“I think this baby has a cleft lip…,” said the doctor in a very calm, nonchalant tone. I was at my 20 week ultrasound, all by myself, and I suddenly felt like I couldn’t breath. Sound familiar?
Let me back up a bit.
My husband and daughter had come with me a week prior to my FIRST 20 week ultrasound. Everything looked good, but they couldn’t see the baby’s face. They could see the profile, the top, and the view from underneath. But they couldn’t get a straight on shot. Baby boy just wouldn’t cooperate. Because they had seen everything else they needed to see, and what they did see looked perfect, they almost didn’t have me come back. But when they decided to do a follow-up ultrasound, I didn’t complain. I was thrilled at a chance to see my baby again. It never crossed my mind that there might be a problem.
A week later, I went back in for my follow-up, minus one husband and one 2-year-old daughter . There was, after all, no reason for them to come with me.
The nurse did her thing. We got the view we needed and she casually said the doctor would be right in. The doctor did his thing, and then very casually dropped a bomb on me. (Refer to the above) The first thing I said, in a very weak voice was “Are you kidding?” He responded with a casual, "No", and tried to point it out to me in the blur of back and white on the screen.
I did pretty well… for the first few minutes anyway. I was very calm. I immediately bombarded the doctor with questions. As far as I was concerned cleft lips were 3rd world country problems. Did he not realize we were in AMERICA? I mean really, my only knowledge about clefts came from the operation smile infomercials. It definitely didn't happen here, and it absolutely did not happen to MY baby.
He proceeded to tell me that, in fact, he sees a cleft about 2-3 times a month and that it’s the most common birth defect. Okay, that explains the casual attitude, but didn’t he realize that this was MY baby he was talking about? MY child? And then I asked the question that every Mother who has shared a similar experience desperately wants the answer to be “no”.
“Are you sure?”
And like all the responses to all those Mothers in mirrored experiences, “Yes, I’m sure,” hit me like a ton of bricks.
That’s when I lost it.
The doctor left, explaining that the grief counselor would be right in. There I was, in a dark room, all alone, sobbing so hard I simply couldn't catch my breath.
For those of you reading this, I may have just hit a nerve. This account may be all too real for a few you. And it’s in part because of those few of you, that I started this blog.
Also, I wanted to have someway to document our personal journey with Ryker, our son. I wanted something for him to look back at and read, so he could never question how much we love him. We have, and will do anything for him.
It is my deepest desire that this blog will be a useful tool in your personal journey. I warn you, I am not a doctor, and I’m not a specialist. I’m just a Mom who thinks that just maybe, I can offer some insight, information, tips and camaraderie to those of you just starting your unique path.
There is something that binds us when we feel the same pain. We like to know that there are others out there have the same battle scars that we have. It gives us strength to know that we are not alone in our struggles. And to you, you are not alone. You are among some of the strongest women out there. It was some of these women, sharing this same journey who gave me strength when I needed it.
You will get through this. HOW you get through this is up to you.I promise you one thing, you are so much stronger then you think you are, only someone like you could handle this.
I don’t know if what I have to say will actually help anyone. I’m completely a spaz, I talk way to much, and most of that is out of my ass, but even if this blog ends up being just for Ryker. I know my time journaling will be well spent.