Thursday, January 20, 2011

How it Began


When I was pregnant with Doug, the ultrasound technician slipped out of the exam room and quickly returned with the physician, who took charge of the ultrasound wand with a concerned furl to her brow. Ryan and I were soon informed that the baby’s heart didn’t look quite right. No one explained what the repercussions of a heart with only three chambers might be, but the gravity of the problem wasn’t lost on us. I remember all of the “what ifs…” that circled my brain, but never touched my tongue out of horror that the scenarios might actually come true. What if this child will be disabled for life? What if he needs a heart transplant? What if he doesn’t… make it?

The next day we got a second ultrasound with similar findings and were sent to a hospital in Dallas for a fetal echocardiogram. To our relief, the cardiologist was able to locate all four of the chambers and told us that baby Douglas looked healthy as could be. We asked the cardiologist about the funky ultrasounds and he shrugged. “Maybe the way your fetus was positioned hid one of the ventricles from view.”

I have a different hypothesis.

Doug was born a healthy, hearty 8.2 pounds, but the doctor thought it best that we do an echocardiogram just to back the cardiologist’s findings. That’s when we found the holes.

The doctor said they were small and would likely fill in on their own, but I needed to visit a cardiologist when Douglas turned four. As we moved from place to place, Douglas switched pediatricians several times before his fourth birthday, none of them noticing the faint murmur that must have been present. This past year, remembering the instructions I was given when Douglas was born, I took Doug to a cardiologist to make sure the holes had closed up. Instead, we learned that the holes were bigger than we’d originally thought and, without repair, Douglas would not survive past thirty-five. Doug’s heart had already started to swell and the only way to fix the problem was open-heart surgery.

I believe that we would not have known about holes in Doug’s heart had it not been for the ultrasound scare we had while I was pregnant. Surely we would have found out later in his life when problems became more evident, more serious. But Heavenly Father wanted to give us the heads-up, even if He had to scare the boogers out of us to make it happen. Heavenly Father can be tricky like that sometimes.

Because Douglas was able to get this surgery early in life, his recovery was quick and—if you saw him today, one week later, you would agree—miraculous.

17 comments:

Audrey said...

That is an amazing story. I'm glad the surgery went well. What a tough kid!

Sierra Robinson said...

So thankful for that little guy and that ambiguous cardiogram.

Enrique and Lindsay said...

Thanks for sharing the whole story! I'm so glad everything went well and I completely agree that this was nothing short of miraculous!

The Laubs said...

I'm so glad everything went so well. It really is a miracle!

Megan said...

Hey Beth I am so glad Doug is doing so well! You have a pretty special little guy.

Dianna said...

That is such a great faith promoting story and I am so glad Doug is jumping off the couch already.

Elaine & Dan Duree said...

Thanks for sharing Ian grateful for ur devotion to our father in heaven and guidence u revived becouse of keep it up so glad all is well

Melissa said...

What an incredible story. I'm glad he's doing so well. What a blessing to have been given this information during your pregnancy even though it did bring a lot of worry. Hope the recovery continues to go well!

Elly's Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elly's Blog said...

Wow .. So glad he's doing well ... wonder what his life will turn out to be since it was preserved in such a miraculous fashion. So thankful for tender mercies!! Love you! Elly Taysom

Chelle said...

Wow Bethany--that is an incredible and a beautiful story. I'm so glad that he is okay now!!! What a relief! And I loved your post on Utah Pride. :) You go girl!

Melanie said...

It's just so amazing how Heavenly Father works in our lives, often without us recognizing it.

Hope Doug and your whole family. continues to do well.

Janssen said...

I am SO glad he's okay! What a scary time.

Evan and Rebecca Jones said...

Oh wow - so grateful that his surgery went well and everything's okay! Such a huge blessing!

Becky said...

I hope you can breathe a little better and enjoy that cute cub! Love you and thinking about you!

Andrea said...

What are you talking about one week later? Doug was amazing 2 days later!! Your problem will be keeping him "quiet" for six weeks. Love to you and your family. So happy for the great outcome. Andrea

Kristene said...

What a wonderful miracle! We are so humbly grateful for his recovery and fighting spirit! Love to you... :)