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Unanswered Prayers.

The words Down Syndrome continued to echo in my mind. Every time I felt baby, all I could think about was the idea that our child could have a genetic defect. I got lost in the what ifs. My husband and I knew very little about Down Syndrome. I prayed, asking others to pray to heal our baby, to “fix our baby”. I had everything planned out for this child. I knew in my mind what life was supposed to look like with this baby. If baby’s results came back positive for Down Syndrome, how would I tell my family and friends. What would they think. I felt so lost and consumed with fear, sadness, and heartache. 

The next week felt like an eternity as we awaited our level two ultrasound. A level two ultrasound looks at things more in-depth. The ultrasound could either confirm baby did indeed have Down Syndrome (up to a 99% accuracy) or really not tell us anything further. I hated not having any answers, my anxiety continued to climb with each passing day.  

When the day came, I remember walking into the hospital just shaking. I had my statue of Mary in my pocket. This statue is very special to me. I received it as a gift while pregnant with my second child. I held onto her for dear life in my hand. My husband was out of town at this time, so a friend came with. We took a seat in the waiting room and waited for my name to be called. Soon after we sat down, we were headed back to the ultrasound room. The tech began to take pictures. I stared at the ultrasound screen watching intently with each picture the ultrasound tech took. Once the exam was completed, we anxiously waited for the doctor.

The doctor walked in, “you are here today for an absent nasal bone?”. I responded, “no, I am here because of an echogenic focus of the heart”. Little did the doctor know that she just confirmed my biggest fear, our child had Down Syndrome. (An absent nasal bone is considered a significant indicator of a genetic defect. I learned this while doing some research trying to prepare myself for the ultrasound). The doctor continued to ask questions about our medical and family history before going over the ultrasound findings with us. I didn’t want to answer any questions I just wanted the results. Hoping somehow there was still a chance our baby didn’t have Down Syndrome. Finally, the doctor reviewed the ultrasound findings with us. “The exam showed that your baby does not have a nasal bone. The absent nasal bone along with the genetic testing tells me there is a 99% chance that your child will be born with Down Syndrome. The only way to know for sure is to do an amniocentesis. We recommend an amniocentesis before you make the decision whether or not you want to term this pregnancy”.At this point I was crying so hard. I couldn’t comprehend what she was telling me. How did we go from Down Syndrome to terminating my pregnancy? 

When I finally calmed down enough to ask a question, I asked what she could tell me about this diagnosis. She stated, “this is a connective tissue/cartilage disorder. Your baby may have problems breathing, swallowing/choking, baby may not be able to talk, crawl, walk, and may have some heart defects. (Fifty percent of babies born with Down Syndrome have heart defects. Some requiring immediate surgery upon birth.) or your baby may be as highly functioning as a baby with this diagnosis can be.”  Excuse me what? Am I hearing her right? I replayed what she said over and over in my mind as I sobbed and sobbed. I remember yelling out to God quietly in my mind in anger, why are you doing this to us!!!

That evening I talked to my husband on the phone telling him the news and what our options were. We decided against an amniocentesis because of health risks and truly it wasn’t going to change our mind. We wanted this baby no matter what his/her diagnosis was. There was nothing anyone could say to make us love this child any less.   

 Looking back, the hardest part of this day wasn’t the diagnosis. It was knowing how angry I was with God that he didn’t answer my prayers instead of being thankful that he didn’t answer my prayers. If God would have listened to my prayers, our family may not have been blessed with Mr. Myles. Trusting God when things are going “our” way or when things are good, is so easy for me. Trusting God about the unknown, or when things aren’t going the way, I think they should, is so very very difficult for me. When asked, do you trust God? I’ve always answered yes, absolutely. But do I truly.no. If I did, I would trust him at all times. 

Myles is now 6 months old. I still do not know what this means for him or for our family. What I do know, is that God knew exactly what our family needed. If he had answered my prayers, we may not have Myles, and without him our family wouldn’t be complete. 


When have you found yourself angry or frustrated with God because he didn’t answer your prayers? Looking back now, how does this make you feel?