Thursday, March 13, 2008

Madeline Kate Asbury

I just emailed this exact same thing to friends and family, so if your looking for new information, don't bother reading it all again! :)

Hello to one and all, and thank you so much for all your prayers over the last 36 hours. We have certainly felt them. Some of you may have already heard this information from us or others, but to be honest, I don't remember what I told to anyone, so I'm including family, etc, in this as well.

Well, the news isn't good, but strangely enough I feel like I'm one cloud nine, because things are much better than they could be. We're not especially private people, so for cathartic reasons, if nothing else, I'll share a few details. And for another reason, it's easier to tell it once rather than 100 times.

We went to St. Vincent's Women's Health Prenatal Diagnosis Center today--we're so thankful we got in 24 hours after our first abnormal ultrasound. The diagnosis is myelomeningocele, a form of spina bifida. As this form goes, it's fairly serious. I'll have a C-Section at 37 weeks, and the baby will be in NICU, probably for several weeks. There will be a shunt put in the brain and the spine enclosed in surgery a day or two after birth. Most likely Madeline (Maddy) will be wheelchair-bound for life because of how high up the myelomeningocele is, but there will be extensive therapy to make sure that she has every opportunity.

Thankfully the chances of this being a chromosomal defect (fatal in this form) is very slim, especially in light of all the normal features and heart, etc, they are seeing in the ultrasound. I guess that is where our relief is. When the doctor started telling us the possibilities with T-13 or T-18 chromosomal defect, we were barely hanging on to hope that we would have a surviving baby. When you go from that to just stomach-down paralysis, you can imagine why we felt like a huge weight lifted from our shoulders.

We have the best team of doctors we could have ever dreamed of having. The geneticist who talked to us put us very at ease with the future, especially about the team of neurosurgeons who will do the surgeries. According to her (and I realize there could be some bias involved here), this team is one of the best in the country. When a doctor in the area calls Baltimore or DC for a referral, etc, they ask why they would call there when they have such a great team in Indy. That is a comfort. I feel like we've been blessed in so many ways already through this process. I know that is solely due to your prayers. We've gotten dozens of emails and phone calls. Jed and Alyssa came and fixed supper last night and just listened, laughed and cried with us. Mom and Dad travelled through the night to be with us. Many of our long-distance friends have their prayer chains praying for us. Stan and Konny (our Sunday School teacher) were fasting, and asked our SS class to as well. We received a phone call from someone we don't even know in Alaska letting us know that they were praying hard for us. We feel so loved, and totally surrounded by prayer. God is so good.

Oh, and the icing on the cake, as far as the "God is so good" bit: We seriously ruled out any chance of our Alaskan trip actually happening, and really, that's so secondary right now. But since we have the tickets bought and paid for, we wanted to verify with the dr. before we cancelled. He had not even the slightest hesitation in telling us we should go. And believe it or not, the other doctor in the office just moved from Anchorage, and he had the names of highly trained specialists to keep just in case. He even advised taking a car trip up to Palmer, which of course, is where my brother-in-law and family live!!!

Have any of you ever read Jan Karon's books? Father Tim, when asked about how this or that could have turned out so well, etc, simply says, "Grace." That's where I feel I am right now. Oh so grateful.

Pam Asbury


The Gurnee's said...

Pam & Glen, as I lay in bed tonight thinking of you all and hurting for you, the thought came to my mind.... have you thought that maybe God knew the He could trust you with this because you are in the place spiritually to see this as a way to show God's grace and love to a sector of people who may not know of God's mercy and love. Maybe, like Job, God wanted to show some people that no matter what happens, you DO and WILL continue to love Him. Maybe God knew that your love for Him was so deep and so rooted that He could allow this to happen because it would not cause you to lose sight of Him.

Nothing either of you did caused this to happen. God does not work like that. God is our Heavenly Father, and while He obviously ALLOWS bad things to happen to good people, I do not believe for one second that He CAUSES bad things to happen to good people for ANY reason. I believe He allows these things as a means of showing the world His grace and goodness through vessels He has deemed worth of being used in such special ways.

Keep the faith. A vessel of honor and willing to be used in whatever way He sees fit. Praying for you both as you start this new chapter in your lives. He has promised to never give us more than we can bear and I know that includes you!!

Julie Gurnee

Lori said...

I'll have to admit reading this post yesterday and having to wait to comment because I am clearly at a loss for words. That doesn't happen very often, just ask Tim! Just know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers as you and Glen start on this difficult journey. I know you already love the baby very much and would do anything for her, as we all would for our children.

Beth Stetler said...

Pam and Glen - I am praying for you and your family. I loved your Karon quote about grace.

danaeyoung said...

Dear Pam,
We are praying for you and the baby. Oh,I'm so sorry about this.
I just found out today (friday) and have been thinking about it alot today.
We are and will be praying for you all.
You all seem to be taking it well from what I've read on your blogs. Bless your hearts!
Remember that chorus that says, "His strength is perfect when our strength is gone, He'll carry us when we can't carry on, raised in His power the weak become strong, His strength is perfect, his strength is perfect."
May God's strength and grace continue to carry you both through this hard time.
I will request prayer in our church this Sunday for you all as well.
Love & Prayers,
Danae & Hansel

sankey family said...

Dear Pam,
I just heard about your situation wtih your precious baby girl today and went to your blog to read about it. Please know that our hearts and prayers are with you all during this time. We will be checking your blog often to see updates about Baby Madeline and your family.
Marc and Melodie Sankey and boys

Morris said...

Pam and Glen,

Sorry to hear about Maddy (I like the name). Praying for you all. Always remember Psalms 121:1-2 "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth." His help will never fail.

Love and Prayers,

Grandpa and Grandma Morris

Leah said...

Are Verne and Olive your husband's parents? We know them quite well and appreciate the work they do for our conference missions program. I wasn't sure that I had met you. Your story touches my heart. May God's presence be with you every step of the way!

CALISTA said...

Hi Pam. I can't tell you how sorry I am that you guys are going through this! I'm glad you shared it with us all though, so we can help you carry your burden. We will be praying for you and your little girl. God hears us, and he is mercifull! There will be times when you'll feel like that one song describes: "Does Jesus care?... Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief. Though the days are weary, the long night dreary, I know my Saviour cares!"

The Gurnee's said...

Pam, could you email me? Thanks!


Rachel said...

Pam & Glen,
I just was catching up on my blogs and read your post. I'm so very sorry about your diagnosis with Maddy, I wish that I could see you so that I could give you'll a big hug. We will be praying for you and if you ever need to talk give me a call. Love ya.

Missy said...

Pam, I am so sorry to hear of the hurtful news about Maddie. Please know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers during this tough time. Grace is definitely what will pull you through. I will pray for your family and especially Maddie. (love her name!) Love...

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