A friend was trying very hard to make sense of this all. There has to be something good that can come out of this, right? Why was Mabel sent here? Everyone has a purpose, so what was her purpose?
Is there a lesson to be learned? I sure hope not. The lessons I can think of are: don’t be anxious about the little things. Don’t take anything for granted. Look how strong you are. Why did I need to learn those lessons? I know plenty of anxious people or people who don’t know their own strength- why do I need this education and they don’t? It brings me back to what did I do to deserve this? I rather not try to make sense of it- it’s just statistics. Has to happen to someone at some point. A numbers game.
A better way to help people process my situation is to look at what positive things have come from it. I’ve already talked of new relationships, a better sense of compassion and the privilege of having the experience of pregnancy. But I suppose this blog is another benefit. When Mabel was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, I was eager to hear peoples’ stories of prenatal diagnosis. I wanted to find someone like me. Most peoples stories involved diagnosis at birth, because few people continue a pregnancy diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Here is one story that can help with the lack of published experiences. I worry that it may turn some people off- when you are given a diagnosis of Down Syndrome and you opt to accept the pregnancy, you want to hear how it turns out well. This is not that story. But I hope others can related to worries I had before the oligohydramnios and that part of my story can help them process. Maybe it’ll help some people opt to continue a pregnancy with Down Syndrome. That would be nice.
When I started this blog I thought it was merely interesting, or unique, to work in obstetrics and have a pregnancy complicated by Down Syndrome. Little did I know how unique my situation would become. To this day I have yet to find another person who had my set of diagnoses: baby with Down Syndrome, kidney failure, oligohydramnios and potential pulmonary hypoplasia. But statistically there will be someone else out there at some point who shares these diagnoses. I can help her. My story is most similar to those with kidney agenesis (absence of fetal kidneys). That is usually diagnosed 18-20 weeks, so their journey is different. Some choose to terminate. Some choose to continue and then have a longer journey of uncertainty than I did. But the feelings and the outcomes are the same. So I join and contribute to that community.
And then there are those of you who read Mabel’s story and think a little differently about pregnancy, family and life in general. I’m not sure how it helps, maybe you could tell me. How has reading Mabel’s story made an impact on you? What more good can come?