“Could you hold this textbook up for me?”
“What do you think I should do about this?”
These are all things that you never want to hear your doctor say to you. But wanna hear the scariest?
“Katie, you have a genetic disorder that could result in mental retardation in your baby.” Yep. That’s definitely the scariest. Pretty much doesn’t get much scarier than that. And yet this is what my doctor said when she called me at my office on Friday.
I have a pre-mutated Fragile X gene. Fragile X is a gene that causes mental retardation (among other things) in babies, and there is the potential that if I pass this gene along to my baby, it could fully mutate and result in mental retardation. My doctor said that she isn’t too worried yet, but she referred Chris and me to a genetic counselor who will be able to talk to us more about the risks and statistics. And this morning, I am waiting to find out if I am going to be able to get in this week to have a procedure called a CVS, which is where they go in through my abdomen and take a sample of the placenta to test and see if the baby has been effected. I sort of stopped listening after that because she referred to me as a “high risk pregnancy” and there’s really not that much more to hear when that phrase is thrown out there.
I’m trying to be calm and, above all, optimistic. But its hard. It helps that my family is here to distract me with really important things like what we are going to have for dinner and where we should spend the afternoon shopping. But when I lay down at night, my head races. Which is why it is 5:50 in the morning and I am sitting at my computer.
Sometimes it takes situations like this to remind me that no matter what kind of responsibilities I am given – parenthood, a marriage, a house – I am completely out of control. Some things are just so much bigger than me, and all I can do is hope to be the best vessel for God to work through. So, when I’ve prayed these past few days (and I’ve prayed a LOT), I have prayed not for a healthy or perfect baby, but for grace and patience and peace. I feel like I need to be as calm and serene as possible so that He can happen through me. And I feel like I have been so far.
But then there is that hour between about 4:00 and 5:00 AM where my fear gets the best of me and I no matter how much I reason with myself or pray to Someone bigger than me, I still feel scared and so incredibly small. So, clearly, I am just not able to pray enough for myself right now. I’m able to pray enough to keep me peaceful for 23 hours of the day, and I could use some prayers to get me through that 24th hour.
I’m asking for prayers, or support, or encouragement, or happy thoughts, or good vibes, or peaceful spirits, or whatever it is that gets YOU through these situations. I’m asking for those.
Because sometimes you just need help in that 24th hour.