Unfortunately, there is also bad news. At these ultrasound appointments, they had no idea what they were looking at unless it was the hands, feet, or head. All of these were present. They heard her heartbeat, saw her moving, and everything seemed normal to them. Though it was abnormally long, they left that ultrasound appointment with no indication that there was anything wrong and their son Henry walked out as excited as ever. He couldn't stop telling their daughter Eden, "Look, Sissy! It's your new friend!"
Within thirty minutes, Brooke received a call asking them to come back in. They were sent to visit a high-risk doctor in the area and were told it would be ideal if they could go in right away. "In the meantime, drink lots of water. Your fluids are low," they told her.
They never could have fully prepared for what was next. "How much have they told you?" the doctor asked. "Nothing? Okay. I'll tell you what I know and what I don't know." (Immediately followed by the longest fifteen seconds of their lives.)
Jay and Brooke's sweet Eliza has Potter's syndrome – sometimes called unilateral/bilateral renal agenesis. Over the last few months, everything has been developing normally – hands, feet, heart, brain... everything. Everything except for her kidneys. Because there are no kidneys, there is no amniotic fluid. And because there is no amniotic fluid, the lungs won't properly develop. Inside the womb, Eliza can continue to grow in the tightest of spaces. Outside of the womb, she won't be able to survive.
Since finding out, the Frymires have been reading everything out there on Eliza's condition. And friends, it's not good. Estimates suggest that this happens to 0.01% of babies. Of those, the majority have some type of kidney issues in their family history. Jay and Brook have both kidneys (fully functioning – to their knowledge) and have found zero trace of kidney issues in either of their family backgrounds. Taking that into account along with the already long odds of receiving this diagnosis, it feels like they've just hit the worst lottery of all time.
"There is no hope," their doctor concluded. A little under half of babies with this condition are stillborn and the remaining typically get a minute or two before they are unable to breathe. This is a terminal diagnosis.
As you might imagine, the Frymires are devastated. The last month and a half have been a roller coaster, filled with lots of tears and sadness. And yet, they both know that their darkest days are still ahead of them. They are going to continue on with the pregnancy and enjoy Eliza's presence as long as they have her with them. Natural causes may take Eliza's life, but they will not. Jay and Brooke love her because she is their baby girl and they are going to provide for her and protect her until God welcomes her home.
Because so many of you out there love and care for the Frymires deeply, you've been asking what you can do to help during this time. The first answer to that question is prayer. Pray for the Frymire family now and in the coming months and especially for Henry, as his mom and dad talk through this tragedy with him. They are in the calm before the storm, preparing for what's coming in the fall. Then, they will need you all more than they ever have.
The second thing you do to help, is by giving. The Frymires will be enduring a lot of medical expenses and other costs during this time and anything you can give will be a huge blessing to their family.
Finally, after reading through their story, this is what Jay and Brooke would want you to know - "Before we walked into that doctor's office and received the worst news of our lives, Jesus was enough for us. We had committed our lives to following Him, but not because of what He would give us. We've never expected comfort, wealth, or a perfect family as a result of following Jesus. We follow Jesus because we believe He is who He claims to be – God. And Jesus, God in the flesh, gave his life for sinners that we might be reconciled to Him. Because He was enough for us then, He is still enough for us now."
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