I looked at his little mouth and his coney-bruised head and then I thought,
Let's have a looksy at these feet that have spent the past three months in my ribcage.
I snagged one of his little feet and saw that his second and third toes were fused together.
I picked up the other foot. Same thing.
I immediately grabbed his little hands to see if any of his fingers were fused. Nope--all separate.
I was so tired and in love that I don't remember thinking much of it. I wasn't upset or even surprised. I just thought,
Huh. That's interesting.
And then I think I asked the nurse for some saltines.
Syndactyly. That's what it's called. I started to wonder if it was my fault because I had been somewhat half-hearted about the things they tell you to avoid. I'd eaten sushi and lunch meat and unpasteurized cheese and hot dogs and had the occasional beer or glass of wine. Nope--it's purely genetic. Both N. and I carry the gene, although neither of us outwardly show the trait. Interesting, huh? It's so rare, but BOTH of us had it. I almost feel like it was meant to be. It never showed up on his ultrasound.
I think about it a lot. Part of me thinks that--when he's older--he'll think it's cool. It will be his party trick or something. The other part of me pictures an insecure teenage boy who is afraid to wear sandals or go barefoot, and that makes me cry.
We could have it corrected. I don't know how much it would be or what the procedure is like. But I find myself wondering if that's the right thing do to--or am I trying to "fix" something that makes him unique and special?
I personally love his toes. I think they're adorable and quirky and that he will be the future's Michael Phelps. If I were only taking my feelings into account, I'd leave them just the way they are.
Alas, the eternal, internal struggle of being a mama: the deep aching longing to protect them from everything that hurts, and the realization that you simply can't.
We're still praying and thinking and talking. In the meantime, you can find me kissing those little toes. All ten [kinda] of them.