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