Sunday, October 27, 2013

Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME!?!?!?!?!?

At Eliana's 4 month appointment, everything was going well, or so I thought...

I love our pediatric practice. As a WHOLE they are wonderful. They can calm me down quickly and answer my questions. When the person I am talking to doesn't know the answer, she goes and finds it. I like them. Matt came with us to the first few appointments and picked out a Dr. that he felt comfortable with. She is nice, and very young. Not like Doogie Howser level young, but sometimes she feels like that.

Anyway. Back to our little story. Something wasn't right. Doc wasn't talking. She was just kinda doing the same thing over and over again. And then she said she would be right back with another Doc. She has done this before, and I am okay with it. She wants to make sure the information she is giving us is correct. I appreciate it. Doc #2 came in and did the same things Doogie Howser did. Then they both left. Eliana and I started to make fun of them. And have fun - like we do.

Doc came back in and said that Doc #2 confirmed her suspisicions. There is a SMALL chance that Eliana might have Down Syndrome.



JK. I didn't actually freak out. I was more shocked than anything else. I mean, we had the test when I was pregnant to check for Downs, even though I didn't care at all about the outcome, just wanted to see my baby again. I never in a million years would have terminated the pregnancy if she had Down Syndrome. I just wanted another fancy sonogram. I wanted to see her beautiful face.

So I started asking questions. Doc told me that it was because of a few things.
1 - Eliana wasn't standing up assisted. When you hold her up she doesn't put her feet down.
2 - Her tongue is always sticking out.
3 - Her muscle definition is loose.

So then I responded.
1 - Of course she isn't standing up, no one told me she was supposed to. SO why would I make her.
2 - I am the runt of my family when it comes to tongue length, and I can touch my nose. My brother's tongue was out until he was much older.
3 - SHE IS 4 MONTHS OLD! Of course her muscle definition is loose. She doesn't go to the GYM! what was I thinking!!!

Doc explained that had our positions been switched, she would want to know that there is a small chance that her child might be on the MOSAIC for Down Syndrome. Mosaic? Is that like the spectrum for Autism? Nope, its a mosaic. IDK.

She told me that there was a number I could call and they would come to the house and do a full physical, emotional, and mental exam to confirm. Or I could do blood work. On a FOUR month old. Right. So I asked the Doc, "Does she look like she has Downs?" "No."

The whole reason Doc told me this was "in case" she does have Downs. She didn't want me to be shocked or surprised if it showed up on her blood work later on.

So I went home. And told Matt. He wanted to call and make appointments and get her checked out, etc. I said sure. I will make the call. And the next day, Eliana started putting her feet down and standing up. And we never did anything about it.

Fast forward 2 months. To her 6 month appointment. I took her alone again, and we purposely saw the same Doc as before. We went through the motions and all the regular stuff. Then at the end of the appointment Doc said "You remember all that stuff about the possibility of Down Syndrome? Yea, I don't think there is any chance she has it." My response? "I know."

Every friend and family member I told this story to was appalled by Doc's behavior. And rightfully so. Had this been any other parent, especially a FIRST TIME PARENT, everything about how they raise that child would have changed. Most parents would start looking at this child as special or disabled. Doc was lucky it was me in the room that day. And she is lucky I don't have an interest in suing her. She could have completely derailed our relationship and damaged our family. Just in case.

Never once did I suspect that Doc knew what she was talking about. Never once did I suspect that my daughter might have Down Syndrome. It was not in the realm of possibility. So no.

In fact, I was more upset this past week by how much her butt her because of her diarrhea. Which was MY FAULT because I fed her carrots - and she is clearly still allergic.

Moral of this story? I am going to see Doc once more at 9 months. And I am going to talk to her about her decision to say "might" and "possibility" because any other parent would have freaked out. And then, I think we are going to switch Docs in the practice. No worries, there are 8 others to pick from and I have liked almost all of them.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

L'Shana Tova

I have to confess, in my family I am the most secular Jew. They might not know it, but it is how I feel. I do not actively seek out my Judaism on a regular basis, nor do I participate in being Jewish. We do not light the Shabbat candles every Friday night. We do not attend services. We are not members of a congregation or the JCC. I am Jewish, it is just part of me. Like saying I have brown hair. It is just factual information.

As I was sitting in temple last month for Rosh Hashanah services I was struck by the amount of community I am missing by not being more involved. I was sitting in services, by myself, when a couple sat down next to me. She introduced herself and started talking to me about the synagogue. She engaged me in her community. She could have left me alone, but she didn't. Then, the president spoke about how the synagogue as a community needs to be looking out for the new people and the people who are not yet involved in their community. And I felt like she was talking to me. She said L'Shana Tova means Happy New Year, and I knew that, we say it every year. Then she said that L'Shana comes from the same root as  L'Shanot, change. Let Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur serve as a moment of decisive change in your life. 

It resonated with me. 

It happened again at Kol Nidrei services. Kol Nidrei is a prayer for those who cannot pray. It is the community asking forgiveness for those who cannot ask for themselves. A different couple sat down next to me and we began to talk about the Rabbis and Cantors. A former student sat down with her family behind me and engaged me for fifteen minutes before the service and again afterwards. They asked if I was a member, and when I said I wasn't, they asked if I had enjoyed myself. No pressure to join. Just make sure you still get involved in the yearly programs. 

It resonated with me again. Like listening to the shofar sound. The universe is talking to me. I miss prayer. I miss being involved in the temple. I miss being an active participant in my Judaism.

And in the last month, I have thought about it a lot. And I have started looking into the Temple. I have started doing the research. I have started making plans for us and for our household. My hope for this New Year is that the "little" change Eliana has been (little in size, not the change) will continue until we can fill the void. Let me take these feelings seriously and act on them. Let me make changes that last. May this year be a Happy New Year and a Year filled with Happy Changes.

On a similar and different note. My goal this year is to forgive those who hurt me. I want to not take offense as quickly or as deeply. I want to learn how to let it go better and faster. There was a prayer in the Kol Nidrei service that really stuck with me - even now a month later.

Give us the grace to show forbearance to those who offend against us. When the wrongs and injustices of others wound us, may our hearts not despair of human good. May no trial, however severe, embitter our souls and destroy our trust. When beset by trouble and sorrow, our mothers and fathers put on the armor of faith and fortitude. May we too find strength to meet adversity with quiet courage and unshaken will. Help us to understand that injustice and hate will not forever afflict the human race; that righteousness and mercy with triumph in the end. 

There are people we live with, work with, are friends by association with, who drive us up the wall. In a high school, I work with bullies on a regular basis, whether student or adult. I am tired of it. I am looking for my armor of faith and fortitude as well as the quiet courage and unshaken will to stand up for what I believe is right. More importantly, I want to stop focusing on the wrongs done to me. I want to be able to focus on all the positive things that happen during the day. I want to change my focus. I want to focus on the change.