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.