Today I found myself doing a strange thing.
Every Tuesday I go to a baby and mommy barre class. It has been really great for me to get out of the house and exercise instead of going to a doctor’s appointment. It has really uplifted my mood and slowly and steadily I am starting to get stronger after a sedentary pregnancy and a tough month post partum with Isabelle in the hospital.
But I digress.
In barre class today Isabelle decided to be awake after 6 weeks of sleeping through the class. It was the first time any of the ladies in the class, all who I don’t know, have seen Isabelle. Of course this resulted in a lot of cooing and interest. Mummies of babies love other babies. I started chatting with a couple of the mommies and I blurted out “her liver is outside her body”. No actually I first mentioned that Izzy is really underweight and then I told them about the liver. Credit to those mommies who didn’t flinch but I’m not sure why I felt the need to do that. “Hi how are you? Cute baby” “her liver is outside her body”. What’s wrong with me? I don’t know why I feel the need to explain, since the omph now is flat enough that it is hardly hardly noticeable under clothes.
Anyway as I look back I think maybe I almost always talk about Isabelle that way. I am not sure how healthy this is. Little Izzy is more than her omph, I know that, I see that. But for some reason to others that’s how I introduce her. “Hi this is Isabelle, her liver is outside her body”. Does this mean I am somehow enjoying the attention of Izzy’s condition? Or is it because day in and day out we take care of her condition? One of my earliest posts was about how I worried that I wouldn’t be able to see past Izzy’s omphalocele. I think all in all I have done a fairly good job, but I’m not doing that good of a job when it comes to meeting new people, or even with our friends.
This for sure is something I need to work on. Right now Izzy is too young to hear my blubbering “her liver is outside her body!” And hopefully after her surgery I won’t blurt “hi this is Isabelle, her liver used to be outside her body. Want to see her scar?” I also want to be able to find a good balance between helping Isabelle be confidant and proud of her unique body but also not so that it defines who she is. I don’t really want her to introduce herself the way I introduce her. “Hi I’m Isabelle! Look at my scar!” Hopefully I won’t be a bad influence in that sense. Lots of months and years to practice yet.