The day we met our new doctor. The day we knew we would get more information, but still not have conclusive answers.
When I felt my husband get out of bed with our son I didn't even pretend to offer to get up. When I felt him get back in bed (his mom was spending time with the kids) I barely moved. I wanted this day so badly and at the same time didn't even want to acknowledge it was here. The doctor's office called to ask us to come in early. I was so thankful.
A dear friend had offered to meet us at the appointment. She would sit by quietly to write notes, to make sure the questions we had written down were answered by the end of the appointment. I was numb as we drove up. As we walked into the building it occured to me that some pregnant women come here with no serious concerns. Some are just "older" (I can say that because I'm technically an "advanced age pregnancy" now that I'm 35), some are having twins or triplets, some just want a specialized doctor. Some people that we would encounter that morning were here for happy news. We knew that wasn't going to be us, but it was comforting that the office dealt in happy and in concerned pregnancies, at least they have balance.
The visit was wonderful, we could not have asked for better connections. (We had been told that if we were able to hold off until Monday we would be so happy to work with this doctor, our friend was right.) As we reviewed the ultrasound results the list felt long. As we started to look at the baby some of the concerns were cleared. My husband and I both had secret thoughts that maybe this would all work out... and then new concerns were added to the list.
By the time the doctor came in we knew our baby still had serious concerns. She thought the strongest possibility was a diagnosis of Down Syndrome, an abnormality from an extra 21st chromosome. We decided to do an amnio instead of the new blood test (it's been out since January 2012). The blood test is 99.9% accurate for DS, but it is only 90% accurate for T18 and T13. I'm a 100% kind of girl. I knew that if the blood test was uncertain I'd end up wanting the amnio, and honestly I didn't want to wait 2 weeks for the first set of results. I was terrified of the amnio, terrified! In the end it was "uncomfortable" not painful at all. I was pleasantly surprised.
We asked the office to put our babies gender ultrasound picture in a sealed envelope. As we left the office with the belief that we may have a child with Down Syndrome we didn't assume we would open the envelope so we sent it home with our friend. We did not want to know the gender unless there was a low likelihood of survival. At this point Down Syndrome sounded like a blessing, something we could imagine in our lives, something we felt we could handle. We wanted to believe we could handle any diagnosis, but we were so overwhelmed with the concerns of balancing an extreme situation with 3 other kids. I had so many doubts that we would be able to take care of each of our children's needs much less our own or our marriage. I was so scared to loose my "normal" life and possibly my husband. We have an amazing marriage so I believed we would make it through, but you just never know.
Leaving the doctors office I felt light, I felt empowered. I knew we could "do" Downs. I have followed the blog Enjoying the Small Things for two years. (www.kellehampton.com). She inspires me in so many ways, her raw honesty and strong ability to focus on the positive has a big impact on me. After a couple hours Trever and I both felt stronger, more encouraged. Both of us knew that nothing was confirmed yet.