Now that I have had a chance to come to terms with Max's heart condition, the other "normal parent" worries have had their chance to occupy some space in my mind. The labor, the delivery, the birth planning.
One thing I haven't really touched on is other birth defects. We know from Max's ultrasounds that his other organs are functioning and that he is growing on schedule. That doesn't rule out the other defects that often go hand in hand with heart defects.
More specifically, chromosomal abnormalities.
I haven't mentioned this because I just haven't thought that much about it or paid it much attention. I didn't forget about it completely, but it just seemed less important than the overall survival and well being of my son.
I declined the amniocentesis and other genetic testing due to the fact that it just wasn't as important for me to know during pregnancy. They will test his umbilical cord blood shortly after birth to screen for numerous defects, mainly Down Syndrome and DiGeorge Syndrome.
To be perfectly honest, the thought of becoming part of yet another club is intimidating. As a parent, there is so much to learn about child development as it is. Learning about the development of a special needs child is a challenge that I would embrace, but a challenge, nonetheless.
I have always held a special place in my heart for people with developmental disabilities. I have worked in the field, researched just to familiarize myself, and advocated for compassion and understanding.
It may seem strange, but I have always wished that I would be given a chance to parent a child with special needs. Not that I wish hardships for any of my kids, but if there has to be a child with down syndrome, I know that I could be his/her voice, best advocate, biggest fan, and obnoxious cheerleader. (around here we call those moms)
After our last fetal echo showed that Max's heart was in better shape than we were previously led to believe, I was able to pay some attention to the other aspects of his birth and his life. I hadn't given much thought to the actual birthing process or what other things could go wrong. I hadn't thought about being mama to a little guy with an extra (or missing) chromosome.
It isn't heavy on my heart, but I have been giving it some thought. What it would mean for Eldon, what it would mean for our future as a family.
I have given up all expectations and the only thing I know for sure, is that he is Max and that he is mine.
Wondering what kind of needs he will have, is to me like wondering what color eyes he will have. I will soon find out and it will all just be a part of the person he is.
He will be perfect.