Thursday, August 6, 2009

Jacob's Echocardiogram

Greetings to all! Wow, the emotion that today has brought was a little more than we expected to be honest. We went in today for an echocardiogram of Jacob's little heart with the cardiologist, Cate's old doctor. As I drove into the parking lot there was the eerie feeling of nostalgia and fear. I missed having a car seat in the backseat of my truck with a little girl in it and at the same time I was faced with the fear of the possibility of having to do this all over again with Jacob. As Ali's van pulled into the parking lot I could tell that she had been crying. She got out and as we starting walking towards the building I asked her, "you doing ok?" and right then she fell apart in my arms. We stood in the parking lot of a hospital holding each other as we had done so many times before and my heart once again felt so helpless. The only words I could muster to pray were, "Jesus, we trust in you" and then to hold my wife close to me as her motherly heart relived so many painful experiences that it had endured over the past two and half years. I asked her if we could pray, to which she said yes. We stood in the parking of the hospital once again, asking for protection, peace, and healing. Then just as we had walked out of the hospital the day Cate died, we walked into another one today, hand in hand.

Ali laid down on the bed and the doctor came in to begin in the echo. It was as though all of time hung in the balance as the computer screen became black and white with movement and small little Jacob's body parts coming in and out of focus. Then the four little chambers of Jacob's heart came in to view and it was go time. It felt like this was going to be the deciding moment that would determine what the next few months and possibly years to come would be like. As I stood peering over the doctors shoulder with my hand on Ali's leg I felt like I knew a little more this time about what I was looking for and what questions needed to be asked. The doctor was able to look at all the chambers and the size of each one. She was able to see the blood flow in and out of the heart. She then started looking for the aortic arch which felt like it took her about five years to find and just built anxiety in the room that could be cut with a knife. It seemed like the exam took hours when in all actuality it probably took twenty to thirty minutes.

The doctor then explained to us that from what she could see the heart was growing and developing as it should be and that he had a strong heart beat. She explained to us that this procedure due to the baby size and the fact that he was in utero could not possibly see everything. She also said that she was not able to see the entire aortic arch or the entirety of the artery itself, SO, we are having to scheduling ANOTHER, echo at an LSU hospital in order for her to be able to look at his heart on a bigger machine. I asked if we should be freaking out and not sleeping over this second appointment and she said no, that if she had been able to see major issues that we would be going today. She also told us due to the fact that the heart performs differently outside mommy's tummy because right now mommy is breathing for the baby, that we would have to bring him back after he was born for her to look at him again.

In many aspects it felt like one of Cate's doctor's appointments, good news tempered with the reality of the fragility of life. So once again we are laying our trust and hope at the feet of Christ. There was NO BAD NEWS today, but when you so wanting so badly to hear, "everything looks great, go enjoy the rest of your pregnancy," and you don't, it does take some of the wind out your sails, you know? I want to thank everyone for the out pouring of prays for Jacob, Ali, and I in the days leading up to today and today. We ask that you continue to be vigilant in intercession for Jacob and our little family. Our next appointment will be on Wednesday August 19th as far as we know. If anything changes we will let you know.
Much Love, The Cantrells

17 comments:

Susan Schneider said...

Prayers continue for all of you!! Trusting in God... Can't wait to meet the new addition to The Cantrell Family. "Lord hear our prayers"
With Much Love and Support

slojen43 said...

I will continue to pray to St Gerard for your baby boy Jacob & for you & Ali. Christ will help you through the time until the next appointment. Hoping for a healthy little heart!

Much love,
Jennie Gary

Tricia Granger said...

we,ll be praying right along with baby cate.

Jennifer Menard said...

Charlie our prayers are always with yall and will be always with yall. Good luck on next appt and make sure to keep us updated. We love yall lots

Jennifer Menard

Anonymous said...

It is soooo hard when we don't hear the words we want to hear! I know since I have been trying without luck to get pregnant for 5 years now!! But as I read your blog, I was reminded as I am after all my sad Dr. appointments that God IS in control and only He knows what he is planning for you! In my heart, I know that He put your family through all of this and opened the hearts of many many people! I will continue to pray for you and baby Jacob!! I really feel strongly that he will be fine, but I can only imagine how desperatly you wanted to hear those words! Prayers are still and will always be coming your way! Love in Him,
Teresa Clark

ali said...

Charlie and Ali,

Cate's got your back. I am praying for you guys, and look forward to the day you breath freely in this.

Peace.

maureen Gallagher said...

praying with all i have for you. i love you both so dearly.

Anonymous said...

I trust that God has his massive arms wrapped around little Jacob right now. ...and the rest of the family as well. Wish you could have heard exactly the words you wished to hear but for reasons known only by God...you are having to wait. Love you guys. Jane W

Jocelyn said...

I was at the Steubenville East Conference in RI this past weekend. I went to Mass this morning for the health and protection of you, Ali, and Jacob. Our youth group also went to a holy hour today for all of you! You are in my prayers.

Jocelyn

Marijanna said...

Our Youth Group prayed for you tonight and will remember to keep you in prayers. I offered my Holy Hour for you as well. The kids who attending this week's Steubenville Conference and heard your talk were so impressed by the reality of your witness ...one who is carrying the cross and still walking on ...one step at a time. Thank you for sharing this with us and putting yourself and your families experience "out there" and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. My prayers!

chris mitch travis cana said...

prayers of course. clinging. still clinging with you all.

just a year ago..i was sending updates and emails from our cardio echo's.

walking all those scary steps with you. and hope to be walking them with you walking with us..very soon too.

Hudson said...

Glad to hear everything went WELL! We will continue to pray for all of you and for Jacob's little heart to be perfect! Much love - Bryan, Stephanie & Hudson

midwestmom3 said...

We are praying for you all!
Everyday our family continues to pray for you all.
The Andersons

Melissa said...

We continue to pray for each and every one of you in the Cantrell family. Your faith and dedication are an inspiration to so many people. Your sweet angel, Cate, is looking out for her little brother.
Wishing everyone of you the best,
Melissa Douet

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Ali,
My prayers remain strong with your family and baby Jacob! The Lord is with you...remaining in hope!
Love,
Breyan and family

Lila Lambert said...

At the start of my readings today the first sentence began"after the blessing of the children" I knew this reading was for Baby Jacob at the urging of his sister, Cate, it went on about how moved Jesus was at the sight of the pure hearts of children...When Jesus is moved great LOVE abounds!!! Praying for all of you...

Anonymous said...

Just as I prayed for Cate, I will 'storm heaven' with prayers for precious baby Jacob, Alli and all of you. May St. Gerard intercede and assist in bringing Jacob and Ali safely through this pregnancy. And may God continue to send His angels to surround all of you with hope, peace, strength, courage and blessings. And may He continue to hold you tenderly in the palm of His hand. Pat from Batavia, Il