I do NOT live in the moment. I`m just not one of those zen-types who exist in their own here and nows. I live in a lot of places. In my head, in the past, in a book, in the future. But the present is anathema to me. I`m always waiting it seems. Like all those who suffer from the same, I`m always looking for the day when. Or remembering the days when. And when is never now.
Such was the case when I was expecting Thaniel. Expecting is not a good term for it. For starters, HE was a complete surprise. Then there were all of the complications, I wasn’t expecting any of those. It began with a simple ultrasound, which revealed a large septated cystic hygroma, thick nucal measurement and became gentle hands on my shoulder and a midwifes offer to meet me at home to discuss my extraordinary pregnancy. My plans for a home birth were tossed and I was transfered to care at a high risk program. He wasn’t expected to live. If he did, he wasn’t likely to be mobile, or not suffer from serious issues, and I didn’t live in that now. I lived in future ultrasounds where I would hold my breath until the tech said she could see a heart beat. And then I lived for the next week, and the next…
I prayed future prayers, and I relived past pregnancies. Past loss. And I prayed some more. I fell in love with this little bean of a fighter who surprised a few seasoned white coats when the hygroma ceased to be, and the spots on his heart got smaller, and he didn’t just live. He thrived. Somewhere up in the 85th percentile in size, Thaney grew and grew stronger everyday. And I waited.
So I lived, check up to check up. I opted out of the amnio I was offered in those early weeks, mostly out of fear. Fear of miscarriage (lets face it, after seven babies I have a pretty cranky uterus) fear of truth, of knowing. And also because really it wasn’t something that would help. It wouldn’t change my outcome one way or the other, and so I chose instead to wait until it was safer to do those tests. I waited until the 32nd week. And then waited two days, and then waited for the receptionist to look up my results, waited for her to call a doctor over to the phone to read them to me. And then waited for the room to stop spinning.
Down syndrome. for sure. for certain. In that moment. But I wasn’t living in that moment, I was already off weeks down the road with all of the what ifs and what nows. I barely slept for the researching and reading and planning.
In a few days I’d go into labour . Labour is funny. It has a way of forcing you to pay attention to the moment. Minute by minute. Contraction by contraction. Your mind really can’t bare to think much beyond just this one contraction, and if you do, it only takes the next contraction to snap you back to that moment.
He took his sweet time. Over 30 hours of hard active labour. Two of those entertained by the sweetest nurse trying to do a little guided imagery with me. I had to focus so hard on not laughing in between contractions it actually helped me. Then there he was. Perfectly flawed, perfectly altered, down right perfect. He scored 8 and 9 on his apgars… for those who may not know, trust me, that’s good. In future posts I’ll tell you all about those early days. About the first beautiful night, and the next worried day, and the next terrified day and the weeks of pain and doubt and prayer that followed. But for now I’ll end with this.
I have never been someone who lives in the moment. But Thaney holds me there all the time. He seems to hover in time, and it causes me to hang out there with him. Right now. This moment. And I am absolutely loving most every moment.