“Sometimes you don’t realize the weight of something you’ve been carrying until you feel the weight of its release.” -Unknown

September 13, 2022 was the due date for our youngest baby boy. Little did we know that on that day, I would be taking him to the hospital for a spine ultrasound, and he would be just over 2 weeks old. I remember how delicate my little 6 lb baby boy was at that time. He was so tiny in that huge bed at Children’s Hospital.

In November our baby had a follow-up ultrasound. Because the ultrasound still showed what appeared to be a small mass at the base of his spinal cord as well as some fluid on his kidneys, an MRI would be needed after a few more months. Of course I cringed at anything kidney related with my children because of my own diagnosis. As much as we wanted some answers now, our doctor told us we needed to wait and watch his development. We continued to pray.

The MRI was scheduled for Wednesday, June 21st, early in the morning. Time had passed so quickly, and it was hard to believe that our little boy was almost 10 months old! Although there are still levels of anxiety for these tests, God has really grown our faith over these last four and a half years with kids. As the nurse took him back to the OR, I still teared up. As I found my usual spot in the Children’s cafeteria near the window, I still felt my slightly increased heart rate and the racing thoughts. I sat near the window with my coffee, journal, book, and watched the clouds. My husband and older sons had prayed with us via FaceTime, praying for wisdom for the doctors and clarity for the scans. Although I didn’t care to be at the hospital alone, there was so much comfort knowing that my family was still at home praying. At 9:15 I felt the sudden urge to set my coffee and book down. “God, please let the MRI detect everything it needs to right now. Please keep my son safe today.” Within minutes, I had a call from the nurse, saying that they had to stop the MRI because of metal detection. They would do an x-ray to confirm, but would likely have to pull him from the anesthesia and stop the machine. My immediate thoughts were of alarm and fear, however I soon remembered what I had just prayed. Didn’t I just ask God to please let that MRI detect what it needed to? And if they hadn’t found this assumed “metal”, the MRI would have continued and could have caused serious damage to my son’s body. Thank God for that answered prayer.

To turn things back to a lighter note, the metal detection ended up being a helicopter seed and some chewed twigs that this little guy thought was a meal from our backyard. Traces of metal can be detected in pebbles, twigs, leaves, grass, etc on an MRI machine—news to me, but a hilarious conversation with our pediatrician. Although waiting again was not what we preferred, we were so thankful for the outcome. After a clear x-ray a week later, the next MRI was rescheduled for Friday, July 14th. It was another beautiful morning on our drive to Children’s. There was a pretty sunrise with some clouds in the distance. God reminded me of the numerous times over the course of four and a half years with 3 kids of his faithfulness. No matter the scan, diagnosis, or outcome, He has been good, and provided all that we have needed.

We had prayed as a family before I left for the hospital, and as I walked in to the radiology unit, I prayed, “God, please let this MRI come back clear. Please let the mass and the fluid disappear if it is Your will.” Bold prayer, but why not ask? God can do anything, and His will is always where we want to be. Then I added, “Please let there be no helicopter seeds or metal detections today!”

As I’ve mentioned before, we never leave the hospital (whether for the kids or for me) without having had a great conversation with a nurse, doctor, anesthesiologist, etc. There’s always something good that comes on even the more nerve-wracking appointments and we love meeting new people. Today was no different.

The MRI went smoothly today. The hour between prep and taking him back to the OR feels like an eternity (and I’ve realized newborn scans are so much easier than anything past 9 months when they’re hungry and tired), but as I sat in my spot in the cafeteria today, I read the verses I had written back on the 21st, minutes before the scary phone call. Verses from Psalm 33 were ones that maybe I needed to see on the 21st, but were definitely ones I was thankful for today. Today my anxiety was relatively low to almost non-existent. God gave me a wonderful peace that I know was from Him. I was so happy to see my little boy, and he was already coming out of the anesthesia better than the last time. Normally our MRI results take at least a day or two, but as I waited in the recovery room with my little son, I received a call from our pediatrician. “There is no evidence of the mass and everything came back totally clear. No further evaluation is needed!” It came back clear! The mass and fluid were both nonexistent! Thank you, Jesus. What an enormous answer to prayer. In that moment, as my heart was pounding from joy, my hands were shaky as I held my little boy, I felt a weight lifted that I cannot describe. My body felt lighter. My heart felt freer. A weight had been lifted, and one that I didn’t realize was even there. As I drove home with my son, I thanked God for his protection, for our doctors, for our hospital, and for His goodness. Documenting these last almost 11 months is a must, because we never want to forget how good our God is, even with unexpected (good or bad) outcomes. I also cannot wait until my youngest son can read these words, and we can look back on the cool things that God does…and laugh about the helicopter seeds.