three little fingers10:25:00 AM
My pregnancy with Jeremiah was fairly uneventful (in the best way possible). There weren't any known complications, our baby was growing like he should (and then some). All the ultrasounds, blood samples, and necessary tests came back clean. I didn't get sick and I didn't have problems sleeping. I was uncomfortable, like most pregnant women are. I got really bad back pain, some occasional, obnoxious heartburn, but all in all, I had a very nice pregnancy.
Every now and then, though, I would feel like there was something different/special/unique about the sweet baby I was carrying. Initially I brushed it off, thinking that all parents-to-be must feel that way. The more tests and ultrasounds we had, the more sure I became that it was just in my head. Kory and I discussed these feelings to some extent but not at great length. We would talk hypothetically about all the things that might not be detected on an ultrasound or that might not show up in the blood work. We weren't worried about it – our discussions were always very calm and not even necessarily in reference to my pregnancy specifically.
Just after Jeremiah was born, he was whisked away by the respiratory specialist because of some unexpected complications we had during the delivery. Kory went along with our sweet boy and it wasn't until then that I heard him ask, “does his left hand only have three fingers?” I can't fully describe my thoughts at that moment. My mind was totally blank, in a peaceful way. It didn't phase me at all, it felt bizarrely normal. I remember not wanting to ask about it or confirm what Kory said because I didn't want to seem scared or upset because I wasn't. It felt right. Finally I asked my mom “did they say his left hand only has three fingers?” “yeah but its okay!” At this point I was sobbing – happy tears from finally bringing this sweet baby into the world - “I know, I don't care!” I went through several emotions in just seconds. At first, I felt completely at peace. Then, I felt a wave of adversity and self-doubt. I wondered if I did something wrong – maybe I had forgotten to take my prenatal vitamin one day or maybe it was because of my heart-shaped uterus. Those thoughts passed through my mind in a matter of seconds – no more than three or four – I recognized they were unproductive and then I was back to feeling completely at peace and ultimately, relieved. I knew this was part of what made our sweet boy so special. Jeremiah was born with just three fingers on his left hand (and they are the cutest little fingers you have ever seen). It never showed up in any of the ultrasounds and after days of tests and x-rays they told us there wasn't necessarily a cause. The doctors entertained a few explanations and finally concluded that the other fingers simply didn't form. There was no genetic predisposition, no deformity, no disorder – it was simply how his hand was meant to form. The days in the hospital were difficult but lovely. I knew almost immediately that Jeremiah's hand was meant to be that way, I felt so at peace. Kory shared the same feelings but was still worried - about how it would affect him in school, about how it could potentially hinder him or change his life. After about a day passed, the worries lessened and confidence and peace increased. Any of our concerns stemmed from our great love for our little boy. Kory and I talked about his hand and our feelings often and several times we talked about how happy we were that we decided to name our sweet boy what we did. When I was pregnant, I was particularly worried about knowing what to name our baby. We fasted and prayed often to know what to name him and thought of Jeremiah – a name that was never on our name-radar before. After he was born, we were so pleased with his name and felt that we had chosen a strong, special name for a very special boy.
In the weeks since Jeremiah's birth, we've felt strongly that his hand is an integral and special part of who he is. That doesn't mean it is always easy, or that we don't ever worry or wonder about how it might affect him. But we feel at peace. And above all else, we feel so privileged and blessed and humbled to be the parents to such a sweet boy – we feel how special and loved he is on a daily basis. We are beyond thrilled to finally have him here. Our home and our hearts have never felt so whole.