Regardless of how many times I try to tell myself not to worry about the whole soft marker situation, I'm still going to do it. I imagine it has much to do with being human, and probably just as much to do with being me.
I find myself seeing signs in everything. If I add up all the times I've seen a child with down syndrome and factor in all the hours I have spent working as a therapist with children with special needs, the result is one heaping load of anxiety that will most likely translate into nothing.
But the possibility that it could be something is enough to plague me.
Truthfully, I don't want to be a hero. I realize that in being mothers, we're all heroes in one way or another. We nurture. We sacrifice. We pick ourselves up from by our stretched out underpants and go on. We ask for no credit, no praise, no special awards for doing any of it. Duty called when that test showed up positive or that baby was matched with us, and we didn't think about it.
On most days, I'm just getting by. My children and my marriage often survive by the skin of my teeth. I sometimes feel as though I'm not necessarily living, but rather, just surviving with the hope that we'll all be alive to face the next day. And maybe it will be better than the last.
So when the prospect of having to raise a child that might just push me to the end and call up any small shred of heroism that I've stored for extra special occasions, I am afraid. I'm scared and worried and upset and angry and totally selfish because damnit I never wanted to be a hero. There are so many heroes that did it and are doing it (again, by choice) and I'M NOT ONE OF THEM.
When I spoke to my mom the other day, she reluctantly told me about a viewing she had attended the week prior. As it turns out, it was for her work colleague's granddaughter who was stillborn. Cords and meconium and I got lost in the shock of not really knowing this mother but then thinking to myself YOU STUPID SELFISH BITCH WHAT SHE WOULDN'T GIVE TO HAVE HER BABY ALIVE REGARDLESS OF WHAT CHROMSOMES SHE WAS MISSING.
SHUT THE FUCK UP. JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP. YOU WIMP. YOU FUCKING WIMP.
I'm not sure what lesson I'm supposed to be learning. I know that I'm infinitely blessed that each one of my children are here and with me on this earth. I realize that my petty complaints about my kids being too whatever they are to annoy me that day are just that. Petty and minor and superbly miniscule in comparison to the challenges that are faced by mothers every day.
And I know that regardless of whatever marker is there or is not there anymore, I just don't know when I'm going to be called to duty.
But if there's anything I've learned thus far is that just when we think we're drowning, there's something within us that lifts us up just high enough that we can take a breath. It might not be a big one. And we may struggle to take a few more, but we're still breathing. Alive.