It turned out that there would be more to this Battle Call…affectionately known as The Bean. And she was born perfectly petite.
My mom says I shouldn’t be surprised. Like the apple falling from the tree-She’s kept us on our toes from the get. Some might call it spirited. We have affectionately called it fierceness.
Even though we only had a lengthy list of boy names, when we found out we were pregnant with a baby girl, we were stoked. Harper Asbury. Would be her name.
Despite our firstborn baby having hearing loss and all that had meant, the idea of having another child, who probably would be born hearing, had us on cloud 9. Mind you, I never studied statistics. 1:4 seemed like good odds to me. I chose to gloss right over it.
Whatever we were dealt, I told (convinced) myself, we could and would deal with. We would wait until she was born and go from there.
Three days before our baby Battle’s cochlear implant surgery, whilst 4 months pregnant, we got the call. The routine quad screening came back suggesting a high probability for Down Syndrome. Naively, we hadn’t even worried what the screening was for. It was routine, after all.
We decided not to wait. Already having one child born with special needs, and dealing with it weeks after his birth at our most vulnerable time, was… ummm…tough; We wanted to know. Then, we could prepare for what that might mean.
The silver lining. Now, opting for an amniocentesis, we could also get the genetic testing needed to check for the syndrome that caused the hearing loss in our son. Easy peasy. we would have peace of mind that this baby would be born with hearing.
I don’t remember the procedure. I suspect I was too overwhelmed to comprehend it all.
Sigh. She did not have Down Syndrome.
The genetics for the other would take longer.
Weeks passed and we were consumed with our son’s post-surgical complications. Nausea. Literally bringing home a human weeble~wobble. Next, Infection; followed by hospitalization. Lab coats. IV’s. hell.
Too distracted to even think twice about…did she or didn’t she…have hearing loss?
Then it came. Driving the hour ride, ironically returning from auditory verbal therapy with my newly implanted toddler.
“Can you schedule a time to come in for the results,” the soft spoken genetics expert asked? I pulled over. Sitting in a parking lot. “Just. TELL. ME!”
The rest of that conversation is a blur.
An overwhelming feeling of grief washed over me. From the inside~out. How. Could. This. Be. Happening?
I knew what it meant. I couldn’t play dumb. The doctors visits, surgeries, infant hearing aids, worry.
I couldn’t act like a pro and I didn’t want to. I wasn’t the poster child just because of how well versed we were in IT all. We were currently living in the fog and now… we would have to experience it all over. Again.
I immediately began a process of grieving. The loss of the life that I had imagined for her. For us.
Big stuff. Sure. But the small…
A kid in the bath or pool or ocean that could hear a splash, the rain, a wave. Little eyes, that would track and turn to my voice. Hear my lullaby. A whisper. A bird. The baby I would take out; without stares, curious to figure out why this little-bit was wearing those huge things on her ears. The sideways looks…What was wrong with her?
Grief for not being given a chance at mainstream motherhood. The Normal way. Like most people I knew.
And Labor Day came. This little Bean was born. Entering the world with complete gusto. And, we rolled up our sleeves, and charged on. Ass down, chin up.
I was able to let go of what I had imagined, or wished, or longed for.
She was designed perfectly, imperfect in a petite little package.