Because we are all about consolidating here at Casa de la Sausage (plus girl) my GP is the same as our pediatrician. He’s an Old Skool former military doc which means he’s incredibly no-nonsense kind of guy and for that I love him. But since I delivered Amelia at a hospital that he doesn’t have privileges at (likely by his own design), we were seen by another ped. Rather than transfer everything over to my GP after we were discharged because we are also lazy, we’ve been having Amelia see the doc she saw in the hospital.

Man, that was a long and boring paragraph. But it has a point!

This week I had to follow up with my GP after my dosage of my anti-depressant was tweaked just to make sure, I guess, that I wasn’t going to kill myself OR others (and if I had, thanks to my incredibly helpful OB nurse, I’d have gone IMMEDIATELY to the ER. Because that’s what suicidal/homicidal people do. They behave rationally! Because suicide and homicide are both REALLY rational things to do! Obviously!). And because I am an incredibly wonderful daughter, rather than saddle my mother with all three of my children, I took my youngest along with me.

(complete aside! You know you’ve been to the doctor WAAY TOO MUCH when you actually notice that all of magazines are ones you’ve seen already! Like Audubon Monthly! Although I don’t read them, preferring to stare vapidly into space, I like to see different things at different offices)

The point of that insanely boring first paragraph is that my GP had not yet met my daughter who will become his patient (arbitrarily) after she is (hopefully) discharged from the neuro. So, because I am that kind of patient–you know, the kind that wastes the precious time of busy doctors–I immediately showed him the back of her head and told him all about Amelia’s encephalocele.

He examined her and told me about one of the saddest stories I’d heard in awhile. Sometime in the 70’s or 80’s, he’d gotten a call from an OB asking him to come to be at this C-Section. The OB suspected a problem with the baby, but without the fancy diagnostic tools we have now, he had no idea what the problem WAS.

Well, it turned out to be a mighty encephaolcele stretching from the top of the head to the nape of the neck.

As you can imagine, the baby didn’t make it.

This was the beginning and end of the experience he’d had with my daughter’s diagnosis.

And this reminded me of how amazing it is that any of us turn out as well as we do. How often things actually go RIGHT.

And what a fucking miracle Amelia is. Needless to say, I’ve been holding all of my kids a little tighter.

40 thoughts on “The Holy And The Broken Hallelujah

  1. I’ve often thought the same thing- that it’s a miracle so many of turn out to have the correct number of legs, arms, heads, etc.
    When I was pregnant, I was always vastly reassured by the huge abundance of perfectly normal looking people walking around without any extra appendages or eyes or noses.
    All of us who have healthy kids are so very, very lucky.

  2. another secret: i tell myself that if i’d gotten pregnant again, there would have been something wrong with the baby- something big. it just happens SO OFTEN, and how the fuck did i have three healthy children?

    thank god amelia only had a tiny bit of her smarts hanging out.

    one of my daughters has a hemangioma on her shoulder, about the size of a half-dollar. 85% are on the face and head, some even in the eye, nasal cavity, or throat! sometimes my luck is good.

  3. What a terribly sad story. My mom is a speech pathologist, and she sees people (mostly kids) with a wide array of disorders. Many of them are inherent; some are the result of trauma. But she talks all the time about what a joy it is to see my kids. They’re noisy and don’t always listen, and my middle one is stubborn and my oldest refuses to try anything new; but they’re normal, healthy kids. When I stop to consider the fragility of our bodies and all the things that can go wrong just on the way to being born, I’m amazed at how blessed my life has been.

    How is Ameila doing? I know she’s not really at the point yet of marking developmental milestones, but I hope she’s doing well enough to take some of the worry away and let just enjoy being the mom of three lovely kids.

  4. I am reminded every time I see the scar on Farty’s belly of how badly things could have turned out. But he is healthy and Amelia’s healthy, and despite all the chaos, we are really blessed.

  5. It is a miracle. We start out from a single cell and somehow all our parts are formed and most of them work right most of the time. It makes my brain feel soft and mushy trying to understand how that can happen. I’m glad your experience had a happy ending.

  6. So true. I am glad that Amelia is fine….and sometimes it’s good to have those reminders of how thankful we truly should be!

  7. A pediatrician once told me, when I was freaking out because my daughter was running a fever of 104 and the sulfa he had given her was causing a rash all over her body – for the second time – and I was sure she was having an allergic reaction (she was) and was going to stop breathing at any minute, that he didn’t want to be a doctor, only went into medicine to please his father (who was a doctor) and chose pediatrics as his specialty because 99% of the time, the kid survives whatever life throws at him/her, and he couldn’t deal with some of the tragedies he had seen in medical school and as an intern. This was supposed to ease my mind!
    I don’t know what your doctor’s little story was supposed to do for you. But, I’m glad that Amelia is firmly in the 99%.
    (Did you not tell him that you’re: 1) post-partum – he should have figured this out from the baby you were holding and 2) on anti-depressants – or did he just not hear you?) I’m all for one-stop doctor shopping, but I’d find a new pediatrician and become his patient – that’s what I did when my kids were little and I practically had a reserved parking place outside their office. When my kids brought home germs – lousy little germ factories! – they got sick, I got sick, it was easier to just have their doctor look down my throat or listen to my chest. At least he did throat cultures – something general practitioners don’t do.
    It’s a miracle that 99% of kids survive the medical system in the country!

  8. How very sad. It’s so nice to know we live in an age where medicine, while certainly not perfect, can help so many and continues to advance.

  9. Everytime I yell at my kids for doing the normal everyday kid stuff that gets them yelled at I remind myself how lucky I am that I have healthy, annoying kids to yell at. And I remind then that they can work out what I do wrong to them in therapy later….

  10. you gotta love those former military doctors – so matter of fact and really just to the point! one of them delivered pepita. he said some pretty classic and quotable lines. i’m going to have to make a post of classic quotes from my time at the hospital…

    you are so right – so many times things do go RIGHT. that’s been one of my resolutions for the year. to remember those things that do go right and not to spend as much time with the microscope on the small number of things that go wrong.

    she’s a cutie! and a fucking miracle!

  11. I am scared to have another baby for just that reason, because I feel like I dodged a bullet with my daughter and I’m just not that lucky. I give her a thousand kisses a day, because I am so thankful for my sweet little girl.

  12. Amelia is an amazing girl, with an amazing mama! Every time I want to knock my kids’ noggins together for squabbling over something stupid, I remind myself how lucky I am to have both those noggins. So I just out-yell them and set aside another $100 for therapy bills. 🙂

  13. like a poster above my daughter has a hemangioma and as far as “glitches” in growing babies go, its a pretty sweet one to have, my daughters is on her face (just above one eyebrow) but like the other poster, we are VERY grateful it wasnt in her esphagus or somewhere more important. So what if I get questioned multiple times in the walmarts (i swear people think i dropped her on her face)…….. I am truly blessed to have healthy kids!

  14. We had to study basic embryology in school and man, it’s incredible that we (mostly) come out alright. Stuff migrates to where it is supposed to be. It’s freaking amazing! So is sweet Amelia (and her Mommy).

  15. Amelia is a true delight. We’re all so very glad she’s here with the Sausage Clan, being adorable.

    Also, your OB is a wanker and his nurse is a half-wit. Just thought I’d restate my position on that.

  16. Hold them so, so tight……………

    Just can’t get enough of those little arms wrapped around your neck. or the soft breathing on your face as they fall asleep while you are holding them……………

    Just hold them……………..

  17. I totally totally agree. So many intricate metabolic pathways to be completed during formation in’s truly amazing. Bless yours and Amelia’s heart. I’m squeezing the kiddo too.

  18. Funny, I was thinking of your beautiful A last night after hearing a story of a similar diagnosis that had a much different ending then your’s.

    AMAZING indeed.

  19. You are right, it IS amazing. We are all miracles… and I am the first one to admit that I take it all for granted a little to often… Thanks for the jerk back to reality!

  20. “And this reminded me of how amazing it is that any of us turn out as well as we do. How often things actually go RIGHT”

    I kid you not, that very phrase used to go through my mind daily during medical school and residency. If they had given out awards at the end, hands down I would have won the award for “most time spent in the bathroom crying”. I was a freakin’ basket case during my training.

    Life is a miracle. So glad to hear how well Amelia is doing!

  21. Great post and I agree 100%. 30-40 years ago my 30-weeker (although I suspect I was further along…3lbs 11 oz is big for 7 months, right?) probably wouldn’t have made it. Technology and God are an amazing combination!

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