As she was finishing up her measurements, the ultrasound technician seemed to be very intent on getting a clear picture of the left foot. The legs both looked great, but she couldn't tell if the left foot seemed turned in a little. At first, it didn't worry us at all. But as the clock ticked on and she had me change positions a few times to get a better look, fear began to creep in.
She left the room at the end of the ultrasound to meet with the radiologist and discuss her concerns. Thankfully, the radiologist didn't feel the need to come in and look any further, but said it did look like the left foot was turned slightly. At the same time, it could be nothing. It could be as bad as a clubfoot (which is actually a very common, treatable condition), and as little as an odd position in utero where baby's foot just got comfortable against the placenta.
After walking out of the office, Shawn headed to work and I drove home, feeling somewhat deflated. This moment I had dreamed of hadn't gone as planned, and no new parents want to hear that there's something concerning about their baby. When I got home to my quiet house, I sat on the couch for a while staring at the ultrasound pictures and allowing my heart to wander into dark territories of fear, distrust, pity, and guilt.
What if this turned left foot was the sign of something bigger, like Down's or spina bifida?
What if he's never able to play soccer like his daddy?
What if it's because I'm a small girl growing a big baby and he's cramped?
What if, if, if?
What if's are deadly, as if I hadn't learned that by now.
I had to prepare for lots of out of town company coming in to celebrate our gender party that afternoon and evening, and I felt so guilty for not being excited. I was trying, and I was thrilled to find out we were having a boy, but all I could see was that turned left foot.
Shawn and I both prayed for peace - and our family prayed for us as well - that Satan would not be allowed to rob us of the joy of our son. And the Lord was faithful to give it. The fear still came in waves for me, but I was determined to enjoy the beauty of so many family and friends gathered to celebrate this new life.
But then something happened that I never could have expected. At our gender party after the big reveal, our 7-year-old friend Olivia (the daughter of the pastor who married us) brought me a gift. I unwrapped a small square box with blue ribbon to find this:
I thanked her for the gift and as she didn't know anything about our baby's left foot (only a few people did), she had no idea of its significance. I felt so loved by Jesus in that moment. I'd been dwelling all day long on a tiny, turned left foot, and He shows up through a cookie cutter to remind me that He knows. He cares. He has purpose and displays glory in all of His creation, even if it doesn't look so glorious to us.
I know that we're going to be ok, no matter what the outcome. I type those words with full confidence because I feel peace in a way that doesn't make sense apart from Him. Last night was such a reminder to me that not only is our son so loved by his grandparents, his mom and dad, and a thousand friends who would do anything for him... our son is loved by Jesus. What more could we ever ask for?
I know that so many of you who read this are prayer warriors. As you think of us, I humbly ask you to please pray that the Lord would continue to guard our hearts and protect us from worrying about the unknowns. And pray for a miracle... that at my followup scan, they wouldn't be able to find what they'd seen before, and the foot would straighten out. We will deal with what comes by the grace of God because He loves us. We know that full well.
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness."