As I slept the other night, a vision came into my head of a child with a crowded mouth of ill-fitting teeth. Then I heard the words, “She has Down’s.”
My eyes popped open. It was the middle of the night, and my 4-year-old son lay sleeping next to me, with my husband on the other side, oblivious to the pronouncement I’d just heard in my head.
Oh my God. I asked my baby — using the name we have recently warmed to but reserve the right to change our minds about — “Does that mean you? Do you have special needs?”
Previously asleep, she started moving right away. And she replied: “We will be fine, Mommy. I am the perfect child for you to have. We will be fine.”
At first I remained concerned and wide-eyed, my heart racing. But I kept listening. What should I do? “Trust. Love. Breathe.”
Um, okay. Pretty wise for a 28-week-old fetus. But then again, who knows how long that soul has been around. It would appear that it has an edge on mine!
Lately when I’ve woken up at this time of night — without any alarming warning, just with alertness — I have to get up. There’s just no use staying in bed. I make a snack or do a little yoga, or read, or all three. But this night I could tell my baby just wanted me to rest.
So I did. And I thought about her words. I fell back asleep.
The next day, I wasn’t shaken or upset. I felt peaceful. Accepting. It’s not up to me what child is going to come into our lives. There is no script of how things should be unless I make it up in my head and cling to it, which does no one any good.
So, for the moment, I am less anxious or worried (or avoidingly distant) than I’ve been much of this pregnancy and more of the mind that whatever is the right experience for me to have will be the one I will have.
Whatever life looks like, however hard the challenges we face, we can always choose to believe that things are, in fact, fine.