we don't do perfect around here.
It is 1:25 in the afternoon.
Ophelia is asleep and I just found Oscar napping on the couch.
This kind of moment NEVER happens. The silence is incredible and I finally have a moment to breathe and to tell you something.
Yes, there is something.
Isn’t there always something?
As you know, I am pregnant…with twins. A boy and a girl. Exactly what we wanted.
What I haven’t shared with you yet is that our sweet girl has a heart defect called an Interrupted Aortic Arch. This means that, after her birth, she will need to have surgery to correct it. As stunned as we were at that moment, we also learned that there is a 50/50 chance that this defect was caused by a syndrome that our baby may have called DiGeorge Syndrome. I will be 100% truthful with you, I have not allowed myself to research it too much as we have decided to forgo the amnio and will test her when she is born to see if she does, in fact, have this syndrome. Of course, as if that wasn’t enough, the cardiologist says it is very rare to find the interrupted aortic arch to be the an isolated issue. We will learn more next Wednesday, but we are prepared to hear that there is more wrong, like a potential hole in the heart. Both these heart defects are treatable and those children affected grow up to live normal, healthy lives. As terrible as the day was when we found out this news, we feel so fortunate that they have caught this early. Our doctors were clearly amazed that our sonographer was able to recognized this defect when she did (oh, and that is a another story for another time, trust me). We were told that this can easily be overlooked during an ultrasound and that babies born with this defect can appear healthy until they arrive home and go into cardiac arrest and eventual heart failure. Ah, perspective, my friend, my coping mechanism. Perspective seems to help me through the hard things or at least, around them…a little.
Speaking of getting through things, we cried a LOT that day. The amount of “what ifs” that invaded my brain and tried to set up shop made me nearly paralyzed with fear. What if we had just been happy with two kids? Wouldn’t our lives be a whole lot simpler? Are we selfish for wanting more? What if we had our embryos genetically tested when they were first fertilized? Wouldn’t we have been able to pick the most healthy of the bunch? What if I hadn’t taken that medication for nausea?
WHAT THE “F” IF???
Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well that night.
The next morning, as I laid in bed, the first thought that crossed my mind was, “Today, I am going to tell everyone that we have a boy and a girl.” I had no plans to go into detail. No, I just wanted to announce this one amazing thing because this “thing,” these babies, deserve to be celebrated. We’ll deal with all the other stuff when we have to.
For the past two weeks, I have had time for this news to sink in and I think I can speak for Greg and I both when I say we are in a peaceful place. We are holding space for these babies and especially this little girl. She already has the craziest amount of support a tiny human being could hope for. To enter this world with that surrounding her has to give her strength somehow. Right?
I believe it. I have to.
Of course, ask me again next week. I may feel differently as I find myself in the company of doctors, the ultrasound screen above my head, the quickening of my heartbeat and the weakening of my knees.THEN, I may feel differently. But for now, I really do feel grateful. Really, I do.
ps- My dear friend Amanda gave me that magnet you see in the photo after we found out about the loss of Luca at our previous 20 week ultrasound. It sits perfectly placed on Oscar’s new drawing of our family.
“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.”
(Mary Anne Radmacher)
“It’s a deal,” I say.