My girl is strong and beautiful. She’s loved beyond belief and perfect from her head to her toes. My girl is going to move mountains one day. You know how I know? Because the Lord reminds us in His word that He will never give us more than we can handle. He assures me that in the times we are tested, He will give us the strength to endure it.
Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out. 1 Corinthians 1:13
At our 20 week appointment, we learned that our girl is healthy. We also learned that she has a moderate case of bilateral, talipes equinovarus. What is that? It’s a case of clubfoot in both of her feet. Meaning that when she’s born, her tiny feet will be turned inward. Meaning that according to this world, she’ll be born with an imperfection. Meaning that one day, my girl may be teased about the way she walks or stands or runs.
All I felt was my heartbreaking. For my girl... my heart was breaking. The thought of her struggles, her pain, her treatments, her therapy, and possibly surgeries – all of it broke my heart. I felt sadness and sorrow. My heart was in pieces thinking of things she may miss out on, the way the world would view her, and how different her childhood may be. I cried over the pain I thought she may be in, the thought that I couldn’t protect her, or help her. For two days the tears came often – at the sight of other babies and their precious feet, at the thoughts of my girl enduring treatments, and at the lack of answers to our millions of questions. I was scared and angry – not at anyone, but at the thought that my one job as her mother was to protect her. That my job right now is to keep her safe. And I couldn’t do it.
I couldn’t do it.
For awhile I thought I was a bad mother. For awhile I thought it was my fault.
I prayed and prayed hard. I cried, like my tears would wash away the guilt and my sadness.
The truth and my realization today is that I was never in control. I could never protect her, even with her nestled inside of me. I could and never will be able to keep her safe. Today, I can’t protect her from sickness or an abnormality. Tomorrow, I won’t be able to protect her from a skinned knee or heartbreak. Not because I’m a bad mother or too small to carry my baby girl, but because He is the only way. He is The Protector, The Provider, The Healer. He is the reason I have this baby girl. He is my Answer, my Strength, and my Joy! He is the Father of my girl. And that is good news!
More good news is that He can protect her; He can keep her safe; He can heal her; He can guide her; and He can give her strength. He is in control – today, tomorrow, and forever.
On the day of our appointment, Justin and my sister came with me. I was anxious prior to, but that morning the Lord gave me a peace of mind that everything would be okay.
Whenever the ultrasound tech (Tonya) scanned my girl’s tiny feet and toes, I knew in my heart that something was different. It wasn’t in her response, it was the lack thereof. As she scanned my girl, she said the sweetest words like “she’s beautiful,” “her spine is perfect,” “that’s her heart and it looks great,” and “she’s healthy.” But whenever she scanned her little feet, she paused. There was silence and I was scared to breathe.
Whenever she pointed out the “obvious,” I was oblivious. Are you sure her little feet aren’t just squished in tight? Are you sure she isn’t sitting on them? What in the world does “club” mean? Why does it sound so barbaric?
Now I don’t want you to miss understand me, Tonya is amazing! She was the one to find my girl’s heartbeat for the first time. Tonya was the one to tell me that my baby is a girl. She’s the one that told me how beautiful and healthy my girl is… She’s the one to tell me that my girl is going to be fine! As we reach the halfway mark of our journey and as we go forward, Tonya will be there and I am grateful for someone so knowledgeable and understanding.
The diagnosis hit me like a brick wall. I knew this appointment would be the one to tell me if there was anything wrong. For that, I was prepared – or so I thought. But to be blindsided with a diagnosis that I knew nothing about. To be presented with an image that meant nothing to me and to be told so much was determined by it. To hear statistics that were so high. To be given a diagnosis and nearly 0 answers was something I wasn’t prepared for.
After Tonya told us her findings, Dr. Price came in to give us some answers and information about the diagnosis. There was something about her words of encouragement and reassurance that made me realize I didn’t understand what was happening. I didn’t understand what she was saying or the diagnosis at all. In my head, I still thought her little feet were just turned underneath her. I felt like my world was spinning out of control and I didn’t know why. While hugging my neck and reassuring me that she’d be praying for me, Justin, and my girl (huge blessing!), I fought back tears. It wasn’t until she closed the door that the tears started coming.
I felt scared, trapped, confused, sad, angry, guilty, and lost.
In this moment, Justin and Bethany gave me what I needed… their hugs, reassurance, comfort, and love. Together they explained to me what this meant for my girl, as best as they understood. Together they gave me assurance that my girl is still perfect and healthy. There are treatments, therapy, and surgeries. There is a fix and there are answers.
While taking in the news – my midwife, Penny came into the room and gave us more reassurance, and a promise to find us a specialist to treat our little girl.
The next 48 hours felt like a blur. I feel like I was in a constant state of shock, confusion, and the verge of tears. As many times as I said, “I trust you, Lord.” – I couldn’t let go of my fear or sadness. I couldn’t talk about it with anyone but Justin and Bethany. I was so emotional that I asked them to tell our parents.
In my mind, I was throwing a pity party – not for me, but my girl. Which is why I’m so glad that after hours (which seemed like days), I have come to the realization that I was never in control. He was and is and is to come, and for that I am so grateful. Sometimes (even with reminders), it’s hard to remember that He is in control. It isn’t my story… it’s His story and I’m just happy to be a part of it.
You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because you are to be feared; all you do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart. When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother’s womb, when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there — you saw me before I was born. The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began. Psalm 139:13-16
This may have been shocking and scary news to us – but the Lord knew all along. He wasn’t surprised in the least.
Like I said before, my girl is strong and beautiful. She is absolutely perfect because He created her in His image. He carefully created her. She is going to move mountains! She is going to leave a legacy. She is going to learn to love and follow Him.
She’s my girl, because of Him.
Lastly, I’m attaching an ultrasound photo of her little foot – only so you can be praying over her two, tiny feet and my girl’s overall health.
*Since writing this post, we’ve meet with a high-risk pregnancy specialist, along with our pediatrician, and are beginning to work out a plan of treatment. We decided to share our journey with you all because some day, someone like myself may be going through the same thing and I want His story of my girl to encourage others.
Here is a photo of her sweet and tiny profile – she has her arm up by her face. (Sorry for the low quality photo; it’s a photo of a photo.)