~ Cautious Relief
This past week we overcame a huge obstacle.
When you lose a baby mid-pregnancy, the next pregnancy becomes all about milestones and unfortunate, unfair comparisons.
"Will I get past 16 weeks and four days?" "What about the 12-week scan - will we get the same result?"
Well, we don't know the answer to the first question, but the second one is now more certain. And the short answer is no. Thank god. We had our nuchal scan (to measure the thickness of the back of the baby's neck - and the thinner the better) last Monday. By Wednesday, we knew the results.
Trace and Jay came in for the scan and I asked the radiographer, who knew our history, if she could please give us any early indication as to what she was seeing. Some staff at these places can be utter Nazis, and probably with good reason, as they don't want to unnecessarily alarm people. So, some refuse to talk at all during these procedures. Trust me, we've been there and it was unnerving.
Before we even walked into the appointment, I knew I couldn't handle that dismissiveness. If we had someone like that, I planned on standing up, going to the front counter and asking for someone else. Someone who understood. Luckily it didn't come to that.
The lady we had instantly knew what I was asking and said she would tell us what she could. Soon, the words "normal", "fine" and "positive" were being murmured while I cried. Just the act of her putting that first marker point on the screen to start the measuring sequence set me off.
Flashback. And now I feel guilty that this was the first thing I was focusing on, rather than seeing our little 6.5 cm baby, jerking and flailing inside me.
Last time, I had a one in 29 chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome. Anything below 300 is serious. That horrifically low number forced us into an amnio and ultimate confirmation.
This time, my number is one in 1482. Last time, the thickness measurement was 3.1. This time it is 2.2, there is a nasal bone and my blood tests yielded much better results.
This was the Everest of our milestone obstacles, I must admit. And while we can certainly breathe a little easier and allow ourselves to dare to succumb to the thought that everything will be ok, my history cannot be ignored. And even though I fight it, I cannot help but protect myself and prepare for unexpected bad news. I can still imagine the rug being pulled out from under us like last time.
An amnio is still an option for us . . . but so is trusting in these good early results and counting down until our next milestone - more Kilimanjaro than Everest this time - a detailed morphology scan at 19 weeks.
Our OBGYN has advised that even if the worst happens again, there is not much difference in terminating at 16 weeks as there is at 19 weeks. It's a fact, but a terrible one to even have circling in my mind.
My god, if we have to go through that again . . . well, I am not sure. But something is starting to stir in me now . . . something warm and positive. Something that is yelling at me to get connected with my little growing baby, to think about a wonderful future together and to imagine what she/he will be like and what impact she/he will have on our family.
Apart from all this, I must also admit to feeling a lot better on the nausea side. Even though I've had a shocking cold for the past week, there is no constant underlying feeling like I could throw up at any moment.
So it's been a week of cautious relief, really. And the continuation of a countdown, one milestone at a time.