Sunday, July 31, 2011

Baby Boy Has a Name!

When Rose and I found out that she was pregnant with our first child, we resolved that we would share the baby's gender with our friends and family, but we agreed that we would keep the name a secret until the baby was born. We had been married for more than 4 years when Rose found out that she was pregnant, and we had broached the subject of baby names many times in the preceding years. Luckily, Rose and I had largely been in agreement on several prospective names for babies, so when the time came to name our sweet little girl in 2009, we weren't at loggerheads over the name; rather, it was satisfying in some special way when we agreed that she would be Annabelle Frances. We both loved it, and, aside from thinking the individual names pleasing to the ear or just "sweet sounding," they were family names -- I had a great aunt named Annabelle, and Rose's grandmother and aunt both had Frances in their names. When Annabelle actually arrived, it was gratifying to share her name with others after having kept it under wraps for so long.

When we found out that Rose was pregnant again, we anticipated that we would proceed in the same way: share the gender, then announce the name when the baby's born. But then, on the same day that we found out we have a little boy, we got our sobering news about his condition. As yet, we don't know the severity of his CDH, and, from what little we've learned so far, it sounds like we won't actually know how bad things are or his real prospects for survival until he's born. Depending on how things go after birth, there could be weeks or months before he's able to come home from the hospital. And, as much as we hate to think about it, there's the possibility that he won't come home at all.

In light of our little boy's condition and what that means for our family, we covet your prayers. And when praying for him, you can call him by name: Jude Lachlan Morrison.

"Jude," as many of you probably know, is a biblical name: Jude was the brother of Jesus, and it means "praise," "thanks," or "the praised one."

"Lachlan" (pronounced like "lock lun"), without a doubt, is the more unusual and foreign-sounding name between the two. My family and surname are of Scottish origin, and Lachlan is a Scottish name, which means "from the land of lochs/lakes."

Rose and I are extremely thankful for all the encouragement, support, and prayers that have been offered for us. God has blessed us richly with amazing friends and family who demonstrate Christ's love to us in so many ways, and He is truly ministering to us through you all. Thinking about such love, I'm reminded of lines from a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem:

For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces.

In the next day or two, if you would, please pray for us regarding the results of Rose's amniocentesis, which will tell us if Jude has any genetic disorders. We're hoping that the results are negative, as the genetic disorders that could be present might prove fatal; however, we are praying for peace to accept whatever God has planned for us and for Jude. We'll keep you posted!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Big Reveal!

 Today was the big day! We decided to have a cake made to help us reveal the gender of our baby to our family. My mom picked up the cake on Thursday after we got the news on Wednesday. We planned on cutting the cake with my family on Friday in Athens while we were all together to celebrate my cousin's wedding this weekend. But because I had the amniocentesis completed on Thursday I was told not to travel for 24 hours. So we traveled to Athens today to do the cake with my family this afternoon and celebrate my cousin's wedding this evening. Needless to say, the cake suffered from the good ole' Georgia heat between Thursday and now...but it tasted amazing and we were all so happy to share such a special moment together!
 It's Blue!
 A Boy! :)
 Annabelle and Brian sharing the first taste.
This is my nephew Jackson's response to having another boy in our family! He is the only grandson right now. :)

It was so nice to have time with my family. The last few days have been tough...but it was such a blessing to Brian and I to be surrounded by their hugs and encouragement. We know that they are all with us each step of the way. Many of you already know that my family faced tragedy on July 27, 2004 when my baby sister was in a car accident (strangely the same day we found out about our baby's diagnosis...just many years later) and today my family reminded us (each in their own way) that we will face this together. Not one of us is alone. That means so much to Brian, Annabelle and me. And likewise, we feel strengthened and encouraged by each one of you and your prayers. Thank you!

Truly, thank you.
Brian, Rose and Annabelle

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Prayers for baby Morrison #2

Dearest friends,
As many of you know yesterday (7/27/11) was an exciting day for us. We were scheduled to have an ultrasound with our Ob/Gyn to find out the gender of baby Morrison #2. We did in fact find out the gender of our sweet baby but we have decided to wait to reveal the gender until after our visit with family this weekend. We have planned to have a gender cake reveal! What is a gender cake reveal? Well, we have ordered a cake with an inside colored either blue or pink to indicate the appropriate color for baby Morrison #2 and we will cut this cake with our family on Saturday to reveal the sex of our little one. We are so excited to share this special moment with our family! (There are just a few of you out there that already know the gender of baby Morrison #2 and if you do, please try your hardest to continue to keep the secret until Sunday! Especially on Facebook!)
However, July 27 also changed our lives in another way. After discovering the gender of our baby we also received troubling results about our ultrasound. The doctor calmly told us about two concerns that he had:
1. They thought that they may have detected a ventricular septal defect. This is also commonly known as a “hole in the heart”. Sometimes this condition can heal itself while the child is developing within the womb or after delivery. However, sometimes this condition requires surgery.
2. They thought that they may have detected a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. This is a very rare and serious condition. Basically there is a hole in the diaphragm and some of the organs travel up into the chest cavity (stomach, intestines, etc.). Surgery can easily repair this hole and re-place the organs. But this condition is life threatening because during development the misplaced organs crowd the lung and cause the lung to underdeveloped or not to develop at all. Therefore, the baby has little or no ability to breathe on his/her own after delivery.
We were floored.
Brian and I calmly listened to his concerns and attempted to make sense of it all. They immediately set up for us to meet with a specialist to have a more in-depth ultrasound and meet with a doctor who has much more experience with high risk pregnancies. Thankfully the appointment was scheduled for the next day (today-7/28/11) at 9:30am. We were anxious to know more about our sweet baby’s condition, but we were also thankful that the Lord provided a way for us to get some answers as soon as possible.
We left the appointment with a plethora of emotions and fears. We contacted our families and closest friends and asked for prayer for our baby. We did a lot of crying and praying but as you can imagine we did not sleep very much. But we felt so thankful and blessed to be covered in prayer.
At our appointment today we received some good news. Our baby’s heart seems to be ok. It doesn’t appear that there is a ventricular septal defect.
But we also received some very bad news. It is certain that our sweet child has a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Honestly, we were devastated. We spoke for quite some time with our doctor about this condition and what it will mean for our baby, me and our family. We learned a lot today and there is still quite a bit to learn. If you would like to learn more about congenital diaphragmatic hernias you can read more here:
There were two aspects of our conversation that were very serious:
1. Occasionally congenital diaphragmatic hernias are connected with two genetic disorders: Trisomy 13 and 18. These disorders often have very low survival rates.
2. If it is confirmed that our baby does not have either Trisomy 13 or 18, then he/she has a 50/50 chance of survival after birth. And after birth there may be many more hurdles medically that our baby will face. There is not a formula for how things will play out after delivery. Each moment will depend on the condition of our baby’s lungs and how his/her body responds.
We are and still feel very nervous and scared by these statistics. But we are confident that the Lord has a plan for us and for our child.
Because of the concerns about Trisomy 13 and 18, we opted to have amniocentesis this afternoon. We will know the results of the test on Monday afternoon. Will you join us in praying for the results? We are certain that the Lord has a plan for our baby, no matter what the results are.
We may be out of touch for a few days as we settle in to our new normal. It has been difficult for us to live our day to day lives because it somehow seems like the world should have stopped. But please know that we appreciate your emails, calls, messages and texts. They truly encourage us and lift our spirits. We promise to respond as we can. We will try to answer your questions as we can too.
Please pray for us as we celebrate with our family this weekend. We are still very excited about sharing our baby’s gender with all of them.
We are quite frightened and nervous about the days to come but we are thankful for the love and support that surrounds us. We hope to keep all of you updated through a blog we have created here: http://babymorrison2.blogspot.comPlease feel free to share our blog with your friends, family and church. We truly, truly appreciate your prayers.
Brian, Rose and Annabelle (written by Rose)