Isabella Grace-ious

Isabella Grace
The story of the girl who changes my life

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Reader Beware

...I'm in rare form this week. But sadly, rare form is seeming more and more like normal, and I'm not a fan.

It's been so long since I've written, mostly because of a bad case of writer's block mixed with kids who really can't stay self satisfied for more than two minutes at a time. But also because I'm totally weighed down with anxiety lately, and I was afraid that writing about all of the things I'm worried about will only make me dwell on them more... but I've gotten to the point where I have to do something about all my crazy emotions, and writing has never let me down in the past, so here I go.

Bells has an apt. with the geneticist on Thursday. I'm so nervous. I go back and forth between wanting to know and wanting to live in a land that isn't quite denial (just not possible anymore) but is more like not wanting to commit to a label that might be more debilitating later on than we even can imagine. I can't believe that back when I thought she might have mosaic downs syndrome I was completely torn apart for weeks. Now, a diagnosis that "benign" would have me thanking God for sparing us of all the other "could be's" that are so much worse. Especially metabolic disorders.

But even if it isn't a metabolic disorder, I'm still terrified. I have always dreamed that a family with four kids is the only way to feel complete. After having Noah (which happened to be around the time I accepted that there was something different with Isabella) I even accepted that maybe, MAYBE I could live with just having three. But two? No way.... I'm totally not done toting a newborn in my sling, listening to the sighs and cat like meow cries. Totally not done struggling through either nursing successfully or weaning successfully. Totally not done feeling the pride of having people look at my brand new baby in public. Totally not done watching my husband nervously fret about supporting that bobbing fragile head while holding a newborn for the first month. Totally not done teaching my kids about how to be good big siblings. Totally. Not. Done.

So what if? What if this doctor, while searching for a diagnosis, agrees with the SIX other doctors that believe that she has a genetic disorder? What if, whether she ever can find what is wrong or not, she tells me that the chances of Nik and I passing this on to another child are just to high to ignore? What if whatever Isabella has can show up worse in another baby? Because to be honest, if we were guaranteed six more babies JUST like Bells, I'd think I won the lottery. But what if I had a baby that needed more? That struggled more? That I worried about more? That just isn't healthy enough to survive?

I know that I won't leave the appointment on Thursday with any definite answers. Best case scenario, this new doc can give us a direction in which to start testing with more accuracy, and can give me a very vague and general idea of where we stand in passing possible genetic faults on to future babies. Which of course will only lead me into a whole all too familiar world of anxiety from waiting for answers so I can decide what to do. When all I really want is for someone else to make all the decisions for me right now because I'm thisclose to giving up this week.

In other news, I'm seriously starting to think I have hypochondria. All this worrying about what Isabella's symptoms and syndromes mean has me convinced I'm dying of something that I don't know about yet. Talk about anxiety. What is wrong with me?? I used to be completely fearless of death, just considered it part of life. I was more concerned about being the one left behind than to be the one leaving others on this earth. But babies change everything. Now I'm so worried about what will happen to my kids if I die. Will they think I just up and left them? Will they be fretted over as obsessively as I fret over them? Will they have clean and matching clothes to wear to school? I totally know that these are ridiculous things to worry about, but I'm seriously in an anxiety state that knows no reason. For example, I just went for a full body mole check 3 weeks ago, and I'm already convinced that I have three new moles that may be cancerous, and need to be checked out. Poor Nik. We haven't even gotten the $165 bill from my last apt (not to mention whatever pathology bills us for for the removed mole that thankfully came back normal). And then I start to have anxiety that the people at the dermatology office will think I'm a lunatic for coming in for THREE full body mole checks within 5 months. When all I want to tell them when they give me attitude for making yet another appointment is that I am SO afraid of having to explain to my kids someday that I won't be here forever that I'm willing to do whatever it takes (even driving myself insane with anxiety) to prevent it.

I think what all my anxiety boils down to is my lack of control. How is a mother, whose job it is to keep other human beings alive and happy while teaching them how to be loving and caring and productive members of society, supposed to be okay with not being in control over keeping her kids from having genetic disorders? And how is she supposed to be okay with knowing that any day could be her last, and she's worked so hard just to leave behind kids that will feel like she left them, but who will probably not even remember her in two or three years time anyway?

Sorry about all the drama and crazy thoughts. I warned you tho. It's no wonder Isabella's new line is "Calm down, Mom." I'm a walking ball of stress. Hopefully Thursday's genetics appointment will leave me feeling at least a little relived, if only because the anticipation of waiting for another scary appointment is over. I really need to get out of this funk because it is making me feel like a miserable person. I feel like I'm not enjoying my kids or my husband enough lately, and I'm not living up to who I want to be. I spend too much time freaking and not enough time appreciating. I just want to know with certainty that I'm REALLY doing everything I can do for my family's health. I don't want something to happen that I could have prevented.

Now if only hubby would get home from work with the bag of Caramel Ghiradelli Chocolates he promised me. (I'm all about self medicating my stress ;) )


  1. Oh how i know and am intimately familiar with the endless amount of waiting that accompanies these appts. I feel your pain. And your anxiety. And i fell ya on the third kid, too. I probably could have written this post... Albeit without the mole checks. Maybe i need to ddvelop a relationship with my dentist like you have with your dermatologist. Haven't seen the dude since i was pregnant with meg. ;)
    I am here for you when you need to talk about it all. I hope that you get some sort of answer on thursday... I will keep you in my prayers. I will come armed with starbucks in hand if/when you need to talk it out.

    Good luck, my friend. It will work out, i promise.

  2. it just took me 30 minutes to read this... my boys too can not self entertain on a quiet level for more than 5 minutes lately. My 15 min. here and 10 min. there of catching up on life (internet :) outside my 4 walls seems to be fading away lately. I've been patiently waiting for you and Jen to update your blogs and so glad you guys have! I love reading what you guys write and the way you guys write! it's therapeutic and relatable on some level. you are strong and will prevail and move forward, hopefully purging it on here helped you :) thinking of you....