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Monday, September 03, 2007

Living with these changes

WARNING: serious post ahead.

And so it begins. Or I guess I should say continues: just as I am starting to wrap my head around being pregnant and a (soon-to-be) parent and just as I am starting to think yes, this could be doable, I get a call from the doctor. "We're sorry it took so long (over 5 weeks) to get these results back, but it appears that you have a slightly elevated risk for Down Syndrome so we are scheduling a conference with a genetic counselor after your "super ultrasound" on Friday, during which we will confirm our preliminary diagnosis. Enjoy your weekend."

Being the person that I am, I was not going to let this conversation end there and pinned the nurse down about what "slightly" meant. Turns out "slightly" means I have a 60% greater risk of having a Down's child than I would have considering my age alone. So much for slight.

After which lovely phone call, I became completely hysterical and spread my hysteria far and wide, calling my parents and breaking both of them down and then calling my aunt, whose first child had Down's and died at 3, and breaking her down. I ran through a box of tissues before I got some semblance of control back...and then I went to a baby shower I had previously committed to attending. I managed to keep it together the whole evening, for which I was very proud, but dissolved again when the husband got home from work at 10:30pm (he had worked a double, and I hadn't called him because I know work is already not fun and more so when you get this kind of news).

Fortunately, I have the best husband on the planet, who was supremely calm and consoling and confident and sensible and full of helpful medical language about false positives and screening versus diagnosis and made me feel much, much better, so much so that I was actually able to enjoy our weekend trip to New Rochelle, NY for one of his friend's weddings (which was lovely and a perfectly timed escape, by the way), but now it is Monday, and my anxiety level is rising once again. Friday cannot come soon enough, but am I ready to deal with the results, whatever they may be? We shall see....

Dang it, I need a Belgian waffle smothered in strawberries and whipped cream!

2 comments:

joyful704 said...

i am impressed u made it through a baby shower after getting such a phone call- shows you can handle more than you think. i don't think i can say anything to make this week easier but i will be thinking of you. i do know that whomever god sends to you and matt is going to be one lucky baby!

rebecca said...

Hello, I happened upon your blog while surfing all things Ds, and found your post. I have a three year old with a little bit of something extra by way of her twenty-first chromosome, also known as Down syndrome.

I did not have any testing done while I was pregnant, as I already had four healthy kiddos and just didn't feel I needed them.

I was 36, and I learned the diagnosis the moment I looked down at her beautiful little face. If you find yourself in the need of some good reading on this subject after you have your super ultrasound, please visit: giftsds.segullah.org/

Our website is a collaborative effort of 63 parents who have come together to write about our experiences as mothers of children with Ds. I also have compiled a vast list of resources under our links tab.

I know it sounds funny, saying this as I am a complete stranger, but life as the parent of a child with Ds isn't as awful as most people make it seem. There is an adjustment period, and it does take some time to adjust, but as mothers we are resiliant creatures.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email me at: rebecca.phong@gmail.com