Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Monday's Appointment & Upcoming Appointments

We've debated how to address all of the "how did your appointment go?" questions. On the one hand, good. Answers were given to questions we didn't even know we had {"You'll see her bladder is small, but that could just be because she just peed and in reality it's ok."} Answers were given to questions we did have {"Yes, we'll set up weekly heartbeat check appointments and keep her monitored."}. Peace of mind and fears released was given on some levels {"No, I don't see any concern that she could pass at any moment. All the babies I've delivered that have Down or Trisomy 18 or 13 have all been live births..."}. And moments of grace and truth in the midst of the appointment {"Can I pray for you guys?" Of course, please do!}. Even a lighthearted moment when I told Alan to grab my purse because it had the list of questions in it, and Alan yanks it up and he and our doctor start discussing that it's more of a satchel and less of a purse.

But please don't be confused. This is still a very, very scary, difficult, uncertain time and situation. Yes our appointment went well in terms of we got answers, we found some peace, we have some hope. But the facts are still the same. Our doctor kindly and encouragingly went over our entire ultrasound-all twenty measurements that were taken, and one by one explained which measurements were considered normal, which were abnormal, and which were not seen due to position of baby. My heart sank hearing new news, such ask the issue with the kidneys is that one of them has cysts on it. Hearing again that the sono put "abnormal" next to face and he explained it's because it showed possible clef palate, but again, that it's early to tell and might have just been hard to see. He showed us the main measurements and explained how the average of the main ten or so is how they estimate due date. In our case, the measurements averaged between 16 weeks and 18 weeks, so the overall average was around 17 weeks, thus we are measuring 2 weeks behind. He explained that at this point, it's ok to assume that could be purely from dates (i.e. if I ovulated at week 3 then conceived as opposed to week 2), and that unless future ultrasounds show different growth, that for now it's just most likely due to dates. That gave us peace of mind as opposed to thinking her measuring small meant another complication...though, yet again, still could be part of it. Another slight sigh of relief is that there was concern with the heart with what chamber is missing because if it's on the left side and missing the left ventricle, there's great concern and low chances, however, if it's the right side that's missing there's much better outcome. In Chloe's case, her left side/left ventricle is ok. And again, far more news than we've learned so far. So thankful he went through the ultrasound in detail with us.

Going forward looks like this: wait for amnio results which should be in later this week or beginning of next at the latest, and our doctor will call us in asap when he gets them. I'm ready for them. I'm not ready for them. I'm needing to know what's going on, but I'm scared of the results. They're so...defining. In the meantime, we've set up weekly heartbeat checks to make sure it's nice steady beat. Thankful that he listened to it for nearly a minute to make sure it's nice and steady. Our doctor also is sending us to Topeka for an appointment with a genetic counselor and a more in-depth ultrasound to go over things again with a neonatologist. Every time I type that word - neonatologist - it gets this ugly red underline, yet when I click on it to see if I spelled it right, it's because the computer doesn't even recognize it...it's a foreign word to most of the world...we don't want to hear that word because it can be scary...and that's just how I felt when I wrote it on the calendar today while on the phone with our nurse. In fact, I burst into tears because it just felt so surreal to even be writing it down on the calendar. When people are expecting, they're filling the calendar with things like "baby shower", "shop for new carseat", "pick baby name"...not writing the name of the genetic counselor or neonatologist we'll be seeing...

Our appointment will be next Wednesday. Praise already for many people willing to watch the kids. Please be in prayer for safe travel/good weather/no problems with the car.

Please pray for peace as we anticipate the call of the amnio results. We're still clinging to the hope that it's not genetic or chromosomal (in other words, a miracle at this point)...Pray I can make it through this appointment with minimal sobs...

Please pray for God's will in this. We can pray till we're exhausted, but if it's not His desire, it won't be the desire of our heart. Pray the Holy Spirit will interpret our cries and groans when we are at a loss for words {there's been a lot of that on my part today}.

A more personal note: Thank you to everyone for their encouragement and support. However, I do have one request-we're holding on to hope. I'm thankful for all those who have written and encouraged us to talk with others who have gone through something similar-please know we're grateful and acknowledge how much you care for us and want to help, however, in the situations where they lost the baby, it's really hard to hear story after story of babies who didn't survive full-term. I'd ask that until we know that's certain in this case to please keep encouraging us with stories of hope. Please know that we completely understand (well, we don't understand at all on any earthly level) the possible negative outcome, but we're not allowing our hearts to go there just yet. In time, if that's the case, then we'll greatly appreciate talking to others who have been there, but until then: Chloe is alive. She is kicking. Her heart is still beating. She can hear us sing. She can hear her siblings fight. She can hear when Abi puts her mouth to my belly button like a microphone and sings "K-ohh-wee" over and over. She still lets me know she loves cherries, even though I don't. We want to soak up this pregnancy because we still don't know how long we'll have her after she is born {again, encouraged to hear our doctor say to plan on a May birth}. Because she is with us know, and we are forever grateful.


  1. Gerling Family -
    I don't know you - but my sister, Tracy Emery does. Although I don't have Facebook, my Spotify logs me in from time to time and I spotted your story on Chloe through Tracy's status. Before last year, it wouldn't have got my attentiong, but our son Gavin was born last year with multiple medical complications (VACTERL association) and was in the NICU for 40 days. He is now a year old, and has stolen our hearts. I can relate to so many of your emotions and through tears I am praying for you! Our stories aren't the same, but I want you to know that God is still in the business of MIRACLES! Dear friend - I am praying for that - a miracle. Sweet Chloe is a MIRACLE already and she has touched my life (even though we have never met).
    Love and prayers from a stranger in Minnesota

    1. Allison, please email me at jodiegerling@gmail.com. You're the first story I've heard where there were multiple things wrong, but still had a live birth and your little one is surviving. Curious your story... <3

  2. Hugs, tears, hugs and more tears, but most of all......lots of love. You are always on my mind and in my heart. I love you, Jodie. Alan, Isaac, Abi and baby Chloe. Love, Mom