Sarah Rieke » Living. Loving. Pressing on.

It’s a Little Girl

I remember hearing those words and letting out a little chuckle.  I guess you could even call it a giggle.  A girl.  I had looked so forward to bows and frills and dolls and eventually wedding planning and supporting my own daughter in her journey through wifehood and motherhood.  Bliss.  

But that feeling was cut short.  

“Ok Sarah, I am really concerned about something here.”  Those words threw a little wrench into my happiness; a pure bliss that I was only allowed to experience for a couple of brief moments in history.  

The ultrasound technician detected two major problems: low amniotic fluid, and a small chest.  She and the midwife were unable to give us much more information, however, because fetal abnormalities are not their area of expertise.  They were both very kind to quickly get us an appointment with a specialist at EVMS (Eastern VA Medical School) this afternoon, an appointment they thought would take over a week to make.  

The ultrasound tech and doctor at EVMS were so nice and very thorough.  After the very detailed ultrasound we met with the doctor in his office to discuss the details of our sweet baby girl.  

The diagnosis is a condition called infantile polycystic kidney disease, a genetic condition that effects only a small percentage of pregnancies.  Our baby is missing the connection from her kidneys to her ureters, and also her bladder, therefore making it impossible for her to pass urine and therefore produce the necessary amount of amniotic fluid.  The low levels of amniotic fluid impede her growth significantly, so much so that respirating on her own outside of the womb is doubtful.  The mortality rate for infants with this condition is quite high: in the high 90’s.   

What does all this mean?  It means that more than likely our sweet little girl will go straight from womb to her Father’s arms in Heaven.  

Difficult news?  You better believe it.  The hardest thing Josh and I have faced to date.  The idea of carrying a baby for nine months only to have a stillbirth makes me nauseous.  But I do know God will take care of us.  We aren’t angry or mad at His decision to put this in our lives, but it doesn’t make it easy.  My heart hurts.  We haven’t stopped crying since about 3 pm.  But I am hanging onto one truth, uttered by one of the greatest men in Christian history, George Muller, as his wife lay dying of cancer:

If God is doing this to me, it must be the best thing for me.  

I’m not sure why, but God wants Josh and I to pass through this fire.  And when it is over, my prayer is that we come forth as gold (Job 23:10).

Please, please, PLEASE pray us through this time.  Your love and support mean so much. 

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  • Lauren - I just wish so badly this wasn't your trial. I am so sorry Sarah. Crying and praying with you…ReplyCancel

  • Eunice Owens - Oh Sarah… of course I'll pray….for all the many aspects. My heart aches for you. I'm proud of your perspective…. Keep trusting Him.

  • Darla - heartbroken. What a precious little life. I love you, and I hope you get a good night sleep tonight. I love your perspective…one that could only come from a heart stayed in HIM. Crying right along with you though.ReplyCancel

  • Beccy - Darla shared with me the news of your little girl so that we could pray for her and for you as parents. Praying to our Almighty God! Knowing He'll take care of you, Beccy KennedyReplyCancel

  • Dessislava Bradecich - When i read this blog i wanted to cry! Im going to be your prayer partner through this and my heart is heavy! Blessings on your sweet family! Im proud of you for your faith!ReplyCancel

  • Jungle Family - So sorry to hear this… I teared up and said a prayer as I read this… I almost stopped over this evening with the children with a quick hello… But noticed you had a few extra cars and I had no idea about any of this… Love you sweet girl!ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen Warren - I'm so very sorry. Praying for all the family. What faith you have!ReplyCancel

  • David Rieke - Teresa was reminding me that, for now, this baby might be just like every other baby–able to hear and respond to music playing in the room where her mother is sitting, able to hear and be comforted and excited by Mommy and Daddy's voices, able to sense her mommy's loving and tender moods through sounds and bodily chemical signals, etc. I don't see how anyone could have a better mommy than this little girl has today, Sarah. And after this, well, that's heavenly.ReplyCancel

  • SL&C824 - Hi Sarah,my name is Angie. I can't say how sorry I am,I know you hear that a lot. I know exactly what you are going through. August 24,2011 I gave birth to our sweet Sophia. She lived for 23 hours. Longer than anyone thought she would. She went when she was ready. She didn't have the exact condidtion your angel has,but there were sever brain issues and she had sever micrognathia. All we could do was pray and leave it to god what would happen. And I will be praying for you and your family and your sweet angel. It doesn't get easier. It just gets better. There is a book called I Will Carry YOU, BY angie Smith. It may be a little hard to read,but if you're up to it,give it a try.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - thank you so much. please feel free to email me anytime you have words of wisdom or encouragement …

  • jeremytylerrevealed - I am crying and praying with you and for you. The fact that you continue to be Christ-centered is such an encouragement. I have tears of joy that you are staying in Christ, and tears of sadness that you have to go through this.

    Isaiah 41:10: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.ReplyCancel

  • In Light of the Truth... - So deeply sorry for all of you. Your faith is incredible, what a testimony already! Will pray you through this journey…ReplyCancel

  • JoAnn D - OH, Sarah! Mark and I are so sad to hear this news. We will be lifting you and all the family in prayer in the days to come. May the Lord be your strength and comfort…I know He already is. We love you and Josh and dear Micah. Your friends,
    The DorrepaalsReplyCancel

  • Sarah Moser - Hello Sarah. My name is Sarah (Andreasen) as well. I attended high school with your mother and was forwarded your blog by a fellow classmate on Facebook. My heart cries for your situation. My eldest child was considered terminal at birth, but by God's grace, he will be 26 years old in a few months. The only words I have for you have been echoed throughout: trust ENTIRELY on God to see you and your husband through this. You said that the mortality rate for this condition is in the 90%…focus on the other 10! Either way, you know that our Loving Father has this all worked out and that He will provide you the strength you need to get you through, no matter the outcome.ReplyCancel

  • Caroline - Praying with you and for you all!ReplyCancel

  • GĂ©nette Wood - I saw this on Facebook. I have a friend with ADPKD, which is definitely less severe than your daughter's diagnosis, but it got me involved with the PKD Foundation. You are definitely not alone in this. You may be able to find more information and support through

  • LaVon Leppo - Dear Sarah and Josh,

    I read this beautifully written blog with tears and a familiar ache in my heart. I love how you put your trust in the LORD and walk in faith knowing that HIS ways are perfect. You and your family, and Josh and his family, are in our prayers.

    I know that somehow GOD will one day use the pain that you are experiencing today for HIS gain.

    You are an example of what a child of GOD should look like. You are an inspiration and encouragement to so many. I realize that you have had reports of such tragic findings, but I know that GOD is the Great Physician! And HIS ways are perfect.

    I know this first hand from my own experience. GOD allowed me to hear reports of less than a 5% chance of survival, and even then severe abnormalities if she did live. GOD heard my prayers while pleading with HIM to allow my precious daughter to live, and to grow in love to serve HIM and to fulfill her purpose.

    I have seen GOD make a way where there was no way. I believe in, and have seen miracles. My daughter, your "sister"-in-law is that miracle.

    Your precious Gift from GOD hears you, feels your love and your warmth and your heart. She knows how much you love her, and is totally in tune with you. By giving her to GOD, as you have, HE may choose to give her to you for longer than any doctor may expect.

    I pray that you will experience a miracle upon the birth of your daughter. Celebrate Evie Caris Rieke life and the joy that she brings to you today and every day. Do not lose hope.

    My little miracle from GOD has been a blessing to so many. I thank God for the privilege of being her mom. I thank GOD for answering years of prayer by bringing her the husband that he has given to her. You all are such an answer to prayer.

    You are an awesome Mommy. You are truly a blessing to your children and to all who know you. Remember that there is not one tear that we shed that GOD does not notice. HE LOVES YOU!, HE will carry you through this time of testing and uncertainty. This Test is already a TESTimony to others.


  • S Fitzsimmons - May the overwhelming and powerful love of God wrap itself around your heart and soul. May He continue to give you peace and rest in the middle of this crazy storm. May He surround you with supportive and kind and understanding believers to surround you and hold up your hands when you get tired.
    We lost our Charis at 20 weeks – just barely a stillbirth. It was at once the hardest and most beautiful experience of God I've ever had. The Lord WILL be with you through this.
    Feel free to email me if you need someone to talk to. –Sharon Fitzsimmons, sharon.fitzsimmonsATgmailDOTcomReplyCancel

  • Lori - Sarah, I don't know you personally as I "happened" upon your blog. I will be praying for you and Josh. "The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms." Deut. 33: 27. I am praying for those arms to hold you close and comfort you during these most difficult days!ReplyCancel

  • woosterweester - Sweet Sarah,

    I don't know you personally, but I have met Lauren Casper and just love her. Any friend of hers is a friend of mine. When she posted about you and your story on her blog I had to come over and tell you how much you are loved in this moment. I hope it is not too bold to say that I am praying for a miracle. I am praying that God will do the "impossible". I don't know what all your baby girl needs, but God does. She was knit together in your womb, she is truly fearfully and wonderfully made. She is so loved too. She's worth fighting for and I commend you for loving her so fiercely and giving her every moment she has coming…and I'm praying that God will multiply those moments into minutes, and the minutes into hours, and the hours into days, and the days into months, and the months into years. I am praying for a miracle. She already is a miracle, but Lord Jesus, let her life grow, let her little parts continue to be knit together perfectly that her mama and daddy might know the joy of raising her for You. When you feel worn and tired from the emotion, from the medical reports, from the balancing of two worlds, know that God is tapping intercessors on the shoulder to lift up your family, to give you a strength and a hope. You have angels assigned to you. May God surround you this day like never before and may you see the salvation of God move in your midst. He is truly mighty to save. From one sister in Christ to another…hugs and so much love today. You are not forgotten. He sees you, and He sees your baby girl. Hang on mama. Hang on.

  • Tara - From Lauren Casper's blog … Saying a prayer right now for you and will continue to pray! I don't know if you've read Angie Smith's book "I Will Carry You" or if you've heard the song that, Selah, her husband's band sings … but you should if you haven't. Praying!

  • Ashley Topping - Thank you so much for sharing your story! I too, am currently 20 weeks pregnant with twins. Our sweet Baby B has the same issue/prognosis that your daughter had. Everything is "unknown" at this point. But I hope and pray that we are able to hold our little Baby B too!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Ashley, I am so sorry to hear this. I will be praying for you and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you <3ReplyCancel

  • Day Three and Miracles » Sarah Rieke - […] my life until Evie’s diagnosis I had believed the spirit of Romans 8:28, that all things work together for good, meant that things […]ReplyCancel

  • Over a Cup of Coffee » Sarah Rieke - […] It’s like my heart-guard of self-preservation that has been on vigilant watch duty since Evie’s diagnosis won’t let me. I can’t go there, to the happy excited place. I hope that changes when I […]ReplyCancel

  • To Tell You My Story is to Tell of Him » Sarah Rieke - […] learning of Evie’s fatal diagnosis in the summer of 2012 I felt a sense deep inside that this story was so much bigger than myself and […]ReplyCancel

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