At almost 14 weeks pregnant, I didn't expect to start on the path of a long road to the finish. I look inside and am grateful that I have been blessed with this miracle, but am nervous and cautiously optimistic about the future. I know the Lord won't burden us with more than we can handle, but I wonder if these issues are to make me appreciate what I have been given, or ????
I had a "normal" pregnancy up until August 25th. Everything was great, they said. The baby is growing very well, they said. Has a strong heartbeat and is very active, they said. The day I start my second trimester, I get a call from the doctor about my blood results from the previous weeks' appointment. I know this is not a good thing, since they don't call unless something comes up. He says (in a very positive, almost glib tone of voice) "Well, Bridgette, we got your blood results back from your finger stick on Thursday. Normally, for your age group, we like to see the Down's syndrome odds come back as 1 in 220 or better, and you're in the 5% or so where the results came back a little 'off'. Your odds came back as about 1 in 88."
I was driving home from work when he tells me this. I am not the kind of person that is a crappy driver while talking on the phone, but I can feel myself start to get flush and hot, nervous, and kind of dizzy, so I pull over to the shoulder. My heart sank. I asked him what the nuchal neck scan results were, and he said they were at 2.2mm, which is normal. I am unsure as to why my blood results are such a huge concern if the nuchal results came back normal, as I always thought the nuchal results were a surefire indicator of Down's. The doctor says, "So what we do in this instance is totally routine - we set you up with a genetic counselor. They talk to you about your results, and will do a detailed ultrasound scan, and an amniocentesis if you want." I didn't say anything. He says, "Honestly, Bridgette, I don't think there's anything wrong with your baby." I manage to squeak out an "Okay." He replies, "And I can tell by the tone in your voice that you have zero confidence in what I've just told you."
I wanted to say "I understand that you're an old doctor, and you've been doing this for 30-some-odd years, but for God's sake, you just told me there is something wrong with MY baby!! What the hell do you want me to say?!" I didn't say anything though. The doctor tells me the genetics office will call me that day or the next to set up an appt as soon as possible. I thanked him and hung up. The first person I wanted to call was my mother, but I knew she was at work and I didn't want her to freak out. I called my friend Amber. I talked and sobbed and sniffled my way through what the doctor told me. I am very glad I called her first.
After what seemed like the longest drive home, I finally walk in the door. I go upstairs for some toilet paper to use as tissue, since I know telling my husband will be very difficult. I told him what the doctor said. He was concerned, but calm. I wish I could say the same - I was a mess. He did the math, and figured there is only a 1.13% chance our baby will be born with Down's. It is of little solace to me, as the blood results are still fresh in my mind. We sat on the computer for awhile, learning more about these tests and their accuracy, but not wanting to over-educate ourselves so we don't read some misinformation that would freak us out.
I had to pull myself together well enough for us to make it to a baseball game that evening. I think I did a pretty good job. We drove to the game, and didn't talk about it at all - just listened to the pre-game show on AM radio, and talked about how the team is doing this year. I don't know if we were consciously avoiding the subject, but I think neither one of us wanted to beat a dead horse. We inevitably spoke about it briefly on the way home - of all the nights to go to a ball game, we went on Special Olympics night.