Monday, February 8, 2010

Life gives no guarantees

Today was a day full of doctor appointments and rushing around. It was a mostly frustrating day, up until my appointment with Dr. Ballet. I think he was just scheduled to take measurements of little Peanut today, but because he hasn't been able to shed any light on the trachea and esophagus, he also took a look at them today. He seemed fairly confident that there were no Esophageal Atresias (EAs), which basically means there are no severe blockages. He also got a decent look at the trachea and esophagus and neither seem to be showing any defects. He thinks that if a Tracheoesophageal Fistula exists, that it is probably pretty minor and it likely wouldn't be anything we'd know about prior to birth. (Surgery could still become necessary.) So, it all became pretty clear to me today...we're not going to know everything or maybe anything for quite some time. And then we still won't know everything or anything... In fact, when do we know anyting?? I walk around most of my life thinking that there are basic guarantees. (If you asked me, I would probably answer logically that there are no guarantees, and that nothing is promised to us in life.) But, I think to a certain degree we all assume that we'll leave for work and come home later that day, that our children will grow and prosper according to plan and that we will grow old and eventually die of "natural causes"... Strangely, I'm not upset by the lack of solid answers. We got basically good news today, and Dr. Ballet continues to say that he's "pleased" by what he's seeing in both my pregnancy and the baby. The fact that he won't be able to say conclusively that our son won't need surgery upon birth is part of life. It's just a little bit freeing to REALLY realize that this life we have is an adventure and a journey that can only be revealed a little bit at a time. Plus, I've never been one to read the end of the story before the beginning, so I think I'll try to let our story play out as is. What I know right now is this: Our baby has Down syndrome. I love him already. Peanut has no defects visible by ultrasound. I have a slightly "generous" amount of amniotic fluid. (Isn't that nice of my amniotic fluid to be so generous??!!) My pregnancy has been a pleasure so far. And lastly, somehow- though I don't know exactly how- Everything is going to be alright.

While going through Peanut's exam today, Dr. Ballet shared some interesting facts about himself. He shares some physical characteristics frequently seen in people with Down Syndrome. For instance, a common trait in Down syndrome is for there to be more space between the big toe and the other toes than is typical. Dr. Ballet has toes like this, and we laughed a bit about it's relevance to his sports-playing and ballet-dancing days. Also, a single line across the palm (instead of the typical two lines), called a simian crease, is common in chromosomal abnormalities (in particular with Down syndrome.) Dr. Ballet also has this simian crease. If you Google simian crease, you'll get some palm reading information. I have never put much stock into palm reading, but it is very interesting what is said. The two horizontal lines on a typical palm represent the Head and the Heart lines. If a simian line exists, then these two characteristic are merged. What the general summation is, is that the individual is a very intense and unique individual. Maybe I've twisted some of the Palmistry meanings to suit my own pondering, but I personally think they might be onto something... The simian line exists about 50% of the time in people with Ds, so we won't know until after birth (surprise, surprise) if our son has one or not. Dr. Ballet actually said that it's probably a good thing that his Mother had not been made aware of his simian crease and the space between his toes prenatally, as it's possible it would have been mistaken for Ds. The way he said it made me think that he was referring to the number of people who terminate based on these types of findings. It's possible that I'm just projecting my current struggles onto what he actually meant. All in all, today has been very thought provoking for me.

Off to bed for me...

1 comment:

Marjan21 said...

My DS aunt just celebrated her 60th birthday and we are talking 1940's Iranian medicine. She has 7 siblings that love her and take care of her to this day and she is perfectly loved and happy. So she is doing fine without all the information and statistics and blah blah blah and I think there is something to be said about that. Sometimes all this thinking and research and facts and such can just make for more worry.

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