Monday, March 10, 2014

a story I never shared about Chapel Joy


Well, now that I posted about River & Wylder I feel I should include Chapel. However, I just posted 12 updates on Chapel each month of her life so Im pretty sure we all know how awesome and adorable she is.

Of course so much has changed from 12 to 15 months as it always does. She walks now, she is babbling up a storm, chasing and bossing her brothers in her own little baby way, always ready to wrestle and play, slowly transitioning from 2 to 1 naps, getting more teeth, growing out of clothes, climbing up and down the stairs, chasing sam, dancing & jumping everywhere .. and the list goes on.

I also want to point out.. now that she is 15 months old.. if we were following tradition I would be going to the hospital any day now to have another baby. (I had Wylder when River was 15 months old and then had Chapel when Wylder was 15 months old) Its absolutely bittersweet that Im not pregnant and that Im not preparing for another baby at the hospital or c-section any day now. I absolutely would love to be doing that.  Seriously. I realize that might sound crazy but its true. Im thankful to not be tired or exhausted from being pregnant.. but that’s about it. Ha.

Okay, that could be an entire post (or book) on its own so I will move on.


I thought I would share something about Chapel that I never did before. Im not trying to be dramatic, I promise. Im just sharing a story that I hadnt before because I want to remember it. I think its easy for me to know (or read) medical things and forget that the Lord is the ultimate creator, healer and doctor. I can know that most babies do this, or grow out of this, or statistically xyz happens.. and so I almost, in my human nature, forget that the Lord is the one forming my children and creating them certain ways so that's why its important for me to write this out and remember it.

When I was pregnant with Chapel and we had just moved to Cleveland.. we went back to Erie for her gender sonogram. As some of you may know,  its also the sonogram where they look at a ton of other things and check the development of your baby. So, we found out she was a girl.. we came home and celebrated.. and then a few days later I got a phone call from our doctor. I honestly didn’t think anything of it and called back. As I was returning the call and the phone was ringing I thought to myself “that’s a little strange they called me.. they haven’t ever given me results over the phone.. I wonder what it is?” Then the nurse answered my call and began to explain to me right away that Chapel’s sonogram also showed that she had a cyst on her brain.

A little 20 week old girl with a cyst on her brain.

Praise God that Freeland was home because the nurse was using words that made no sense to me. (even though she was incredibly reassuring.. I was still lost) I kept asking her to repeat it or explain it more or spell it out for me and then just realized it was best that I pass the phone over to my husband.

He hung up and explained everything to me. Chapel had a choroid plexus cyst (CPC) on her brain.  (you can read more about it here if you want. Its not the most alarming thing.  but I also wouldn't say its common..) Regardless, no mother wants to hear their child has a cyst.. and no father who is too aware of medical things and too aware of what could go wrong wants to hear it either.. even if they know and understand that its okay.

As I said, the doctor wasnt overly concerned and assured us not to worry. They said they generally do go away and that our new doctor in Cleveland would continue to do sonograms to check the cyst and make sure it was shrinking or going away.  In some cases they are LOOSELY linked with Trisomy 18 (NOT Trisomy 21, which is Downs syndrome).  However, our doctor didn’t see any of the other markers on Chapels ultrasound and that is why they told us not to be too concerned.

Well our doctor here took her super sweet time doing the next sonogram. And I understand why .. she wanted to ensure she gave the cyst enough time to shrink and didn’t want to charge us extra money doing sonograms only to do another one 2 weeks later and so on. So I believe it was at around 34-36 weeks we finally went in for another sonogram to see Chapel and look at her little precious perfectly created brain to see if there was still a cyst there and decide what we would do or need to know. My step mom was in town at the time and stayed home with the boys while Freeland & I went together to our appointment.

We went to a different office where they had a doctor in the room with us along with the ultra sound technician. Freeland & I had been praying for healing over Chapel and we were at peace knowing that anything we ever saw on an ultrasound would be fine.. we trusted and knew that she was perfectly created by his hands in the secret place (Psalm 139:15-16) he makes no mistakes.. cyst or no cyst. Praise the Lord.

So, we sat and watched and they checked everything and we adored our little daughter (who at the time had no name.. Chapel, Piper, Charlie, Dylan, Elliot... ;)

and the doctor ever so beautifully announced the cyst was completely gone! Praise the Lord.

In full disclosure, I walked out more concerned they didnt give me a picture of the sonogram than the fact that Chapel was cleared and healthy. (horrifying, I know) Freeland however walked out praising the Lord. Its insane how quickly I can take for granted something. I expected she would be healthy. I expected the cyst would be gone. So when it was I quickly moved on to something else. But Freeland quickly reminded me what a miracle it was there was a healthy baby in my womb who was full term and thriving. Cyst or no cyst it was a miracle we needed to be praising the Lord for. He was right. I repent. Im so thankful the Lord is so gracious.

Im reminded that there isnt ever a guarantee of what our children will be like.. what they will be born with, what they will face, what they will have to fight with. And even though the odds in this case were in Chapels favor and statistically we knew she would be fine based on all the medical research.. I still need to stop and praise the Lord. How quickly we cry out when the research isnt in our favor.. and how quickly we forget our need for the Lord when it is. So, I really do want to praise the Lord. I have no idea what the days, weeks, years ahead will look like and I want to cry out and praise the Lord no matter how sweet or hard they are!

So that is the story of how the Lord formed Chapel and the work he did. Praise God.


  1. I now remember you saying something was concerning at one point of your pregnancy and never spoke of it after that. So glad it was not an issue, but sorry you had to go through that scare. Beautifully written, as usual. I have a perfect monogrammed gift to make for you when ready for #4.....

  2. How quickly we cry out when the research isnt in our favor.. and how quickly we forget our need for the Lord when it is.