I love being Prego. Really, I do. I don’t get sick. I don’t throw up. I don’t get too uncomfortable.
Me and pregnancy, we’re buds.
Okay, all of you who pregnancy is your mortal enemy, take a moment to hate my guts so we can move on. If it makes you feel any better, I may have been dealt the “great with pregnancy” card, but I was apparently absent when the “nice butt”, and “tolerance for others” cards got handed out.
Anyway, I was sad to discover that after I found out about the baby’s cleft, a little bit of my enjoyment about being pregnant seemed to vanish. And in its place, a flavor of bitter-sweetness soon took over.
Though physically I was still having a rock star pregnancy, emotionally I was in mourning. Every time I would get excited about the baby, the sweet. I would quickly remind myself of what we were going to have to go through with him, the bitter.
I was mourning to loss of the option to nurse. I was mourning the loss of a husband only excited about his littlie buddy, not worried about him. I was mourning the loss of the idea I had in my head of what it was supposed to be like. How would this affect my child in this already sucky world? I was mourning the idea of a “perfect” birth day, because now it was slightly spiked with the reality of the situation. I would actually, finally see how bad Rykers cleft was. Was it just the lip? One-two surgeries. Was it the palate too? 4-5 surgeries. I was so concerned about what this would mean for Ryker. And, oh my gosh, how scared I was at how I would react at seeing my little man for the first time. How my husband would react. How we would both feel.
I knew how I wanted to be, I knew how I wanted to feel. And I was dead set on “being okay” with the situation. And after a bit of time and a dose of reality, I really am.
The day I found out I was a wreck. God and I were NOT on speaking terms. I was mad. I was sad. I was scared.
I cried. I wallowed. I had a rather good pity party.
These were real emotions. And you know what? They were justified. But by day two things started to shift. I started to accept my newly changed reality.
I got active. This was the situation, and I wanted a plan of attack. So where do we all go for information overload? Why, the Internet of corse!
I started researching anything and everything I could about clefts. I wanted to know it all. And yes, some of it was scary, but If we were going to deal with this I was going to be grossly over prepared.
So at this point I’m sure it won’t shock you to find out I’m a bit of a control freak.
HOA president, own my own business, alphabetize my kids toys, yup, you know the type. So let me tell ya, this little unplanned event was just what the doctor ordered. Really! I couldn’t control it. In fact this whole cleft ride is all “play it by ear.” And its good for me…I guess.
Anyway, about a week after we found out about Ryker, my husband and I went away to Mexico for a week, just the two of us. We had had this trip planned long in advance, but the timing turned out to be a blessing. We were able to get away and clear our heads. It was on this trip that God and I made up, and I made my peace with our new adventure. It was also on this trip that I recognized the immense blessings I had surrounding me on a daily basis. I felt the breath returning to my lungs.
A month later we sat in the waiting room at Primary’s Childrens Hospital. We were there to interview a surgeon who does cleft repairs. There is nothing more humbling then sitting in a waiting room at a children’s hospital. We sat with families who were there for all kinds or reasons. It was there, in that waiting room, that I realized I had a child with a temporary, correctable situation. How lucky was I? This was not the case with so many of these families. That was the day that I made the complete shift in my perspective.
I realized that yes, having a child with a cleft really sucks. It does. And yes, it’s going to be really hard on me, on my family, and on my child. But I can handle it. We can handle it. You can handle it. And I plan to do it with a little grace and a lot of flair.