How can we ever really know?

O was born with a couple of things that make him different than the typical baby boy. Some of these things will require surgery in a years time and one is something that cannot be seen by the human eye.

This unseen part about him is chromosomal. To be more specific, he has a large deletion in his 3rd chromosome. This deletion may be the reason for some of the other, differing, things about him — or it may not be. It’s hard to say. All that is known right now is the unknown, as his deletion is considered rare to the geneticists at BC Children’s and it hasn’t been seen enough to know what it could imply health wise, now or later, if anything at all.

In an attempt to understand how this came to be, be it from D and I or how our DNA combined, blood work was done on us. As of a few days ago, I now know that I too have this large deletion in my 3rd chromosome and that I passed it on to O in the womb.

I’m writing this here, in this space, because I need to better understand what this means to me. I need to voice it, to put it in text, to make sense of it. Selfishly, I need to be told it will be okay (even if the irrational side of me disagrees), again and again, on top of how many times I’ve already been told as much. I’m in the midst of scheduling a follow up with the geneticists to be told the same. Everyone is hinging on the fact that I seem to be okay, same with my other family members who may or may not have it, and so O should be okay too.

But how can we ever really know that? Am I okay? What about later on? Have I missed something my entire life? Was there something I should have questioned but never did? Is my son going to suffer because I didn’t? These are huge, unknowable, worrisome questions — I know. But how does one continue on as normal when they find out that something is missing in the base of their DNA? In the base of what makes them human? And that they’ve passed it on to their son, with repercussions entirely unknown?

Nothing I can do can change this, I get that, and I know that I need to be positive. I have to be. Not just for me, but for O and D. But how?

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