Unexpected Counseling With My Genetics Counselor

I am  pregnant with my third child.  Sometimes I wonder what was I thinking.  Having The Don and The Boss (aka Bam Bam) running around like crazy, screaming, yell, fighting, causing a ruckus, I’m beginning to wonder if I am out of my mind to want a third one.  But, there I was last week going to see my genetics counselor to talk about baby #3.

When I was called back to see my genetics couselor, she introduced herself and we proceeded to her office.  “Oh yeah, I remember you from last time,” I said to her but I couldn’t remember her name when she called for me. “It’s Ok if you don’t remember.  I won’t get offended,” she said nicely but matter of fact like.

We sat down to talk about the genetics test and what they look for.  She also went over my family tree to ask if my sister or my husbands brothers had any children.  She asked about my children and how well they are doing.  I also remembered that she had two boys of her own that she doted about last time and was curious to find out how they were doing.

As the genetics counselor was typing some information on the computer, I looked around the office, especially where she had her pictures of her sons on the shelves.  I notice that the pictures of the boys didn’t look like they aged much over the two years.  I thought maybe she kept the most recently pictures of her boys on her phone.

I’ve asked, “Don’t you have two boys?”

“Uh, yeah,” she said but seem kind of cautious with the response as she moved the mouse.

“So, how are they doing?  Are they doing well?”

My genetic counselor turned away from her computer with a empty, shaken look in her eyes and said the words I will never forget, “Well, my elders son passed away,”

I felt like I’ve cut her chest and ripped out her heart.  Why did I even mention her boys?

“I’m so sorry for your lost.  If I’ve known…”

“It’s ok,” my counselor reassured me.  “It just caught me off guard because not many patients knew I had two boys.” I started tearing up. She hands me a tissue.

“I remember that you talked about them the last time I was here.  I can’t imagine what you are going through.”

She turned back to her computer.  My curiousity was eating at me wanting to know how a child so young passes away.

“If you don’t mind, it’s not too personal, how did he die?  I understand if you don’t want to…”

“It’s ok,” she says.  She told me that her son just started second grade, he was seven years old.  He had a high grade fever and the school called to send him home.  He started throwing up a lot and they took him to the ER to find out he had a GI tract infection.  After the ER, she felt it was best for him to stay home for a week from school until he felt better because what’s a week of missed school.  A couple of days later, he gotten worse.  He wouldn’t eat nor drink and wouldn’t wake up, just falling in and out of consciousness.  She had her MIL come by to watch her son to see if he would get better while she went to see a couple of patients.  When she called her MIL to see if he woken up, her MIL confirmed that he didn’t.  So they went back to the ER to find out her son had luekemea and he had blood on the brain.  A couple of days later, he passed away.

Maybe it was the pregnancy hormones, maybe it’s because we both have two boys, or maybe because of us being mother, I felt a little piece of her pain.  I could never say I felt her pain because I never lost a child, but I thought of my boys and I couldn’t imagine losing them.  I told her that I couldn’t imagine how she was handling this.  Her response was, “Losing your child is the hardest thing that a person can go through.  Make sure you go home and hug your boys.”

Although I’ve met this woman once before, I couldn’t help but to give her an hug.  Not one of those pat pat hug; a hug like a best friend, a mother, a sister would give.  A hug that lasted for about five seconds.  She accepted the hug as I mention how sorry I am for her lost again.  She mentioned that this is the first time she told the story about the death of her son and she didn’t cry.

After I left, I thought about how my sons gets on my nervous, how loud they can be, or how they can be so noisy that I’m sure the next door neighbors can hear. I also thought about how in just a blink of an eye they could be gone.  No Noise.  No Yelling.  No Screaming.  Nothing.  We hear how other people children die everyday and we see it as ashame but continue on with our day.  Once you hear of a child dying from a parent that is close to you or in your circle, you started to appreciate the noise, the commotion, the temper tantrums, the talked back, everything negative about your child as you know that you may not get a chance to hear or see them again.  When my sons came home from a day out with my MIL, I held them dearly and make an effort to hug them tightly everyday because it may be the last day.

Yes, my sons still get on my nervous but I see them differently now and handle it differently.  I also appreciated the good like, The Don’s easy go lucky personality or The Bosses determination to be heard, to appreciate their smiles, their sense of humor, their love.

I just didn’t go to get counseling for Baby #3, I recieved counseling from a grieving mother on how to love and appreciate my children.




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