(A follow-up post from a Post-NICU Mama)
In a gushing burst of love for little "mystery" Benjamin (my kid's nickname for their youngest sib) I scheduled a sonogram for this Thursday. I did it solely to let my husband see an early outline of his little one's face. This was a huge deal for me. I tried to explain to my husband all my conflicting emotions with my first pregnancy after a NICU baby. They are mostly not good.
I mean, I love this new kid. I prayed for him (or her). I'm okay with doing general routine maintenance during OB appointments--testing my sugar, etc.
But I'm so NOT cool with doing a sonogram.
It's like, the bloom is off of the rose.
Not only did I have a kid with a fatal birth defect who passed her sonogram--I had a kid who PASSED all her physicals with flying colors for the first SIX DAYS of life. I think I truly passed the 10 mark of pediatricians who all said that my Tess had simple reflux or simple jaundice, all while she was actually dying! (The worse thing for me was that she was under 48 hours of hospital observation from day 4 to day 6 and no one caught it.)
So this whole "sonogram" thing doesn't mean anything to me. I'm not going to believe it if we get an "all clear"--but the worse part, I don't think I'm going to believe it if we get the "all clear" during the next baby's first week of life, either.
The good news is that they don't think that my daughter's birth defect is genetic, which means we have no higher risk of having it again.
The bad news is that they are throwing me back into the pile! Seriously, I have no special tests or monitoring done with this next pregnancy. Which is hard because the technical odds of something going wrong might be the same as pre-Tess, but I'm not the same!
I am not the same Mom.
So, I don't know. Yesterday, I call the hospital where I gave birth to Tess and where I'm scheduled to give birth with baby mystery. I was hoping to get some insight into what screening tests after my new baby's birth to rule out any intestinal or heart trouble. The Pediatric Floor remembered me! Tess left a memorable impression. The bad news is they are not going to do anything. In fact, the perky nurse said "don't worry after any neo-natal testing because if there is a problem they'll catch it in the sonogram."
I said "But they didn't catch Tessy's problem in the sonogram!"
Dead silence on the other end of phone.
Yeah, no help or understanding from the medical establishment. There's no standard protocol As my husband said with forgiveness "Tessy's troubles weren't serious enough to go into automatic high alert status with the next baby, but we also can't go back into in easy, totally healthy baby section either. We're in the gray zone where no one knows what to do with us."
So it looks like it's just Jesus, Mary, and the Archangel Raphael who will be the ones keeping an extra sharp lookout on mystery Benjamin's pregnancy and his emotionally fragile Mama. Which worked perfectly for Baby Tessy's birth.
On the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I didn't celebrate with any cute teaching moments with my kids. Instead, I tried to more deeply inhale our Mommy's dear promise:
"Do not let anything afflict you, and do not be afraid of any illness or accident or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Is there anything else that you need?"