Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Prologue of a Story that Hasn't Been Written Yet

What follows is a tale without an ending. Heck, it doesn't even have a middle yet. If you want to get technical, all we can see is the cover of a closed book and right now, there's not even a title. There's just a fuzzy black and white picture of a baby roughly the size of a lime. No way to say for sure what's in those pages, hiding underneath that cover.

At least not for three long weeks. In three weeks, I will hold still while, if movies are even remotely factual - which I doubt, but this is my only frame of reference - some medical professional will use a nightmarishly large syringe to siphon out a sample of my amniotic fluid.

The needle? Doesn't bother me. I'd rather face a needle a day than relive this morning when I got the phone call saying that my maternal serum markers suggest a much higher probability of Down Syndrome than is normal. I'm ashamed to say I reacted to this news rather badly. I literally wailed. Wailed and made phone calls to the midwives... a geneticist... the insurance company.

And as I wailed between calls, there alone in my house, I heard the postman drop a package in our mudroom. A package that was, at that moment, a harsh reminder of the reality of the day.

Does any of this mean my baby has Down Syndrome? No. In fact, it doesn't mean much at all if 'meaning' has to do with certainty, hence my upcoming amniocentesis. We're not even at Page 1 of a story that could go in so many different directions. That's the most difficult part. I know that further testing wouldn't be everyone's next steps and I respect that. In my inner world, the certainty that can only come from counting chromosomes is vastly preferable to six months of daily worry.

And I know myself well enough to know that worry would be my life until the day I delivered. I am telling myself - convincing myself? - that no matter what happens, it won't be the end of the world. No matter what happens, life will just keep moving forward like it always does, whether you're happy or sad, busy or bored.

This story? Regardless of how it plays out won't be more than a blip in a gigantic universe of possibilities. 

But back to our current prologue. Later on in the day, I talked to family, a genetic counselor, more family, and my one friend who's not afraid to say "You know, this situation really sucks" or to bring up the fact that I've had more than my fair share of pregnancy issues. Prematurity, multiples, miscarriage, and now this, for those keeping count at home. I felt better.

A little better, anyway. So I opened that package. In it were some of the coolest maternity clothes I've ever seen, sent to me by a wonderful friend I've never met, with a beautiful card inside that simply read "Best wishes for you and the baby."

Still a reminder, but hours later, much less harsh.

 

16 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Oh, gosh, I sure hope you know I didn't feel bad *because* of the package. It just happened to be dropped off at a super emotional moment.

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  2. Oh man. That is a shock, that's for sure. And yeah, you've definitely had your fair share of shocks in the past 3 or so years. I'll be thinking about you guys and hoping for the best, knowing that no matter what you guys will be able to overcome any outcome because you're strong, full of love and your family and friends have your back.

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    Replies
    1. It's all up in the air right now so good thoughts are appreciated!

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  3. That's a huge question mark to be dealing with. I don't blame you for wanting to know the answer upfront. But for the next three weeks try not to think about it. Just try to focus on the little lemon-lime growing inside of you and think happy thoughts.

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    Replies
    1. I don't know how well I'll do but I will definitely try my best.

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  4. Best of luck to y'all and much love, no matter what happens. I got nothing deeper or more insightful than that to offer, unfortunately... :/

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  5. Aw love... I wish you were within arm's reach so that I could hug you HARDCORE.

    There are so many ups and downs with pregnancy. One day everything is butterflies and cupcakes and the next its scary spiders and storm clouds. I always tried to comfort myself with medical odds and statistics -- sometimes it helped me to at least diminish the epic volume of anxiety and other times not so much.

    Hug P. Hug Tedd. Breath deeply and be as patient as possible. Much love to you darlin'.

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  6. Breathe ... many of us will wait here, breathing with you.

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  7. I am sad to hear that the "normal" course of things hasn't been the norm for you. You are so brave to share this news with your readers. I wish you the very best and I am sending love and light you and your family's way.

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  8. Wow...I can't imagine what you must be going through right now. Whatever the outcome, I wish you and your family the best.

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  9. Oh I truly believe with you that it is better to know because the worry you'd deal with, stress, it all, would not be worth it. You can prepare, not matter which way it goes and no matter your choices. Life is beautiful no matter what, never forget that. I will be praying for you for strength and wholeness.

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  10. Oh and p.s., on page one you can tell this story and you can end it with We Love You, Mom and Dad

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  11. Positive thoughts my lovely. Praying for you and the bump and sending you all love and blessings.

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  12. I'm ridiculously late with this, but wow. That is a BIG question mark. I am sending all my positive thoughts your way, and hoping for some peace for you.

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