“Are you sure you have the right dates?” the ultrasound technician asked us. “The growth of your baby does not match the dates you are giving me.”
My husband, Jordan, and I were a bit surprised at the question. We knew we were somewhere between 18-20 weeks and had come to this appointment simply to learn the gender of our third child.
The ultrasound results stirred a flurry of additional appointments and tests over the next 30 days. Finally, the week of Christmas, we heard the staggering news that our baby had stopped growing. Her limbs did not match the normal growth pattern, and her skull had an unnatural indentation, almost like it was caved in on the front of her head. We were being told that even if we delivered at full term, our precious baby could be born with severe special needs, or worse, she could die after being born.
I remember sitting with our other two daughters in our living room surrounded by Christmas lights and decorations as I pondered what all this news meant for our little family. Other parents learned how to raise special needs children, and I sometimes felt guilty about praying for a healthy baby. Still, we prayed. Still, we believed.
The Lord gave Jordan Philippians 1:6: “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (NKJV). Jordan knew the Lord was saying two things to us: (1) God would form our baby and give us a full-term healthy pregnancy; and (2) God’s completing work in our baby’s health would keep going after she was born.
A genetic specialist met with us and outlined our options. While they never suggested terminating the pregnancy, we knew many people made that choice when confronted with similar diagnoses.
We didn’t tell many people about our situation, only confiding in our parents and pastors. During our church’s Christmas Eve service at The Rock (Anaheim Foursquare Church) in Anaheim, Calif., Pastors Jerry and Kimberly Dirmann prayed for us. Jerry prayed in the Holy Spirit, laid hands on Jordan and me, and prayed about anything in my body that would prevent proper nutrition getting to the baby. The Lord impressed Jordan that I should stop taking a particular medication that our doctor initially said would not harm the baby.
By January, a team of pediatric specialists was convinced our little girl was developing skeletal dysplasia, or dwarfism. A genetic specialist met with us and outlined our options. While they never suggested terminating the pregnancy, we knew many people made that choice when confronted with similar diagnoses.
I must admit that I had horrifying thoughts of our baby not being able to breathe outside my body. Still, our faith in Jesus was growing daily. We knew He would take care of our little girl.
In the final weeks of the pregnancy, we saw specialists and had at least one ultrasound each week so that doctors could track any patterns, good or bad, that might affect our baby’s growth or survival rate. Throughout the pregnancy, we prayed to hear the specialists specifically say, “We don’t know how, but your little girl is growing again.” We also prayed that if any of the doctors or staff were speaking death over our baby, that God would remove them from the process.
One of the doctors we had been seeing was out on extended sick leave when we went for our next appointment. The replacement doctor reviewed our latest ultrasound and told us the words we longed to hear: Our baby had suddenly started growing in the previous six weeks. She also had caught up to the size she should be, and the growth patterns looked within normal range. Doctors even went so far as to remove the “high risk” designation from our pregnancy.
God answered our prayers. On March 27, 2017, Aliyah Peaceful Wall was born with no complications and no special needs.
“She is perfect; not too small and not too big!” It was the same report from every specialist and nurse who checked her out when she was born. Today, she is a healthy toddler, a pistol with a great personality.
Her sisters, her dad and I welcomed her into our waiting hugs, praising God for His provision in her little life. We can hardly wait to help her understand the way God hovered over her forming life and the blessing of His creative touch as she developed in the womb.