Monday, April 25, 2011
For this pregnancy we initially rejected all genetic testing and counseling. In fact, the day before our first ultrasound I canceled the recommended appointment (recommended because of my "advanced maternal age": 37) with the genetic counselor telling her I'd call if anything was abnormal. So foolishly confident.
Driving home from that ultrasound with the doctor's prediction of Trisomy 18, I remember looking at the seemingly normal drivers around me thinking, "That person is okay, their day unexciting, their life not rocked with bad news."
And then again a few days later, on the way home from the amniocentesis, I stopped into Target. I remember standing by the shopping carts watching people chat, get carts, check out, and just move and breathe without effort. I saw a family I know, but was too stunned to walk over and start talking. It felt like a scene out of a movie, where people are busily spinning around, but you're at a standstill trying to remember what normal felt like.
I can't recall receiving such heartbreaking news before. Information so sad it's paralyzing. Thank heaven though, regardless of one's state of mind or emotions, the world keeps on spinning. You're forced to clear spaces in a foggy mind to keep functioning. Life changes. Thoughts are often preoccupied. Tough decisions are made. But needs must be met--particularly in a family with four other sweet, healthy, busy kids--thereby preventing "shut down" as an option.
I've found functioning through grief, just keeping myself busy with the mundane, is a helpful survival skill. I realize this skill will be further refined by other events as life continues. It's not a bad lesson.
Another lesson learned? Buying makeup at Nordstrom is far more fun than therapy.