In September 2009 I found out I was pregnant at the age of 40 (almost 41) I was so excited another child to complete our family. The first thing I wanted to do was our first professional family photo of our family at the time (see above). Zac was already 3 and we had never had a family photo taken. I didn't want the first one to be with a new baby nor did I want to be a big, fat pregnant cow in the picture. So we went right out and had our pics done, they turned out awesome. We also decided to go to Disneyland in December, we were going to go for Zac's 4th birthday but the baby was due in May same as Zac's birthday.
October came and we had our first ultrasound on October 1st, it was sooo not exciting. We took my mom out to the same place where we told her we were expecting our first son, Benihana (where they cook on the tables). It was my birthday dinner (same thing 4 years before) and the first time we had been back to Benihana since telling her I was pregnant with grandson number one. She was so excited. We knew it was early in the pregnancy but we were telling everyone. I knew that at 41 my eggs were old, but I was advanced maternal age when I had Zac and that turned out fine.
On to the beginning of November, here is the first ultrasound that started to change our lives. You will notice the NT measurement was 2.34, which is high. The doctor told us combined with the blood results and my age we might have higher odds than normal for down syndrome. I knew at my age the odds were about 1 out of 43, so I was guessing they would say 1 out of 25. The phone call came and it was 1 in 6 odds for down syndrome. Oh my, I was surprised. Here is the email I sent out to my friends and family, with the subject News:
If I try to spin it into good news, there is an 84%chance that the baby is fine.
The news that I got is that there is a 1 in 6 odds that the baby would have downs.
We are going to go for another ultrasound in two weeks and meet with the genetic counselor to get more information. Then another ultrasound 5 weeks after that to see how the heart is doing.
Only time will tell. We are hoping that everything turns out okay......
So, it is now the day before Thanksgiving and we are back for our detailed scan. We get the very happy boy picture (they had guessed it at the ultrasound before) and we get the news that there is an absent nasal bone and coupled with our odds from before the doctor would say it is 9 out of 10 odds the baby has down syndrome. He can only officially give us 1 out of 2 odds for down syndrome. Here is the next email with the subject, Bad News:
Not to ruin your Thanksgiving but the news is not good.
The odds are now 1 in 2 for down syndrome (I think it is worse but that is the worst they will give you from an ultrasound). Next step amnio next Friday December 4th. Don't know what we will do from there.
Don't really want to talk about it yet so give me some time to digest everything.
Thanks for all your support and love
Next email is about 10 days later the beginning of December, the subject: Baby:
As of yesterday...
We are having a baby boy
We are leaning towards naming him David
And he will have down syndrome
We still reserve to change our minds in the next few weeks, but right now we think this will be the best decision for us
So mid-December we went to the happiest place on earth, and I was truly happy. Here is the email I sent to a good friend before the trip:
Yes we are going to Disneyland. I think I finished with the tears over Thanksgiving, now I am just left worry over the baby's health. We are so appreciative of everything right now and are really enjoying Zac so we are looking forward to our getaway at the happiest place on earth.
Before Christmas, and the email read, Baby had his fetal echocardiagram:
Had ultrasound number 5 yesterday and they did all of the standard measurements for a 19 week appointment and they did a detailed heart exam. So far totally healthy and growing on track. No heart problems yet. Our first good appointment in weeks.
We are going to have ultrasounds every 4 weeks and then from 32 weeks on we will be doing stress tests 1 or 2 times a week.
As usual David was adorable, he kept putting his hands to his face as you can see in the attached picture.
Merry Christmas. -
I am glad to be able to read the emails from that time and to see that I wasn't too much of a mess. I remember it being a difficult time but I also remember telling the doctor from the beginning that we were having our child. Pretty strange from someone who is pro-choice. I think it is the best choice I ever made in my life.
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