I probably should have updated this a few days ago, but I just haven't had the heart. This whole thing is so difficult, I'm just so thankful for God's grace helping me to get through.
We went back to Little Rock on Monday. BJ went with me this time. He cried the whole time we were watching the ultrasound. He's so tenderhearted. That's a good thing, although he seems to think it's not. Everything this time looked basically like it did last time...bad. The baby's bladder continues to grow. It's very sad. On the ultrasound, it just looks like a big black hole that takes up Jude's whole abdomen. The kidneys are now beginning to lose function, and the fluid levels are going down. Poor little guy. Thank God that the doctors don't think he can feel any pain yet. I would imagine that would be terribly painful and miserable.
He is really cute, though. (Well...that's a mommy talking, and only from looking at ultrasound pictures...) But, his little face looks perfect, and his arms are always in the prayer position. He knows we're all praying for him. At least I'd like to think so.
I went back to my doctor on Wednesday, and they got good heart tones still. Then, yesterday, I went in to drop off some paperwork, and my nurse, Melissa (the most awesome nurse I can imagine!), asked me if I wanted to listen for heart tones again. Of course I said yes. Just hearing Jude's little heart beating is like connecting with him on a way that I don't feel I can very often. She listened for several minutes, and couldn't find a heartbeat. So, she took me back and we did a quick ultrasound to make sure he was still there. He was. I guess he was just hiding from Melissa. The ultrasound tech and Melissa were both taken aback by how large his bladder is. They both said they'd never seen anything like it. My baby is special. And, honestly, it's a miracle that he's fought this long in my uterus to live. To think that on November 11 they told me that he would be gone the next day, and here it is two months later, and he's still fighting. He's stubborn...like his Mommy.
The nurse did tell me that once I'm past 20 weeks (which is a week and a half from now), we will have to have a burial for Jude. Part of me is sad about that, but part of me is glad that I'll have that closure. I hope that Jeff will perform the service and that Derek and Holly will sing. I already have songs in mind. I hope that doesn't sound morbid or anything, I just am trying to be realistic, and I am all about planning every last detail, so I think it's okay for me to think about that stuff right now. I know I won't feel like thinking about it when I have to think about it.
Everyone says that everything happens for a reason. I'm not struggling with trying to find the reasons for this. I'm done blaming myself, and I'm done feeling guilty about the situation. I feel that God is teaching me patience through this. I've never been a patient person, but this has forced my hand. I can't rush what God is doing right now, and I think, in the end, it will be good for me. All my life, I've told God what I want Him to do instead of allowing Him to take control. Now, I'm letting go, and letting God do what he wants to - for the very first time in my life.
For now, I'm just holding on to God's promises. I'm trying to remember that He is my strength, and that He is the only one that can get me through.
Thanks again to all who are praying. I'll try to scan in pictures of little Jude in the next day or two.