Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow. ~ Unknown

Hello, there people. Things have been busy and a little stressful for me these days. About three weeks ago I had a quad-screen done to test for various things like spina bifidia, neural tube defects, trisomy 18 and downs syndrome. Well, they drew the blood on a Saturday and I got a call the following Tuesday. For those of you that aren’t familiar with ‘Jenn’s Medical Testing Theory’ (to be renamed something more awesome later), it goes like this: The longer it takes to get a phone call from the doctor, the less likely it is that there is something wrong and vice versa. Thus by my Theory, a Tuesday notification of a Saturday blood test is indicative of the fact that something came back in the test that raised a red flag. True to my theory, the midwife told me that my test came back with a higher than average chance that my baby would have downs. She explained to me that for my age I should have a 1/700 chance but my blood screen came back with a 1/180 chance. So she set me up for the following week for a level II ultrasound and an amniocentesis if I wanted it. She also explained that an amnio was the only diagnostic test, so the only way to determine for certain whether anything was wrong with the baby. Meanwhile Ry and I had to wait a week, in that time I cried in the bathroom at school and spent much of Halloween night in tears. I read information and did the math (a 1/700 chance equals a .14% chance and a 1/180 chance equals a .55% chance), and did my best to try to make myself feel better by reading boards on baby center and the stats in What to Expect When You’re Expecting that explained 90% of women who have positive blood screen results go on to have healthy, normal babies. It was helpful to some degree, but it was still just information unrelated to ME and MY baby. Ry, I found out later, was doing his best “I have to be strong for you” routine trying not to get too upset around me or too worried. Although I appreciated it, I told him not to do that anymore. I prefer Ry as the loving and emotional person that he is, not the strong silent type. So on the 4th we wnet to the hospital for the ultrasound and in our anxiety, arrived an hour early. So we hung around for a half hour and then went in. They saw us right away and I went in for the ultrasound. The tech said everything looked normal for a baby at that gestational age, no abnormalities, but the doctor would have to look at them to be sure. Then we went to genetic counseling, the girl was very nice, but she kept saying over and over again that an amnio was the only way to know for sure about the baby. The doctor came in and said everything looked fine and perfectly normal and we told him that we weren’t going to get the amnio. Well, Ryan was pensive and quiet and we had a little talk and he told me he’d just feel better with the amnio, but he didn’t want to force me. I told him I would, because I didn’t want him worrying throughout the entire pregnancy. Let me tell you, it hurt. Not bad, but like getting an IV or drawing blood, except it was in my abdomen. It hurt more afterwards. I had muscle pain in my abdomen for a few days after the procedure, even with being on bed rest for two days. It was not fun and on the second day I was alone for a long time because Ry had to work. Being on bed rest and trying to take two dogs outside for a potty break is no fun and they proved to be wiled that day, chasing after another dog in the neighborhood. I wrestled them back into the house and then was terrified I had done something wrong and something bad would happen. It didn’t everything was fine, but it was a difficult week. On Friday we got the preliminary results of the amnio, everything came back fine, no abnormalities, and the baby is fine. Last week we got the final results which confirmed the preliminary ones and it has been a relief. Lately, I have been feeling the baby move around in there. Little taps and flutters, reassuring me that things are okay. In the meantime, I’m just so glad that everything thing came back normal. I know that for a lot of people that does not happen, so I am just happy to be counting my blessings and hoping that for those whose tests did not come back normal, that they will be okay.

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