Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Going to the high risk doctor today

Last time, I didn't know.

Even with an abnormal blood test, I had a perfectly normal level II ultrasound (at the high-risk doctor's office), and I didn't know.

For almost five months I put it out of my mind.

I know now that God was protecting me from worrying unnecessarily. I would have Googled every possible defect and complication. I would have worried about so many, many things.


This time, I want to know.

I am better prepared and no longer naive that it won't happen to me.

Because it did.

So this afternoon, at 3:30, I am headed to the ROC (Regional Obstetrics Consultants), our area's high-risk doctor's office. I am having a non-invasive high-level ultrasound called a nuchal scan. When a fetus is 10-12 weeks old, there is a high correlation between the amount of fluid on the back of its neck and Down syndrome. See, by the time I had my level II ultrasound with Benjamin, I was much farther along. (The fluid is generally in the normal range after about 14 weeks; I was about 18 weeks when I had mine, and that is one of the reasons they couldn't tell by that marker.)

Matthew cannot go with me, as he is in Connecticut all week, training for a new position. (He's gone today through Friday night. Then he has to leave at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday to drive about 90 minutes to do his second sprint-triathlon, and he'll be home sometime Saturday afternoon. THEN he flies back out to Connecticut early Monday morning and won't be home until Thursday at about noon. So pray for me as I will practically be a single mom for almost two weeks!)

I wanted to do it during the day while Andrew was at preschool and my SIL could watch Benjamin. But they only had an 8:30 and a 3:30. Well, 8:30 was too early b/c Andrew's preschool doesn't start until 9:00. So today after I pick up Andrew from preschool, I am taking both boys to my parents' house for their naps. My mom is meeting me there to watch the boys when they wake up until I can get there.

I was talking to Matthew about it on the phone. I told him that I honestly am not worried. That it didn't hit me until today that they could very well tell me today that there is a great chance I am carrying another baby with Down syndrome. (The scan alone is 62% accurate, but between 65% and 85% of trisomic fetuses will have a large nuchal thickness.)

I just don't feel prepared for that.

And even though I know it could, I just don't feel like it could happen to me again.

Even though it did.

Did you know that any pregnant woman has between a 1 in 800 and 1 in 1000 chance of having a baby with DS, but once you have actually had a baby with DS, your odds automatically jump to 1 in 100?? And that's if you're under the age of 35. (I will *barely* be 33 when this baby is born.) The statistics don't really make sense to us since this is a "fluke" occurence, and the type of DS that B has is not hereditary. But even the geneticist said that even though it doesn't necessarily make sense, it is what has been proven over and over.

So please pray for me today. That all will go well. That I will be fine with whatever they find. Or don't find.

Obviously, this is not a fool-proof way to tell if I am having a healthy baby.

The only way to know for sure is to do an amniocentesis. I know they are controversial b/c it is an invasive test and there is a small chance of miscarriage. But we have thought and prayed about it, and we will be having one of these done at the ROC sometime in the next month or two. My OB will determine when it is time, as the time varies from woman to woman. (The outer layer of the amniotic sac has to be present first, and that is generally between the 14th and 18th week of pregnancy. I am only 10 weeks, 3 days.)

Okay, enough stalling. Gotta turn the U.S. Open off, get Benjamin out of the high chair, brush the Multigrain Cheerios off him, get in the van, and go pick Andrew up at preschool.



Linda said...

I have already been praying for you today since I saw your FB status. I had an amnio at 16 weeks and I don't regret it. We thought and prayed about it too, and decided it was the right thing for us. After the nuchal we were given a 1 in 5 chance of having a baby with DS. We wanted to know so that we could educate ourselves. Hugs to you!

jenn said...

I am praying for you today and always--I pray everything goes well today and praying for the results! :)

JILL said...

Sending strength for today and for the next couple weeks on your own.

Shannon said...

good luck today angela!!! lots of prayers heading your way. and good luck being a single mom, i hope the boys are good for you!!!!

Shawna said...

I am praying for you today Angela, May God bless you and this baby!!

Aishlea and Brandon said...

Sending prayers up for you today! Good luck!

Tell your hubby good luck on the sprint triathlon this weekend-Bran is so upset he is not getting to compete!

Kara said...

You're all in my prayers.

Adrienne said...

I didn't have the Nuchal but of course did the amnio and don't regret it either. I know this has got to be hard having Benjamin and loving him to pieces but also hoping that this one is healthy with no concerns. It's going to be okay and it will put your mind at ease either way.

Laurie said...

Thinking of you today, Angela! ((Hugs))

jmason said...

Sending lots of prayers your way!!!

Denise said...

I, too, had the amnio and don't regret it one bit. For my husband and I it was the way to go. We needed to know one way or another to be prepared. And, for me, I am thankful that I knew ahead of time because I was excited for Ella's birth and didn't have to spend any of her first few days "grieving". We didn't even get offered the nuchal fold test so I can't offer anything about that. But either way, you know you can handle it and will love your baby no matter what. Honestly, I think you need more prayers right now for being a single mom!!! Looking forward to hearing the results.

Leah said...

Hugs and prayers for you today! Actually, the numbers you stated are for LIVE births. Since over 90% of babies with DS are terminated prenatally, the odds are actually much higher. I read somewhere a couple weeks ago that they estimate, if all babies with DS that are conceived made it to term it would be closer to 1/500.

Anna said...

Thinking of you today!! ((hugs))

The Hollimans said...

Hi Angela, I just saw this post and your facebook update and you all are in my prayers. And you especially being without a husband for the next couple weeks. I really don't know how single moms do it. I think I would go crazy!