Hearts Made Whole [phil]

ImageAt the start, I want to stress that this happened to me, Loyal Philip Hall. It did not occur to a friend or a friend of a friend.

It had been a rough 2 years. My wife and I lost 3 unborn children during that time. Each was a traumatic experience filled with heartache. After a battery of tests, we found out it was an easily corrected hormonal imbalance to blame.

About a year ago, we found ourselves happily and hesitantly pregnant again.  On Valentine’s Day 2012, we had an ultrasound. Everything was going wonderfully- we found we were having a little girl, she was moving around a lot and her growth was exactly at the 50 percentile. But then the technician zoomed in on our little girl’s heart to take some measurements. She stepped out of the room and the room began to fill with doctors. We knew something was wrong. Eventually one of the doctors started talking to us. “Your baby’s heart is malformed. The wall separating the atriums is missing, as well as the wall separating the ventricles. This is a serious heart defect that occurs in 0.5% of pregnancies. She will be fine for now because she is receiving all her oxygen from her mother and the heart doesn’t need to direct blood to and from the lungs. But at birth she will need immediate heart surgery.” Then we were whisked to a genetics counselor who informed us that this defect is often associated with trisomy of a chromosome (it could be Down’s Syndrome, but it could also be different extra chromosome). We should get an amniocentesis that day to find out; there is only a small risk. We decided not to- we did not want to pose a further risk to the baby with an invasive procedure once we found that it would not change how the doctors would monitor her development or treat her and we knew we would love and cherish our daughter with or without a disability.

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We went home and spent Valentine’s Day crying and praying for our daughter. We knew God is good, whether our daughter was born healthy or not. We asked God for faith and comfort. But that didn’t mean we were not going to ask for a miracle. What parent who believes in God would not?

We prayed for her every day. Friends and family were also praying for her. Then Friday, 3/16/2012, we had an ultrasound with the pediatric cardiologist. He was looking at the ultra-sound and began by saying, “Everything looks good. The chambers are all divided, the valves are in place and working properly, and the vessels attached to the heart are all in place. There is a little brightness here that might be some sort of scar tissue on the dividing septum between these chambers, but otherwise everything is healthy.” He was genuinely surprised when we told him why we were there. “No, she won’t need any surgery. I’d like an EKG done at birth just because of that possible scar tissue, but otherwise everything is fine and you can deliver wherever you like.”

God healed our little girl’s heart.

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I am praising God right now. We live in a world warped by sin and that warpedness includes fetal development going awry. There are lots of people who are praying to God whose children are not healed. I don’t believe God healed our little Ester because we prayed right or he loves us more than other people or that we were “due.” God could have said “No.” He did so for 3 of our other children and I believe He has His reasons. God healed Ester because he chose to for some reason. In a broken world, broken by our own sin, supernaturally intervening to make anything better is mercy. God is good. Praise him and don’t lose faith.

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3 thoughts on “Hearts Made Whole [phil]

  1. I remember those days of scaredness, tests and the unsure. LOTS of prayers were offered up on Esther’s behalf. She is so precious!! Glad God chose to heal her heart!! 😀 What a blessing!!

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