High Risk Diva

By 20 weeks of pregnancy, I was on my fourth doctor. He was dubbed a “maternal fetal medicine high risk perinatologist.” He had the magic sono technology that would hyper evaluate little nugget, running through a checklist of maladies that would make any parent cringe.

His demeanor and harried look reminded me of the sort of character that might play the creator of Frankenstein. Without my wits about me and my nerves on their highest setting, I politely reminded him we didn’t want to know the gender. He brushed it off like I was irrelevant to his work. But I had been promised he was the best, albeit a bit of a loon.

He explained what things he would look for- while looking- to determine the baby’s propensity for spina bifida, down syndrome, etc.

When he panned in on the tiniest hand I’ve ever had a crush on, we could see that that “it” was giving a thumbs up sign. Just as I was about to squeal with delight, the MD butted in.

“Well….this is a sure sign of mental retardation,” he wryly said.

{Insert pause that was probably 5 seconds and felt like 5 minutes}

And much to my surprise, he started laughing.

For the record, no, I’m not familiar with the “Gig ’em Aggies” sign and thus did not get the joke at all. What a terrible human being! It hailed back a series of memories where I categorized people in ill-fitting professions.

Only a few years back, I had been standing with my brand new family who was selecting a plot of land to bury one of our most cherished members. While essentially looking for a double plot with a view, we found the perfect location. The funeral director cheerily chirped, “Well, great! We can just kill two birds with one stone.” The irony was not lost on any of us. That chick needed a new vocation.

And so did this guy. He went on to warn me that my biggest risk was making it to full term, and thus 38 weeks it would be.

When we left, my husband and I studied the sonograms over and over, until we were sure we saw a problem in that thumbs up. There was a sixth finger. Just look at it. We decided to keep quiet, and it wasn’t until he was born that we could actually vouch for 5 fingers.

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