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Sunday, April 18, 2010


It's official...I have the very best husband a girl could ever ask for.  I have always had a very unhealthy love of bacon, but try to avoid it during pregnancy (as well as hot dogs, sausage, ham, processed lunch meats, etc) because of nitrate content.  For some reason I have been struggling with the omission of my 'breakfast meats' this time around far more than I struggled when I was pregnant with Gracie.  This week my husband presented me with a slab of specially made nitrate-free bacon as an early birthday gift (my birthday is not for about 6 weeks).  I could not have asked for a better gift.  :-)   

I am pretty sure that I have been feeling movement for the last wee or so, but it's so hard to tell in the first couple of weeks.  Jellybean's Braxton Hicks contractions have started, right on time.  My BH with Gracie started around this time and continued steadily through the remainder of my pregnancy.  Last time around my midwife said that I have a 'sensative' uterus - we will see how sensative it is this time around.  I am actually hoping that it has calmed down a bit since July.

After the very long Down Syndrome / feeling sorry for myself rant in my last post, I am feeling quite a bit better about things.  Everyone keeps telling me that 'those tests aren't that accurate.'  But here's the thing.  The screen I had done is 85-90% accurate in detecting DS, and only has about a 5-6% false positive rate ('detects' DS when it really isn't there).  So, realistically, if you line me up with 38 other women, there is an 85-90% probability that I will be the one woman in the group whose child is born with Down Syndrome.  Here's the other thing - I am not dealing with just one 'positive' screen; I am dealing with two.  I am dealing with an increased risk this time as compared to last time (Gracie's probabilty was 1:47).  Last, but certainly not least, I am 98-99% certain that I already have one child with Down Syndrome (It's funny how so much now 'hinges' on the fact that Gracie's chromosomal analysis was never run...).  I want with everything I have to believe that this is a false positive screen and that Jellybean does not have DS, but I tend to be a realist.  I am looking at all of the 'evidence' and it certainly does not point in that direction.

All of that said, I am okay with things.  I will have no problem accepting a child with DS, but of course I think everyone would rather have a typically developing child.  At this point, I am going to assume that we are dealing with DS and hope for a surprise at birth.  If Jellybean doe have DS, I will just keep my fingers crossed that it is a chance chromosomal duplication and that we are not dealing with a chromosomal translocation passed on by one of us.  That is really where my biggest hang up has been - the possibility that one of us has the potential to pass DS on to each of the kids that we have.  But all in all, I am much better than I was a couple of weeks ago. 

It's kind of funny how people around us are split between two camps regarding this baby.  With the exception of our immediate family, there doesn't seem to be anyone who really sees Jellybean for what Jellybean really is.  People either feel the need to remind me that Jellybean will not replace Gracie or they feel the need to express that we'll be so much better after Jellybean arrives.  I mean - sure - we will be better in terms of not worrying about Jellybean dying, but we will certainly not be better in terms of Gracie's death.  Having a baby to hold and love and nurture will certainly fill us with love, but it will not 'make everything better.'  Sad thing is, my frustration with this just needs to be internalized since no one gets it, even when it's explained.  And quite certainly, no one has any idea what I am talking about when i tell them about the new rush of 'missing Gracie' emotions that will likely emerge when we bring Jellybean home.  At some point it has to get easier, right??


Maggie said...

Ugh, I wish I could say yes, it HAS to get easier, but I have this sinking feeling that it never does since nobody truly understands unless they have had a loss. I have to say, there are a select few who seem to get it and I think those people should be rewarded! I'm glad you're feeling better about things and I'm even happier your husband got you that bacon! What a guy!!