A year ago today, hubby and I nervously walked into my OB’s office for an ultrasound. A few days earlier we had received the results of our quad screen – 1 in 227 risk of having a baby with Down syndrome. The first step after that was an ultrasound to check all her little parts and pieces.
Oh, she was gorgeous. I was brimming with maternal pride as I watched my girl squirm around in glorious black and white on that screen. In a display of her total lack of modesty, she gave us multiple views of how she is very much a baby girl. (She did the same on a second ultrasound…and we spent the entire summer pulling her shirts back down from where she had pulled them up. Yes, she’s a baby, but boy does she love to be naked.) She also spent a lot of time waving her little hand, and of course I took this to mean she was waving at us, her mom and dad.
That ultrasound came back “clear” – as in no markers for Down syndrome. My doctor wasn’t there that day but his partner checked everything over and declared our baby was just fine and told us to put Down syndrome completely out of our minds. So we did. Most moms would, right?
When it comes to health, if I hear hoof beats I barely even glance up to see if there are horses much less frantically search for zebras. I am totally fine with doctors saying things like “it’s just a cold” and unless something really weird happens I’m good at letting it go. So when a trained OB with decades of experience told me my baby was fine, I looked no further.
What he should have said was that while having no markers was a good sign it in no way meant for sure that Rowenna did not have Down syndrome. But as it was, I put the whole Down syndrome thing behind me and had an amazing remainder of my pregnancy. I loved being pregnant. I was actually sad when labor began (seriously!) because I knew she’d be on the outside and we wouldn’t have that beautiful intimacy anymore. If I had lived the rest of that pregnancy worrying about Down syndrome I don’t think I would have had nearly as much fun as I did.
Over the last 6 months I have reflected on this day. Did we make the right decision? Should we have done the amnio? Should I have done more research and learned that an ultrasound can’t rule out Down syndrome? Should I have pushed for a fetal echocardiogram?
Like I said, in retrospect I’m glad we didn’t because I don’t think we could have handled the answer at that time. Receiving that diagnosis after birth and having our beautiful girl to hold and love did make it easier in many ways.
So when I woke up this morning and felt a little twinge of sadness because I remember the absolute joy of that day and how I cried that my baby was “just fine” and was so excited we went out and bought our first pink item since we knew she was a girl, I also had the feeling that Rowenna is just fine. She is. She’s just fine the way she is. Seriously, I dare you to look at her and tell me she’s not. Her smiles are gigantic, her little chirps fill my house, her snuggles could just about melt you. Nothing wrong with any of that in my book.
I did my usual cruisin’ the web this morning, listening to her chirp and coo with daddy in the next room. A mom posted an article that I absolutely needed to read this morning. Talk about “just fine” – here’s the kind of story that makes me realize that our life, while a little bit different, is going to be ok.
And on a totally different note, just because I promised that this blog would occasionally mention my undying love for knitting, here is a picture of Rowenna my latest creation.