“Oh, we really don’t care, just as long as it’s healthy!”
Whenever I would ask an expectant mom if they were hoping for a boy or a girl, I always thought, please, please don’t respond with that cliche phrase! I mean, duh, who wouldn’t want to have a healthy child? And personally, I always had a gender preference, so I couldn’t even relate to that ‘don’t care’ mindset either.
Fast forward and here I am with two boys of my own. Shortly after my second son was born, my sister-in-law casually remarked, “Are you guys ever going to have a healthy child?” The comment caught me off guard because I initially didn’t understand what she meant. I was literally sitting there, staring at my kids and they sure looked perfect to me.
As I thought on it more, I realized that we definitely have faced some challenges of our own in the past three years in terms of health issues, consults and what has seemed to me like an endless amount of follow-up appointments. To someone who never had to endure any of this, it probably did seem like we had gotten a raw deal when it came to our kids’ health.
With our first son, we faced a hip dysplasia scare that required numerous follow-up appointments consisting of ultrasounds and x-rays until he was about nine months old, when we learned that his hips had corrected on their own. During that same timeframe, we had several urology appointments which ultimately ended in a recircumcision at seven months old (sorry bud!).
When our second son was born, he was diagnosed with a nasal tip hemangioma at about two months of age. Hemangi-huh? Don’t worry, I still trip over this word almost every time! At birth, it was merely a tiny red mark that doctors dismissed as trauma from delivery. Unfortunately, it didn’t go away and as he grew, it did too. Before we knew it, it consumed the tip of his nose and we were referred to the Hemangioma and Vascular Malformation Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Here we are, at eight months of age, and still unsure of how long this journey will be. Over time, it will go away, but until then, we will continue to have monthly visits, possible laser treatments to remove the redness and if the medicine continues to do its job, hopefully, no reconstructive surgery.
At the end of the day, I still feel very blessed by the fact that my kids are healthy; these issues are short term and we do see an end in sight. These ailments we face today will soon be nothing but a memory. My heart aches for those that aren’t quite as lucky because so many have it much worse.
I do believe that the one thing we can agree on is that, no matter what, it’s hard. The sight of a six-month-old in a hospital gown or a two-month-old in a metal hospital crib is gut-wrenching. No mother ever wants to see their child experience any pain, because our job is simple: to protect them.
So I think I get it now. Yes, I might still have a gender preference for our next child (sorry, I can’t help it!) and I may still think that the phrase is a little cliche, but I can undoubtedly say that I truly don’t care what we have next, as long as it’s healthy.