I suppose I will start from the get go...
Walt and I were married for 3 months when we found out we were pregnant in June 2010 with our little girl Fenley Grace. It really threw us for a loop because we only dated for 8 months and were engaged for 6 even shorter months. We did not want to start a family for a few years. I can honestly say we were freaked out and overwhelmed at the prospect of becoming parents already. I'll never forget the night I took the positive pregnancy test, after nearly hyperventilating, and making Walt get off the phone so I could tell him we are pregnant (no cute reveal story here!)... and then after calling my best friend and mentor Jan because I could barely breathe... Walt and I went for a walk. I asked that sweet man if we could do this, to which he replied: If God allowed us to get pregnant, that means we can do this. Turns out, having a baby girl is the highlight of my life. Exhausting at times, hard to see straight but the pros of parenthood outweigh the cons so fiercely that I cannot fathom life without our princess/alligator/bunny rabbit/zebra/frog (she wakes up in a different world everyday... we think she may be a vet one day)
Fast forward 3 years to August of this year, August 2nd to be exact :) ... sitting in an ultrasound room, tech taking way too many pictures for me to ask if everything looked ok because I deep down knew better, and Walt promising Fenley a chocolate donut with sprinkles if she behaves in the ultrasound room getting to see baby brother Wills. The tech wraps up, Walt and Fenley leave to get that promised chocolate donut with sprinkles and I walk to my routine doctor visit that has honestly never lasted more than 3 minutes. Doctor comes in immediately, which never happens... and I actually bring up that I have gained 15 pounds at 25 weeks and asked if that was okay. Goodness, when you're off track and self absorbed you can barely see it until you are sobered like we have been.
Doctor proceeds to tell us that our baby boy has some (4 to be exact) markers for a chromosomal abnormality and he wants us to see a specialist... My vision literally starts pulsing. This was more than air being knocked out of me... I asked if I could text my husband to come back, which I wrote Walt "Come back". I still can't believe I could text. Walt walks in with Fenley in his arms and tears in his eyes and we hear that best case scenario would be Down Syndrome, worst case would be Trisomy 13.
Rewind to February when we got pregnant... again, not trying. Not ready for round 2. I threw up for 16 weeks. I complained more with this pregnancy than when I was pregnant with Fenley. I obsessed about my weight... literally weighing 2 or 3 times a day because I gained 63 pounds with Fenley and still had 25 to lose when we found out we were expecting this little peanut. Walt and I were fighting quite a bit about the DUMBEST things like laundry, golf, whose turn it was to do this or that, dishes, diapers, budget, me being a terrible driver after blowing out two tires on my car and then driving on them ruining the hubcaps :) I am pretty sure he was wondering why he ever married me... and I may have wondered why he married me too. Let's be honest... in this bubble we live in, we have the act down to a fine art. Jesus had not called me to an act but I was doing quite the dance to please everyone and became a huge B in the process. My heart knew I was meant for more. Jesus knows our human condition and is patient thankfully. The night before my doctor visit on that August 2nd day, I could not sleep. I was worried and anxious all night... I stayed up and read my bible and watched a few TV preachers. Also may have watched some Bridezillas which always makes me feel better about my life choices :) Had some quiet time. I could feel something brewing in my Spirit. I asked the Lord, with tears, to do whatever He had planned for us, that we were ready. I knew we were at a point where something had to give. Then I had this picture in my head of something being wrong with Wills' health... I had him pictured with Down Syndrome. I said, Lord we receive
whatever You are about to do in us. We want Your call, not our comfort. Pretty amazing that my Lord has been preparing my heart for this, only He can do that y'all. Just FYI :)
Back to the doctors... my OB recommends that we see a specialist. We agree to do that. We get an appointment on the following Monday morning, exactly 72 hours from the appointment with my OB. Longest. Weekend. Ever. We went to the specialist on Monday, he found 7 markers and felt like we should do an amniocentesis. He also felt that it was Trisomy 18, if anything. I did the amnio (and let me tell you ladies... it was a non event. Do I want to do one everyday? No... BUT don't believe the nightmare stories you hear. It's over in like 3 minutes start to finish with the sanitizing and everything). We got the results back about 9 days later confirming Trisomy 18 as the diagnosis for our sweet baby Wills. With Trisomy 18, 50% of babies don't make it to THIS earth. Of the 50% that do get to visit THIS earth, 90% don't make it to their first birthday.
Can I just say that I have always had a love for God and His story? It sets my heart on fire. I could talk to a brick wall about who God is in theory, spiritual things, discuss Him and who He is. At the same time though, some of the application for me has been fuzzy and I have been one to get very bogged down in the law and have allowed confusion to set in over what means what without really asking Him to just reveal it to me as a child. But that long weekend waiting on that specialist appointment and in the weeks following... I have seen my God that I have adored from afar come close and pick me up, carry me and tend to me ("He will feed His flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to His heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young." - Isaiah 40:11). I have been able to really meet Him and marinate in His love, not just process it. As Job 42:5 says "My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen You." Within 24 hours of the first red flag ultrasound on August 2nd we received the word "marvelous" in 3 different scriptures...
marvelous: 1. Causing wonder or astonishment.
2. Miraculous; supernatural.
3. Of the highest or best kind or quality; first-rate: has a marvelous collection of rare books.
Psalm 139:14 (NLT)
"Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous - how well I know it."
Psalm 9:1 (NLT)
"I will praise You Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things You have done."
Jeremiah 33:2-3 (The Message) - we got this one 2 times in a few hours
"This is God's Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as GOD: 'Call to me and I will answer you. I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own."
We know that our son, William Lamar Bowie, is marvelous. We know that God is doing a marvelous work in our own hearts and lives. God has used Wills to bring me and Walt closer than we ever thought possible. It's a very tender time and we are embracing what God is doing and the story that He is writing. And yes... we are 110% letting God write this story. Day by day. Our tendency is to run ahead in the future and grab hold of what we think may happen, or try to interpret what is going on but we are gently pulled back to TODAY. That is all we are promised. Right now Wills is happy in my belly at 28 weeks. He's kicking the laptop on my belly as I type. And I am content in receiving what God does here. From that first weekend of intense pain and intimacy with God and each other, we have said if this is what it takes to produce lasting fruit for eternity then let's do this in faith and trust and whatever else God wants to do in us. Pray for us in that. Pray that we are continually sobered and pulled closer and closer to our Creator... the One knitting us and our son and our daughter together constantly and perfectly. We trust His hand... it's a good hand, a big one... big enough to do whatever He wants in this story.
One more thing... if you find yourself in a place of doubt about who God is, would you just simply ask Him to reveal Himself to you? Not in theory but in reality... the reality of where you are. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you (James 4:8). And the Bible... all those promises are real. He actually shows up. Keep asking, seeking, knocking (Matthew 7:7). Anything in your head or heart that is set up against Him, just ask Him to fill it with Himself instead. Ask Him to be near and He will come... and pray that we would continue to do the same.
We hope to keep friends and family updated as best we can as we walk this out... your prayers are being felt and so appreciated. This is just grazing the surface of what we are experiencing but wanted to share with our little world what God is doing in our hearts, minds and lives through our precious son. He makes all things new :)