I've seen more emotion from professional poker players than we saw from the doctor we saw today.
I'm not mad or offended. But definitely aware of the harsh realities many people without Hope have to endure.
We went in for our second "level two" scan for "high risk" pregnancies, today with a specialist.
Up until this point, everyone (medically and personally) has been super supportive and super sensitive. Almost too sensitive to where my crass abrasive personality can't reciprocate. The long drawn out hugs and sobs of sympathy are foreign to me.
This doctor- a man - doesn't deliver babies.
He doesn't see the end.
He sees text books and reports.
He sees facts, figures, numbers, and statistics.
He sees the worst of the worst and daily gives people bad, worse, worst news over and over again.
He sees the lawsuits - from people who have false hope on medical advice, crumble and come knocking at his door for the repercussions.
I can't imagine his heart being soft and open, or else he couldn't have his career doing what he does.
But he said everything with such cynical pride it was disturbing.
At one point, after making it clear that we wouldn't be "terminating" the pregnancy... ie killing our baby....and that we knew the condition is "not compatible with life" (like all the other medical personnel keep quoting, as if it's a correct response on a multiple choice exam) - he said the words your looking for are it's not compatible with long term survival".
And he's right. Anencephaly isn't associated with long term anything.
But we choose to believe differently.
I'm sure the whole office thought we were in complete denial of reality. My mom, sister-in-law, and I giggled, and were exploding our faith-claims all over that visit.
Everyone kept saying, after reading my chart, "do you know why you're here?" As if I had no idea.
But really, they have no idea.
I told Mom and Queen, that the reason we were there, was to show off Jesus's power, and watch all these people get saved.
I wanted to pose the question back at all of them- "no, do YOU know why I'm here?"
Because it's bigger than this crummy diagnosis.
Today, after scanning and looking and measuring and processing results, they haven't confirmed or denied anything.
The baby had her head so far down in my stomach that they weren't able to pick up a picture or enough information to even describe what the severity of her condition is.
We had plenty of questions like, "does she have a clef palette?" "Are her facial features present?" "Can we show her to our other kids when delivery comes?"
The answer from the doctor was that all he could see were "squiggles and lines on a screen. Nothing is present."
But the tech moments before measured and showed us her perfect spine.
Her perfect heart.
Her perfect legs and arms.
Her perfect kidneys and bladder and organs.
Everything seen on the screen was clear and accounted for with detailed accuracy.
I can't wait to walk through this with my miracle, and show that doctor my baby girl, and say "do you see all the squiggles and lines? They're so perfect and make up a perfect baby!"
For people without Hope, I can't imagine listening to their explanations of what's happening. I can't imagine leaving and feeling defeated and that life still must go on. I can't imagine the pain and resentment, guilt and shame surrounding them and their choices. I felt the pressure of shame and guilt as he described how home
-birth was "insanity". And the absence of prenatal vitamins over healthy diet were "choices" that people "shouldn't" make. But though I'm pressed, I'm not crushed. Because I wasn't about to let the enemy steal any more of my faith or life than he has. I've fought the enemy before on guilt and shame, and know where my power lies: in the Resurrecting blood of Jesus that set me free from guilt and shame long ago!
The doctor was just doing his job.
And like Jesus on the cross, I walked out saying "Father, forgive him- cause he really has no clue what he's doing to people".
The good news is I don't ever have to go back.
I can continue regular appointments with my regular doctor and watch the progress from there.
The good news is that while we don't know if there's progress, the fight isn't over. It's not any worse than last week.
The good news is, her head was tucked so far down inside that they weren't able to confirm or deny the presence of her brain.
The good news is there's still plenty of time for God to work and shape her perfect head and all of her parts to completion. And we can choose a regular scan, over the "high risk scan" accompanied by crappy attitudes.
The good news is that ten or so other people got to see and read our chart and scan- which means ten more people will know of the miracle that takes place at the end.
You may see today as a waste. That time and resources and faith were a loss.
But it isn't yet over.
God is already doing something new! Can't you see it?
And all the while, I won't be wearing a poker face to hide my emotions or my joy- because it's real and authentic and contagious...
Because it's from the One who gives joy....the real kind...that's unspeakable!
I can contain my laughter and excitement or smile, because I've upping the anty and putting all my chips in.
But regardless, I know the Dealer of the cards, an I know the Hand I'm holding....and I can't lose!