Rob and I decided not to find out the sex of our fourth (and final) child. Here was our logic. We had three boys and enough baby gear and clothes to provide for a small village…and then some! Besides, we had found out the sex with the other three. We wanted to be surprised. We figured that if we DID have a girl - which seemed highly unlikely, considering our record - who didn't like to buy girl clothes??
The big day came and the moment of truth had arrived: Boy #4 or Girl #1? "Well, what is it?" I demanded. Rob had a look of sheer pleasure. "Just let me double-check", he said - keeping me in suspense! Not wanting to keep a woman who had just labored waiting, he announced, "It's a Savannah!" I was elated. I was shocked. I was suddenly and completely in love with the thought of PINK!
In no time, it was time for my sweet baby girl to meet her big brothers. I was overwhelmed with joy as they bounded into my hospital room. Our family was now complete. They munched on Happy Meals…and created mischief. The cringing nurses saw chaos. All I saw was laughter and smiles. It was heaven.
Our evening together passed quickly and I soon found myself giving them goodnight kisses and telling them I would be home the following day. Just like that, I was alone with my daughter. You could have heard a pin drop in the room. Rob would settle the boys at home with Grandma and be back soon enough, but in that quiet time I just held my daughter.
The pediatrician came by to congratulate me and examine Savannah. After a few minutes she told me that she had detected a small heart murmur. Apparently, it had been picked up right at birth and it was the primary reason for her visit. She went on to tell me that she expected it to clear-up quickly and would be back in the morning to listen again. If it was still there they would do some basic testing that would take about one to three hours. Just as quickly as she had arrived, she was gone.
I tried to remain calm as I sat there. I told myself to take deep breaths. I wanted Rob BACK at the hospital. He seemed to be taking an eternity! My mind was overwhelmed and I was trying to tell myself it was nothing. After all, Dylan had been born with a mild heart issue and was completely cleared by the cardiologist at age five…and he had Down syndrome! Besides the murmur, Savannah was a picture of health! The doctor gave the impression that it was nothing. She had shared that a large number of people in this world have heart murmurs and it impacts them in no serious way - she highly doubted it was anything!
As I waited for Rob, I did some talking with God. I had finally gotten a girl…and she was perfect. I told God I knew He was just testing me and seeing if I would trust Him - again. I informed the Lord I wasn't sure why He felt the urge to test Rob and me so often, but I admitted to Him that I knew that Savannah was His. I knew He was in complete control. The conversation between us was a bit unpleasant. Being tested was not at the top of my list…especially when it came to the children He had entrusted me with. Why couldn't He just leave them alone? Yeah, I was talking back a bit, but in the end I attempted to put the arguing aside and let Him do what He does, which always ends up to be the best. Rob finally returned and I filled him in on the news. He was unsure of it all, but remained incredibly calm and positive.
The morning exam revealed that the murmur was still present. Time for testing. Now when I look back at this moment, I realize just how much Rob and I had grown in our walk with the Lord since Dylan's birth. We walked Savannah over to the NICU. Remember the NICU? It’s the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit…where Dylan was for five days. We handed Savannah to the nurses and watched as she was hooked up to all sorts of wires and monitors. The NICU didn't faze us much. It just seemed to be a part of our birth experience. Once Savannah was settled, I headed back to my room. I was tired. I wanted a shower. The best thing I could do for all of us was to keep myself busy. I suppose I could have sat beside Savannah for nearly three hours and fretted over her well-being….but what would be the point of that? I couldn't do anything for her. She was my earthly daughter, but ultimately she was a daughter of Christ and He surrounds her at all times. That’s something I will never be able to do, no matter how much I want to. All I could do was pray, and that could be done anywhere, so I went back to my room for a nap and shower!
Savannah’s tests came to an end and she passed them all. We would need to take her to the pediatrician in a few days to listen again to her heartbeat. I sighed. I was relieved with the initial tests results, but we had to come back in less than 48 hours, which we did. Once again, we were told that the heart murmur was still there. To be cautious, an appointment with the pediatric cardiologist was scheduled for just two days later.
We drove home knowing we had one more appointment upon us. My heart was heavy. I just wanted to enjoy my itty bitty baby….the last I would ever have. As I fell asleep that evening, I talked with God again. This was SO exhausting: the back and forth to the hospital, the uncertainty of what was going on, etc. All I could do was remind myself that Savannah was being held by her heavenly Father. Whatever her next appointment revealed, at least we would have answers…and a glimpse of what God was doing.