It is important to me to write about February 21st 2006. It is the day when Michael and my life changed forever. Of course there are a lot of those "life changing forever" days but this one is important.
It was a Tuesday. I was having my bookclub over that evening. I was 18 weeks pregnant and due for our Level II ultrasound that afternoon. I planned my bookclub evening because I was going to find out the genders of the babies that day and I could do the unveiling at my bookclub. It was a day of celebration. Earlier the previous week I took a poll in my classroom about what they thought the babies would be. boy/boy, girl/girl or boy/girl. That seemed like the most important thing at the time. It would make my pregnancy more real. It would tell us more about what our future would be like.
Michael and I went to the clinic. We waited in excitement. The tech asked us if we wanted to know the genders before she announced that Baby A was a boy! Max. Soon after we found out that Baby B was a girl. It never occurred to me that there was more information to learn that day. I didn't think that their would be something wrong.
Michael and I had discussed the possibilities. We wanted to know if our baby had Trisomy, Down Syndrome, cleft lip/palate or anything else. It is strange, you wonder if your child will have Down Syndrome but you never wonder if your child will be missing a bone. We had no idea.
After waiting too long for the radiologist we began to wonder. The doctor came in to the examining room and bluntly explained that baby B seemed to be missing a bone in her lower leg. She said that it would have "a major impact on the baby's life." We had no idea. We didn't know what that would mean for Baby B, for Max, for us.
In tears we were shuffled to another office on a different floor to meet with the genetic counselor. It was not genetic but they recommended an amnio to be given the next day.
It wasn't until that Friday that we would learn the word and the implications of Fibular Hemimelia. Those four days were agonizing. Tears flowed freely. I couldn't move, couldn't think, couldn't remember. I was paralyzed by this. That is when you realize what it means to be another. I couldn't bear the thought of losing a baby I had never met. I couldn't deal with the idea that anything would be less than perfect.
Madeleine is quite perfect. I'm so glad that we got this information before she was born. I'm so glad that I was ready to accept her as she was.