The Beginning

For those of you who are not familiar with Eli’s story, I wanted to start at the beginning, just to bring you up to date.

Jamie and I discovered that we were going to have our fourth blessing in August. We were so excited. We had our first ultrasound at the beginning of September. Everything was normal and the pregnancy progressed with each visit. We heard the heartbeat at each visit and I began to feel him move around 15-16 weeks. He was a very lazy baby at that point. We were to go on November 30th for our 20 week ultrasound. We decided that we would take our other children with us to this appointment. They could not wait to find out what this baby was. Everyone had their ideas about whether the baby was a boy or girl. The boys wanted another brother and of course Jamie wanted another boy. I secretly or not so secretly wanted Lucie Rose to have a sister, but would not be at all disappointed with another boy either. I don’t know why, but the 20 week ultrasound is almost as exciting as birthday. We couldn’t wait to take a peek at out little blessing. I left school early that day and picked up Jay and Cooper from school and then Lucie Rose from Mama’s. Off we went, everyone so excited, to the doctor. We met Jamie there and waited to find out….

Finally, it was our turn to go back. Michelle came and got me and we got settled in the dark ultrasound room. Me on the table, Jamie holding Lucie Rose and the boys beside me.

As Michelle began our ultrasound, she got this look on her face. Then she asked me if I had noticed any fluid leakage. Of course I answered no and asked her why. She told us that the fluid surrounding the baby was really low (3cm to be exact). You could literally have heard our excitement come to a screeching halt in that room. The baby had a strong heartbeat, the growth was normal….there was just little fluid. I felt the greatest sense of doom at that moment. We were unable to get a good enough picture of the baby to tell if it was a girl or boy because of the lack of fluid. What was to be an exciting family moment for us turned into what I would call a nightmare. The next hour or so is almost a blur to me. I remember walking into the lab where Mrs. Jerri was to weigh me and take my blood pressure and the look on her face told me everything I needed to know. I could not longer hold back the sobs I felt welling inside me. Bless Mrs. Jerri, she just held a broken mother and cried with her. I remember Dr. Kouri explaining what the possible problems were and crying more. I remember walking out of that office, getting into that car with my little girl, telling Jamie that I was alright to drive home and God driving the car that afternoon. Jesus literally took the wheel for me that day. I couldn’t see through the tears and sobs to make it on my own. Two days later we went to Birmingham to a Fetal Anomalies specialist and he confirmed that our baby has polycystic kidneys. There is no kidney function and as a result there is no fluid. Fluid in pregnancy is so very important. It is responsible for lung development and without it, well there is none.

There has never been a question with Jamie and I as to whether or not we were going to carry this baby. If it was not God’s will to give us this child, he would never allowed us to become pregnant in the first place. This is the most difficult thing we have ever done. We continue to see the doctors on a regular basis and pray for a miracle. The news at this time is unchanged. We were able to find out that our baby is almost certainly a boy. His name is Elijah Griffin Hill. There are so many people praying for him. I can not thank you enough for every single prayer that is said for Eli and our family. God has provided amazing strength to Jamie and me both. Eli has gotten very active and we cherish every single wiggle. We all talk to Eli and tell him how much we love him. We all rub him and we all cry over the prospect of handing him into Jesus’ arms before we are ready. He has become such a part of our lives…

I often wonder who he looks like. Does he have a lot of hair like Cooper and Lucie Rose or no hair like Jay? Are his eyes blue or brown? Does he have gigantic feet like Jay did? Is he tiny like Lucie Rose was. Would he be fat and have rolls like Cooper? No matter what, I know that I love him endlessly. He is such an amazing little fighter already. My heart breaks all of the time. How do you prepare yourself to say hello, I love you, I am your mommy, this is your daddy, these are your older brothers and sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and GOODBYE at the same time…How do you prepare your mind for the fact that Jesus will see his first smile, first steps, hear his first words…Oh God, I can not give up on a miracle…

We have encountered some amazing prayer warriors on this journey. Please do not stop praying for Eli. Personally, I have learned so much about people from this journey already. I have learned that I have not given near enough credit to the children I have taught for the last eleven years. They do stand out when it counts! I have learned what it means to work with wonderful people. I have learned what friends are for. I have learned about the compassion of complete strangers. I have learned what it means to have a family to stand with you through thick and thin. I have learned how to hold on to my children with a greater passion. I have learned exactly what it means to have a wonderful, amazing, Godly husband. I am learning how to have faith in a God who has been so amazingly patient with me for the last 36 years. As you follow our family on this journey, I ask that you please pray diligently that God would use Elijah as he sees fit and gives us the faith, patience, love, and understanding to see every step as God’s will not ours.