Finally ready to tell his story... Believe in Miracles :)
Brooks wasn't exactly planned... actually we were in 100% prevention mode. So you can only imagine our shock when we learned of him. COMPLETE SHOCK. Well, we eventually resigned to the fact that God was in control, and it was His plan. We could do this right? I mean we handle two, whats another?
So, I finally make an appointment for the doctor and we get our first glimpse of our little bean, actually since I waited, he was far more than a bean, he was a formed baby. Having a little medical knowledge it didn't take me long to pick up that something was wrong. The ultrasound was taking longer than normal, we meet with the doctor and he starts talking in circles. I finally asked if there was a problem and he says 3 words you don't want to hear... THICK NUCHAL FOLD.
I knew immediately what this meant. Brendan was fortunate to have no idea.
Thick Nuchal Fold = Strong Downs Syndrome Marker
So before we decided to completely freak out we went to UAB for further testing. Luckily, we got in fairly quick and were assured that everything appeared normal and blood test came back good. WHEW
Fast forward a month, I went to another appointment, had additional blood taking for the genetics department ( "just in case") and went on with life.
A week later I was having the best day... Panera, the fabric store, and headed to school to eat lunch with Jack. When I got the call I will never forget, never, ever, forget...
It was the UAB geneticist. I cannot recall her exact words, but it was something like this... " I am so sorry, very sorry, the results of the blood test have shocked all of us and were not what we were expecting". Excuse me???? What are you trying to tell me??? "Your son is at risk for Downs".
No kidding. It was like I had walked straight onto the interstate and was hit by a Mack truck.
I pulled the car over, I couldn't hardly breathe. Then I called Brendan. That call was like pushing him in front of that very same Mack truck.
He came home, and we grieved. Grieved the loss of our "perfect son", grieved the loss of what was, grieved our "perfect" former life. We called back the geneticist to try and get clarity (there was none). It was by far our darkest day.
We agreed the next morning that we didn't have to except this. Nope. We were going to believe for a miracle. No more moments like the day before. We were moving forward.
We had to wait two weeks before an amino to confirm the results. I'd be lying if I said those were all "moving forward" days. I had moments, plenty of moments. The hardest part was putting on a good front. We decided to only tell a select few people who would commit to praying for us and believing with us. We decided not to tell family or anyone else. We didn't want to stir fear or sympathy or pity. Plus both of our siblings were expecting and we didn't want to take from them and their excitement.
A sweet friend got me into a prayer intercessor, which was the beginning of miracles. I went into the prayer meeting completely exhausted, I was spent, I had nothing left.
She told me something I had never thought of... Begging for something is exhausting. Thats what I was doing... begging for healing. It was time to stop begging and start thanking! Begging is over. Believing and thanking have begun. Then she prayed. After she prayed she said the Lord gave her a mental picture of our door with a cross over it. She believed that cross represented we had been passed-over. Brooks was healed. As I was walking out the door she told me one other thing... don't do the amino, just believe he is healed. I went home and we painted a red cross above our door, we would need that reminder often.
A huge weight was lifted off of me. I can't really explain it, but for the first time I REALLY believed in the miracle of Brooks. I called Brendan and he believed too! Actually he had already believed because he has more faith than most people I know combined! I started volunteering at the Bell Center so I could learn all about special needs kids and how to best care for them. I wanted to be prepared. I had a friend that let me "go there", she let me play out the "what if"... everyone needs a friend like that. We are so grateful to those select friends who prayed constantly for us and who encouraged us... everyone needs friends like that too.
A week later we went on to our appointment at UAB. I had to know for sure. Not all Downs is compatible with life and I couldn't let our older boys get excited about a baby that wasn't to be.
( Me of little faith).
We sat down with two geneticist and they proceed to tell us about enzymes, and blood issues, and charts, and why our boy looked to have downs, and they were so sorry. It was like being caught in a nightmare. They asked if I would be in a trial study to help save other parents from going through the same thing. I agreed and gave what felt like the rest of my blood supply. We were waiting for the amnio when out of no where a lady comes and gets us. She goes on to tell us she's not even suppose to be there she just stop by to help for a minute. She took us to do a very lengthy ultrasound, and before she started she told us to trust that he was ok and not do the amnio. The ultrasound was perfect and it was nothing short of sweet relief. The doctor came in to do the amnio and we declined. We felt like the Lord was clearly telling us not to.
From then till Feb 21 we continued life. We had good days and bad. Satan knew how to get us down and he used his ploys often. I continued at the Bell Center, the longer I was there the more I fell in love with those kids and the less I worried about my kid being like them. They are nothing short of a blessing. They are "perfect"!
The day Brooks was born we were both anxious, anxious to know who he was and if what we had been believing for had happened. I can't describe how amazing it was when they placed a beautiful, healthy, perfect baby in front of me. It was surreal. Ever since that moment I can't stop starring or thinking about our miracle. I've also had sad moments. Its weird, but I guess I have been grieving for those who didn't have the same outcome.
Why God chose us, chose Brooks, I won't know till heaven, but I am eternally grateful. He is so special to us. A gift I wasn't looking to receive but so glad I was given! I can't wait to discover the special purpose God has for him.
"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord,
Plans to prosper you...
and not harm you,
Plans to give you hope...
and a future".