Since my 1st Trimester nuchal fold measurement was so alarmingly high, the doctor did a customary evaluation of the baby's growth to look for other soft markers of Down Syndrome, as well as other risks the baby could face.
Here's what he found: The bones measured normal, as well as the nasal bone (both soft markers for DS). He was also happy to see that the heart appeared normal. Another amazing find...the nuchal fold measurement is also normal for the baby's current age. Based on these findings, our risks for Down Syndrome have been cut by 50% to 80%. We consider this a great encouragement!
So far, the brain has also appeared normal, but we will see him again in a month, when he will be able to take a better look at the cerebellar vermis...the part of the brain affected by Joubert Syndrome. Marcus has a mild abnormality in his vermis and that is how he was diagnosed with JS. Even if the doctor doesn't find anything, there is still a chance that the baby could be affected. But we are praying for another encouraging appointment. More importantly, praying for God to increase our small faith, to strengthen our feeble trust in Him, and to solidify our hope in Christ alone.
This past month, our hearts have been burdened for this baby...with a heavy weight of the unknown. But we are so thankful for what the Lord has already taught us and allowed us to experience through this miraculous life inside of me. We are learning a lot about God's grace...that we need His grace on a daily basis, and that in times of weakness, He seems to give it to us abundantly.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I don't know why He allowed us to get pregnant, and why He has allowed us to be faced with the risks of another child with special needs when our hearts are already so burdened for Marcus. But boy, do we have much to boast about. All of our disappointments, fears, and weaknesses force us to rely on the grace and strength of our Savior. And we wouldn't trade that for the world.
We are definitely not "in the clear" yet with the health of this baby. We may not even have a definitive answer until months after his birth. So we are continuing to ask Him to help us boast in Him day to day to day to day.
On a lighter note, it was so sweet to see our boy again. He was not shy at all about showing us his "parts" and in fact was very forward about it. The doctor showed us a shot of his "goods" and said it was his first x-rated picture. Figures...Audrey has no concept of privacy either. He was also doing some major acrobatics, or martial arts, or something. So much so that the doctor jokingly reprimanded him for being uncooperative during the ultrasound. He looked at us to see who he got it from and all we could say was "Sorry, he's a Lee." The kid is already being a rascal...just like his brother and sister. :-)