Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The picture's not as clear now

Just another fuzzy picture: a face moving in and out, legs kicking, arms waving. Constant motion. My son. Our son.

At a 36-week (give or take) ultrasound they performed today to see if the baby's head was up or down (why this mattered, I have no idea as we are having a c-section anyway) the technician observed and noted the baby's left kidney was dilated.

The midwife, who closed her eyes tightly as she tried to explain what was lurking in my chart, smiling away with all the assurances of someone who'd seen it all before (a lot so don't worry) didn't end up being much reassurance.

She explained that generally when this kind of thing is "observed" they recommend the babies be seen by a neonatologist after the birth. They will perform a renal ultrasound, and perhaps other tests, to determine what should be done: surgery or wait and see if it resolves itself.

What resolves itself? What surgery? What is this?

I left the office not really knowing what I had just been told and, what's worse, the feeling of having no real ability to ask the questions that would get the answers I wanted.

The tape running through my head said "don't worry just yet" just like the midwife advised. ... However, I couldn't help but feel sorry for myself. This pregnancy hasn't been as trouble-free as the first. I haven't had the good, carefree feelings that marked my nine months with Annabel. I thought it was just the sadness of losing Lori, the uncertainty of moving to a new caretaker and the upheaval it means for Annabel.

I thought once the baby was born I could relax, and things would be better. My fears would prove unfounded and my anxiety would simmer down. I would be able to breath easily again. Foolishness.

That's what motherhood is all about, no?

Don't. Worry. Mom. Three words that when strung together really show the nature of the perfect oxymoronic sentiment.

I called Jed as soon as I left the doctors' office. Talking to him as I walked back to my own office down a back alley, trying to be diligent about looking out for traffic as I crossed streets.

"They don't know what the significance is yet, and they probably won't find out until after he's born," I said into the phone. "I really think some of the women in my internet group have dealt with this before. I'm going to ask them."

I could tell by his voice he was feeling like taking back all the negative things he'd ever said or thought about my "imaginary" friends.

As soon as I got to my desk, I did what everyone tells you to avoid: typed "fetal dilated kidney" into Dr. Google and got this.

I read it, and realized that it sounded similar to something that had come up at least once in the group. So I headed over there and started a thread. Within minutes there was not only an outpouring of support from those without answers but also a whole host of first-hand experience from moms and relatives of kids who'd been similarly diagnosed. I found the reassurance I needed there.

I find it so incredible that just three and a half years ago I was alone with my intuition and gobs of advice that was often at least three decades old. And now, just sitting in front of a computer screen, I've found out all about the kindness of strangers and the idea that nothing really is as bad as it seems.

To top it off, when I finally got home there was a box waiting for me. Weighing almost as much as Annabel and sent from a family I've only met in photographs, The Klapow Kids, the enormous package was filled with a bounty of wonderful clothes for Thing 2.

I can't really tell you how truly humbled and thankful I am to be living in a virtual world.


Mrs. Chicken said...

Thinking of you ...

Mrs. Harridan said...

I'm glad you were able to find answers and reassurance. You're in my thoughts!

Sara G. said...

We're hoping for the best. Know that we'll be thinking of you and our soon-to-be new cousin. Keep us posted. I'm so glad you have great "imaginary friends". I love mine more and more all the time. Take care and try to ejoy these last days of pregnancy--all those running-out-of-space kicks and punches...

Andrea said...

If imaginary friends aren't there for reassurance, then what ARE they there for? I'm so glad you have a group of them for support.

Hoping and praying that everything works out for Thing 2 and for your family so that there is little necessary intervention from the medical community.

Binky said...

Here's hoping that the midwife was right that it's probably nothing to worry about. As for the Internet communities being amazing things, I agree completely. After all, on the Internet where I found my husband :) I also already know several people in the town we're moving to because of an Internet community to which I belong. The encouragement and support is invaluable.

Heather said...

Just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you and hoping that all is well. I'm sure the midwife is correct and it will turn out to be nothing to worry about.

However, if it is at least you know you have a lot of support, both in the computer and outside of it!!