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Christine's Pregnancy Journal

Weeks 14 & 15 ~ April 7, 2005
~ Testing Decisions

Well, where to start? These last two weeks have been busy! Just some of the things I have been up to: a one day work conference in San Francisco, a night meeting for work, an all day wedding shopping/planning extravaganza with my mom for her upcoming nuptials, Easter, a doctor's appointment, jujitsu and sneaker hockey practices for Josh, AND the biggest car purchase of my life! Its so amazing to me how life just keeps moving on while all the while a little tiny life is growing larger and larger with each passing day. Jellybean has no idea what is going on and has no care that I need to focus my energy on something like buying a car. Jellybean just keeps on sucking all the energy, food, blood, nutrients, etc that he/she needs. GOOOOO Jellybean!! I am your biggest cheerleader and always will be. All of you can learn from me though, do NOT try to make a major purchase or make a major decision while pregnant! Holy Cow! That was fun, although I must say that my husband has been transformed into some better version of himself during this pregnancy. Normally he would've been adding to my stress, as he thinks he is more fiscally responsible than me (and is in some ways). Instead, he actually was so encouraging and calming during our few harried days of test drives, bank financing phone calls, and budget number crunching. Ultimately, when we made our decision to purchase a totally AWESOME high-performance car he actually told me that I deserved this (understand that I am the one wanting a 'performance' car, and am way more into cars than he is. I mean he was driving a Ford Aspire when I met him 7 years ago, for crying out loud!). We don't have the car yet, but I cannot wait to get behind the wheel! I am beginning to rethink my previous recommendation to not buy a car while pregnant because I think I actually had an easier time getting Nic on board with me and agreeing to the car because I had his sympathy and because of his 'transformed' state!!

But what about pregnancy, you are all wondering. Well, the morning sickness is still with me, but it really comes and goes. When it goes it is GLORIOUS and I feel like I am glowing with excitement and anticipation. When it is here, it sucks. There is no way to put a silver lining on it. In fact, just two days ago I was sitting at my desk taking deep breaths telling myself 'it is not that bad, it is going away, feel it? It's washing away, it's fading, breathe, breathe, see it's going away.' But that only works for a minute and the other part of me screams 'IT IS NOT GOING AWAY, quit lying to yourself!! Get a grip on reality and go hang your head over a toilet'. I have yet to vomit, by the way. Although, I have wished for it many times. Other times, the nausea just kinda sits in my belly like a dull ache, kind of like a tease. I feel it taunting me. It says things to me like 'you're hungry for chocolate', so I take a bite of chocolate and as the waves turn from gentle to tidal I hear some laughing from somewhere deep inside. Tricky little nausea. It really comes in all forms. But right as write this I am nausea free, baby! I have not had many other symptoms or problems, but did finally have to go buy a bigger bra. I see myself in the mirror sometimes, or when I am half asleep in the shower and soaping up, I think 'holy moly, whose are those?!'

We had another doctor's appointment last week. It was bittersweet to say the least. We brought Josh for the first time, all excited for him to see Jellybean on the monitor and hear the heartbeat for the first time. Well, no one told me that our last ultrasound would be the last until our big one at the off-site lab. I had to look away when the nurse told us so that Josh wouldn't see me cry. But it was also lovely at the same time because the three of us got to hear Jellybean's heartbeat for the very first time. It was an awesome sound!!! 'Woosh, woosh, woosh, woosh', very fast! I also learned that my uterus is much higher than I thought it was which explains the large belly! Although, I still cannot feel the fundus. The doctor even put my finger in the right spot and I couldn't feel it. Oh well! My whole abdomen feels tight and stretched from the belly button down.

Nic and I had to have the 'to screen or not to screen' discussion as the time to get the blood drawn for the AFP test is fast approaching. For those of you who are not familiar that is the triple screen test that assesses your risk for having a baby with Down's syndrome, Trisomy 18, and one other rare syndrome. The test will not tell you if you have a baby with a defect; it will only give you a risk factor like 1 in 1000 chance of delivering a baby with Down's, or 1 in 50, etc. If your risk factor is lower than a certain average (derived from women with similar factors such as age) then you are encouraged to do further, more definitive testing such as an ultrasound or amniocentesis. Amnio has a miscarriage risk of 1 in 200 but will tell you for sure. Anyway, the thing that really bothers me is that the AFP test sets the risk factor low enough to try to catch everyone with a problem, so there are many many many women who get a risk factor that will trigger an additional test and most of those babies actually turn out to be just fine. So it ends up being two-three weeks of incredible stress for nothing. Don't get me wrong, I want to know if there is a problem because neither Nic nor I would bring a child into the world that would not have every opportunity of living a normal healthy life. I just don't want to go through the worry and agony for nothing (well for nothing would be preferable to the alternative outcome of actually finding out there is a real problem)... but you know what I am getting at, don't you? I guess I will just suck it up and take the AFP screen and we will just have to see what happens. Hopefully, if I do have a risk factor that triggers additional tests, I will be able to keep some perspective while awaiting results and know that most women are totally fine. I am sure Nic will help me keep that perspective!

Ok, I have rambled enough. See ya next time

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