At 19 weeks pregnant, a routine ultrasound would tell my husband and me if our 3 big girls would have a sister or brother. The tech announced it was a girl! We celebrated then my husband left for work. Later my doctor came in to speak with me with a look of concern. He told me they had seen a small cystic hygroma on the back of my baby’s neck indicating several different chromosome disorders.
I left the office, hurriedly unlocked the door to my minivan, sat down and sobbed. I was full of despair, hopeless and felt utterly alone. My husband, Jeff, couldn’t understand me as I sobbed between describing the doctor’s concerns. I tried to calm myself down. It wasn’t something I could fix.
Later we were told she had puffy feet – a marker for certain chromosomal disorders which could develop into hydrops in other parts of her body. We decided to take the materniT21 test by extracting some of the baby’s DNA from my blood.
A week seemed like an eternity as we waited for the results. I imagined the worse and mourned for a baby I didn’t even know yet. We were on vacation in New Hampshire with our family when we got the results. Her test was positive for Turner syndrome. I found myself still desperate and alone – unable to reach out.
Upon returning home to Texas, I decided I had to make a change in my attitude and relied on my faith. I reached out to my mother’s group at church and also found some resources online where I put my name in for information. It wasn’t long before I received an email from Debbie at Leaping Butterfly Ministries who met me for lunch to help ease my fears as she reassured me everything would be okay. She told me stories about her precious daughter, Kellie, who had TS. She knew how precious my little Clare was to me and made me feel like she was so special – a life to be treasured. My daughter, too, deserved the same all children do – love, tenderness, care, and God’s grace.
Mom’s prayer group passed around our request to other prayer chains and friends. Prayers saved me from the depths of sorrow as I was able to start focusing on the health of my baby. The unconditional love and prayers I received during my pregnancy and even now from friends, family and those who don’t even know my family absolutely filled my heart.
Clare Frances Hynes finally arrived on November 21st 2013, screaming and wiggling in all her glory at 5 pounds, 10 ounces. She stayed in the NICU for 1 week while we waited on results from tests on her heart and other organs. She was discharged the day before Thanksgiving and the entire Hynes family gave thanks to God in unison, like never before.
Clare has been home for 5 months now and has enriched our lives like we never could have imagined. We now can’t remember a time without her. Her infectious smile brings tears to strangers – a life invaluable.
God is now using me to reach out to prenatal moms receiving the news of a Turner syndrome diagnoses to share how Clare is our miracle!
Jessica, Mother to Clare
Clare Frances Hynes