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Sunday, July 26, 2015

What would she do?

When I was 34 and the divorced mother of two sons 6 and 12, I decided to marry again. The man I chose was my age and had never been married himself. After awhile I began thinking that I would really like to have another baby. It would be great to have a little girl. I was in excellent health and saw no reason why my wish could not be granted.

I prayed and prayed and nothing happened except that my wish became an obsession. When I found out someone I knew was expecting it made me furious because she didn’t even want a baby. The years went by. My sons got older and still no little sister. I decided I might as well give up and just accept the fact that I was not meant to have another child.

Shortly after my 41st birthday I was not feeling well, which was very unusual for me. I decided to go to the doctor to see what was wrong. To my surprise I discovered I was pregnant. I was told that because of my age I would be sent to a specialist in Albuquerque, which was about 75 miles away from where we lived. I personally saw no reason for that, but figured the doctor knew what she was doing.

My first appointment with my gynecologist brought more news that I wasn’t expecting. Although everything looked great, he decided that again, because of my age, I was going to be scheduled for an amniocentesis test to determine if the baby was Down syndrome. There is a 1 in 1,295 chance at age 20 and a 1 in 85 chance at age 40. Until he said that I did not have one thought that my baby would be anything but perfect.

One of the problems with this test is that the mother has to be between 15 and 20 weeks to collect the amino fluid. There is also a small chance that the inserted needle could cause a miscarriage. The worrying was very stressful.

The six years I had spent waiting for God to answer my prayers for a baby were nothing compared to waiting for the test to be done and then waiting another two weeks for the extracted cells to grow. When the time came to get the answer and the doctor called me I was in for more waiting. The cells didn’t grow properly and the growing time needed to be repeated.

It was finally time for my next appointment and the waiting was over. The doctor had the results. Before he gave them to me I said, “I don’t want to know the sex if the baby is going to need to be aborted.” I knew I would feel worse if that was the case and I was carrying a girl. With a big smile he announced your baby is a healthy girl.

My daughter, Christina Maria, was born a few months later weighing 6 lbs 6 ½ oz. Her birth could not have gone better if I had been twenty. Her brothers were then 18 and 13, causing her to be pretty much raised as an only child. I believe choosing to relive the role of a new mother at the age of 41 is one of the things that has kept me feeling much younger than most of my peers.

The day before this child turned 31, August 30, 2010, she sent me an email informing me that she no longer wanted me in her life. I was told the only way I could contact her was by email and she would only answer if she felt like it. She has kept the promise she made to herself during the last five years, rarely acknowledging my existence; not even when I spent two weeks in our local hospital in 2011, following emergency surgery.

It has been hard for me to accept that the child I prayed so hard to conceive has turned into an uncaring adult. To my knowledge all I did was overprotect her, which I have since apologized for.

It is now 2015 and I am again facing surgery. I sent her an email yesterday with the details and received absolutely no response. I keep thinking about the TV show What Would You Do? It causes me to wonder what she would do if I didn’t survive my current surgery. Not that I am planning on that particular outcome, but anything is possible.

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