Lot’s to say here today but want to come across in the right way. It’s hard to do sometimes with the written word. No voice inflection and no true way to convey tone, especially if you do not know me personally – I am sarcastic the majority of the time and self-deprecating humor is what I know best.
We had our targeted sono last week. I woke up with an ache in my stomach and I didn’t want to go. Andy was meeting me at the hospital so I dragged myself to the car and began the short drive. It. Was. Pure. Torture. It became the déjà vu moment of October of 2005 – driving there with my baby – knowing I was going to get news I did not want to hear. Planting myself into a chair in the waiting room and telling Andy repeatedly that I was not going back to the exam room. I kept saying, “I don’t want to hear what they are going to say” – and Andy holding me and reassuring me all would be ok.
All was not ok. All was far far from ok. In addition, over the next 3 years, it got progressively worse with more diagnostics and more drives and waits in exam rooms as more “ologists” were being added to our list.
The drive last week is where I broke and called my girlfriend LBOTP and she talked me off the ledge as best she could. When the tech called us back she asked if was ok if a NP was in the room to which I replied, “Yeah if she is ok with me being a total emotional wreck right now”
It took more than an hour because it is two babies and I had 13.4 thousand questions for each bone measurement, organ scan, and the brain. I laughed half way through and asked the tech (who we LOVE) if she was glad I am a one in a million patient – and she said “I couldn’t do this all day long if everyone was like you” …. I LAUGHED but she knows us well from years of infertility and she knows that I walk a path of trial by fire.
All is well. I began to breathe and cry at the end because I finally feel as if this is real vs waiting for the other shoe to drop kick me.
To celebrate I took Larkin to the pool. She and I both needed some time to decompress and just chill for a while.
Here is the meat of the story and I am careful here because it was an innocent conversation; innocent and devoid of any malice towards my girl or me. A conversation that I am sure takes place all over the world every single day.
Sitting at the pool with L in the water and 2 other mothers near me all of us watching our children play. It came up that one of the kids has a very small mark on his nose. I had asked if he had a fall and the mom replied that no – it was a birthmark. She said it was not getting larger as his nose grew and that he had always had it. Mom #2 mentioned that her child had a mark also under her butt cheek and it was getting larger as the child grew.
This turned into a conversation about “if it had been a girl” they would have the area removed from the nose and mom #2 agreed and said they were watching their daughters for the same.
I went quiet. We are sitting 3 feet from a little girl who has the most famous identifying birthmarks in the world. Almond shaped eyes and a flat nasal bridge. I am still quiet today and typing this makes my heart hurt and the lump come back in my throat.
Please refer back to the earlier paragraph where I mentioned no malice was intended and I know that neither of them even gave it a second thought and would be mortified to know that …. it stung.
Stings remind of us things to avoid.
The sono confirms one baby is for sure a girl and the other while more modest, they are 99% sure, it is a girl. Thirteen is male and as my firstborn, I learned all things boy. I am confident in that arena and Larkin has not been a typical girl, mom/daughter experience. Frankly these two will bring a whole new realm with them and I wondered – would I want to fix their “imperfections” no matter how minor? I mean botox is an AMAZING gift to the universe. HA!
How do I avoid the sting?
Conclusion. All of my children will be raised to know love and confidence of whom and what they are. That beauty is found deep within the heart and soul of a person and the outward trappings are just that “trappings.” Larkin is the door to acceptance, love, and all that should be in this crazy world. Loving someone like Larkin will change you and my children will benefit from her very existence.
Get to know someone in your community, church, school, grocery store, who has a developmental disability. You cannot help but be changed. No longer naive, no longer worried about how someone looks, but delving deeper for a relationship that truly matters.
My girlfriend Laura sent me the following message after she read that I was expecting twins and that I am feeling reserved. Laura knows the angst of wanting a child to speak and I wrote about wanting to reach down into Larkin and pull her words out of her.
I asked her if I could share her words to me with all of you.
“I just can’t help but wonder, reading your words about how Larkin is your “pure joy” and how she has changed you,” whether she was the little door through which these babies were meant to come, their harbinger, their advocate, their greeter – the one who made it possible for them to be.I read somewhere – I think it was in a book written by someone who had had a near-death experience – that we actually choose to take on some of the sufferings we undergo in life, both because we know it will make us grow, and because we know it will help those we love to grow…
… and I wonder….what if it’s true?
What if this little spirit who is Larkin undertook the role she plays in this life, for you, for her siblings? What if that truth is down there, buried with those words you see struggling to come out?
If that were true, then it would be even more important, wouldn’t it, to be grateful for the presence of these angels in our lives who stretch us beyond what we thought possible. It would be even more important to hold them, love them, value them, and remember for them, when they forget.
That is what love is. It is remembering, even when the other person forgets.”
Thank you Laura for helping me remember and I love you right back in 3D