I realized as I was driving up to have Baby Bear’s monthly blood work done, that I wasn’t dreading it this time. That fear and guilt wasn’t consuming me. I wasn’t listening to music trying not to cry. Sure, it is still horrible to know that your little one will be in pain and that you will have to hold them while the scream, but it has become so much a part of the routine of our lives that I also know how to make the “after” easier. Have a bottle ready, give hugs and cuddles, make sure to smile and wave to the nurses. These things make it so he isn’t scared after. They also help to make it so he isn’t scared when we first walk in to get the blood work again. (It is also possible that letting him and big sister run up and down the hall while we wait for our name to be called might help. Hey, you try to make two toddlers wait for an hour and a half quietly.)
What doesn’t seem to get easier, are the results. I expect his ANC to be low. I expect his white blood count to be low. I even expected his liver levels to be high. But I still hope that they won’t be. That this time we will have normal levels. Surely this time, we will be ok. I impatiently load and reload the patient portal were the results are posted. Cursing it when nothing shows up. Finally when the results are in... my stomach drops. Crap. Not normal this month.
Then I look at my precious baby boy and wonder, what is the underlying cause of all of this? Is he really sick with something else that they haven’t figured out yet? What is it? Is it terminal? Stop it! Don’t think that! Is it curable? (PLEASE let it be something easily cured!) It surely can’t be too bad because, well look at him. He’s not even one yet and he’s walking and crawling from couch to couch. Please…please don’t let it be too bad.
And then my mind settles, as it always does each month after the blood work result freak out. I breathe again and go cuddle my little man and let the blood work’s results go for the weekend. Well, mostly let it go, except for some quiet googling which leads me to post in my complex parent support group asking what other seasoned parents think, as they are often filled with wisdom and less terrifying than Google.
My babies are still here in front of me, and the future is so incredibly unknowable, so I will embrace this moment and pray that we find answers soon and if we don’t I will keep on embracing the moment.
I am the mother two wonderful and Rare children and am honored to be the step mama to two awesome teenagers.