I’m trying to find the words that adequately express the relief I felt the moment I hung up the phone with my doctor when she called to tell us NEGATIVE…I am not a carrier for the Cystic Fibrosis Gene which they thought Baby L had.
I didn’t tell a lot of people about our scare. I was too scared. It was damn scary.
For 10 days I wracked my brain with thoughts of “what if” and “how will we do this?”
When the phone rang, i was at my friend Jessica’s house surrounded by the chaos of her 2 kids, my 1 and when Caller Blocked showed up on my new iPhone I almost didn’t answer it. I’m so happy I did and got to hear the news that we were in the clear.
I was able to breathe.
Oh, and how being able to breathe has been on my mind for the past 10 days. My heart sank and my stomach dropped each time I thought of our baby boy not ever being able to breathe well b/c of gunky mucous lining his lungs and causing him a life of pain.
Just.Breathe I told myself for those 10 days….
I prayed like I’ve never prayed and gave thanks each day for my own health with fervor I never had before.
We all say that we don’t care if we are having a boy or a girl, that all we want is a “healthy baby” and never have those words rang more true than they have in the past days. Bargaining became such a part of my life. If Baby L can be healthy, then I’ll stop cursing/donate more/move to KS/sell everything we own.
My prayer now is that I never forget the worry and fear we felt and that we always remember with grateful hearts how very fortunate our little family is. Now we pray for a safe, healthy delivery and labor. We pray for those who do not have healthy little boys or girls and who suffer daily a pain we only imagined.
It will never escape my heart how truly blessed we are. Not in wealth or riches, but in health and faith.
written the day we had our 20 Week sonogram
I should be asleep with Reeve right now during this nap. I was up from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. and am just exhausted.
But I can’t.
Today we had your 20 Week Ultrasound Appointment. It’s at this appointment that they check your anatomy from brain to toes. Your heart has 4 chambers. Your brain is already so smart. Your arm and leg bones are growing. You are strong and kicking.
You have a “dense looking bowel” which could be an indicator to Cystic Fibrosis.
And this “news” or “indicator” has left a huge black mark on this day. The thing is, baby L, while I don’t care if you are born ill or healthy and I will love you so much either way, I only want you to be born healthy. I think any parent wants that for their child. That’s what we are trained to say. People keep asking me if we will have another one, if we will try for that girl again….and today…I’ve made every bargain to God that if you can just be healthy and not have CF, that I will have no more or ten more if it’s His will.
Because I’m bargaining. I’m trying to make sense of this fear and trying to steady my emotions.
Heaven forbid, you are sick…I’ll move Heaven & Earth to do what I can in that small and scary world we will enter. But I don’t want to think about that.
I’m confused because do we “think positive” or do we “prepare?” Do we tell people and ask for their prayers or do we wait the LONG 10 business days for the Genetic Carrier result and then start making plans?
I don’t want to make plans. I thought I was ahead of the game with having your name chosen and your nursery painted. I don’t want our family to go down this road.
But we will.
I remember having thought to myself at so many times this simple sentence though out my lie. “I could handle it. God would give this to me because He knows I could be a person who would handle it.”
And, now, I’m wondering why I ever thought that.
I’m shaking. My eyes are red. My stomach hurts.
I’m just praying and praying and I know my prayers can’t change anything that’s already been set in motion, but I’m bargaining and I’m wishing and I’m just Googling and calling my brother/SIL and trying to find any statistic/fact/sign that’s in our favor.
For instance, this “soft marker” is often common in women with low belly fat?!??!! And, while that makes this indicator all the more ambiguous and vague, I’m clinging to it. I’m also clinging onto Hope and the strength Kirk and I have in our marriage which I know would help us get through anything.
The fact of the matter is, Baby L, we just want you and love you and would never hope for you or any child to have to endure any illness or pain.
I’m mad too. I won’t lie. My anger at this moment is directed at the Sonogram Tech who told us “everything looks great” and then sent us in to meet the doctor we’d never met who also told us “everything looks great” before perhaps noticing a note that mentioned this “dense bowel indicator.” She even apologized for not being better prepared. I’m mad that they said I declined the Genetic Testing for this gene….quite simply, it’s bullshit, b/c I would NEVER have turned down that test. I’m mad at myself for sometimes thinking to myself or even saying aloud, “I had hoped for a girl.” I’m mad.
But the love I have for you (and Reeve and daddy) makes it hard, you know.
I just want you to keep growing big and strong and to get to kiss those sweet, perfect lips we got to see on your pictures today. I’m mad that I can’t focus on how we got to see all of your fingers/toes or that you waved at us.
But, for today, I’m focusing on how special you are and that, no matter what that gene may tell us, you were chosen to be ours. You chose US and that means something. That means I’m already your Mama and I love you more than you will ever know.
Grow strong. And healthy.
***Ps…Reeve says it looks like you have bunny ears, which is funny b/c all that really means is that you have your daddy’s ears (and Reeve’s) and that they are just perfect
Later that day….
I’ve been *fairly* healthy this whole pregnancy, but the news of this day really just made me want a Cheeseburger and ice cream. So, we headed to Freddy’s after a miserable afternoon filled with tears and eyes that literally stung with pain.
Daddy stayed home from work b/c he was too upset and we did our best to smother Reeve with all the love we could. At one point, I went down to Kirk’s office while Reeve was asleep just to check in with him. His eyes were filled with tears as I reassured him that we’d be okay. No matter what, we’d get through whatever it was IF Baby L DID have Cystic Fibrosis. I assured him we were fine. Thank God we have the money and means to deal with whatever that diagnosis would mean. Thank God we would have options about where to live.
About that time, Daddy starts getting sick. I’m positive it’s the stress of the day, but he thinks he’s dying (he’s a bit of a Drama Queen on the rare occasion he IS ill). Cramping in his side and burping and I know it’s gas pains, but he thinks he’s not going to live to see tomorrow. I drag him to Freddy’s where I dip every single one of those fries in as much sauce as I can and I order a DOUBLE cheeseburger while daddy writhes in pain in the booth.
I don’t care if he’s sick….or dying, we’ve had a bad day and mama needs a cheeseburger.
Then my phone rings. And I answer it. And it’s the doctor.
She proceeds to tell me that she reviewed the image that concerned the Sonogram Tech (FINALLY….you’d think she would’ve done that before she actually met with us) and then took it to the Chief Sonographer for review and neither one of them thought the image was concerning!
Wooo Hooo…and while I so relieved I don’t even have words, I’m also approaching this with caution until the results from the blood test are in my hand. I just don’t trust her. Why would I? She apologized and said she normally reviews the images BEFORE she meets with the patient (duh!!!) and that, for some reason, this day she just didn’t.
To which I replied, “I bet you won’t make that mistake again. You put us through hell.”
She nervously laughed and proceeded to tell us that it was their opinion the image of this bowel was taken latitudinally when it should’ve been taken longitudinally and that’s, perhaps, why the Tech had reason to be concerned.
Again, I don’t trust anyone at this practice now and won’t feel that calm wash over me for 10 business days or so.
In my heart, Baby L, I know you are fine. I just do.
I just do.
Until then, sweet baby, keep kicking at me as hard as you can in there. Last night Daddy and I laid in bed, once he was convinced he was going to live, and played Bob Dylan and Gregory Alan Isakov and Bon Iver as loud as we could into my belly. You were just dancing in there and letting us know that everything is all right.