked rather serious, and said, "There is a finding on your scan."

Hyperventilation. Tears. Panic. Use Christmas tie as a focal point.

Doc goes on to explain that Parker has a hole in the left side of his diaphragm. This is technically called a diaphragmatic hernia. The short of it is that as of now, the hole is allowing his stomach to grow up into his chest cavity. From what we saw today, heart and lung development are unaffected. Off we go during the first week of January to visit the pediatric cardiologist to get a better idea of what's going on.

At this point of my appointment, I have gone to the dark place. I am focused on that God-awful Christmas tie and trying to stuff Kleenex in my ears to catch the tears. Mike has a grip on my hand and shoulder, but I can't look over there.

Bless him, Doc is patting my leg. He takes another deep breath and says, "If it was just that issue, we'd be fine. Surgery can fix that and he can lead a normal life. However..."

Whatever dark place I was in just got darker, and I can't see straight enough to focus on the four calling birds on the tie.

Apparently, little Parker ALSO has two spots on his brain (cysts of some kind) that are a soft marker, especially when combined with the hernia, for chromosomal defects. Each issue, in isolation, is fairly common. In conjunction, red flags start waving. He recommends an immediate amniocentesis to do genetic testing to rule out genetic problems such as Downs, the trisomys, and apparently EIGHTY other syndromes that can pop up. Doc's launched into a speech about how he is almost positive we are not dealing with any genetic disorders as my 12 week scan and screening were perfect, the brain cysts are small and seem to be almost resolved, etc. etc. etc. but he wants to be sure.

"Fine, do it, do whatever you need to do." Sign life away on consent forms.

If I never have another amniocentesis in my life, it will be too soon. I would, to be perfectly honest, be punched in the face repeatedly. I knew enough about them going into it not to look at the needle or the syringe he would be using.

This is Doc's play-by-play: "You'll feel a little stick... now a big old cramp... OUCH!OUCH!OUCH! And now we're done! No more ouch!" Whatever, Christmas tie. I try not to glower at him.

He and the nurses could not have been any sweeter to us. It was NOT the appointment we were expecting, and we were two blubbering idiots for the two hours we were trapped in that room. Bless them. They spend so much of their day making people happy, and I know they HATE this part of their job. It was plainly written on each and every one of their faces.

They finally let us go. It was a quiet ride home. We stopped off at our house and had a mutual breakdown at the kitchen table. Never in my life have I been so happy to have the husband that I do. He is my rock most of the time, but today we did a great job of propping each other up, quite literally, and cleaning up each other's snot rockets.

We went to pick up Jeremiah, tried to have a restful afternoon, and then went shopping for the evening. We are in a sort of lull for the moment. But strangely, we are fine. We really are. A sort of peace has fallen on us. Time to Let Go and Let God, Keep Calm and Carry On, and any other motivational posters I can think of.

What's next:
1) full results of the amnio will take weeks, but we will know the big important things around 3 pm Friday afternoon. Waiting for 48 hours is somewhat akin to torture, but if ever there was a "Be still and know that I am God" moment, this would be it.
2) journey to pediatric cardiologist, my regular OB, and back to perinatologist in early January. There's not a darn thing we can do about anything until Parker is born, except go get ultrasounds to keep an eye on him. Any time I can see that little booger dancing across a screen, I will happily go.

What I am certain of:
1) God is in control of this. I am not. I did not cause this to happen to Parker, and I cannot help Parker by doing anything other than taking care of myself. God has a plan for this little baby boy and as hard as it is for me to not know where that path is going to go, we're going there full steam ahead.
2) There are a thousand people who love our family and will do anything they can to help us. What is that, you ask? Right now we just would love some prayers.
3) There is no greater miracle than a healthy baby. Jeremiah was such a textbook pregnancy that this feeling is completely foreign and scary. When you think about how many tiny little parts have to join together to make a baby, it is really nothing short of miraculous that there are so many of us running around.
4) I would probably take a bullet for Dr. Sermons, my OB. He called me at 8:30 this evening (sadly we were shopping and I didn't hear my phone). He does not abide by office hours. He never has. He left me a short, but so very sweet voicemail. "I talked to the doctor. He's not worried. I'm not worried. We're going to do this, and we're all going to be fine." I completely fell apart sobbing in the Barnes and Noble, for no other reason than I know that man loves me and my family and will do anything he can to take care of me.
5) This is our little boy. His name is Parker. He is very much alive, very much part of our family, and very much loved. Nothing, NOTHING, is going to change any of that.

Prayer requests:
-patience for Mike and I as we wait for Friday afternoon
-strength to stay positive and focused on our thousands of blessings this Christmas

I'll update as soon as we get our amnio results Friday. Thank you so much for loving us.


  1. No comments yet? I found myself moved by your narrative. Congratulations, stay strong, let me know if there's anything I can do to help you, Mike, or Jeremiah. I hope to see you again soon! Merry Christmas!

  2. Our family will be lifting you up in prayers! XOXO, The Gore's

  3. Let's pray right now.
    Father, God, I thank you for the person who is Abigail Knolls. I thank you for her love and passion that she has for her family. You have walked beside her through so many life events already. I know that you will carry her through this time. Watch over her and little Parker at this time. She has already declared her faith in you and your wisdom, love, and care. I join with her and Mike and believing that you have everything under control. Your word reminds us that you knit us together when we were in our mother's womb. I thank you that you are there right now knitting little Parker together. At this season, I think about how you anticipated the birth of your son. You know how parents feel, so reach out to Abby and Mike. Thank you for the peace that you have already given to Abby. Only you can determine the outcome of the test. Only you can make everything perfect. Father, please take care of little Parker as he is in your "waiting room". Thank you. Amen

  4. So many prayers!!! Parker will be great!!! Congratulations on another sweet boy!!! So awesome!!!

  5. My sweet Abigail, you are STRONG, you are COURAGEOUS, you are BEAUTIFUL, and you are the very very best darn mama in all the whole wide world. Love you very very much. Lifting you up in constant prayer...

  6. Sending lots of love and prayers to the Knolls Family especially baby Parker. You all have been added to the prayer list at my church and my church has great prayer warriors. Jonesy you are one of the strongest and most courageous woman I know....between God, Jesus, LuLu, and your strength sweet Baby Parker will be well and healthy and here before you know it. I will pray everyday for your family. Love you lots, Kimberley

  7. Lots of love and prayers coming y'all way! Excited to know that you will have two sweet boys soon! Must be the year of two boys : ) not matter what the doctors say he will be just perfect!