Monday, October 3, 2011

The Inside Story - Reflections Part 2

So if you read yesterdays post you know what was happening on the outside. What was the real story? You know the one inside my head.

We got pregnant right away after we decided to start trying for baby number two. I knew I was pregnant because I felt so sick at the time of implantation. It was so different from the first time. I kept taking pregnancy tests but it was too early. Finally the test showed what I already knew. By that time I felt awesome. I had a dentist appointment that day and my dental hygienist has a daughter with down syndrome. I told her I just found out that I was pregnant and I had a feeling with my old eggs that the baby had Down syndrome. She thought I was crazy. She had her daughter in her 20's and she knew old age didn't mean diagnosis.

At that first ultrasound they saw some signs of blood in the uterus. Odd but not unheard of; doesn't means anything to the perinatologist.

The second ultrasound was that fateful nt screening test. When I went in I knew an nt under 3 and a nasal bone present would be good. The nt was 2.3 which wasn't really good, according to the perinatologist it was high. But they had seen a nasal bone. So when he said be prepared for a high number when we call, I really thought 1 out of 25. When he called and said with your blood work your odds for Down syndrome is 1 in 6, I went into research mode. That is when my love affair with google (now I call it Dr. Google) began. My research focus was people with those odds that had a baby without Down syndrome. Sometimes I read stories of those that terminated the pregnancy after an amnio confirmed the diagnosis. We chose the next step to be a detailed ultrasound at 15 weeks. More research this time about amnio. What was it, how big was the needle, what were the miscarriage odds, how accurate were the results?

So 15 week ultrasound, I swear the tech took a thousand images. Result was absent nasal bone. What the hell one was there at 12 weeks. They must be wrong. Also a velemenious cord (cord not attached in the center), that must be monitored as well. Okay odds are going up fast it is the day before thanksgiving let's do the damn amnio. What the baby is in a bad position come back in a week. What am I supposed to be thankful for???

We changed that appointment twice to as soon as possible. Research was now what is Down syndrome? I really knew nothing about it what are the health issues, what is the intelligence possibility, what about siblings. All I could picture is a 40 year old man walking odd and hard to understand with ugly clothes and a bad hair cut. So I found an online support group where you could ask questions and see pictures of the babies. The babies were cute. Therapists for speaking and walking would come to your house or daycare. Average intelligence wasn't too scary some said like a 6 to 8 year old (not necessarily a fact but Dr Google said so), hell I could live with someone who had the intelligence of my 3 year old. He was smart and funny. Those termination stories were heart wrenching. The "what if" that they felt after. There was no happiness with that option. The moms of kids with down syndrome were joyful. They had challenges but they had love. I knew this child would bring me joy. The deciding factor after those fateful amnio results was when my husband said of course I will love him. I was worried about daddy accepting him, maybe I feared my own acceptance. We will have him and name him David just like David and Goliath from the bible.

The acceptance wasn't over at that moment just the decision to move forward. Dr. Google and I hung out daily; I learned so much. At times it was too much. Lots of people prayed that the amnio was wrong. I knew the research on that one 99.9% the amnio is right. He has Down syndrome, it is okay we are okay.

I thought we dodged a bullet when the echo said the heart was fine. We thought that would be too much to handle. In retrospect I guess I wasn't 100% in acceptance mode. There would come a time, birth, when I would learn more about acceptance. And I would quickly learn that we can handle far more than we can imagine.

We saw people with Down syndrome everywhere. Restaurants, Costco, Disneyland. Were they always there and I just looked right past them? Or was it a sign? A sign that we would do all the same things after having a baby with Down syndrome. Which is more or less true.

During this time we saw a family out for lunch with a very disruptive child. We were guessing he was autistic. I said to my hubby, you know some day people will be pointing and whispering about us, we will be that family . He said he could care less; he is awesome that way.

Our pregnancy continued. I went to work, I googled, I hung out with my son and husband. After about 6 weeks I was happy on the inside. I started to work out again I googled less. Life went on and I really hoped he would be a cute baby that I would instantly fall in love with.

You can follow the rest of the story here.
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