Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Failing the test...

I was rather a mess last night.  I was rushing around, preparing dinner after work, before getting Bumblebee ready for her spring music concert when my cell phone rang.  I glanced at it, didn't recognize the number, and ignored it.  Seconds later, the home phone rang.  The caller ID on the home phone said it was the hospital in Ames.  It was my doctor calling.  I turned down the teriyaki chicken on the stove and went into the sun room, where I could shut the door away from the kids and pets who were swarming me at the moment.

Dr. L was calling about my Down Syndrome screening.  The test itself is a combination of an ultrasound and a blood test.  The ultrasound measures the length of the fluid filled space between the neck skin and the spine.  Last week as I had it done, the ultrasound tech and the doctor who oversaw the test were both very positive.  The space measured small enough for them to say that things look 'good'.  I left the appointment with some great ultrasound pictures (the baby - who I will be referring to henceforth as "Goblin" since s/he is due on Halloween - looked like an alien instead of a blob - that's progress!) I was feeling very happy and optimistic and did a dorky Facebook announcement that evening.

In my sun room yesterday afternoon, I listened with a kind of shock as Dr. L told me not to freak out (does he know me or what?) but that I had technically failed the screening.  I have a 1 in 86 chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome.  That is slightly worse than the regular risk for my age, but still not horrible odds.  He did the math for me and told me that it means that I have a 98.8% chance of having a baby without a chromosome disorder, but that if I wanted additional testing, I could do an amnio.

The Internet is a scary place sometimes, and I went to some online communities and looked at what other people my age had gotten as their test results.  Most of them had much more favorable results.  1 in 400 chance or a 1 in 5000 chance, etc.  Mine was definitely on the low end of the results.  I was concerned.

I finished dinner in a haze, got Bumblebee ready for her music program.  My mother-in-law came up to attend the show and I fear that I might have been distant with her (sorry if I was, Judy!). After what seemed like an eternity of kids singing "Kookaburra," "Honk, Honk, Rattle, Rattle", and "Take me out to the Ballgame", I finally came home and had time to think.  All I wanted to do was talk to The Husband about it, and I knew he'd be calling from his hotel room soon.

I worried, it's true.  My mind raced through the what-if's, and the why-me's, and the seriously-can't-a-girl-get-an-effing-break's?  Then I took some deep breaths and centered myself.  When The Husband called, I told him the news.  I hadn't cried about it at all, until I talked to him, and as I was explaining things, I choked up.  He quietly listened to me haltingly tell him what Dr. L had told me.

Finally, when I was done, he asked "What is the purpose of having the amnio?"

I explained that it was only to find out definitively if Goblin has Down Syndrome or not.

"Pft. Doesn't matter.  Don't do the amnio." he said.  Simply, surely, immediately. I swear to you, I fell in love with that man all over again when he uttered that sentence to me.  He made me realize in an instant that it doesn't matter if Goblin has DS or not.  We will love him/her no matter what.  And if that is what happens?  Well, we're good parents and I think our home would be a great place for a DS baby.

We're not going to do the amnio.  I'd be lying if I said I won't worry or wonder what will happen when we meet our little Goblin this fall.  But I think no matter what, everything's going to be ok.


JoAnn said...

How did I miss your big announcement!? Congrats!! Pregnancy is so full of what-ifs. I'm sorry you are having to deal with this one. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

I recently discovered that I am six weeks pregnant. Having that test scares me. My friend Jennifer was told her daughter Isabelle had a high chance of Downs Syndrome and she was born just fine!

Monnik said...

JoAnn - i'm not sure! It was a big hit on Facebook. :)

Emily - congrats! That's great news. You know what? I didn't do these tests during any of my other pregnancies, and I would recommend against them, especially at your age. I wish I wouldn't have had it done, but at 38, they encourage it because the risk goes up so much after age 35.

Barb said...

Monnik ~ I know for a fact, however this turns out that this baby will be loved beyond measure. Big hugs to you both!

Studentrntiffany said...

Wait...I go away for a bit and come back and you're expecting?!! Holy Moses!! Congratulations!! I'm so excited for you guys!

I have a firm belief that God gives DS children to only the most special families because they truly are angels. So if HE sees fit to send one your way, you are truly blessed.

And if you wind up with a perfectly ordinary little Goblin, then he/she will be PERFECT.

Congrats again!!

Sincerely, Jenni said...

First off, your husband is awesome.

Second, let's not consider that you "failed" the test. Let's just say you just became more prepared for what might happen.

Don't spend the next few months worrying about what might be. You're having a BABY, irregardless of what extra chromosome may or may not be there. You've been parents long enough to know that you will love this child with every fiber of your being, and this child is being born into your family for a reason.

Hang in there. And darn it, quit freaking out. lol :-)

ludakristen said...

This post made me tear up a little bit.

That baby is so lucky to have you and Dusty as future parents.

Little Miss Sunshine State said...

I was taking care of my Mom when you made your big announcement.
Congratulations! I think your baby is going to be born into such a loving family.

Prairie Chicken said...

I love you both soooo much!!