Monday, September 3, 2007

Update on Joshua Matthew

Some of you have asked about the my friend that was pregnant and found out, by ultrasound, that the baby had some neurological problems. Here is the update that we received. Please continue to pray for them and I will keep you updated.

Dear Family and Friends,

Many of you will have already heard what's going on in our lives. For the rest, here is our update.

I have been at our YWAM Discipleship Training School for 6 weeks now. During our 5th week at the school we went for my 20 week ultrasound. Our pregnancy - up to this point - has been an absolutely breeze. We were all excited, until our ultrasound tech told us that our baby had some sort of brain problem. She wasn't very clear that day, but our midwife led us to believe our son - Joshua Matthew - had part of his brain coming out through his skull. Originally we thought this was anencephaly, an absence of the top half of the skull and brain tissue. Several days after that we received the real diagnosis: encephalocele. Encephalocele is a sack protruding from the skull - where a bone has not fused properly in the developing stages (most likely before we knew we were pregnant) - with half of his brain matter in the sack and half in his cranium. This diagnosis is only what we can tell presently. Last week we thought there was no chance that Joshua would live past his first 24 hours. After our 2nd ultrasound and meeting with a obstetrician from Waikato Hospital, we now understand that encephalocele is often linked to other syndromes and disorders. If Joshua has a chromosomal abnormality, Trisomy 13 for example, it is not likely he will ever be able to undergo surgeries to rectify the situation. Also, if he has a heart condition, it could be very difficult. So we had an amniocentesis done on Thursday (they drew out fluid from around the baby to test it) and we will have the results on Monday. We are praying that this test comes back clear of any chromosomal abnormalities. If it is clear, then they will schedule us in for a heart scan when he is a little bit bigger (in 2 to 4 weeks). At present they have told us that they do not see any physical abnormalities that would indicate he has other problems, besides the encephalocele. If these two tests come back clear, they will send us to pediatricians and neurosurgeons to discuss his surgical options. They will need to do further, higher tech scans to see what brain matter is inside, what is outside, what (if any) has been damaged, and if they can do anything for him. We are believing that God knows best for our son. Joshua is so important to us, and we want to do the very best for him. We also want to watch him grow up. It's going to be a very difficult road for the next few months. Please pray with us for our son's full recovery, and also for our loving Father's will over Joshua's life. On a positive note, Joshua moves a lot (he moves all day every day) and has quite a bit of dexterity. In fact, he pointed one finger at the ultrasound tech the other day - I found that amazing. He has 10 fingers and 10 toes (another plus according to the doctor). His kidneys appear normal, as does his heart. Our daughter does not seem to realize what is going on, thought at times she feels the tension. She is our light in a dark hour - still the cheeky, little smiler that she always is. Please pray that she begins to sleep through the night routinely, and that she won't be aware of the tension.Please pray also that my husband and I to begin to sleep better. It's very difficult to shut our minds off at night, and we find we are exhausted all the time. We are sensing that the Lord wants us to remain in New Zealand for now, but we also need confirmation from the Lord - (ie. accepted work visas!). Please stand with us during our storm. We are learning to rely on God and His love - but it is so hard right now. Thank you all. We love you and appreciate you all.

- Mr & Mrs. S

PS. The Lord spoke to my husband about 4 hours before we went for our 1st scan (we didn't know he was a boy) and gave him the name Joshua because Joshua was "strong and courageous" (it also means God saves) and Matthew because it means "Gift of God". He is our strong and courageous gift of God. We are so thankful for our little blessing. :)
PPS. I just realized I did not make it clear that we are continuing on with our school and are juggling hospital visits, the school, and our church responsibilities at present. Please pray for our stability of heart, mind, and body while we do this.

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