34 weeks pregnant… and I’m VERY S-L-O-W going now. Lately, I’ve been battling fatigue. I’m just really tired all the time and find it hard to get up in the mornings because I’m just plain, tired! There are definitely more aches and pains as well happening earlier with this pregnancy compared to my others. I’ve read that toward the end of a pregnancy, the body starts secreting a hormone called Relaxin which prepares the body for childbirth by relaxing ligaments, among other things. One of the downsides of this Relaxin is that it relaxes ALL ligaments, not just the ones for childbirth. So I have always had issues with my left knee giving out/buckling toward the end of my pregnancies as Relaxin does it’s job. (I tore my left ACL back in a high school cheerleading competition). This hormone is also causing my left hip to have sharp pains (likely tied to my unstable left knee). So experiencing those symptoms on top of the belly pressure hasn’t been much fun, but I’m trying to “take pleasure in weaknesses” as 2 Corinthians 12:10 says, because when I am weak, my God is STRONG!
As we close out Valentine’s Day yesterday, a holiday of hearts, I have been focused on one particular heart over the past couple of days. I had Zion’s 2nd fetal echocardiogram this past Tuesday and wanted to share another praise report! But first, just as a reminder, Zion has 3 separate heart defects:
- Dextrocardia – his heart is pointing toward his right side (as opposed to his left side)
- A large VSD (ventricular septal defect) – AKA, a big hole in his heart – specifically in the wall (septum) between the two ventricles in the bottom of the heart
- Irregular heart valves – the aortic valve being of most concern. (All of the oxygenated blood going from the heart to the entire body goes through the aortic valve)
This ultrasound finished sooner than the last one did, thankfully. I was praying beforehand and during that God will direct this woman’s hand to capture the photos needed while also giving Zion peace and calmness so that he could be still enough for good photos to be captured. Those prayers were answered.
The doctor later came in and informed me that Zion’s VSD is still there and is still large. But he’s not concerned about that at this point. He said if Zion survives, that they would be happy to potentially repair that hole when he’s about 4-6 months old. This is good news to me!
He said the valves are still “funny looking”, but the good news is that the aortic valve did not show stenosis (which is basically hardening of the valve). Valves need to be flexible and able to freely move, so when a valve shows stenosis or hardening, that can cause serious problems. So even though I can’t tell you I’ve seen a miraculous and complete healing in his heart….yet. The fact that Zion’s heart is not worsening is what I’m choosing to focus on and is most definitely something to be delighted about! God is truly girding and protecting Zion’s little heart. Glory to the Lord!
“For the Lord will comfort Zion”Isaiah 51:3
It’s also been a blessing to watch my husband’s love and desire for our son to survive grow deeper and stronger with each passing day. The fervency in his prayers over Zion has been increasing. My husband needs to get a new car soon. And it blessed me so much yesterday to hear my husband tell God how it would bring him no greater joy than to have his next vehicle have to be larger to accommodate a third (Zion’s) car seat. 🙂
So in the meantime, we wait and keep praying and hoping in God. The prayers of so many are keeping us going, day by day. We continue to finalize and talk through our birth plan – while also leaving room for God to move within that “plan” of ours. We are witnessing our gratitude grow as my husband I regularly declare how much we love our two children and can’t imagine our lives without them. And I have been finding comfort in trying to encourage some of the mamas going through a hard time or being encouraged myself by what other mamas have shared in the Rare Trisomy Facebook group I’ve been a part of. The following scripture still rings true:
“You will keep him in perfect peace,Isaiah 26:3
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.”