One Life-Changing Sonogram


I reclined in the dim sonogram room, with Jason sitting in a chair next to me.

We both watched our baby on the screen in excitement, as the sonographer pointed out the different —

no wait, this tech didn’t point out anything.

She was silent the. entire. sonogram.

It was awkward, but I figured, maybe they aren’t allowed to say anything.

We had asked her to write down the gender on paper, so that we could find out the gender together later.  We couldn’t wait to know whether it was a boy or a girl.

As we waited and watched, Jason leaned in close to me, and said, “Hey, we haven’t agreed on any boy names yet. What will we name him if it’s a boy?”

I smiled at him and said, “Benjamin?”  Jason had thought of the name earlier in the week.   He smiled.  “Oh yeah, Benjamin.  I like that name.”

I tried not to be nervous by the tech’s silence.  She finished the sonogram, then said, “I have to go get the doctor.”

I didn’t remember a doctor being called after our firstborn’s 20-week sonogram.

When The Doctor Came

A young female doctor walked in, smiled awkwardly, then said, in a kind but distant (professional) manner,

“There are two things we’re seeing.  The first is that your baby’s feet are clubbed.”  (She gestured with her hands.)   “The second is that the stomach bubble didn’t show up on the sonogram.  We’re not completely sure what this means yet…”

She explained that normally, when the baby swallows amniotic fluid, a bubble will show up on the sonogram.  That’s how they find the stomach on the sonogram.

“We’re hoping it’s nothing.  Maybe the baby was asleep or didn’t feel like swallowing.  Just to make sure, we’d like to schedule another sonogram for next week… We’d also like to do an echocardiogram next week […] Do you have any questions?” 

Questions. Hmm. Where do we start?

“What are clubbed feet?”

“Will he be able to walk?”

“How severe is it?”

“What do they do to correct it?”

We’d never even heard of clubbed feet before.  My first visual image was that the feet were 2x the normal size and possibly had no toes…

It means they are turned in.  We won’t know the severity until he’s born.  Sometimes sonograms are wrong… That’s what we’re hoping for with the stomach bubble.”

Unseen Treasure

A Quick Explanation

I’ve heard that there’s a level of emotion, pain – even joy, I suppose – that is too deep to express in words… and that you know someone has reached that point when they use word pictures/analogies instead.

This excerpt- everything written after this paragraph- was taken entirely from my journal, from the midst of an uncertain pregnancy.  From a writing standpoint, it needs tweaking, but it was the best way I knew to get my point across.

A Journal Entry

A young man gave his sweetheart a round-cut diamond ring.  He wrapped it in special packaging and took her on a meaningful date, where he humbly expressed his unconditional, enduring love for her.

She joyfully agreed to commit her love and life to him. 

At first, she was ecstatic. She couldn’t wait to tell her friends.  Many congratulated her.  

Then one friend looked closely at the ring and said, with a disappointed sigh, “Oh. It isn’t square. He should’ve given you a square diamond.”  Another pulled her hand to the light – “Is this white gold?  Why didn’t he give you red gold?”   

One by one, slowly, each new friend had a disappointing comment, a piece of advice, a tidbit of their own knowledge of quality jewelry. 

The young man’s sweetheart didn’t argue.  But she married him joyfully, fully treasuring the ring he had bought her.  She trusted him. 

Her friends didn’t know his love for her, or the careful thought he had put into buying her the best quality diamond ring, the one that would fit her– who she was. 

What’s more, he hadn’t bought the ring.  

Her friends didn’t know that her Groom was the Master Craftsman. 

He had made the ring Himself. 

So this is the first, very imperfect, version – but I thought the analogy expressed well the way people see children.  So many have commented on how we have to have a girl next/before we “quit.”  And I had to wonder how much more their disappointment would be if he has Down Syndrome.  

It’s natural to want a normal child.  But let’s not forget that they are each a treasure, or place more value on one than the other.

God has a beautiful purpose for each precious life.

And sometimes that purpose is to give others a chance to serve and show compassion to the helpless, as Jesus did for us.