Yesterday was one of the hardest days of being a mother that I’ve ever had. Maybe that means I’m really lucky; that I’ve made it through six years of being a mom without any sort of extreme interference or worry, or maybe I’m just super dramatic. Either way, yesterday sucked. I have had challenging days of motherhood, sure; days of pure exhaustion, you bet. But yesterday was different, it was the culmination of the past few weeks- a bunch of bad news dumped on our heads all at once-and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t completely overwhelming.
Backing up a bit…
We found out a while back, at our 20 week anatomy scan, that our little man had dilated kidneys. We were told it was common for boys (in utero) and that it’d most likely self-correct before he was even born. This is probably right about where the tiny little “snowball of worry” formed. Fast forward almost two months, and lots of doctor appointments and meetings with specialists later and we’ve learned that it is a more serious issue than we originally thought, and is not something that is going to self-correct. Yesterday we were told the ONE thing I did not want to hear- that it’s looking like a newborn surgery is going to need to happen. Immediately my snowball of worry morphed into an avalanche.
Of course I understand that these are kidneys we are talking about, and that this is not a life-threatening issue. That this is fixable and that our sweet boy is going to be OK. I get that and I am SO grateful for all of those things. I also know that things could be much, much worse, and that in the big scheme of things we are INCREDIBLY lucky, to be pregnant at all, to have made it this far, and to have the prospects of hope and correction that come along with modern medicine. So I really hope I don’t sound like a drama queen or like I am being in any way ungrateful for the blessings we’ve already been given.
I’m only human…and a mom on top of that. I can’t help but let my mind wander and let the anxiety and worry build up when thinking about handing this tiny baby- MY tiny baby that was so wanted and prayed for, that beat all the odds, and that almost never was- over to a surgeon. No one wants that. No one wants that worry for their children- ever- but most especially at the very beginning when they are so fresh and helpless, when it is supposed to be a time of pure joy and happiness. It absolutely breaks my heart and fills me with more worry and anxiety than I think I can handle.
We were also told yesterday that my entire birth plan- the plan I had carefully and thoughtfully and excitedly set for my very last pregnancy ever- was being thrown out the window. New hospital, talk of NICU care levels, surgery units, a team of specialists, induced early labor, and potentially not even having my own doctor being able to do the delivery…these were all things thrown at us yesterday. Typing them out now, they kind of seem like silly things to be upset about. But yesterday, it was all too much. My excitement and eagerness surrounding this birth and my perfectly laid plans were all ripped out from under me and replaced with fear and so much “unknown” in one single afternoon. It felt like the earth was crumbling right out from under my feet.
I spent the majority of yesterday crying it out, talking to THE most amazing support system of family and friends, and praying really hard. (Also, eating a pint of Halo in the bath tub- which is totally underrated as a very substantial form of therapy, by the way.) I told myself last night as I scraped the bottom of that cardboard tub, that The Pity Party needed to come to an end. That, in the morning, I needed to wake up and move on.
Because there is no “pause & fall apart” button when you’ve got two other kids to take care of. There is still dance class and gymnastics, and a little blue-eyed Bear Cub who turns THREE in two days! There are still mouths to be fed, stories to be read, and little faces who look into yours and want to see a smile and reassurance that everything’s ok, even if deep down that snowball is still rolling downhill at an alarming speed. Because, even though you want to hide, life does NOT; it’s right there in your face, forcing you to keep moving. Which is probably a good thing, in the long run.
Thursday we will meet with another pediatric specialist. The one who will be prepping us for what to expect once this little man arrives, and who will be caring for him once he does. We’re hoping for more answers and a clearer picture of what’s to come. I’ve got so many questions and I’m beginning to realize that most of them may not be answered until this little man is Earth-side and that’s something else I’m going to have to deal with.
So today, I am positive. Or at least trying my best to be. I am trying to surrender and let go, because I know there is absolutely nothing more I can be doing and that the very best thing I can do is remain strong and healthy for this tiny babe. I’m sure there are going to be bad and scary days in the remaining two months and I’m sure a few more once he is born. But the most important thing- aside from birth plans, and change-of-plans, and unexpected road bumps- the MOST important thing, is making sure our baby boy is ok and in the best hands and best care possible.
This was certainly not how I wanted to end this pregnancy, the very last pregnancy I will ever experience, but I don’t have much of a choice. It all still feels very surreal and it doesn’t seem fair or understandable, as many things in life don’t. But, I sit here staring at the 3D sono picture we were given yesterday of our sweet boy’s face, and I imagine holding him in my arms and kissing his (already chubby) cheeks, and I have faith. This baby is big. He is strong, and a fighter…and he was meant to be ours. I can’t really explain how I know that without going into a whole other story- but, I know it. And for now, that is enough.
That, and ice cream.