We have entered unknown territory. This week was the second time we found ourselves sitting outside a sonographer’s room awaiting a 20 week scan. The first time it had been exciting, we were focussed entirely on the finding out whether our baby was a boy or a girl. That is what the 20 week scan is for, right? Talk about being unprepared. Instead that scan began the chain of life-changing events and diagnoses which brought us our miraculous Mojo. Needless to say the experience second time around was somewhat different. Braced is probably the best word. We sat, braced and quiet as the time ticked by until our appointment.
Fortunately our experience second time around was completely different. ‘Normal’ isn’t a word I like to use in relation to people, primarily because there is such a negative connotation to being abnormal. I generally use conventional because being unconventional sounds much cooler, much more like a decision we’ve taken not to follow the crowd. Saying all of that there was, of course, something remarkably surreal about hearing the word ‘normal’ in relation to our new baby. Sitting squarely along the 50th centile for all her sizes and weight. Very, very, conventional.
The relief and happiness I initially felt was accompanied by a really complicated mix of emotions that I wasn’t really expecting. I was reminded all over again of how random Mojo’s condition is. Ultimately we now know that there is no specific genetic reason for her HPE, she could have had a very different life. By being relieved that our younger daughter isn’t, as far as we know, going to have any of the fundamental and life limiting difficulties that our elder daughter has does that betray Mojo? Is it wrong to be happy about it?
It is very much unknown territory to feel able to prepare for a new baby. We never did during the first pregnancy. We couldn’t. We prepared for a new kind of life but it was one without the baby I was carrying. This time we can prepare, decorate, have entire rooms built on our house! Last time we didn’t do NCT or anti-natal classes, as one doctor said to us ‘It may be very painful to hear other mums complaining about their healthy pregnancy experiences’. He was right of course.
How do we deal with a conventional baby. I understand that they move around of their own accord and don’t stay where you left them, that they answer back and that they get really heavy!! Will we be unimpressed by their motor skill achievements. So you can walk…well you would be able to walk because all of your brain works!
Ultimately I know that none of this will be an issue because in the same way as I worried incessantly about how we would cope with a non-conventional baby, we will cope with a conventional one in the same way. One day at a time. I also know that the one person who will struggle the least with the new addition is Mojo who will love her little sister like no baby has ever been loved (in her distinctive, slightly bite-y style).
I suppose every mother expecting her second child has days when she cannot imagine loving another child as much as she loves the one she already has, while simultaneously knowing that she just will. My case just comes with added conflicted feelings.
As for Mojo the last couple of months have been really hard work, she has bounced from one viral infection to another, piling them on top of each other and dallying dangerously with dehydration every other day. Surgery is now on the cards to give her a g-tube which will allow us to keep her hydrated during the periods of illness and hopefully limit hospital admissions. I hate the idea of her having a permanent hole in her little tummy but know deep down that it’s for the best. The combination of surgery and pregnancy hormones will be a fun one. We meet with the surgical team next month so time will tell.
In the mean time after all this drama, it’s back to our unconventional normal for a while thankfully!
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