At some point during the drama with Hopper's heart, vocal cords, ears and tongue, I went in for an amniocentesis to see, if Scooter was going to have the same chromosomal abnormality that her older sister had.
The amnio itself was uneventful. We made a day of it, because we had to travel 50 miles from home to get it. We tried to make it a fun, happy, light occasion, even though we knew what the potential issues were that may face us. A few weeks later the results came in, so Hubster took the day off from work once again, we loaded up the kids, and headed back down to Wilmington for the results.
The doctor didn't want to give us the results outright. He wanted to prepare us for what lie ahead, so he started out with generalized small talk, so it was obvious to both The Hubster and myself that our baby was indeed going to have the same genetic condition that Hopper had. So I did what I could to hang on and not give into the panic I felt rising in my gut.
I glanced over at the genetic report that was lying on the doctor's desk and without moving it saw what the sex of our baby was. We had waited to find out. We wanted to be surprised. But now I needed to know. I needed to have something to hang onto at this really scary moment. I needed to start making plans to keep my mind off the scary unknown that loomed in front of us. I needed to know who I was falling in love with, so there was absolutely no chance of that love being diluted by the information we'd just been given.
"We're having another girl!" I choked back tears and tried to keep my voice uplifting and light. I didn't want the girls to see I was upset. I could not give into what I was feeling at the moment. Oddly, the thought that I couldn't get out of my head, like a bad song that just won't go away, had nothing to do with the chromosomal issues and the problems that may arise. Nope. I couldn't stop thinking that I was failing somehow by not giving my husband a baby boy. Today, it seems like such an odd reaction, but it's what passed through my mind at the moment, however fleeting the thought was.
I also remember feeling somewhat smug that I could read the genetic report, even though the doctor was irritated with me for having blurted out that we were going to have a baby girl. I could tell he didn't think I was taking the situation seriously, when in fact I was taking it all too seriously. I had experience with this genetic condition, and he had none. I knew our family would face many challenges with Scooter, but I needed a win.
And then I was snapped back to reality.
For nobody told Bugster not to give in to what she was feeling.
Sobbing, she yelled, "But I wanted a baby brother!"
I have thought many times of how grateful I was for her little breakdown. I had no doubt she would love her little sister. She'd get over the fact she felt cheated at that moment in her little life. It would become a distant memory. However, it gave me something to focus on other than the immense grief I was feeling. I knew I would love my baby no matter the circumstance. But I also knew life would not be easy for her. And I grieved for what she faced. I grieved for the loss I felt myself, as I tried to stay composed.
We got the name of a geneticist to talk to about Scooter's diagnosis before we left, and we took the girls out to eat before heading back home. I don't remember the name of the restaurant, what we ate, or what anyone one was wearing. I just remember feeling like I was in a fog for the rest of the day.
When we got home, I made the appointment with the geneticist. Even though we knew that Hopper was the only one in the world at that point with the particular chromosomal abnormality that affects our children, we were hoping to get some new information about what it meant.
Instead, we met the geneticist from hell.
She was a tall, slender woman with dark hair, but I don't recall her name. I just remember how cold and cruel she was.
We began by asking her, if there was anything new about the genetic condition Hopper had and Scooter would be affected by. She had no news for us at all. Not surprisingly, we knew more about it than she did. But what happened next blew our minds.
She asked us when we would be having the abortion.
We sat there dumbfounded with our mouths hanging open that she felt she had the right to assume we would end the life of our little one.
Uncomfortably, we stammered that we weren't intending to end the pregnancy.
So she began to brow beat us and extol the virtues she saw of us having an abortion. She told us how our baby wouldn't have a life worth living. That she'd amount to nothing. She'd likely never be able to walk or talk. That she'd probably be a vegetable. That we didn't have a right to put her through that or put that burden on society.
We were speechless. We were in absolute shock that she was trying to strong arm us into having an abortion like a pushy used car salesman trying to push a piece of junk car on an unsuspecting kid.
I don't know which of us spoke first, but we assured her that abortion was not an option for us.
She glared at us and yelled, "If abortion wasn't an option, why did you waste the government's money to have an amniocentesis?!"
I yelled right back at her, "So we can have access to the right doctors when she's born, if she has a problem!"
Dazed, but united, we stood up and left.
In an odd way, I'm thankful for the run-in we had with the geneticist that day. It brought us closer together as a family, as a husband and wife, and it solidified our determination to do everything we could to protect and nurture our babies.
We didn't know it then, but we would need that reliance on one another many times in our lives together.
Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.
You can read the start of my journey here.