#2 // Better than 50%

Our StoryJoanna ZuidemaComment

Our first ultrasound was the evening of Thursday, Nov. 3rd. That Friday morning, at 7:45am, we had our first phone call with Dr. C.

After a quick introduction, the first thing he asked was, “Were you guys able to get any sleep?” We were terrified, and he knew it. He kept the phone call brief; we were to meet him at the birth center at 9 and we would discuss everything there. 

Dr. C greeted us in the snow-filled parking lot of the birth center with a warm greeting and understanding tone. He asked us again how we were doing and explained how he is a grandfather with two of his daughters currently pregnant; his heart just ached for us.

The view of my boots was starting to look a little different.

The view of my boots was starting to look a little different.

He unlocked the door and led us into the same ultrasound room we had been in the night before, turning on the lights as he went. (The birth center is closed to appointments on Fridays, but Dr. C started the birth center, so he does what he wants.) 

There was something so peaceful about that appointment. With nobody else in the center, there was no rush. We had his full attention for 1.5 hours.

Dr. C performed his own ultrasound, carefully walking us through every concern. He would periodically stop to explain what we were looking at on the monitor, our full understanding of the situation being his #1 priority.

He was truly the angel that we needed at that moment. Not because he magically made everything disappear – this wasn't just a bad dream, as much as we wished it was. He was an angel because he saw us as we were – terrified first time parents. He truly took the time to meet us exactly where we needed him.

When it came to the concerns, Dr. C agreed with some things and dismissed others. He agreed that there was something abnormal with her heart but he wasn’t quite as concerned, and yes she was indeed measuring small – her head more so than her body. He showed us the little opening at the base of her spine that indicated she likely had Spina Bifida. But when it came to the umbilical cord, he didn’t see anything concerning. He also felt that if she did, in fact, have Trisomy 13, it would be a very mild case. Nothing he saw seemed incompatible with life – meaning he saw no reason I wouldn't be able to carry her full term.

Over the course of the previous night and on the way to the appointment, Lane and I had reiterated to each other our firm belief that God has a plan for our daughter’s life. It may not make any sense to us at the moment, but one day we will meet Him and He will show us how all the dots connect.

Dr. C believed the same.

Our shared beliefs allowed us to take a less invasive approach. We had a lot of time left and together would cross each bridge as it came.

The only thing he wanted to do at that time was a draw blood from me (which has Norah's DNA floating around in it) for a genetic screening test to look at the possibility of Trisomy 13. This screening, while not diagnostic, would give us a better idea of whether or not more invasive, truly diagnostic testing would be necessary.

Dr. C gave her a greater than 50% chance that she didn’t have Trisomy 13. Statistically, that’s not much better than a coin flip, but it was our first little glimmer of hope.

I was sent to the Minneapolis campus for my blood draw. They were booked up all day, but evidently when the head honcho makes a call, they fit you in.

Approximately 7-10 business days after this little pin prick, we would have a pretty solid idea of whether or not she has Trisomy 13.

7-10 days.


Continue the story – #3 // Test results