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The Holy And The Broken Hallelujah


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 Comments to

“The Holy And The Broken Hallelujah”

  1. On March 22nd, 2009 at 11:39 am Ms. Moon Says:

    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. On March 22nd, 2009 at 12:41 pm charmedgirl Says:

    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. On March 22nd, 2009 at 12:05 pm Kendra Says:

    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. On March 22nd, 2009 at 12:07 pm Heather P. Says:

    I pray for you and Amelia every night. She is going to fine, I have that much faith in G-d.

  5. On March 22nd, 2009 at 12:12 pm Valerie Says:

    Indeed. They are blessings! Have a wonderful day, Aunt Becky!

  6. On March 22nd, 2009 at 12:21 pm Rachel Says:

    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.

  7. On March 22nd, 2009 at 1:07 pm Betts Says:

    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.

  8. On March 22nd, 2009 at 1:32 pm Amanda Says:

    It is amazing that any of us get born. I’m so happy that Amelia is doing so well!

  9. On March 22nd, 2009 at 2:37 pm Nit Says:

    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!

  10. On March 22nd, 2009 at 1:41 pm Madame Yu See Says:

    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!

  11. On March 22nd, 2009 at 1:42 pm Io Says:

    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.

  12. On March 22nd, 2009 at 2:02 pm kalakly Says:

    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….

  13. On March 22nd, 2009 at 2:10 pm Miss Grace Says:

    It’s hard to remember how lucky we are, sometimes.

  14. On March 22nd, 2009 at 2:35 pm mandy Says:

    wow, so sad.

  15. On March 22nd, 2009 at 5:20 pm Sandy Says:

    Amelia is a superhero! Three Cheers for healthier and happier days!

  16. On March 22nd, 2009 at 6:21 pm Danielle Says:

    And I, too, shall hug my children a little tighter as well.

  17. On March 22nd, 2009 at 6:51 pm giggleblue Says:

    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!

  18. On March 22nd, 2009 at 7:56 pm Cara Says:

    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.

  19. On March 22nd, 2009 at 9:01 pm heather Says:

    It is just breathtakingly amazing, isn’t it?

  20. On March 22nd, 2009 at 9:43 pm Painted Maypole Says:

    i’ll be singing that song for a while now…

  21. On March 23rd, 2009 at 6:15 am Candid Engineer Says:

    I heart science + technology. Your daughter was born in the right time and place.

  22. On March 23rd, 2009 at 7:03 am Anjali Says:

    I know of a baby born very recently who died a few hours after birth, with the same condition. Amelia is an amazing miracle.

  23. On March 23rd, 2009 at 6:36 am mumma boo Says:

    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. 🙂

  24. On March 23rd, 2009 at 7:59 am foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) Says:

    I think it’s amazing, indeed, and you have a beautiful little girl who can take on the world!

  25. On March 23rd, 2009 at 8:53 am Kristine Says:

    It is most definitely amazing.

  26. On March 23rd, 2009 at 9:27 am Melanie Says:

    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!

  27. On March 23rd, 2009 at 9:29 am Sarah Says:

    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).

  28. On March 23rd, 2009 at 10:44 am Coco Says:

    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.

  29. On March 23rd, 2009 at 11:41 am Wishing4One Says:

    Wow, isn’t that something! Will he still see her? I think of you and your family and lAmelia often, you are in my prayers. xoxoxox

  30. On March 23rd, 2009 at 12:31 pm zelzee Says:

    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……………..

  31. On March 23rd, 2009 at 5:30 pm Karen Says:

    You are lucky lady – a lucky family. 🙂

  32. On March 23rd, 2009 at 7:23 pm fiddle1 Says:

    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.

  33. On March 23rd, 2009 at 8:19 pm LAS Says:

    I think of you and Amelia a lot and pray for all of you. You are very blessed.

  34. On March 24th, 2009 at 7:33 am Badass Geek Says:

    Holy Moses. Perspective is everything.

  35. On March 24th, 2009 at 8:24 am honeywine Says:

    My stomach turned over right then. Scary.

  36. On March 24th, 2009 at 10:20 am Minnie Says:

    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.

  37. On March 24th, 2009 at 9:48 am kbreints Says:

    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!

  38. On March 24th, 2009 at 10:24 am Michelle Says:

    “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!

  39. On March 24th, 2009 at 10:40 am amy Says:

    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!

  40. On March 24th, 2009 at 5:42 pm deb Says:

    It seems that may have been divine intervention.
    Glad to hear you all are doing so well.

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