Sunday, October 11, 2009

My big ultrasound

It was a few weeks ago. I had the big, middle of the pregnancy ultrasound. It is now the 4th time of had this ultrasound. In scientific, doctor and insurance type terms, it is an anatomical ultrasound. That's why most insurance companies pay for it.

But it's not why most people have it. Most people are concerned with finding out what type of baby they are having: a boy baby or a girl baby.

We've chosen not to find out so I was only concerned with how healthy the baby appeared to be. I've learned much since I had Lauren and I can see that health is a relative term. I've seen that disabilities are on a spectrum, some disabilities simply make life harder (which is where, on a good day, I consider Lauren's to fall) and others are life altering and sadly life ending which my friend Joy has experience first handed.

I've learned that the health of my baby is something that I took for granted at one time. I never expected to have a child with issues. My perfect child was going to follow those developmental milestones to the T. It was going to sit up at exactly 6 months, walk at on it's first birthday. It would do this all, on its own without any intervention from anyone let alone me. I was only going to clap and beam in admiration as my perfect child did what it was supposed to do when it was supposed to do it. And that's generally what happens. I have two typically developing children and they have done that.

Obviously, that's not what happened with Lauren. She didn't do what she was supposed to do. She did meet those milestones but on the late end. I always joked at 15 months that she waited for the last hour to be in the normal range. It was funny at 15 months but at 4 not so much. There was just something off with Lauren, something that I couldn't quite put my finger on but it was there. I closed my eyes and shut my ears. But I couldn't do that forever.

Eventually, I ran face to face with the fact that Lauren had obvious (to everyone but me) delays. I can vividly remember her first IEP (Individualized Educational Plan- a lay out of special education services a child will receive) I sat at that meeting and waited to hear about her significant speech delays. They talked about her speech delays of course but they just kept going. She had significant fine motor skills delays, gross motor delays. She was socially where she was supposed to be.

I still remember leaving that meeting and feel like I wanted to jump off a bridge. I hadn't signed up for this and I was suddenly thrust in a strange world that I wasn't exactly sure I belonged. I desperately tried to explain that this was all a mistake. I mean, she just had speech delays.

That was just about 3 years ago now. Lauren has made dramatic improvements. We've made choices that I never thought I would have made. I never would have dreamed I would have put my just turned four year old a narcotic. I never would have thought that my life would be ruled by therapy schedules. I never would have thought that I would have put her in a dance class for kids 2-3 years younger than her and just been happy that she's dancing and now what her ability is.

Anway, when I stared at Omega on that screen, I thought about all of this. I simply sighed and was thankful that his or her brain appeared normal, its heart appeared normal, and all its vital where there and in the righ places. Seven years later and that's enough for me.

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