Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Drumming my fingers

These last few days have seemed like walking through waist-high water. It feels like I'm expending a lot of energy to get nowhere.

I've finally purchased some furniture for Thing 2's room, dragged a metric ton of clothes to the Goodwill donation station and procured a gift for the little miss from her new baby brother -- a Mickey and Minnie Mouse watch that plays "You Are My Sunshine."

She and I have finished making a "memory book" for her beloved babysitter, whose last week coincides with the baby's arrival. I've even cleaned the house (and re-cleaned the house) whenever anyone steps foot on the floor.

But since the scary, last-minute news of the potential for health problems, not to mention Down syndrome, I've been feeling as if things are in a state of Limbo. (Too bad Limbo's been scrubbed from dogma ... it's the perfect place for my mind to be floating about right now.)

The doctor I saw today -- my last visit -- couldn't offer any reassurance, either. Turns out the regular ultrasounds done in the office are just for shits and giggles or who knows, maybe just padding their bottom lines as they cover their bottoms. And the quadscreen tests, not terribly reliable. All he could offer was sad eyes and a low, concerned voice, "we'll know on Tuesday."

I don't know how to face the next seven days.

*Time seems to have stopped.
*Eating isn't a priority.
*Writing doesn't matter, and yet it must get done.

There isn't enough food for thought.

All the niceties I contemplated ... birth announcements, phone trees for notification purposes, and other to-dos are at a standstill. The excitement is gone. Again. I am back to feeling like a horrible mother.

How do I move forward until I know what we're dealing with? As I make doctors appointments -- for myself and the newbie -– I envision a new life of trips to medical professionals, fears of being bullied into decisions I don't want to make, having to fight every step of the way.

I am reminded of little essay that parents of special-needs kids get handed pretty routinely by well-meaning folk called "Welcome to Holland," about how having a special-needs child is like planning a special trip to Italy. You learned the language and the customs. You are all set to tour Venice and Florence and Milan, but instead your find yourself landing in Holland.

All I can think is that having a special needs kid is NOT at all like getting rerouted to Holland. It's more like planning a wonderful vacation only to find yourself being sent to a war zone. A place that is frightening, not filled with flowers. Every time a doctor tells you the worst-case scenario, you have only the worst-case scenario.

You have to cover your eyes and plug on as their cover their asses. Hope is something you have to find on your own.

Perhaps in time you'll be taking the pretty photographs, and writing down the tales of all the adventures with an eye towards the comical, but at the moment you're just trying to learn the language, keep your head down and wait.


Mrs. Chicken said...

I've been thinking about you for two days. I can't imagine what this time must be like.

Wish I could help. But I can't. I'm sending good vibes your way.

Binky said...

I am, was, and will continue to be thinking about you.

stefanierj said...

I feel like I felt after watching In America, where I couldn't stop a. thinking about the movie or b. trying to make myself stop thinking about the movie. But you know, it is a movie big with hope and its intersection with pain. I hope the pain for you ends with the anxiety you're feeling now, with the awful not-knowingness when that perfect baby is born. Because he is perfect, no matter how he ends up getting labelled. He is yours, and he is annabel's brother. You are in my thoughts and you have hella love-vibes coming from the desert west.

leeanthro said...

I'm sad to see that your sense of excitement for the new baby has waned.

The thing is that people rise to the occassion and maybe you are going to get the baby you are meant to have, special needs or not. It may not seem like a blessing if the baby is born with DS, but I am sure that the child is going to be just a wonderful addition to your family. The baby will be "perfect" no matter the outcome.

I'm thinking of you.

Bridget said...

Hey there, I rarely post because I always sound like an idiot, but here goes...we were told early on with our Thing 1 that there was a 60% chance of Down Syndrome. The genetic counselor we were sent to see had lots to say, only moderately useful, but she asked (probing, I think, to see if we were considering terminating) if this possibility made a difference to us? And of course it didn't, and that thought carried me thru the next 6 months til out he came, and, while he's a crazy nut, he's fine in every other sense.

WHo knows if this baby has Down, or if he's a crazy nut, you're all going to love him to pieces and your family will richer for having him as a part of it. And don't forgot, docs do have to cover their asses, so don't look to them for words to ease your mind.

I know you're a worrier, in the finest family tradition, but try to let it go and stay in the moment. All children are more than their parents bargained for in some sense (at least mine have been!)

We love you, and can't wait to meet our new cousin!

Heather said...

I just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you and wishing the best for the new baby (Charlie HeHeHe) and for you.

it's me, Val said...

Hang in there . . . so many are thinking of you . . .

bella said...

i am new to your blog and am stunned at the fierce honesty and depth from which you write. It is heart achingly beautiful.
my thoughts will be with you this week.
sending you courage and moments of respite.

Sarah said...


I don't know what to say.

I really hope that everything turns out alright and I will definitely be thinking of you as this time passes.

This probably isn't any comfort at all, but my cousin has nine children. Nine children, all of whom had kidneys dialated and tested high for Down's syndrome. And none of them ended up having it or even really being out of the ordinary healthy baby at all. Today, all are at the top of their classes and very strong athletes.

I really hope that things work out and I'm sure that you'll have a healthy baby at the end of this pregnancy. I am sending you my best wishes and prayers.