Of course I know that not all babies are born “perfect” (by the rest of the world’s standards, anyway). In fact, half the “fun” of pregnancy is reading along in the books week by week about all of the many things that can go wrong with the baby, the placenta, the cervix, the mommy and all of the many, many parts involved. However, and I never realized this before my 18 week scan with this little muffin, even though I know all of the things that can go wrong, even though I’ve walked myself through them in my mind, even though I’ve dreamed at least 20 different things that could be wrong with my baby, I still went into that ultrasound with only one question in mind: could I seriously be having another boy?
It turns out that even though I am a chronic worrier, I still plan on things going just right.
We’ve been through enough second trimester ultrasounds at this point that we knew something wasn’t right. The u/s tech got a little stiff, a little quiet and kept taking the same picture over and over and labeling it “nose/lips”. She was trying to get a good face shot and baby “wasn’t cooperating”. She checked the kidneys again, the spine again, the heart again, the spine again, had me get up and use the bathroom and hang upside down. Tried again… hitting all the same highlights. After an hour and a half, the tech finally wrapped things up telling us she was going to go speak to the doctor who may want to come have a look herself, “sometimes they do that”. Not in our experience. We were confused and the boys were at the end of their ropes with sitting in a dark room and being shushed.
Finally, the doctor came in and explained their suspicions that our baby might have a cleft lip. Ha! Oh, okay… they can be concerned about that. At least it isn’t something actually possible like a heart defect or spinal issue. “Does anyone in your family have a cleft,” the doctor asked. We shook our heads emphatically, a little relieved, and told her no, of course not. No one in our family has ever had (or will ever have) one of those.
The doc poked around for a bit and gave up, telling us we’d need to come back in a couple of weeks to get a better look. Our baby didn’t want people gawking at his sweet face and calling it wrong. I get that. Then she ushered us into her office to talk about the possibilities and answer questions. We didn’t have any.
They didn’t see any markers of any other issues that can accompany clefts, she explained but they’d still like to do an amnio. (Ha!) Could we come back in a week? We pointed out that we hadn’t done any other testing intentionally and wouldn’t be back for any more but another look at baby’s face. “Talk about it with your doctor,” they encouraged us.
Through it all I had an overwhelming sense of peace and calm about me. I was sure my baby was fine. And if he did, in fact have a cleft, big deal! We could totally handle that. It could be alot worse! Yes, we could handle this and it would all be fine… according to Heavenly Father’s plan for our family. If our baby did have a cleft, then this would be a special experience designed for our family and for this child and we’d all come out of it better people… (But of course, he wouldn’t.)
TO BE CONTINUED…