I cannot imagine the amount of mammogram stories there are out in the big internet- world of ours; astonishing tales of devastating news, trials, pain, worry and exhilaration.
To be honest, mine does not have an ending just yet because this was an entirely different story…
I am a 43, (approaching 44,) mother of 3 very little boys. All under 6 to be exact. If we do the math, My youngest was born when I was 42 my oldest when i was 38 and my middle when I was 40. My middle munchkin was also born unknowingly with an adorable extra chromosome, or as you more commonly call it; Down syndrome . I am a full time kindergarten teacher and as you would imagine, a very busy woman.
So, I crammed and rushed to schedule my yearly breast exam appointment. I did it for those little boys . My God I want to see them as men. This, I am sure, is not an unusual anecdote. It is probably also not odd to hear how this mother of boys often longs for a pink beaming bow. I know I’m “geriatric” in the child bearing sense and that my plate is spilling on the floor it is so freaking full…but still my loins ache for pink. I am beginning to understand that a mother’s loins always ache for something.
So, on appointment day I was asked a barrage of questions, including, “is there a chance you are pregnant?” My immediate response “NO!!!” My calculated response: NO? I don’t think so? Probably not? To which the tech responded ” I do not feel comforatable with your exam unless you are sure. There is a ton of radiation back there.”
Well now I was freaked and they would not give me a pregnancy test on the spot . So off I went with no mammogram and a worried wonder settling deep in my belly.
All logic parts of my brain said “no way.” My husband and I ( both teachers, both hands on raising our babies, both extremely otherwise occupied) had only been intimate twice. Both times were safe and the vasectomy had been scheduled . It could not be. But my analytical mind went deep. I saw that rabbit hole and I dove in cerebellum first:
Would we have to move…AGAIN! What if I had another boy? What if I had to handle the news of another disability? What if it wasn’t Down syndrome? How would we find the money or time? What would happen to my body and my relationship? Who would ever agree to watch four kids so we could have a date? What about Car seats and Pack and plays?
My head swirled. My nerves buzzed on the surface.
I took to sharing. It’s how I deal. I told my husband and my friends. They laughed with me, worried for me, showed me incredulous faces and urged me to take a test. I prayed too. I prayed that there was not a baby inside my belly. I took back all the the loin longing for a girl.
I also convinced myself that I had every single early sign of pregnancy. Omg! Did my boobs hurt? Why was I tired? Why was I not wishing for a glass of wine? Why did chicken seem gross?
Above all, I was unusually happy with what I already had. I was satisfied. I begged for things not to change. I pleaded…”please do not let this be undone.”
I thought about taking a test before work. The suspense was twisting me… but the unsuspecting positive test with my third boy had me spooked. So all day I contemplated. I struggled and I realized how damn lucky I already was.
The test was negative.
And here I sit.
I am entirely gracious and full of divinity. I may have even galloped a bit on my walk today. So why am I writing this?
This is not a tale of tradgedy or even beauty in the unexpected. It is a story that has me doing what we all do. It is the story of “phew.” I wished and I prayed. I rallied the troops and my wish was granted.
But isn’t this a story we know all too well these days?
It is a story of “what if my story was different?” It is a story of “be thankful for what you have because it could all change in a fleeting second” it is a question of “how do I hold onto the enjoyment in this moment and don’t forget how good I have it?”
It is a feeling of “how do I keep the gratitude close and the complaining away…. without a concerning event to remind me?”
It is a question unanswered for now I am afraid. However, it is a note to hold on to happy with a tight grip and grateful heart. It is being thankful for the reminder… and a hope that no more are needed.