I came across a blog post today that made me think about how we’ve handled this pregnancy. Have we done enough; or too much even? Have we been overly cautious or just careful enough?
For the majority of people, there is a set protocol to follow for medical care throughout pregnancy. A 12 week confirmation scan (as if you don’t know by then!); a second at 28weeks to check baby’s development is ‘normal’ and a third, possibly final scan at 34-36weeks. For us, the ultrasound we’ll have this afternoon will be our 14th (15th?). The first we had at 5 weeks when our baby was nothing more than a bean; the last was so indepth I could see the hairline on his perfect little skull. You see, my blood’s abnormal; I have two genetic deformities that could potentially put my baby’s development at risk, and in worst case scenario, put my life in danger. We’ve had to undergo these scans to ensure the health of our baby – even though as Muslims we believe that Allah (swt) is the only one who controls our baby’s destiny. As responsible parents and practising believers, we have to do all we can to help baby M on his way.
Does that sound oxymoronic – to put your faith in Gods will to protect your baby in-utero, yet to rely on medicine to fulfil that? I don’t think so. Allah(swt) gives us the tools to advance, to find the key to medical cures hidden within individual cells; he guided Ian Donald as he ‘invented’ ultrasound technology and was with our doctor as she learnt to interpret the results. I don’t think to rely on medicinal cures is to turn any of your faith away from your belief in Gods power and the intended destiny of our baby. But I do believe there’s a balance, a fine line you must tread. Ultrasounds aside, we haven’t submitted to any additional tests. We refused the routine test for Downs Syndrome and any other abnormality that could have been identified. This baby is a blessing. Allah (swt) has blessed G and I with a baby, a new life, created from our genes – one sperm, one egg. That’s nothing short of a miracle. From two miniscule cells, invisible to the naked eye, a baby has grown inside me. A baby that kicks, hiccups, turns and responds to his Baba’s voice. A baby that we love with every inch of our being before he’s even born. Nothing will change that. No imperfection in his genetic make-up could possible take away the love we have for him. Because of that love, we have to undergo ultrasounds. We have to keep him safe. But we don’t have to check he’s ‘perfect’ enough: What’s perfect anyway?
Our ultrasounds have allowed us to track his progress, to watch him grow from that bean to a being, a baby with definable features and a character all of his own. And I’m so grateful for that. And I know that for whatever reason, whether to reassure us or genuinely to prevent any harm to our son, I know that those ultrasounds were an intended part of his journey from individual cells, to bean, to being. And I know that in every sweep of the jelly-covered ultrasound wand, Gods’ hand was a guide.