I remember with my first child when the nurse asked us an hours worth of questions about our genetic history. Was there down syndrome in the family? How about cancer or blood disorders? I was initially somewhat terrified.
This was the first moment that I realized just how responsible I was for everything this child would go through, whether I could control it or not, their health and happiness was riding on my parenting as well as my genes.This was the first moment that I realized just how responsible I was for everything this child… Click To Tweet
Luckily my husband and I both have rather hearty genetics. My only health issue is living with one kidney, which people do easily everyday, so not really a big deal.
So I thought.
With my third child, my 20 week ultrasound found that one of his kidneys wasn’t function well, his heart had fluid around it, and his risk for down syndrome had increased to a chance of 1/300.
I cried for days. I had no control over what was happening to the child I had not yet met but already loved so dearly. I have never felt so helpless.
Luckily, he was born perfectly normal aside from one kidney being a bit of a bother. Our pediatric urologist was wonderful, doing all tests that were necessary but trying to do everything to keep him from surgery or invasive tests if possible.
Just before his 5th birthday this year, my son’s kidney decided it no longer wanted to be a part of his functioning little body.
I was left reeling once again. Following his ultrasound a year ago, everything looked so good that we were hopeful this would be his final year of monitoring. No more worrying!
Wrong. We were sent through a new battering of tests, much more difficult with a just turned 6 year old than an infant.
The results revealed a need for surgery to remove the kidney before major infection or discomfort could set in.
I did this to him. My genes have caused him pain and us non stop worry. How does a parent get passed that guilt?I did this to him. My genes have caused him pain and us non stop worry. How does a parent get… Click To Tweet
I am lucky to have a very large support system as we head down this path, but mostly I get through the guilt when I look at my son. My 6 year old is so brave, he is superman to me.
Being so young he doesn’t really understand what is coming, though his older brother has revealed more than I would have chosen to tell him. Yet he smiles in the face of impending surgery and looks forward to a few days of video game playing and popsicles.
He always sees the bright side. And that is the beauty and strength of children. It gives me strength as well.My son always sees the bright side. And that is the beauty and strength of children. It gives me… Click To Tweet
Funny that a grown woman would need to gather strength from a small child, but I find that I learn more from my children than I ever learned in school.
I have also learned that my husband’s aunt had to have a kidney removed at age 7….So maybe it’s not ALL my fault.