by the time i had my kids, i was considered a “mature mother” – yes, it’s an actual term. you know what’s funny, not hahafunny but sadfunny, is that by the time i felt ready to become a mommy, i may have looked young and felt young but my body was considered old.
with my first pregnancy, everything was so novel and wonderful and basked in a glow of love that i overlooked such things as extreme shortness of breath, GERD, maddeningly itchy skin, round ligament pain, hormones that make you want to stab your partner with an ice pick just because he has a certain expression while watching tv, peeing 12 x a night, a protruding belly button that looks like a third thumb. but by the time i was pregnant with number 2, i was ready for that sucker to be out by week 12. completely over it.
until the unexpected phone call.
“it’s your ob/gyn. i don’t want you to be alarmed but your test results came back abnormal.”
simultaneously, all the following happened: the saliva in my mouth dried up and i couldn’t swallow, my heart was pounding pounding pounding, instant cold sweat, tears welled up, my head was spinning, i couldn’t focus on what she was saying.
i went in for an amniocentesis and had to wait for 2 heinous weeks to get the results. you wanna talk about purgatory – that was it. i didn’t have any clue what they were going to tell me but i was sure of one thing: it was my fault. i was careless with my body, i didn’t eat enough of the right things, i was too old, i didn’t love it enough.
i had the very difficult talk with my husband about what we were going to do if the test results came back positive of having a child with down syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities. up until that phone call, there was never a doubt in my mind that i would keep any baby of mine – no matter what. but after facing that very real possibility of having a baby that would have a life filled with challenges, taunts, cruelty, isolation, confusion, sadness, it wasn’t that cut and dry. our lives would have to be truly dedicated to this special needs child, my daughter would have to sacrifice so much as its older sister – including taking care of her younger sibling when her parents were gone – it wasn’t fair to anyone. i think i cried almost every night of those 2 torturous weeks because to me, the choice was clear.
there are quite a few false positives with nuchal translucency screenings, and mine was one of them. everything came back normal and i told my husband as soon as i found out that this baby was our last. i was traumatized by the entire ordeal; life was too fragile and i had taken advantage of it.
6 months later, a screaming big healthy boy made his way into this world. he is anything but normal – dramatic, loud, temper temper, adorable, heart melting, tender, beautiful, sweet, mean, physical, loving – and he has an immature mother but we are one another’s match.