06 December 2009

Ultrasounds and the Secret Place

On Wednesday morning our midwife (Sr. Jenny) paid us a visit at home. It was actually the first time we had met during this pregnancy. This baby will be our 4th baby she delivers. She was our back-up midwife with Andrew, and that’s where we met her for the first time. She also delivered David and Daniel. Since we are like-minded about natural birth and God’s hand of protection on our unborn babies, she understands exactly what we expect of our pregnancies and deliveries and doesn't insist on seeing me more than once during this pregnancy.

The children couldn’t wait for Jenny to arrive. I prepared them for her visit and told them they would be able to hear Baby’s heartbeat. They were all over me when Jenny took out the heart monitor. Daniel was the one most surprised by these strange pulsating sounds. He thought it was some sound from outside, or worse, the ceiling fan!

When Jenny examined my tummy to feel Baby’s head, she asked Heidi-Mari if she would like to feel too. Heidi-Mari was more than willing and the amazement on her face, as she ‘touched’ her new Brother/Sister’s head was a special moment I will always treasure in my heart. Jenny also let her feel where baby’s back and legs were.

When I was pregnant with Josua, CJ and Heidi-Mari were only 5 and 2 years old. The midwife used to draw a picture with a pen on my tummy, showing them exactly how he was positioned inside my tummy. They just marveled at the reality of a baby in my tummy.

Obviously Danika also wanted to ‘feel’ baby and Jenny showed her too.

Then Daniel showed by his body language he wanted to touch the baby too. From the time my tummy began to show, we explained to him that there is a baby in my tummy. Whenever he gets onto my lap, he will tap on my tummy and say: ‘baba’. He also got a chance to touch the baby!

By now we are all in suspense over the sex of this baby! We’ve never had ultra-sounds to find out the sex of our babies. The bible is clear - the womb is a secret place. And we feel it’s sacred to honour that.

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.

14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
Ps 139:12

But even before we’d known or understood the truth of these verses, we hadn’t wanted to know the sex of our babies, because we didn’t want to miss out on the great surprise when our babies were born. With the birth of every baby it was the surprise of a boy or a girl that made me ‘push’ through the last few minutes of labour. I can still feel the emotions rushing through my soul, with each of my seven babies, right after the birth and seconds before knowing, is it a boy or a girl? It is just awesome! I will hold my newborn baby, madly in love at first sight. For a moment I won’t even care to look, and then the great surprise, when dad announces it’s a ....!

Then there is the guessing and predictions of family and friends that makes it such an adventure through the last few weeks. Sometimes it seems like they are looking forward more to receiving the news of boy or girl, than us giving the news.

Then there is the health issue. Over the years Christo has learned a lot about the safety of multiple sonars on the health of unborn babies. With our first two babies, it was exciting to see baby on the sonar with every six weeks’ follow up with the gynecologist. After Heidi-Mari’s birth we had made huge changes in our health and took responsibility for our own bodies. Since then, we do only one sonar during the whole pregnancy, to determine the position of the placenta. Though it was great to have the opportunity to see our unborn baby on the sonar, we know it is best for baby’s health not to have multiple sonar’s.

It isn’t an easy road to take responsibility for your own health. The medical fraternity doesn’t like the idea of you making decisions independent of their advice - it’s called thinking for yourself. With our 5th pregnancy it felt like a battle while visiting the radiologists for our scan. They wanted to run all the “necessary” tests and gave us a rather cold shoulder when we resisted them. I believe you can choose your battles and therefore we refused to go for a scan at a radiologist or gynecologist with our 6th pregnancy. A family member is a Clinical Technologist and she was more than willing to do a sonar to check the position of the placenta and gave us a few sonar pictures for the family album! Since we are not her regular clients, we didn’t need to fight any battles about what we wanted to see or not. We just enjoyed looking at our unborn baby and the fearful and wonderful way God was knitting him/her together.

As you have probably been able to read between the lines, we also don’t allow any tests on our unborn baby, even though I’m already 40years old and supposed to be in a ‘high risk’ age group. I believe God never makes a mistake. Why would God, the Designer of my body, allow me to conceive if my body isn’t fit for it anymore? And even if God in His Wisdom decided to give me a special needs child, who am I to think I have a choice in receiving it or not. I say again, God never makes a mistake. He knows my family and me the best and He knows what He can entrust to us. I will receive each gift from the God of the Universe in the exact package He decides to give it to me, with praise and thanksgiving. Therefore we have never and will never do any tests on our unborn babies.

I know some say you are more prepared if you know. I believe only God can prepare me for whatever He wants to send my way. You will never be prepared for bad news about the health of your unborn baby when sitting in a cold consulting chair opposite the Gynecologist discussing a baby you’ve never held in your arms. I believe it will be much easier to receive the same bad news, head-over-heels in love with your newborn baby in your arms. Then I have not even touched on things like false positive tests. With this we mean tests that show you have an abnormal baby, but when the baby is born, its 100% normal. These so called scientific tests have been the cause of so much misery for so many mothers. Many hours spent worrying during pregnancies or worse looking at the perfectly normal (aborted) little baby, because ‘science’ said it may be abnormal.

I once read a story told by Corrie Ten Boom as written by John and Elizabeth Sherril in The Hiding Place. This story illustrated to me that sometimes we don’t need to have certain knowledge; we just need to trust God.

Corrie was a girl about ten or eleven years old, when she took a trip with her dad to Haarlem. She often uses the trip home to bring up things that would trouble her. During one of these trips she asked her dad about a line in a poem they read at school. It was a poem about sexuality. After asking her dad, he turned to look at her, as he always did when answering a question, but to her surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over their heads, and set in on the floor.
“Will you carry it off the train, Corrie? He said.
Corrie stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.
‘It’s too heavy,” she said.
“Yes,” he said. “And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.”
Corrie was satisfied. More than satisfied – wonderfully at peace.

I feel the same, about trusting God with the health of my unborn baby. By doing tests on my unborn baby I ask for answers and actions on difficult questions, I will never be old and strong enough to take.

While pregnant, I’m content to leave certain knowledge in my Father’s keeping.


Sonja said...

Hoe kosbaar is daardie opgewonde gesiggies wat nog n nuwe boetie of sussie kan waardeer en daarna uitsien,terwyl die wereld babas afmaak as n las! Ek het my ook nooit aan toetse gesteur nie, en wou nie voor die tyd weet nie, ek stem saam met jou dat dit alles in God se hande is en dit is hoe dit hoort, ek wens net ek het al hierdie kennis gehad voor ek kinders gehad het!!Dit is die mooiste mooiste voorbeeld wat jy hier gebruik van die Pa en dogtertjie en dit maak my soooo opgewonde om sulke dinge te hoor, is dit nie wonderlik dat ons so n wonderlike hemelse Vader het nie!!

Linnie said...

Liewe Sonja
Dankie vir jou inloer! Ek waardeer dit elke keer so wanneer 'n blog-vriendin laat weet sy het hier gekuier.
Ek dink soms ons onderskat die grootheid van ons Hemelse Vader, Sy beskermende liefde vir ons en Sy Alwetendheid. Ons trek Hom af na ons kleine wêreldjie en vergeet die groot prentjie, daarom dat ons in die slaggate van, in die geval 'wetenskap', val!
Hoop jy het 'n heerlike week!

Nikki said...

Hello again Linnie, this was a lovely post! We only have two children as you have seen-which I think of as a miracle itself as I never thought I'd marry or have children at one stage in my life :-)
I think that it is wonderful that you can be so open to motherhood and having more children. At the moment I'm waiting patiently for my husband to decide if we can have another. I know that I must trust the Lord for HIs timing and grace if we are to have another and I know that I must submit to my husband's desires, but boy oh boy it's a little challenging when you hear your friend is pregnant with her 4th! Thank you for sharing your story, it is very encouraging! I pray that the rest of your pregnancy is blessed greatly!

Linnie said...

Hi Nikki
Great of you to visit again! God, specialize in miracles! Keep on praying and bringing your husband before the Lord to turn his heart to children - Mal 4:5. The Lord especially listen to the prayers of a submissive wife - well done to you!
Thank you for your prayers!
Lots of love

AutumnVine said...

Ai, Linnie, dis so 'n wonder waarvan jy skryf. Mag hierdie kind ook baie vreugde bring.
Ek het van die dinge geweet, en van dit nie. Maar ons het baie sonars gehad, weet nie van gevolge nie. Almal was maar hoë risiko. Ek het die eerste baba verloor agv daarvan. En wou dus die geslag weet van die tweede omdat God gese het ons sal 'n seun he. Met die derde swangerskap was daar later soveel probleme.
Maar ek onthou die sonars so goed. Dit was tog wonderlik om te sien, veral die laaste een by 'n GP wat die geboorte gedoen het. Hy het so lank na daardie gesiggie gekyk wat beweeg het. Hy's 'n christen wat nou ook tuis watergeboortes doen.
Ek wou nie die laaste een se geslag weet maar boeta het met oop bene gelê net soos sy ouboet en ek het sommer geweet...

Amy said...

Love this post! For my first baby, I decided not to ever get an ultrasound and did a home birth as well. God knows my body and created my baby, so I trusted him! (Of course, I knew that things were fine with great midwives and thankfully no complications -- I believe God gave us OBs for a reason, just not medical intervention every time!) It is important for people to know that all things come with a cost (ie ultrasounds even). Blessings.

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