Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Little Anxiety

I had my 22 week OB appointment today. It went much better than my last appointment. I didn't share that here because I needed some time to digest it. And maybe to be in denial a little bit.

We had our ultrasound at week 18. I saw my OB the next day and he went over the results (which we were assured were fine by the ultrasound technician.) Baby looked great, was measuring appropriately and all was well.

So Joe stayed home with the littlest 2 while I went to my appointment by myself. My OB (this burly, Italian, fatherly figure who has delivered the past 3 of our 5 babies...and whom we LOVE) chit chatted with me, glanced over my chart and said, "Oh, we got your ultrasound results back. *Some incoherent mumbling* "Yeah...there's this one thing here I have to go over with you..." and then proceeded to listen to the baby's heartbeat, measure my belly and talk about the weather.

Finally, nearly hyperventilating, I said, "Okay, Are you ready to tell me what you have to tell me since I'm trying not to have a heart attack over here?"

He then explained that the ultrasound indicated a "soft marker" based on the ventricles on the left side of the baby's heart...the "soft marker" could be an indicator of Trisomy 21, or Down's Syndrome.

It was at that point that I stopped listening, stopped breathing.

All I heard was 'Down's.'

I swear I made him repeat the information about 3 times because I just couldn't "get" what he was saying.

What I do remember is that it was a .02% chance that the baby does have Down's. But because I'm 34 and riding the edge of that 35 and older line, he had to tell me. Being 34 (and so close to 35) automatically puts me in a higher risk category.

I left the appointment with some options: have an amnio (which the doc did not recommend), have the triple screen done (which we declined and typically do decline), or ask for genetic counseling at the hospital.

I calmed myself down the whole drive home and gave myself a pep talk that it was such a slim chance-there was nothing to get upset about. I couldn't fall apart when I told Joe because I didn't want to freak him out.

So, I calmly walked in the front door. Joe casually asked me how it went. And I...broke down in sobs and tried to get the info out as best I could as Joe started at me wide-eyed and terrified. I don't know how much of what I said he actually understood the first time.

I caught my breath, he hugged me. :) And then I was able to calm down to tell him what the doctor said.

We both decided that an amnio was out of the question, the triple screen was not an option (for us) because it could indicate a higher risk percentage, and still not be definitive, but could only serve to scare the daylights out of us more...and the truth is...knowing 'definitively' would only do one thing: prepare us somewhat for a child with special needs. It would not change our mind about whether or not to continue the pregnancy.

So, pan forward to today's visit. It was much nicer.

I was a little nervous.

But everything went well.

The baby is low. So low that I thought the doc was going to have to find his heartbeat in my toes.

And...I'm measuring "big." My belly is measuring at 26 when I am only 22+ weeks along and should be measuring the same as I am weeks along.

Hmmm...maybe there IS an extra little one hiding in there. ;)

The moral we've learned here is that we'll try not to overreact. We'll trust God to lead us and not give us more than we can handle. He's been pretty true to that so far.
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