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Monday, April 5, 2010


Having a baby - I used to think nothing of it. I used to look at all the _______ (fill in your own unpleasant word) people walking around with a gazillion kids and think 'Gee, if people like that can have kids, I can certainly manage.'  I'm not sure what the hell I was thinking.  As anyone reading this already knows, many of the wrong people out there are having babies effortlessly while the rest of us get to sit and wonder 'WTF???'

I have a feeling that this post might be a little scattered - I will do my best to stay on track.

An update to the first trimester screen information that I posted a week and a half a go....  we have discussed the amnio option over and over and over and came up with a list of pros and cons...We beat the subject until it was dead - and it is dead.  We have decided that the cons far outweighed the pros, and we have decided against the amnio.  Although it would be nice to know now, rather than 5 1/2 months, whether or not Jellybean has Down Syndrome, knowing for sure will not change anything about this pregnancy or how it is monitored.  So, no big fat needle.  For those who are interested, our lists are below...

  • Definitive answer an Down Syndrome, and the type of Down Syndrome if applicable.
  • Possible green light for genetic testing on us during the pregnancy - just to get it out of the way before the baby comes, especially if the baby is going to have additional needs due to DS (that will take 100% of our focus instead of allowing some for genetic issues).
  • Definitive answer on baby's sex without waiting for/relying on ultrasound.
  • Definitive answer on baby's blood Rh factor. Since I am Rh negative and Jeff is Rh positive, I will have to have a RhoGAM shot at the time of the amnio, but it would be nice to know for the rest of the pregnancy if the baby is Rh negative or Rh positive so I knew for sure if the RhoGAM shots were necessary. 

  • 1:500 chance of pregnancy loss
  • big fat needle being stuck in my belly
  • RhoGAM shot necessary with the amnio
  • feeling like I have become a 'sheep' - let me know if you don't understand this and I will explain it. Some people know what it means, some don't. :-)

We had a midwife appointment today.  Jellybean's heartrate was 145 bpm and there was no trouble finding the heartbeat at all.  Yay!!!

Presently there are 3 OBs, 3 midwives, 1 PA-C and 2 CRNP in our practice.  There is also a MFM group from 90 minutes away who sees patients in this office every other week.  We are primarily seeing one specific OB and the midwives, with a few MFM visits somewhere in the mix.  The midwife that we saw today is the one who delivered Gracie.  I just have to say that she rocks, and I am going to be really pissed if she is not the one covering L&D when Jellybean arrives.  Anyway, she was supportive of our decision regarding the amnio, and she then gave me a hug and the most pitiful look when I told her that I was waving my white flag on ultrasounds.  She seemed a little surprised that I am now willing to agree to whatever ultrasound exams are recommended, but at this point I just want to bring a living baby home, so I can't really refuse much of the physically non-invasive stuff.  (This kind of goes with that whole sheep thing referenced above.  Seriously, if you don't know what it mean, ask!!!  :-)

After a little bit of discussion we decided that it would be a good idea to cancel the level I ultrasound that I have scheduled in 4 weeks and replace it with a level II ultrasound with the MFM folks.  This will give us a baseline to compare future ultrasounds to, and it will also allow them to switch over to doppler if they want to look at cord blood flow.  So, level II ultrasound in 4 weeks is the plan; I will see one of the MFM docs that day and then also follow up with one of the midwives.

No noted movement from Jellybean yet, but hopefully soon if I don't have another anterior placenta.  Oh - and I am stuck in that wonderful land of 'none of my regular pants close, but the stretchy band pants are still a little too big'.  We did Bradley classes the first time around, but after doing some reading and talking to some folks, I think that I would like to try Hypnobabies.  I got a fantastic deal on a gently used set of Hypnobabies home study stuff this weekend, and cannot wait for it to arrive so I can check it out!!!  Otherwise, things are uneventful.

Before I close for the night, I think I need to revisit the whole Down Syndrome thing, because for some reason it is really bothering me tonight in a greedy, selfish sort of way.  (I am not looking for a debate on wording, terminology or political correctness here.  I work with about 90 kids, all who have 'disabilities' of some type - some have Cerebral Palsy, some have Down Syndrome, some have Autism, some have Spina Bifeda, some have Muscular Dystrophy, some who have undiagnosed disabilities...you get the idea.  I am pretty fond of most of these kids and have developed some pretty strong bonds with a lot of them; I would never intentionally say something to insult them or lessen the importance of who they are.  Tonight I am just hoping to get some feelings out.) 

When we got Gracie's odds of having Down Syndrome (1:47), it didn't really phase me a whole lot.  Based on my experiences with 'my kids,' and speaking strictly in terms of 'disabilities,' I consider Down Syndrome to be preferable over so many other 'disabilities'. I knew, without a doubt, that bringing a child with Down Syndrome into this family might certainly be challenging, but it would certainly be managable and it would certainly be something that filled us with unending love.  Now I am feeling a little differently.  There is still no doubt that any living child will bring us unending love...but the rest is a little sketchy.  Raising a child with any disability can be quite challenging, above and beyond the normal challenges of raising a child, regardless of the disability.  While we don't know for sure if Jellybean has DS, realisitically it's a good probability.  Simply put, I am struggling with the fairness of it.  We have already had one child - that child very probably (we are about 98 or 99% certain) also had Down Syndrome and that child coincidentally died.  How many more challenges do we really need after having a dead child?  When do our challenges above and beyond 'the norm' end?  When is it someone else's turn to be challenged?  I worry, especially if Jellybean does have Down Syndrome that there is a genetic predisposition for all of our children to have DS.  If that is the case, it opens so many more questions and uncertainties about what the future holds for those children.  At what point might I get to bring a typically developing child home? 

Selfish, and pretty horrible thoughts, I know.  But I also feel like they are normal to a degree.  I love Jellybean, regardless of who Jellybean is destined to be.  But I seriously want the best that can possibly be for Jellybean, and I want a life as free from extra challenges as possible - for Jellybean and for our entire family.  I never felt any of this with Gracie, but now I am feeling it pretty strongly.  I think that some of it is anger still creeping up from our experience with Gracie, which is 'normal', but feeling this way still bothers me.  I hope it passes, sooner than later, and I can concentrate on all the upcoming positives of the rest of Jellybean's time in my belly and our anticipated homecoming!  Thanks for letting me vent, girls!


Anonymous said...

My theory is that a mother who has lost a child has every right to vent especially when those who don't deserve children have them without any complications. *huge hugs* Vent away. We will always be here to listen.

Mer said...

Prayers for you throughout your pregnancy - I know it must be extra difficult after losing a child. But there are so many joys to experience with this new baby growing inside you! Our little guy with DS has been such a source of happiness to our family and we are so lucky to have him in our lives!

Maggie said...

I agree! Vent away! If anyone should be allowed..I would say it's you! We're here to listen and we don't judge. I think it's natural to have all those worries and thoughts. You always want the very best for your children, no matter what. (((HUGS)))