Friday, August 14, 2015

Baby Sister

6 years ago, I answered a phone call with much anticipation and fear. This phone call was delivering to me the results of my unborn daughter's amnio. I will never, ever forget this call.

"I'm so sorry, but your tests returned positive for Trisomy 21," said  in the most depressing voice you can imagine.

6 years, 1 beautiful daughter, 2 handsome sons, and a lot of life lessons later, the actual news of having a child with Down syndrome is no longer a horrible bit of news, but is in fact quite a beloved part of my life.

But even though the actual news of Down syndrome is no longer horrible to me, that phone call traumatized me in a way I can't even explain. In a way, this was the turning point for me as a Christian, as a mother, as a person. How was I going to respond to this "bad" news? (Turns out, badly, but we've covered this before.) I still cry when I think of this phone call. Not because I'm sad that Addison has Down syndrome but because I will never forget the devastation I felt in that moment.

Well, this week I re-lived this phone call.

The phone rang. It was my doctor's office.

"Hello, we are calling with the results from your test."

"Yes?" All of a sudden I was transported to 6 years earlier. Yes, I had the early blood test done for chromosomal abnormalities. My risk factor is higher (because I've already had a child with Down syndrome), I like to be prepared, and insurance was covering the test. Why not? The test would not change anything but just help us be prepared to welcome our newest blessing. But mostly I was convinced to take the test because they can now tell you gender. GENDER!

My hand started to shake. This was weird. I wasn't concerned about what the results were. I really wasn't.

"All of the tests came back completely normal. Your risk factor for all of the Trisomys couldn't possibly be any lower."

"And gender?"

"Yes, it looks like you will be having a baby girl." I could hear the smile in her voice.

A baby girl.

And once again, this phone call made me cry.

This was the phone call I imagined in my head 6 years ago. THIS is what I expected him to say when calling with my results. And yet I got something so different those years ago and I am now so SO glad. It was the strangest thing ever because in that moment I felt like I had a do over for that phone call and some of the trauma that lingered for years suddenly went away.

Addison was due in February. This baby girl is due in February. They are the only two of my babies that I have done chromosomal testing on. Addison came back with a little extra. This one...wasn't as lucky and came back "normal". But in that moment somehow I felt my motherhood journey come full circle.

Addison is going to get a sister.

(You like how I snuck that in there? With a first child you get a HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT and perhaps a video or even a musical number. With a fourth? Just casually slip it in a paragraph and we're all good.)

In no way am I saying that this baby girl replaces my old expectations for Addison. Not at all. (this is so hard to explain). I have learned that expectations in motherhood are a bit like writing in the sand right before a huge wave settles over it. Extra chromosome or not, everything little thing I put into my head about how MY CHILDREN SHOULD BE is always boxed out rather aggressively by my actual children bringing me back to reality. In a good way...and in "teachable moment" ways.  I hold no expectations for this new baby other than I know that I will love her. Fiercely. Just as I love my other 3. Fiercely.

So where was I? Oh yes. Pregnant, barefoot, and in the kitchen. Again.

You don't see me complaining. (-;

So I am 12 weeks, totally psyched to already know gender (yes, I am the most impatient person IN THE WORLD but I have come to grips with it...quickly), and do not plan on posting many belly shots this pregnancy. Sorry not sorry. Turns out I have a rather large cyst on an ovary (5cm) that my doctor is keeping an eye on that has more than doubled the size my stomach is supposed to be right now. At my 9 week appointment my stomach measured as though there were twins inside because of the size of this cyst. If this continues through the pregnancy??? Ummmmm. Prayers would be appreciated that this cyst would go away on its own (as the doctor says it usually does) instead of continuing to grow.

I am sorry for my lack of posts these past weeks, but I have been focused on survival. I have been in a weird 1st trimester fog that has taken away my ability to function as a human being let alone string together readable words. I feel a bit of my normal self coming back, so hopefully I can hop on here a bit more.
Carter has been so sweet about the new baby, always giving my belly rubs and kisses, asking if we can meet the baby TODAY (I'm afraid impatience must run in the family), and asking lots of questions like "Can I get a baby in MY belly too?" ahem.

Addison has seemed pretty happy, but hasn't had the same reaction as Carter. We will see if she "gets" it more as my belly grows. I know she is going to be an awesome big sister...again.

Eli has become a touch more clingy, scooting himself between me and whichever child is currently hugging me or sitting on my lap. He is such a Mama's boy that I think this transition will be the hardest on him. He will be 27 months when baby sister is born, so hopefully he has some time to get un-babyfied by then. (gulp) We just finished a playdate in which Eli aggressively tackled the sweet "baby" (one year old) girl every chance he got. I might have my work cut out for me on this one.

So news. It's nice to finally share. And I hope you won't hold my silence against me. Hopefully I will start to feel even more like myself as I continue into the second trimester.


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