My husband called my mother-in-law to check on me and when she came over I burst into tears. We hugged, cried, and processed the new information. Oh, I forgot to mention, my mother-in-law is a social worker too. The genetics counselor called when Carol was over. We set up a meeting at 8:45am and then an ultrasound appointment at 9:15am for the next day. She told me that we would discuss Gastroschisis and what that means for the baby. She was empathetic and answered my tearful questions about the prognosis for a baby being born with the digestive system on the outside of its little body.
My husband came home early and we both poured over the Internet for hours. We googled and read almost everything there was on this condition. We devoured medical journals and personal stories. What we found comforting was that although it was a serious condition, babies are in the NICU for a couple weeks/months and often fully recover. We wrote down all of our questions for the doctor and the genetics counselor in a notebook, a notebook I generally use for my own clients, and placed this next to my purse for our morning appointment.
I couldn’t sleep that night in anticipation for our upcoming appointment. I stayed up visualizing how when our toddler was four and asked about his/her scar I would lovingly kiss it and tell the little one how it was a special mark of survival. Then I thought about having a pre-teen girl cry in her room about not feeling comfortable going to a pool party because of the scar on her stomach. I envisioned us talking on the bed and me showing my c-section scar and stretch marks (I’m assuming I would have a c-section because of my muterus. Also, who knows…I’ll probably have stretch marks too) and having a discussion about body image and the value of a person. Clearly this was all in my head because as a former pre-teen girl, I probably would have thought my mom was so unrelatable and had noooo idea what I was going though. I continued to think about how we would make our baby the best home possible and tried to mentally prepare for the journey ahead.