Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Waiting for the call...

We went to the genetics clinic and had the Ultrasound II and Amniocentesis done. The trip there wasn't horrible at all, maybe 2 hours but finding a parking spot took almost an entire hour. We got into the office at around 1:45 and our appointment was at 2:15. For all of you out there who may have this done and you're curious what occurs, I'll share with you.

First, you go in, fill out the paperwork (already had mine ready) exchange insurance info and take a seat. After a few minutes you'll be lead to a room with another couple. There you will watch a video on what you can expect as well and what an amnio is like. Let me just say, this was very uncomfortable! There were two people across from me (both at least 10 years older than me) and you try not to look at them but it's rough. Then you have to watch this video on amnio and birth defects, it's just weird.

After the video, you are given consent forms to fill out and are placed in this large waiting room. When I entered there were 3 other couples (besides the other one that watched the video with us, that made 4) all nervously waiting. I felt so out of place due to my age. These people were all a good deal older than me. I talked to a couple of the people and one finally asked me "what made you come here?". Fun stuff let me tell ya.

You'll wait a good while. Finally when your name is called, you and the hubbie go into a room and meet your genetic counselor. This person explains how chromosomes work, how down's occurs, etc. They answer any questions, do a family chart, etc. They also make sure you want an amnio as well as the ultrasound. Our counselor was great, very nice and informative, but I hope I don't see her again. If there are problems with the baby she will become my support and explain everything to me. Also, here is where you tell them if you DON'T want to know the sex of the baby, make sure you tell them so you don't get the answer by mistake! (We like to wait)

After you're done with the counselor, you're taken back into the same waiting room and you get to wait and wait some more. There was one annoying lady in the waiting room who kept bitching "can't they just get me back?? I've been through this before you know." (she said that 7 times, I counted) She even told her husband right in front of me "we have to wait behind her and she will take at least 30 minutes" to which her husband replied "they need to be informed". I seriously wanted to slap the bitch.

Finally after a long wait, you are taken back. You are placed on a table much like at the OB's office and the ultrasound is turned on and you get the belly gel and off you go. A good 10 minutes is spent "measuring" your baby. During this time there isn't much talking. I know I said I wouldn't look but I found myself looking nervously anyway (so did Jimbo). Finally with the measurements done, the big Doc comes on board and takes over and starts looking the baby over from top to bottom. He'll ask you questions but it's not social, at least our Doc wasn't. After he shows you the baby's feet, lip, face, toes, spine, heart, etc he'll tell you if everything looks "ok" which ours did. (God what a huge relief) Then he says "so you want the amnio, ok let's get that ready).

Here is where I'll bitch. Let me start by saying, I knew it would be painful. But the video and the Doctor both kept saying "it's like a needle stick when you get blood drawn" or "it's really not painful at all". So I was on the table and as nervous as I was I was also relaxed by what I'd been told. I was expecting to feel the needle enter but that was it, no problem. He cleans my tummy, uses the ultrasound, finds a spot and it's time. When the needle is first inserted, it stings a bit. Fine, no big. So I'm laying there calm and cool when suddenly I feel this horrible "tug" and spontaneously jerk. The nurse grabs me and says "you have to stay still" and the Doc who is obviously pissed says "I have to reinsert the needle, you can't move". So I tell him, you should warn your patients to steel themselves since this DOES hurt. I would never have moved had I known. He ignores me, pokes again, I stay still this time. Then he gets inside the sack to collect the fluid and takes 5 tubes worth. This is painful because he has to "screw" on each tube and the needle rotates into your top layer of skin, stretching it, it feels nasty. When done he'll guide the needle out which is also very uncomfortable and when it's done, you're like "you bunch of fucking liars!". They gave me ultrasound pics, showed me the tubes with my name on them and shoved me out the door. There I paid my co-pay and had to walk 2 blocks to my car. So there is no "rest" time after amnio. They just shove you out the door.

All in all, it's not a bad experience. The amnio isn't the worst pain I've felt in my life (that would be gallstones) so it's bearable. I just tell you that it does hurt so you can brace yourself for what's coming. Not telling patients what to expect is unfair to them.

I'm now waiting for the FISH test results. These results take 24-48 hours and will show if the baby has any of the trisomy's. I'm very nervous. The actual amnio AFP's and other tests will take 2 weeks. Those tests study the actual chromosomes so we'll know if the baby has any mental retardation, etc that only the amnio can pick up.

I asked the genetic counselor how many women felt something was wrong and had the test. She told me several but "only a couple actually had any problems". Thank god. I hope I'm just another mental case.

Cross your fingers for us and say a prayer.

Friday, March 2, 2007

How do people deal with this?

Another day of waiting is upon me which means another day full of thoughts of what is the "right" and "wrong" thing to do concerning this pregnancy. I've read up on the Internet and found stories similar to my own and cried along with those Mother's faced with this decision and the choices they all made. One thing I found eerily similar is that the vast majority terminated the pregnancy when they found out the baby didn't have a huge chance of a quality life once born. And the one thing that I fear now is the ridicule from others upon making the choice to not carry to term.

I won't deny I'm terrified at this point. I don't want to look at the ultrasound and have decided to tell the technicians so when we go Monday. I don't want to see the baby if there is the distinct possibility we won't keep the baby. I know that sounds selfish but I can't help it. This deep rooted feeling of something being out of place has gotten stronger and I know my gut is telling me something. I'm trying to stay strong but when I return to these thoughts it just eats away at me bit by bit.

Then add to this the horrible cough/cold/fever/vomiting Jim and each of the kids have and it's just a bad week all around. I think bad luck is just finding its way to me or something. I got a paper to fill out in the mail the other day for Jury Duty. When it rains it pours.

It's funny, when I found out I was preggars, I was shocked and honestly not too happy about another pregnancy. But now facing the fact that this baby might not become a part of our family I realize just how much I was longing for another little one around here. I'd decided to have my tubes tied after the baby is born, then was thinking about having them tied after this pregnancy potentially ends, but I've decided to hold off on all of that. I'm pretty sure I want one more child and this time around we'll be prepared and I'll be fit and healthy.

I'm going to finally get set with a Neurologist and take care of these migraines as well as have surgery for this blasted gallbladder. Then Jim and I will make sure to prevent another unplanned pregnancy with BC and condoms (doesn't that just sound fun???) until we're ready to try again. I'm also going to pump my body full of folic acid for months in advance. That is if I still feel the same way a year down the road...which who knows?

My mom said something the other day that really hurt my feelings. She told me "once this has happened to you the odds of it happening again are really high". Now I know that isn't true. The odds of it happening now were very slim. I just don't know why she'd say that. I think in part she doesn't want me to have anymore children. I'm not sure why since we support them. Maybe she is genuinely concerned about me, who's to say?

Either way, I have alot to face before any of this happens, so I'll keep praying and hoping for the best.