As many of you know, our great God blessed us with the conception of a second child about 6 1/2 months ago. While we had only discovered our baby’s gender about 2 months ago, we had actually selected her name, “Tikvah” (which is a Hebrew word for “hope”) long ago. Little did we know that the Lord would begin weaving together a story for this little girl’s life, centered on that word “hope,” before she was ever born.
See, last week, my husband and I were asked to come in for a non-routine ultrasound with a Perinatologist (a specialist assigned to monitor babies who have a higher-than-normal risk for complications). The original reason for the special ultrasound was attributed to the fact that, based on Tikvah’s recorded due-date on file (October 10, 2011), she was measuring smaller than the average baby for her age. To make a long story short, basically the recorded due-date on file was incorrect (official due date: October 31, 2011) and, after making the necessary adjustments to her file, her measurements revealed that she was actually right on track developmentally. Looking back, it seems to us that God simply used this discrepancy in her records to bring little Tikvah to the attention of the right people.
During the course of taking all of Tikvah’s measurements, the Perinatologist noticed something was different with Tikvah’s heart, which would have likely gone unnoticed by the average ultrasound technician. After studying the ultrasound images for a lengthy amount of time from various angels, she brought in another Perinatologist, who “just happened” to be working on the same floor that day and was available for the consultation, to confirm her findings before sharing the news with us. Again, God’s was beginning to reveal to us His sovereign hand over this precious baby’s life.
Essentially, what the Perinatologist noticed was that the 2 arteries leading blood away from Tikvah’s heart appeared to be transposed. The medical term is actually “Transposition of the Great Arteries.” In Tikvah’s case, this is a condition whereby the oxygenated blood pumped from the heart, never makes its way to the body, rather returns back to the lungs only to go back to the heart again. Likewise, the used blood pumped from the body to the heart is never replenished with oxygen, but gets pumped right back out to the body again, forming 2 separate circuits of blood flow. Without medical intervention to correct this condition shortly following her birth, Tikvah’s body would eventually deplete its store of oxygen in the blood stream, body functions would begin to shut-down, and she could die.
However, by God’s amazing grace, medical technology has advanced to the point where they can now surgically correct the position and function of Tikvah’s arteries (via open-heart surgery) with fairly high success rates. Since Tikvah’s condition was caught early (most babies aren’t diagnosed with this condition until AFTER birth), we can begin praying and planning now for the medical care she will need following her birth.
We have since been referred from our regular medical facility to a more specialized facility in Los Angeles, designed to handle such medical conditions in new borns. We are still awaiting our first appointment with our new team of doctors, scheduled for mid-August.
While this certainly caught us by surprise, we have found so much comfort and peaceful reassurance in the character and Word of our great God. He has revealed His mighty hand in this situation already through the various circumstances that led to Tikvah’s diagnosis, and we trust that He will continue to lead our family through this trial as He continues to unfold the plans that He has prepared for little Tikvah’s life. It is in Him that our faith is resting … and, in that, we have found much HOPE!
**This post will be the first of many to follow on the progress of little Tikvah as events in her life unfold.