Praying to St. Joseph, patron saint of pregnant ladies.
Even though I’ve made a point to blog fairly regularly about my pregnancy, IRL I’ve been fairly low-key about it, keeping it mostly mum among even my friends and off social media. That’s because I’m wildly superstitious.
In my first trimester, I refused to linger in the childrens’ aisles of clothing stores, never giving more than a passing glance to the adorably shrunken versions of adult items – hoodies, pea coats, cargo pants for boys, or leggings, tunics and blazers for girls. As if just gazing upon these items would trigger a miscarriage or some kind of uterine mishap. At that time, I didn’t even know whether Peanut was a he or a she, so it didn’t make much sense to purchase as much as a onesie in a gender-neutral green, grey or yellow.
I just figured it was bad luck to buy something so early in the pregnancy, when it’s been proved, time and time again, that anything can go wrong in the early days. Better to just wait until I got the all-clear, no?
And even then, there’s no real guarantee that I/we were “safe”…
* * *
Yesterday was Peanut’s Fetal Echocardiogram at Sunnybrook. It was a bit nerve-wracking on account of her recent Trisomy 21 diagnosis; speaking with doctors and my own research taught me that babies with DS are prone to congenital defects of the heart, and the Echo was going to determine whether there were any of those defects present, and to what degree.
The examination itself didn’t take long, and it was performed by a doctor – Dr. Han is a paediatric cardiologist, to be exact – which surprised me. The Echo is performed much like an ultrasound, except that it focuses exclusively on the heart, and how it’s functioning.
My little girl is pretty wriggly; even when she was just a prawn with leg and arm buds, she was extremely active, and u/s technicians have always commented on that. Yesterday was no different, and Peanut turned this way and that, almost as if she was trying to shield herself from the Doppler. In spite of her inability to stay still, Dr. Han was able to complete the exam, and Peanut passed with flying colours.
I was so relieved. I’ve made my peace with her diagnosis, and have just been praying that she wouldn’t have many other serious health concerns. So far, so good. My little one is good in there. Thank God.
We had a second trimester full ultrasound scheduled at North York General later that afternoon, but I had some time to kill between appointments. Feeling light, I stopped into Bayview Village to do a little window shopping, and wandered into Baby GAP. A pair of wide-legged dark denims with button embellishments on the pockets immediately caught my eye. They were a hilariously miniature version of the type of thing I usually buy for myself – plus they were on sale – and I couldn’t resist. I spent a few minutes picking out a matching tunic, and marvelled at how cute everything was.
After cashing out, I walked back to the parking lot, clutching the purchase close to my chest. I realized it felt strange, buying something for my daughter. My daughter. I spent the first half of this pregnancy dealing with one health issue/piece of bad news after another. Beyond choosing her name, I never allowed myself the luxury of getting too attached. Don’t get me wrong; there is definitely a bond, and I’ve loved her since she was little more than…well, a peanut-shaped blob in the womb, but I really haven’t been at all focused on nursery colours, bassinets, or any of the pre-planning that most expectant mothers seem to enjoy.
I guess I didn’t want to get too accustomed to the idea of her, in case something happened – in the event I had to become unaccustomed to her, you know? I’ve been holding my breath since July, and crossing fingers and touching rosaries and generally avoiding any activity that smacked of impending motherhood.
Yesterday, I breathed easy, and bought my daughter her first outfit.
I look forward to buying her many more.