I hate to harp. Scratch that, I love to harp. I love to work problems over and over in my mind (or Google) until they become like a piece of driftwood that has been worried by the tides for years and years and is finally smooth and edgeless – only then can I finally discard them. But, as you know, worry doesn’t change anything. As I described a few posts ago, I have been choosing a different path. It’s my own thing: a blend of optimism -as in I have every reason to believe that Sadie will be fine and progress; an adjustment of expectations – developing much more slowly than her sister is another form of fine; needing a few years of therapy and possibly having a learning disability or other challenges is also a form of fine. Is it fine like I’m throwing a parade and princess waving from atop a float to show how awesome it is that my baby isn’t meeting her milestones? Not exactly. But it is what it is.
Many moons ago when I was pregnant with Elby, I thought the worst thing that could possibly happen would be to find out my daughter had Down syndrome. “God, how horrible! How utterly un-doable that would be,” I thought as I obsessively read Baby Center boards for people who were pregnant with Down syndrome babies or had Down syndrome children. Somehow in my mind I think there was this “perfect” experience that having a child was supposed to be. In part this might have led to my postpartum depression (okay that and my fucked up genetics – bipolar father anyone?) but it also led to a faulty belief that because Elby was “normal” everything was fine (there’s that word again, right?).
What I’m finding out is that Sadie is fine too. More than fine. She freaking adorable. And people with a child with Down syndrome? They love their children every bit as much as I love mine. They too want to eat them up and help them have the best opportunities they can. That’s obviously a different situation, one that must be filled with its own very unique heartbreak and challenges, I’m not speaking as someone whose been there. I’ve been somewhere else, but that somewhere else is just a short flight. We’re all a short flight away from something totally different. Does that even make sense?
A few days ago, I took Sadie to see her GI, Dr. Edelstein (she’s brilliant and might I add that she had twins in December and already is a skinny bitch). Dr. E thinks Sadie is doing great but sat down with me to go over everything that happened in my pregnancy (which she determined was more complicated than originally thought) and everything that’s gone on with Sadie since. She is referring me to an Endocrinologist to make sure that she is producing growth hormones and that there is no underlying hormonal issue that may be affecting her growth. Sure, I’m in.
Then she said I could also go to a neurologist and have a brain MRI because it’s very possible that Sadie was compromised of oxygen in the womb. Apparently the good news -oh yeah, you didn’t think there would be good news following that did you? – is that babies who have brain…I don’t know…shit going on? Are often able to heal and be fine. Something about the brain rewiring itself to work around the problem. I don’t really know please don’t quiz me on this. Anyway, the brain MRI could show if there’s damage.
“So, say she has damage,” I said to Dr. E. “What then?”
“Well, nothing more than you’re doing. We can’t treat it. But it would explain her delays.”
“Yeah, then no. I’m not putting my child through an MRI so that I can have it confirmed that she has delays. If it won’t change her therapy then who cares?”
YEAH, THAT WAS ME SAYING WHO CARES. If you know me, you know how awe-inspiring that really is. And I expect kuddos. Because this is about me.
“Great. I don’t think you should do the MRI either. I think she’ll be fine.”
But you see, she already is fine. She’s Sadie.