In the history of expecting parents being asked, “What are you hoping for- a boy or a girl?” the token answer is, “We’d kinda like a (gives preference), but really, as long as the baby’s healthy”. And sometimes the word “normal” is added on to that sentence as well. Healthy and normal.
But what if it’s not? What if the baby isn’t healthy? Or normal?
A few weeks ago for my wife’s 2nd appointment, we were quite unhappy with the way the nurses and office staff handled the whole process. They didn’t explain what they were doing; they just take a lot of blood and at the end, said, “That’ll be $492.”
And then they assumed we also would want to do the test for Down’s Syndrome, which is an extra $400. I understand that there are people out there who would try to sue their doctor for not telling them their unborn child has Down Syndrome. I understand it’s a legal issue. But the way there was this unspoken assumption that we would have an abortion if the child had Down’s Syndrome… really, really rubbed me the wrong way. It was a very impersonal process.
Tomorrow we have another appointment. With a new doctor. One that others have assured us will treat us like expectant parents.
Whatever state of health or normalcy this child is in, I am overly aware that this human life is a gift from God, a gift we are responsible for. A gift, that we know, isn’t promised to arrive. Part of being an expectant parent is knowing that something could go wrong and praying everyday that it doesn’t. But still, if our child is born sub-par to medical standards, this is still the child God gave us.
By thinking these “what if?” thoughts out loud, it doesn’t jinx or bring upon a certain situation either way. But I do feel a need to prepare myself for the both the best and the worst.
It’s seems a reoccurring theme in parenthood is the “not knowing”. Saturated in hoping and praying.
All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography: