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.
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