Hello! I’m blogging again..

..and here’s why.

Back in 2013 I stopped blogging- food was no longer all that interesting, and psychiatry was getting harder to write about. Offline life was getting more and more hectic- new job, new house, new child, and so on. I did not think the world needed to hear from me anymore.

Its 2016. I now have a child, a precocious two year old who lights up our life. I have a wonderful job, a wonderful husband and a home I love. We have a second baby on the way, and I have been feeling pretty smug with the way things have worked out.

Until a few weeks ago. I went for my 18 week anatomy ultrasound scan after work. I had been feeling well, with the first trimester fatigue subsiding. My OB had been joking with me, telling me how “boring” my pregnancy was. I used to tell him, “I like boring.”

That was about to change. The ultrasound tech told me she was having trouble seeing the baby’s left hand. Maybe he wasn’t cooperating. She had me pee, and then called in the doc. He was able to get the baby to move, but still could not see the left hand. He started to sweat as he told me the hand was “most likely missing.” He apologized. I heard myself say, “Hey, it’s only the left hand.” He said something about the left hand not knowing what the right did, and then start apologizing again. All I wanted was for him to leave the room so I could start crying.

Back in the car, I called my husband and my sister. Both physicians who deal with ultrasounds, they told me how unreliable ultrasounds were and we would wait for the repeat scan scheduled two days out. We all clung on to that little ray of hope through the tears and the bewilderment.

I did a few things anyway. I went to my birth board, and was quickly referred to the Lucky Fin project, an organization created by the mother of a young girl with a limb difference. I downloaded a book written by the mother of another young man with a limb difference and read it overnight. I read every website I could find about limb differences. By the time of the second scan, I had a fair idea of what we were dealing with. My husband accompanied me this time, and we both saw the missing left hand clearly. The doctor was different this time, a calm woman who told me, “I’ll cry if you will.” So we both did. She then gently told us that termination was an option.

An option? I consider myself fiercely pro-choice, but this wasn’t a choice. We saw a baby on the scan, a yawning, penis flaunting, playing-with-toes baby. A baby without a hand. If I lost my hand today, would I kill myself? And thus the decision was made. Did I revisit that decision in moments of darkness? Yes. But I always reached the same decision, again and again over the next few weeks. The husband never doubted the decision at all. In his line of work, it’s always “life over limb.” His friends said, “But this is your child.” He said, “that’s precisely why it’s even more true.”

What can I say, I married an idealist and a romantic.

So here we are. Six weeks out, and freshly back from a trip to the homeland. We shared the news with close friends and family. Everyone has been supportive, though the topic obviously makes some people uncomfortable. We’ve reached out to physicians in the field, to families, to friends and strangers. The limb difference community has been incredibly supportive. I still occasionally battle with “why my child?” Was I too smug? Did I consider myself too lucky? Did I not drink enough water? Did I squat too much? Why, oh why, did I watch that bloody lunar eclipse?

And then the baby kicks. I see pictures of other adorable kids and successful, happy adults with various kinds of limb deficits. And I know things are going to be okay.

This is why I’m blogging again. Because we’ve started another journey, one I that I believe will be worth sharing.

 

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About purplesque

Psychiatrist, cook, bookworm, photographer. Not necessarily in that order.
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14 Responses to Hello! I’m blogging again..

  1. Merlin Aut says:

    First of all Purply, I’m glad you’re back. I know a lot has happened and I’m celebrating your return. Oh and congratulations on the wonderful life you’ve made for yourself! Last but not least congrats on your second child! What joyous news.

    Want you to know I grew up with a boy who had no limb below the elbow. He’s 55 and has a nice life as an environmentalist in a hip southern VT arts town. Skis, drives, agitates, meditates, writes, is sort of an engineering architect who went to Alfred(Tech U?) for ceramic engineering. Smart, intelligent, very well-educated, friends with everyone in town and capable in every way. Tweet me at merlinaut if you want to meet or e-meet him and perhaps discuss his expert coping skills.
    Proud of you!

    Aunt Merlinaut PS: I would have to ask him too but if you feel interested please let me know.

  2. zottavox says:

    I haven’t been on WordPress forever! Glad to see Leenda still blogging, too!

  3. I’m glad to see you back! I wondered how you were doing but assumed you were happy without the tedium of blogging. 🙂

    I got choked up while reading your post. In the time you were gone, my older daughter had a child who is also two years old now and much loved, not the least by his grandma. My daughter is also expecting again, this time a little girl due in March. I see so much of her in your life, and my heart goes out to you. In spite of modern medicine and all the miracles it can perform, pregnancy is still a harrowing time. We assume, we hope everything is all right, but we don’t have total control over what goes well and what won’t.

    Speaking as one who works in special education, I think your child will do just fine with one hand. He may need physical therapy to train himself to do many things we take for granted, but children are marvelous at adapting to circumstances. The ones who sadden me have profound intellectual and emotional disabilities which will prevent them from participating in mainstream life, not without a great deal of assistance anyway. I trust that won’t be the case with your child. He will be a lucky boy, as he will be a gift to you and your husband.

    Would it seem facetious to wish you a Happy New Year at this point? ((Hugs)) for you.

    • purplesque says:

      Happy New Year and so good to see you, HG! It’s amazing- seeing the comments from old friends makes me feel like I never left! And congrats on the grandkids- I have been reliably informed that having grandkids is the best!
      Truly, I believe he will be fine as well. As far as we know everything else looks good, but like you said, we have no control over what happens. (That was the other joke I tried to comfort that poor doctor- hey, no worries, tell me about the brain. That’s where the good stuff is. He was so anxious I don’t think it made much difference. ) This is the risk you take every time you bring a life into this world.
      Lots of hugs.

  4. mizunogirl says:

    I am always glad to see a familiar face in the blog-o-sphere… even if for a reason that isn’t the most joyous. That said…. this baby is special and lucky to have you. He’s going to do some amazing things and I have a funny feeling you and your family are going to feel super lucky to have him! Lots to think on though… Will keep you and your family in my thoughts.

    • purplesque says:

      Hey, you! Thank you and I agree..while not terribly religious, I do feel each life/soul is a gift and we are simply their conduits into this world. This one chose us and we are grateful for that. How have you been?!

  5. Aussie Emjay says:

    Welcome back! I believe everything will be okay for your new baby – he’s coming into a wonderful family. I look forward to reading the rest of the journey.

  6. Chin chin says:

    Glad to see you back. Congratulations on the first and the second child. Our life is what we make of it. Your journey will have challenges, but then whose doesn’t? We are also stronger than what we think we are. With a positive, healthy attitude, I am sure your family will do well. Best wishes.

  7. Annie Brown says:

    HI there! I’m a journalist and interested in doing a story on ECT. I’d love to chat with you about a post from 2012.

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