At our 20 week ultrasound there were several minor concerns mentioned by our provider and it was asked that we go have a ultrasound done with a maternal fetal medicine clinic. We had our appointment the following week, and were given life changing news.
The doctors on our team thought Ava had a condition that would impact her heart and brain development. They prepared us for a plan for surgery to save her life upon birth for her heart, and then a second surgery shortly after to help maintain fluid levels in her head.
We were told to prepare for more medical appointments, a need to possibly deliver early, plan for a NICU stay, and surgery at her birth. The outlook provided by the team of doctors was supportive, however they felt that Ava would have a signifcant need for therapy services all her life, medical equiptment, and be clasified as a child with a disability.
While we were scared of the information given we felt that this child was placed with us for a reason, as Anna is a pediatric Occupational Therapist, and works with children with a variety of physical and cognative needs on a daily basis.
The last recommendation given with the information provided by the doctors would be to do genetic testing to ensure there were no other conditions that she had to best prepare for her arrival. The testing was completed and the results were given two weeks later.
The phone call from the genetic counsler was anticipated to be confirming of the information we already knew about Ava, however our world was once again turned upside down with the news that she had a life limiting diagnosis of Triploidy.
The medical team was supportive of our choice to continue to carry Ava until God decided her time either during pregnancy, or after she was born. Because of the rarity of this diagnosis, and to be this far along in pregnancy our team told us not to expect her to be living more then a few more days.
We found out the gender, and decided to give her the name of Ava, which means “to live”.
Ava continued to live, and grow all the way into the third trimester when we found she no longer had a heartbeat and Anna delivered her sleeping on January 8th 2022.
Our experince with Abel Speaks began shortly before Ava’s arrival, and had to be put into fast forward when we learned of Ava’s passing.
Abel Speaks overnighted us keepsakes for the hospital delivery, provided us with outporing support, a mentor, and the feeling of not being alone.
The support Abel Speaks has provided us did not stop after her delivery but has continued over years with precious keepsakes, as well as being able to attend a family retreat to meet with and develop friendships with other families who have been through a similar journey.
PAYING IT FORWARD
Abel Speaks gave us so much support, and walked along side us during one of the hardest times of our life.
We now are a mentor couple for them to support other families walking this road. It is a privilege and a honor to walk the journey with other families impacted by these circumstances.
If you would like to make a donation to Abel Speaks in Ava’s honor, it would mean so much to us. With your donation, they will continue to be able to walk alongside others during their time honoring each baby and the life created by God.
By faith, Ava still speaks!
-Ian & Anna Burns