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Radio Silence January 30, 2008

Filed under: ?Baby? — booksunread @ 6:35 pm

On a lot of the better read blogs, when the blogger doesn’t update for a while, people post in the comments all “Where are yoouuuu? Is something wrong?  Did your dog die?” and the blogger comes back all “OMG you guys, I’m not DEAD, I just have a life and don’t have time every day to come dance for you like a monkey!”  Um, so the three people that read this were not clamoring to know my whereabouts the past couple weeks or so, but just for future reference, when I’m not posting here, it is usually because something IS wrong and I’m not ready to write or talk about it, and I can’t focus on anything else enough to put up some inane post.

The last couple weeks have been a serious roller coaster.  That ultrascreen test I had just so I could get another ultrasound?  Came back with worrisome results-what is considered a positive risk for Down’s Syndrome.  1 in 417 is the normal risk for someone my age, when the measurements taken during the ultrasound and my blood work were factored in, my risk jumped to 1 in 86.  Tempting fate: 1, Books: 0.

Of course, this meant that our chances were 85 in 86 that everything was just fine.  Working in our favor is the fact that we don’t have any family history, and everything has looked fine on the many ultrasounds to this point.  Babies with Down’s usually have heart and digestive abnormalities that are visible at ultrasound.

Still, now that we had this frightening prospect in front of us, there was no way we could wait out the next 6 months and take our chances that the odds were still in our favor, so we opted to have an amnio to know for sure.  The ultrascreen is not a definite diagnosis, it just tells you your statistical risk of having certain birth defects; the only way to diagnose an abnormality for sure is with the amnio.

Even having the amnio was stressful and scary.  The test carries with it anywhere from a 1 in 200-300, to a 1 in 1000 risk of miscarriage. So potentially, there could be NOTHING wrong, but we could end up losing the pregnancy because we had this test.  The nurse I originally talked to had said that she’d never seen it happen clinically in 8 years, the doctor I saw the following week was less reassuring, and more matter of fact that yes, it does happen.  And if the way our whole history in this area has gone holds true, anything that can go wrong, seems to.  So I was terrified to have amnio, but I had to do it.

I had an entire week to wait and fret and stew and worry from the time that I got the initial results until the amnio was scheduled.  I did not get very much work done and I mostly spent the time ducking calls and e-mails because I could just not deal with happy pregnant talk at the time.  I’m planning a whole separate live from the amnio room post, so I won’t get into it here.  After the amnio last Friday, I stayed in bed for the next 24 hours or so and everything seemed fine, no spotting, cramping or leakage.

Monday I had an appointment with my OB just to do a heartbeat check and be reassured that everything was still a-ok in there.  After the nurse was done scaring the crap out of me by taking forever to find the heartbeat with the Doppler, everything was pronounced fine with wee baby. 

Monday was also the day that we were expecting the rapid results to come back on the amnio.  I have probably never been so anxious and wound up, whenever I would think about the phone ringing with the news, I practically had a panic attack imagining how I would react one way or the other.  I really just wanted to know and be put out of my misery.  So of course, they call me after lunch all, “Well, this has never happened before…the lab screwed up and did not run the rapid results part of the test, so they’re doing it now and I’ll call you tomorrow.” OF COURSE. If there was a first time for something to go wrong, it would happen to me.

I was just crushed, I couldn’t imagine living in this limbo for another day.  Miguel was PISSED and he called the perinatologist and was like whose ass do we need to kick to make this happen?  In turn, the doctor told him what he had been too chicken to tell me (probably due to the sobbing on the other end of the phone when he told me he didn’t have my results), that since they hadn’t been done right away, there was a good chance that the rapid results wouldn’t even work, in which case, we’d have to wait until Friday for the full panel of results to be done.  Again, much angst at the thought of waiting out another full week.

What is turning into a really long story short, the rapid results DID work so we got the results yesterday.  And wee baby is 100% perfectly healthy and free from any chromosomal abnormalities.  As a consolation prize for going through all this, we now know if it’s a wee baby girl or a wee baby boy.

In hindsight, I kind of wish I had not opted to have the ultrascreen knowing how all this turned out.  Me wanting another look at wee baby just opened up a can of worms of stress and agony during the wait for the amnio that was all for nothing.  It’s one thing to say, you don’t know for sure, so don’t worry yet, it’s another thing to actually NOT worry.  On the one hand, we would have wanted to know if I was carrying a baby with Down’s, but we had no reason to really worry about that before the ultrascreen. And since it all came out negative anyway, I could theoretically have skipped the ultrascreen and coasted through this in blissful ignorance that there ever could have been something wrong.  I guess though, if it had gone the other way, I would have been glad to have had the info so we could prepare and make decisions (which no, I’m not getting into what those would have been). 

So anyway, hopefully, this is the very last scare/roller coaster ride of this pregnancy.  Of course, I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg, who knows what new scares/illnesses, close calls loom around the corner for us once we actually get the baby here! 

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