A Better Introduction

I am Tracy, a 29-year-old G2P1 lady at 37 weeks gestation. I am carrying a fetus identified to have hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

This is the intro to the letter that Annie’s cardiologist wrote to the NICU staff for instructions about her care during and after delivery.

He goes on to describe Annie: The exam of the fetal heart today demonstrated that the anatomy is consistent with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. There is aortic valve and mitral atresia. The left atrium is small. No significant restriction of flow across the atrial septum. Trivial tricuspid insufficiency. Ascending aorta measures 2 mm. No evidence of fetal heart failure.

What in the world does any of that mean???

But the next paragraph is much clearer to those of us who don’t speak doctor lingo: The limitations of fetal echocardiography were discussed. The family is aware that some forms of heart defect and disease may not be diagnosable until after birth.

So we get it: to the best of their knowledge, they know what Annie has and how to treat it. But she’s not here yet. They haven’t yet seen her and examined her as a “neonate,” only as a “fetus.” So we think we know what we’re up against and how to classify Annie in a messy, erupting box of heart defects, but we really won’t know any of it until she gets here.

All of those robotic, doctor descriptions plus all of the uncertainty about what the doctors could actually find is an unbearable burden that I will carry for the next days to weeks until she is born.

But my friend reminded me that there’s more than one way to describe a person. (Since I’ve obviously never introduced myself as G2P1 before I knew she was right.) She asked if I would choose with her to concentrate on how God would describe our Annie in a letter He’d write to introduce her to the blue-gloved delivery room audience.

“Meet Annie. She is fearfully and wonderfully made in My image. I’ve been carefully, intentionally knitting her together in her mother’s womb and have made her exactly the way I wanted to so that she will bring the most glory to Me. I’ve known all of the days I have ordained for her way before that pink line showed on August 11. I have a specific and special purpose for her life that has already begun unfolding. She is My perfect gift from above. Enjoy your time with My special blessing. My works are wonderful, and meeting Annie will help you know that well.”

I’m liking His introduction a little better!

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