I could see it in her eyes. My oblivious husband didn’t notice at all and she did a pretty good job of hiding it. Call it mothers intuition or me over-analyzing this joyous occasion, but something was off and I knew she wasn’t allowed to tell us.
By the time we were out in the car looking at our new ultrasound pictures I felt sick. I told my husband something was wrong but he thought I was crazy and told me not to worry so much.
The next day was Saturday. We were eating dinner around 6:00 and my phone rang. The caller ID said it was from my doctor’s office and I instantly froze. My doctor didn’t work on the weekends and she surely shouldn’t be calling me in the evening.
Within 30 seconds she of course confirmed my fears and told me that my son had something wrong with his kidney and that his neck measured off, meaning he might have Down Syndrome. I was in shock. There were definitely a few days of freaking out.
The worst part was the following week when we were rushed from town to town. Every specialist we saw thought our baby had or would have something different. Heart failure, brain damage, kidney failure, clef lip, asthma, infections…the list went on and on and the anxiety grew and grew. It was heart breaking. We found ourselves in waiting rooms surrounded by terminally ill children and their families, wondering how we got there and how this was happening to us. We were a good mixture of shock and terror.
This lasted for several weeks until one day, I just woke up with such a positive attitude about it all. For some reason I remember feeling totally at peace. All I knew was that this baby was supposed to be in our family, regardless of anything else.
From then on it was much easier to cope with. When I did let fear seep in, my biggest help was my husband. He helped remind me that everything would work out how it was supposed to. We had no control over the outcome and needed to try not to worry. That always helped a ton.
Our big ol’ baby boy was born in June of 2007 and despite several intense months of tests, a few small surgeries and quite a few doctors visits, he is doing fantastic. He has a non-functioning polycystic kidney and the whole left side of his urinary tract didn’t develop normally. There were a few parts missing and out of place, but you would never know it from looking at him. He’s happy and healthy and naughty as any other 4 year old boy.
It was an interesting year in 2007 and boy did we learn a lot! We found many new procedures, diseases and words that we definitely didn’t know of before. We were cared for and thought about by so many other people. Our family stressed, researched and prayed together and it brought us so close together. To be blessed with such a positive outcome was just the icing on the cake. We spent so much time worrying and in the end, had such a minor overall problem.
As I look back I just wish the doctors wouldn’t have filled our heads with so many possibilities and guesses. At the same time, maybe we needed that to appreciate what we have now.
So this is my experience of sadness and strength. It’s not huge or incredibly significant to anyone else. In fact it’s quiet uneventful, given the predictions of its outcome. How happy I am for it’s uneventful ending.
Children’s health is at the top of every mother’s mind. Do you have a child that has or did have health problems? Big or small. How do/did you get through it?
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