My doctor wanted to know if I wanted to have an amniocentesis. I told him that we did not want any invasive testing because of the risk to the baby and the fact that the results would not change whether I would carry the pregnancy to term.
The doctors decided that I should have ultrasounds every 3 weeks for the remainder of my pregnancy. The perinatologist who reviewed the results of the ultrasounds was baffled by our unwillingness to have an amnio. He told me that the risk of miscarriage as a result of the test was very low, but if my child had Down syndrome, she would never go to school, have a job, or live on her own. She would die at an early age and likely have health complications. He seemed to use the ultrasounds as a way to look for problems that weren’t there; for instance, telling me that her limbs appeared to be shortened and that the bridge of her nose was too small, which could be signs of DS. He said that her heart appeared OK, but we might discover a problem with it later, when she was larger and more detail could be seen. We finally asked our OB/GYN to tell him to stop pressuring us, as we felt our wishes weren’t being respected.
At my 20-week ultrasound, it was discovered that I also had a placenta previa and a rare condition called an amnion chorion separation. My doctor had told me not to google my conditions, but I did. That was a mistake. I found out that most amnion chorion separations accompany a chromosomal abnormality. I read that the condition also makes an amnio much more dangerous. I later asked one of my perinatologists about this, and he confirmed that had we done the test, my water would have broken and my baby would have died.
I wish I could say that I was completely trusting God at that point. I wasn’t. I had chosen to walk in obedience, but I was afraid of what was going to happen and whether I could handle whatever He was going to give me. I felt that the amnion chorion separation was confirmation that my baby would have DS. One day, we took my toddler on an Easter train ride, and while we were at the station that day, I saw two children with Down syndrome – a little blond boy, walking with his parents, and an infant girl, being held by her mother aboard the train. They were beautiful. Their smiles radiated joy. I realized how ridiculous it was to fear that my child might be like them. These children were gifts from God.
Not long after that, I went on a women’s retreat with my church. While I was there, able to have some quiet time away from my day-to-day responsibilities, I felt God clearly speaking to my heart. He gave me this verse: “Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” – 2 Chronicles 20:15. I felt peace for the first time during my pregnancy. I knew that He was telling me that He would take care of my baby, but that there was nothing that I could do but trust Him and leave her in His loving hands. The timing of that moment was perfect, but it wasn’t long before that peace in my heart would be tested.