Well, tomorrow’s the big day. The big show. Our diagnosis day. I’ve been waiting on this evaluation for just over 4 months, since it became obvious at PX’s initial developmental testing that I could no longer deny the A word.
It’s a bit ironic that I tried to shake off the idea of PX being somewhere on the spectrum, considering my entire pregnancy that was my biggest worry.
At 20 weeks we went for genetic counseling as part of prep for a level II ultrasound. Ugh, genetic counseling. The phrase seemed so off-putting, like I‘d suddenly jumped ahead a millennia and was living in Gattica. “Make my baby STRONG! No defects, please. I want a world class athlete with the brains to stomp Jobs and Gates into the ground.” We were referred because of the other half’s congenital heart defect but the first question out of my mouth was “My half-brother is autistic, what’s my son’s chance?”
“Half? On what side? How old?”
“My dad’s son, he’s ten years younger.”
They both just smiled at the time and tried to assure me the probability was only raised a fraction of a percent, perhaps there was a 2% chance of PX being autistic. Even with dad having aortic stenosis, our children’s risk factor was still under 5%.
“Don’t worry, it’s all minimal.”
At the time I secretly wanted to jump up and scream “Then why THE FUCK did we have to drive AN HOUR and make me puke on the side of the FUCKING highway for this in-depth ultrasound if there’s not even a 5% chance of my baby having a heart defect that you might not EVEN FUCKING catch on an ultrasound?” But I kept my mouth shut, because I am a worrier, I put no faith in any low-ball risk, and I wanted a cute picture. Our other pictures were small and fuzzy. I got a DVD here- score!
I didn’t mention my worries again, to anyone, my entire pregnancy. Even when, at 34 weeks, my totally healthy pregnancy nose-dived into a small chaos. I’d begun rapidly gaining weight while PX was not. In one week, I gained nearly 10 pounds and PX’s weight was holding steady at an estimated 5lbs 8oz. “Small for Gestational Age” was written on every conceivable form. I was at my OB’s office or the maternity wing of the hospital nearly daily, as my blood pressure began to rise. So at 38 weeks, enough was enough and labor was medically induced.
Twenty-seven hours later, narrowly avoiding an emergency c-section, out came my St. Patrick’s Day little boy.
Officially, he was just 2oz over being underweight, which caused about a 50/50 split of “he might hit his milestones a little later” and “he’ll be just fine!” And he was just fine, or what seemed to be fine. He hit all his milestones on time or early. So all my worries just sort of fizzled away, and I got lost in my little ball of energy and my 2nd pregnancy. He was, and still is, my little sidekick.
So when did it happen?
Did it JUST happen, or was it always there? Hiding quietly under the surface, masquerading as random quirks?
I didn’t notice anything drastically different from other children until he turned 13 months; he had some texture aversions but I was always reassured that was normal. Could it really just come out of thin air? Was there any link between my third trimester problems, his growth reduction? Will it matter if I ever know?
I should probably be packing to get ready for the big day tomorrow but my mind is a little all over the place. I worry too much, and stress too often. But I guess that’s parenthood.