Growing up as a Christian, I enjoyed testimony service. It was filled with uplifting stories of faith and how God acted in a super natural way in ones life. Now as an adult, I have come to realize how quick we are to share stories of miracles and answered prayers but not as vocal of the seasons when sadness, grief and the feeling of defeat persisted in spite of faithful prayer. Sharing the bad times in life are just as important as sharing the good because the outcome for all who remains faithful is still victory.
In August 2016, my husband and I found out that we were expecting baby #4. Our first doctors appointment confirmed we were already about 16 weeks pregnant.
At about 18 weeks the doctor detected that the baby had a heart defect called ‘hypo-plastic left heart.’ This happens when the left side of the heart does not form correctly and as a result fatally affects the normal blood flow through the heart and entire body. At about 20 weeks they gave us 3 options. 1- Termination of pregnancy 2- Travel to a facility that is equipped to perform immediate heart surgery upon delivery, with a series of surgeries to follow. 3- Comfort Care for baby upon delivery.
Option 1 Aborting our baby was not an option for us. I mean, we weren’t even trying to get pregnant, so If God allowed us to conceive and would allowed us to carry full term then we didn’t want to have to be the ones to make the decision as to if baby should live or not. Option 2 would require me to leave our current home in Hawaii to go give birth and receive care at a facility in mainland. Closest to us was California because there weren’t any Pediatric Cardiologist Surgeon on island. After having countless of test done and meeting with several specialists through out the pregnancy the prognosis remained the same which was the baby had a severe case of hypo-plastic left heart syndrome. Baby would need a series of at least 3 surgeries within the first 18 months of life. But because baby’s case was severe, doctors’ prognoses that survival and success of these surgeries was not guarantee. Ultimately surgeries may prolong baby’s life but its heart was not repairable and even with successful surgeries, would still eventually lead to the need of a heart transplant. Knowing this and that baby’s would likely be in and out hospitals for all its life made us question quality of life. Third option was to stay in Hawaii and give birth. Knowing that the hospital was not equipped to care for baby’s condition, giving birth there meant we would let nature take its course. If baby didn’t get heart surgery within 48 hours of birth, baby would die. With comfort care the doctors would monitor baby’s and make him or her as comfortable as possible to pass naturally.
My husband and I thought about all three options extensively, considering all the factors.
At our 27-week appointment doctors continue to weight the option for us to terminate and abort the baby but we were not comfortable with that. Our 30-week appointment ultrasound showed that baby’s condition remained the same with a poor prognosis. This is when we came to make the hard decision and choose option 3. We believe in medicine but we also believe in God. Our baby’s condition required invasive surgeries that were not guaranteed to be successful. We didn’t want medicine to try to take place of God. If medicine could not fix it then only God could. ‘Lord let Your will be done’ was what we held on to.
We struggled with the decision to allow our baby to pass naturally. We questioned if it were the best choice and were we giving up without a fight. Despite being extremely saddened by our circumstance, God eventually gave us peace about our decision. We came at peace with the decision of not tapering with our baby’s small precious body with surgery after surgery just to sustain life here on earth. We knew that God would heal her. He would heal her in heaven or on earth. Thank God there is a heaven, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no sickness but joy, peace and life everlasting.