Thursday, September 30, 2010

The UPs and DOWNs

So today we went for the genetic counseling and level 2 ultrasound.  Things went rather well, as I presumed they would.  The geneticist was very positive and friendly in a "we could hang out" sorta way and told me that she's worked with some clinics that would have considered my lab results to be normal.  HuH?  Interesting.  I'll be honest, I'm still upset I had the damn test.  Here's a breakdown of how stupid it all is.  And I'm not saying people shouldn't do it, but it should be better explained going into it.

* At age 38 I have a 1/138 chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome.
* The QUAD screen showed that 2 of the 4 results of mine were slightly off.  This actually decreased my odds to 1/252. 
* The range for "normal" at my clinic is 1/295, but some clinics us 1/250 as normal in which I would have been considered normal.

So basically, this should all be great news!  So why the further testing?  You would think that they would only do further testing if the results showed anything under 1/137.  OY. 

The ultrasound today was fabulous.  The Tech was wonderful and again "we could hang out" and in fact we'll be at the same conference this weekend.  YAY me for finding a friend for the weekend!  She looked at the heart from every angle.  Definitely more than I could have since I'm not that skilled in the fetal heart.  Our ultrasounds look for 4 chambers and we basically eyeball it when it comes for finding something irregular.  She also measured the nasal bone and compared that to the ear-to-ear measurement and that looked good.  She was able to see he had all the bones in his pinkies, which is good.  His PENIS was out and about, flashing us constantly.  Just like his Daddy...

This all means that the ultrasound further decreases my chances of having a baby with Down's.  This can't rule it out completely.  Your baby can look entirely normal on an ultrasound and still have that extra chromosome.  The only way to COMPLETELY rule out DS is by having an amniocentesis which tests the fluid around the baby.  Ouch.  There are risks.  Babies can die.  And if that comes back positive?  What then?

This is my dilemma.  I had no idea until today that you can by law terminate a pregnancy up until 22 or 23 weeks if the baby has an abnormality.  I tell myself I couldn't live with myself if I did that and so would never, but how do I really know?  Am I just saying that because it's the right thing to say?   So people won't be mortified by the truth of me not wanting to raise a baby with DS?  Most I know, which is few, live with their parents for the duration of their life.  Most people say they are the sweetest God given gift ever.  We had quite a group of them that ate lunch in the cafeteria with us in High school.  I remember "TINA" who would strut down the hall in her denim jacket and cowboy boots with her head held high.  She thought she was the shit.  Save for all the belching she'd do behind me in the salad bar line, I did too.  Some would arm wrestle while the rest of us cheered them on.  The winner would stand up and pump his biceps to the crowd, all proud.  And they have bad days too.  But something tells me this extra chromosome they have prevents them from seeing evil.  From what I know, they are happy more than I.  They don't see themselves as different, but rather, superior.  They represent unconditional love because they don't comprehend the multiple complex conditions we do.  Does this make them abnormal?  So much so that you are allowed by law to terminate the pregnancy because they lack the shit that makes "us" complicated and conditional bastards?  Dunno. 

I only hope I can make the right decision.  My heart tells me that the baby boy developing inside my uterus, kicking me already, is perfectly fine and lovable to every degree.  Normal?  But can my mind listen to my heart between now and February?  Will I have to convince myself on a daily basis that "it's fine" and if it's not I'll love him regardless.  If I don't find out will the first words out of my mouth be "Does he look like has Down's?"  Cause it's fine.  It is.  He is.  IS HE?

1 comment:

  1. Ah.. very heavy post. You doing okay with all this stuff going thru your head.

    Email if you need. How is baby daddy responding to any of this?