Monday, October 8, 2012

Devil on my Doorstep

August 31, 2010
Today was an emotional day at school. I shared the news with my principal. She just cried with me. I'm so thankful for her love and support. We talked for a long time about things, whether it was related to you, related to school, or just related to nothing. It felt good to just talk. I can't remember the last conversation that didn't involve you. When I got back to class, it was time for math. Yesterday we made a birthday graph, so today we were asking and answering questions about it. One child said, "Your baby's birthday is in February!"
I said, "It sure is."
And another said, "Let's count how many months until your baby is born."
So we counted. Only 6 more months! We all smiled, even me. It made me feel great to still talk about you without tears.
After school, Daddy and I had another appointment with the genetics counselor. Another meeting of dramatic pauses. As she discussed all the ailments you may suffer, I teared up. She stopped talking and said, "Aww." Then she sucked in through her teeth with an "I'm sorry" look on her face. I choked down my tears real quick. I'll cry at home without her onlooking.
She gave us some books to read and she also gave us some trustworthy websites for Trisomy 18. I was glad. I hadn't told anyone, but when I searched online for Trisomy 18 I found lots of websites with pictures of dead babies. I was horrified. I still can't get over the images.
She asked us if we'd like another ultrasound just for peace of mind. Ummm, YES! Of course I can't resist seeing your sweet face. Maybe we'll finally get to see what you are!
The nurse who did your ultrasound on the day of the amnio was named April, like me, and she was very fun and friendly. Today's nurse wasn't as fun. She was very pretty and seemed like she would've been very cheerful. Maybe she was tired or having a bad day. Well, unfortunately, because of that the ultrasound didn't seem as fun. We saw you moving around a little and listened to your heartbeat. We tried to look to see if you're a boy or a girl, but you just won't sit still!
I saw one of your hands and it looked like your fingers were bent over. Maybe your fingers are closing? (Trisomy 18 trait: clenched fists)
A little bummed that we still don't know if you are a boy or a girl, we still left the office happy to be able to see you a kickin' and a playin' in my belly today. As we were heading to the door, I hear dramatic pause lady say, "Ohh, wait, Barnhills!"
We turned around to see what more she wanted to say. She shared, "I'm sorry. The nurse told me you were wanting to know the sex of the baby? The amnio shows an X and a Y, you're having a boy!"
I looked up at daddy and we both smiled. Hello, sweet Charles Patrick.
Your name was already chosen. You are named after your great grandparents: Charles Killion Barnhill and his wife Nora Patrick.
A little bit of reality hit me today. When I got home, I sat on the porch and talked to your Aunt Summer on the phone. I just cried because everything about you is just one big question mark. Do I prepare a nursery for you? Do I allow people to give me showers? I mean there's a huge possibility that you won't live. I'm sure people won't want to buy things for a baby who might never be born. I'd hate for them to waste their money. I guess its not waste. You are not waste, my son, you are NOT WASTE! I hate these questions and these thoughts in my head. I wish they would stop. I wish I could escape my mind at times. As of now, my mind is the worst place to be.
I'm filled with so much fear, baby boy. Fear of so many selfish things. I can feel the devil knocking me down over and over and over again. I have so many hateful and selfish thoughts that run through my head that I hate to even admit them to you. I hate the thought of telling everyone that you are defected. I think about having to take care of you for the rest of your life and having to quit my job to do so. Am I even capable of doing such a thing? I think about what you will look like. Will you have physical defects? How will others react to you? I think about my friends and how they always get their children together for playdates. Will I take you? I mean you will be the child in the wheelchair with the oxygen tank and feeding tube. What will they think? Will their kids be scared of you? I'd just be that mother that wanted her child to experience things, but maybe I should just save everyone else the trouble and stay home. Ugh. I'm so sorry, Charles Patrick. Its not your fault. I'm sorry, these are NOT my feelings, just terrible, terrible thoughts that run through my head. The devil is right here. We are face to face. Its my choice of what I say to him. As the apostle Peter once said, "Get thee behind me, Satan."
I just love you so much, little boy. I just want you to be perfect just like I always imagined. I want you to run and play and skip and get dirty. I can't help that I get so upset over you. I just want you here with me. There's nothing wrong with that. You are one very special spirit, Charles Patrick, but I knew that way before now.


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