Before I begin my long ranting diatribe, here are some pictures of Addison. Isn't she looking like such a big girl?
I've wanted to post this for a while, but have been afraid how it would come across. Today, I find myself needing to write, post and get this latest worry out of my system.
I have my big half way pregnancy ultrasound Thursday morning. I am excited, don't get me wrong. I have felt this little baby doing backflips, kicks and who knows what else for weeks now-being twice as active as Addison ever was. I also felt this baby's movements a lot sooner. With Addison, I really didn't feel her move until I was mid 20 something week.
Boy or girl? Yes, we are going to find out if possible and yes, we are going to share. I am not one for surprises...and I have a hard time keeping awesome secrets like that.
So, yes, I am excited and overjoyed. But I am also very scared and nervous about this appointment. It's not that I'm upset or anxious about the possibility of another special needs child- it's just that I've only had one half way appointment before...with Addison. And it was at that appointment that we discovered that something was wrong.
The words "Congratulations, it's a girl" were quickly followed by a doctor quickly ending the exam, signing us up at the high risk pregnancy center to finish the ultrasound and a little speech about the concerns presented by all of the cysts that were on the back of our baby's neck. I love Addison so much, but when I think back to that appointment, I still feel just as wretchedly upset as I did in the moment. That appointment holds a lot of horrible memories. It was a time where dreams were crushed and expectations became unrealistic. It was time of many tears and questioning the goodness of God. It was a time that made me prefer a miscarriage to continuing the pregnancy.
Since that point, I have come a long way. Of course I love my daughter more than life itself. I wouldn't trade her for anything. But when I think about going in for another appointment when that's all that I know, my heart starts to race and I feel a little dizzy.
It doesn't help that my doctor scheduled 20 week appointment directly at the high risk center instead of meeting at her office first.
When I expressed some fear at my last appointment, my doctor looked me calmly in the eye and said
"You have nothing to worry about. Lightning doesn't strike twice."
I wasn't sure how to respond to that. I don't like having Addison being compared to being struck with lightning because that puts such a negative connotation on her life. But in the same breath it was comforting to hear her attempt to assure me in that way.
I'm not afraid of having another child with special needs. I will love this baby no matter what. But, it has crossed my mind on more than one occasion how wonderful it would be to have a perfectly, normal, typical baby to challenge Addison's competitive spirit-to be another advocate for Addison-to just have an "easier" parenting path with one baby that doesn't include constant therapy and so many health problems-to be Addison's best friend and help bring awareness to his/her typical peers.
A lot of my Ds mom friends deal with the Down syndrome just like I do- but then they also have all of the normal mom stuff that I don't get to experience.
I feel like I'm really selfish to even think these thoughts, and you can see why I hesitated to write this post, but also why I need to.
Also, I hate, hate, hate when I see people go in for this type of appointment and boldly state that "the most important thing is that this baby is healthy" which is code for "a normal baby". To say that is the most important thing is to label Addison's life as a failure. I would like to think I have grown enough through my experiences with Addison to be able to say that it doesn't matter- and I honestly don't think it does. But I still hold some fear about this appointment. See why I'm confused?
I have a struggle going on within myself. A struggle to trust the almighty God who blessed us with Addison to know exactly what we need the second time around. A struggle to enjoy our 20 week appointment and be excited about the girl/boy revelation news without having constant flashbacks to the last appointment. And- the struggle of feeling as connected to this baby as I do Addison.
Addison and I have been through so much together. So, so much. It's hard to then think of having a typical baby who wouldn't have heart surgery, a g tube and an oxygen tank and be afraid that I'll be able to love that baby as much because we weren't put through the emotional ringer together. Addison takes up my whole heart. Am I supposed to grow a second heart for the second baby?19 weeks