Jude’s Journey

Jude’s Journey

On August 11, 2013, my husband and I got the most exciting news of our lives, which was the fact that I was pregnant with our first baby!

Nothing on earth can compare to the absolute joy that filled our hearts that day! Soon after that I started having my prenatal appointments and ultrasounds, which were so exciting and made everything feel so much more real. Also, seeing the baby for the first time was so AMAZING and unforgettable, even though he was still so tiny at the time.

After multiple visits to the doctor I had to have some lab tests done, which I wasn’t all that concerned about because most of what they were testing me for were things that I was confident I didn’t have. A few days after that visit I received a phone call from the doctor’s office informing me that I had tested positive for carrying Cystic Fibrosis, which was something that I was completely unaware of. I was then told that I didn’t actually have this ailment, but that I do carry it. Next, they asked me if it was in my husband’s family, or if I knew if he was a carrier as well. Of course we had no idea, so we started calling some of his relatives. It turned out that Cystic Fibrosis is actually in his family, which the doctor said wasn’t good due to the fact that if both mother and father are carriers, then the chances of a baby contracting this problem is 1 in 4.

The next step was to go to see a specialist where we met with a genetics counselor, as well as to have Sully (my husband) tested. The meeting was very scary to say the least! The counselor actually suggested that we should consider terminating the pregnancy and trying again. Obviously we were 100% against this thought!

The next thing that happened was that I was then sent back for a level 2 ultrasound, because the specialist wanted to see if there were any indications telling us that the baby had Cystic Fibrosis. One main thing that stands out is that the bowels would glow if it was present, thank God this was not the case!

The next chapter in our pregnancy journey began an even more challenging season for us. Another specialist began telling us that he saw something completely different from what we were even originally looking for during the ultrasound. His first words were, “I don’t like what I am seeing.” He then began to tell us that it didn’t look like our baby was developing the way that it should be. He said that his arms, legs, skull and chest cavity were very behind on the growth scale and that he was 99.9% sure that he was seeing a baby with Skeletal Dysplasia. This was such a foreign term to us and we really began to experience deep fear about our baby. The doctor’s primary concern was that he needed to see some growth in the skull and chest cavity in order for the organs to develop correctly so that the baby could breathe on his own outside of the womb. Obviously, we left this appointment feeling shocked and completely terrified!

Part of me was in such disbelief; what are the odds that our very first baby would have these problems when we have nothing even close to this on either side of our family? The only thing we knew to do was to instantly start lifting up our baby consistently in prayer, as well as to also get some support and prayer from our family and close friends.

The next visit with that same doctor, he explained to us that if the baby did indeed have Cystic Fibrosis on top of the skeletal dysplasia, it could be really dangerous. The problem was that the test they wanted to run with Sully to see if he carried it was fairly expensive and we really couldn’t afford it. At least at this visit we did have some joy as we found out that we were having a baby boy! Despite the challenges that we were dealing with, it felt so amazing being able to finally call our baby by name.

I had one more visit in the same office and once again they were throwing around termination and referring to our child as “not normal.” Next, the doctor told us that he was almost positive that the type of skeletal dysplasia that he was seeing in our baby was Achondroplasia. This was another foreign word to us that we had never heard of. He then explained to us that it was a type of dwarfism, which causes the long bones not to grow properly. Obviously, that came as quite a shock to us considering we had no history of this in either side of our families. After that appointment we decided that we would not return to that doctor’s office due to the fact that they had no bedside manner and they continued to suggest termination, which we are fully against! I then went to my primary physician and asked if he would recommend another specialist and told him that we also wanted a second opinion regarding our baby’s condition.

The next specialist that we were sent to was such a kind and gentle man, which was so refreshing. He took a look at the baby and measured everything and then with a heavy heart and a soft voice he confirmed the Achondroplasia diagnosis. I thought that having a nice doctor would make this easier, but in a way it was harder because I think that part of me was in disbelief and I was blaming all of this on the other doctor being insensitive and abortion driven. My parents were with us that day and we all processed the news together. It was hard, but having them there brought some comfort that we really needed. After this, I then began to feel nothing but fear, anger and hurt. I couldn’t understand why this was happening. Why couldn’t I have just one normal and joyful appointment? Why were all these things going wrong with our baby? At this appointment the doctor was miraculously able to have the fees waived for Sully’s Cystic Fibrosis testing. After the test, we left anxiously waiting for those results. We received a call just a few days later and the news was that Sully did not carry Cystic Fibrosis! Finally we received good news!

After dealing with so much fear and hurt, I got burned out and realized that I needed to fully go to The Lord with this, which I wasn’t truly doing. Sure I was praying for my baby, but I hadn’t really leaned on God completely and put this situation fully in his hands. I then remembered that just a week before hearing Jude’s first diagnosis, I was at breakfast with my sister and her boyfriend and I was telling them that I had a huge heart for children with special needs, challenges, illnesses and disabilities. I was telling them that I wish I had the finances and the resources to adopt those children and to give them a life filled with love and happiness. Then it hit me, The Lord chose me to be this child’s mommy. He trusted that my heart could handle it and He knew that I would love this baby regardless of what challenges he may face and that He picked us as his parents.

One day shortly after this last appointment, I was expressing my fears to my mother and told her that one of my concerns and what hurt me the most was when people referred to our baby as abnormal, because he is normal! Maybe God made him a little smaller, but he is a normal human being that God formed miraculously. I don’t want him to ever feel different or odd. I said to her that I didn’t know who got to determine what made someone normal. There are so many different people in the world with different shapes, sizes and colors. So, how wrong is it to refer to someone as not normal or abnormal. She then told me “Hannah, that is precisely why God has blessed little Jude with you for his mama, you will see him as normal and beautiful and wonderfully made and you will fight to have everyone in his world to see him through Gods eyes.” Then it really hit me how much of a blessing it was that this perfect baby boy would be ours.

The last appointment that we had recently, they gave us a definite confirmation that our baby does have Achondroplasia. They also told us that his chest and skull had actually developed some! However, they did inform us that there needs to be continued development over the coming weeks in these areas for the baby to be able to live outside of the womb.

Therefore, we are asking for you to please stand with us in prayer, as we believe for Jude to continue to grow and develop healthy and strong over the coming weeks. Also, pray that we will be prepared for the challenges that come with a special needs child, even though we believe for a miracle in my womb. Also, pray that we will be the parents that Jude needs us to be. We are so thrilled and thankful for him and can’t wait to meet him face to face.

Psalm 139:13-18

13 For you formed my inward parts;

you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works;

my soul knows it very well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you,

when I was being made in secret,

intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;

in your book were written, every one of them,

the days that were formed for me,

when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!

How vast is the sum of them!

18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.

I awake, and I am still with you.

The text I sent my family after they confirmed his diagnosis…

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Here is our beautiful baby boy….

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27 thoughts on “Jude’s Journey

  1. Hannah I had no idea u were going through all this I’m really not on FB that much. I’m really sorry but I’m crying and really happy to hear of another human being who shares my same heart for whatever may come Lord!! This little Jude is handcrafted by the one true God and will be a witness to the world of love and joy!! I’m so proud of u an sully making the right decision! They push abortion so much but it’s these wonderful babies who reveal parts of Gods heart that would never otherwise be revealed! I will continue to believe with u for healing and I love u guys! You r so amazing and soo strong and darla is right God chose u! What an honor! We love u and are praying with u!;) -mya

  2. “My Baby Jude– precious grandson; my heart is do full with love for you,,, I can not wait to kiss your beautiful face”
    Sweet Grandson, we pray as you are being formed in your precious mother’s womb , as the awesome and powerful love of the living God surrounds you — that He will astound,surprise and overtake us all with His interventions,
    We believe the most of and the very best of Gods abiliities to deliver you safely to us and to the world that awaits your beauty!!!
    Love you so much!!
    Grandma jude

  3. Hannah, your heart is beautiful and admirable. I’m praying, as always, for you and Sullivan. This is truly a match made in heaven and Jude will have an advantage over his peers because he will be able to see through the eyes of his Maker and NOT of this world. I love you all 🙂

  4. Hannah: How pleased the Lord must be with you and your family. This will surely be a special child and gift from the Creator of us all. You and Jude will be a special gift to many people. As a Christian I thank you for being such an inspiration to us all in this culture of death. God bless you, Jude and all your wonderful family. I hope you will keep us all up to date with this beautiful pro-life story! We will keep you covered in prayer! Bob and Fran

    • Hi Hannah, I can not wait to meet you someday. You sound like such a strong person. What doesn’t kill us, will make us stronger, they say 🙂 Hang in there. You are in our hearts and prayers. Love you all!!
      Love,
      Aunt Nancy

  5. Hannah, you are such a strong woman of faith, and I know that God never makes a mistake. I pray for a miracle for you and for this little one, but, only God knows what that miracle will look like. He may perform that miracle in the womb, and you may have a totally whole and healthy little one. I know this, God will give you grace whatever the circumstances, and normal for you may not be what is normal for others. God has not planned evil for your life, He plans to give you a hope and a future, and that future will be good…….Praying for you and your hubby……….

    • I have had you on my mind and I keep thinking how wonderful you have always been since you were a little girl, I know that God has always had his hand on you and now you and your Husband together are bringing this new little life into the world….. Even after the doctor’s wanted you to terminate the pregnancy, you and Sully did not give into this, God see’s your Faithfulness Hannah and he honors that baby, He see’s your heart and he hears those prayers and he see’s those precious tears that fall and he hears the questions, He is there with you honey, right beside you. I am praying for you and Sully, and precious Jude your little miracle. I Love you and I will continue to pray for all of you!

      • Philippians 4:4-7
        Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  6. Hannah, we will pray for you and baby Jude. I too, have an adopted son that has a genetic disorder and he is the joy of our lives. There is nothing too big or difficult for the Lord. He’s right there with you guys and will give you the strength and wisdom you need.

  7. Hannah Good morning, I dont know you but I have to share this with you sweet Lady. I was meditating on serving God this morning and just recently we designed a new logo for our kids ministry our designer (a wonderful Korean Lady) had drawn the most beautiful picture of a tree with children standing around it of different nationalites but the one that jumped out at me was the child in a wheelchair, and when i saw this my heart leapt. And so this morning that was my meditation that we dont have to be body perfect to serve God wholeheartedly afterall Jacob (Israel) continued to serve God limping. Jude may have some challenges and then he may come out completely functioning nevertheless whatever the outcome of his arrival, it will be a divine appointment between him and God. God is waiting for his arrival more that you are because he will use him in ways you will not comprehend. Be at peace knowing that the outcome will be 100% God xx I rejoice with you and look forward to more news of his coming. Bless you dear woman xxxx

  8. Trust in The Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct thy paths. Prov. 3:5-6

  9. Beautiful post! Jude is already such a handsome man. You have a beautiful, blessed journey ahead and a whole new family of POLP (parents of little people) just waiting with open arms. Lots of love to you and your expanding family ❤

  10. Hannah, I had no idea, but I’m praying for you and your sweet baby! God is faithful and hears our prayers. You will be such a good little mama 🙂 Love you!

  11. Hannah,
    Sweet Jude is seriously blessed with amazing parents. Many parents can not relate to such a terrifying experience. But you and sully are handling this with such wisdom and peace. The Love of God shines throughout your entire pregnancy. We are standing in Faith and speaking life to baby Jude! He is beautifully and wonderfully made. Can not wait for those snuggles and cheeks!! Love you all and we celebrate baby Jude! Love you all X3!

  12. Hannah, on a more ‘practical’ note, this baby is STILL being formed!!! Dont let the doctors get to you… some can cause more harm then good, by instilling ‘fear’ into you. After all, they are human too. They could be missing a whole lot. They said some things about Sariel, my daughter, and had me do lots of ultrasounds when I was pregnant with her..kidneys problems..etc.. Even after she was born, she had ‘kidney reflux’,etc.. which most docs prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. Well, here at the Lopez household, we are VERY STRONG believers in Gods ‘FARMacy’ aka natural means to health and are VERY anti-drugs. We even got booted out of a childrens urology practice cus ‘we think we knew what was best for our baby, and didnt trust the doctors diagnosis’…excuse me, but that was complete BS. The Lord already was speaking to me, as I came to Him for guidance..what to give my body, as I was nursing, so it would pass down to her…nutrients..vitamins..and of course, prayer. Several ultrasounds later, and our own ‘research’ on the issue, that Ricky was led to read about, made us SO confident that it wasnt a real issue. It was a VERY MISDIAGNOSED ISSUE! Uggg. I knew it. I say all of this to tell you: 1. dont be fearful, for God is full of LOVE, not fear, 2. DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Find out ALTERNATIVE options for healing your body even now, that could help the development of your little baby (check out the mineral ZINC for development), 3. Pray & believe for restoration. This is NOT Gods plan/design for your baby!! Hes into restoration! =) God bless you & Sully for your faith in Yeshua… shalom upon your family!!!

    • I agree with Shelly that since this baby is still being formed in the womb, it’s all in God’s control. Thank God for doctors but there is one greater. We experienced that, when one of our grand-daughter’s was growing in the womb. My daughter almost lost her in the first trimester because of a detaching of the placenta, and then in the second trimester the ultrasound showed a cyst on the brain. When she was born she had 3 holes in her heart, two of them closed but one didn’t, so at 18 months she had open heart surgery. After 2 weeks in ICU she developed an infection which also came close to taking her life. Through all of this and from the beginning of her gestational period we were praying for her. At the time of her surgery she was diagnosed with multiple spleen and her intestines were twisted and on one side of her body plus she had two left atrium’s instead of a right and a left in her heart. She was born with all of these things already affecting her little life. She spent more than 2 months in hospital during her heart surgery only to come home and go back again for bowel surgery. Today she is a beautiful teen girl who loves the Lord with all her heart. She will celebrate her 14th birthday April 13th. She faithfully follows her Lord.She is also very healthy! I hope this will encourage you both to not look at the circumstances but keep your eyes on God and know beyond a shadow of doubt, that He who created all things and us is IN CONTROL. God Bless ! Minnie King

  13. Sweet Hannah,
    I was so moved by your post. I am praying for you, Sully and little Jude. Sometimes it is hard to understand the journey that God sets before us. We did not know what to expect when Elijah was diagnosed with Aspergers. I had not heard of the term before his diagnosis, so I had a lot of reading to do! But I am so thankful that God chose us to raise Elijah! He is such a blessing. He is an original masterpiece. Although we have had some challenges throughout the years, we can see God’s hand on his life and how he used him to touch so many with a kind gesture of donating his medal to the Olympian team. I know that his diagnosis of Aspergers and the ‘symptoms’ with that is exactly why he was so sensitive at that time. Elijah has never believed there is anything ‘wrong’ with him; he always says, “I am just different”. I believe normal is subjective. I am happy and thankful for my ‘normal’. We have never discouraged Elijah from reaching his goals and dreams for his life. Anyone can reach their dreams with God and determination. Jesus chose you and Sully for little Jude. He is so blessed with such strong and loving parents. God has a plan and destiny for Jude. We are standing with you and Sully in prayer and believing for miracles. We love you and your family! “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

  14. Will be praying for this sweet boy and no matter what he is beautiful. Also remember god will never place more upon you than he knows you can handle. God has a plan for your family, and what ever it may be will be amazing. Prays for your family.

  15. My Dear, Sweet Hannah and her Beloved Sully,
    God has most definitely blessed you both with this innocent, perfect child. I have worked for years with these special needs children and having you as parents is all in His perfect plan. You have a purpose in this and I concur with your mother who is one that has an enormous amount of wisdom… God picked YOU!!! He wants the world to see your baby and other sweet babies with special needs as
    “normal” babies that just happen to have a special need… and YOU, my little firecracker, will be just that Gal to make that happen! I will pray for you and Sully to remain strong during the future medical trials as there will be some, but know that God is there with you every step of the way and carrying you when you don’t think you can make it…
    Love you, my sweet Cousin!!!
    Need ANYTHING and I’ll be there…Yes, even from Pennsylvania 🙂
    ~Kelly~

  16. Feb 21, 2014

    Today I wake early and I lay here praying you precious Jude, our sweet miracle baby. I get nervous for every appointment and I pray this same prayer everyday. All day long; Jesus please touch Jude let him grow healthy and strong. I pray breathe, Jude breathe.

    I love you my sweet grandson, my arms ache to hold you, I can’t wait to kiss your beautiful face. You have such a strong brave Mommy who loves you more than life she’s tenacious and stubborn and she fights for you, she will always be in your corner believing for you, loving you and protecting you. You have the sweetest, loving tender hearted daddy who can’t wait to meet you and he will move heaven and earth for you. Your grandpa and I are beside our selves with love for you. your name is constantly on our lips in prayer. You have loving aunts, uncles and cousins and so many dear friends who are praying for you and waiting for you to arrive, baby you are so loved….so grow baby Jude, grow and don’t worry we are all ready for you, to love you, protect you and care for you. You will have a beautiful life.

    Claiming this verse for you my precious Jude

    You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because you are to be feared; all you do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart. When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother’s womb, when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there — you saw me before I was born. The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began. O God, how difficult I find your thoughts; how many of them there are! If I counted them, they would be more than the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.

    Psalm 139:1

    Jude I pray for your days to be long and blessed on the earth.

    Love,

    Grandma

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