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Marisa's Pregnancy Journal

Week 20
~ A low-lying HUH? No more WHAT?

We had an appointment with our CNM (nurse midwife) Thursday at Kaiser. She said that, based on the sonogram we had last week, there is a visible Echogenic focus in the baby's heart, which can be linked to a higher risk of Down Syndrome according to some studies. She didn't yet have our AFP test results back, so ultimately I was sent away worried and with no answers, and was told to call radiology for another US and call Genetics for counseling and AFP follow up. I couldn't do either until the next day, since most of my appointments have been at 4:30pm because of work.

Next, she said I have a slightly posterior low lying placenta, which can actually be normal and grow out of itself, since the placenta grows from the bottom up. However, there can be a higher risk of bleeding, and she recommended abstaining from intercourse or orgasm until the next US.

(Picture me: I'm sorry, could you repeat that last part? That means waiting two months! I guess I've had so much reassurance that sex is ok from every book, doctor and TV show, that I was not ready to believe this particular sacrifice would be required of me until late in pregnancy. I joked with Jeremiah later that the baby is slowly robbing me of every pleasure in life. No booze, no rollercoasters, no tuna, no energy, no waistline, limited spicy foods . . . and now no orgasms on top of it! Sheesh.)

Seriously though, I was totally stunned with the whole thing. I wasn't upset at the thought that our child may or may not have Down Syndrome, but mostly I was just totally and utterly overwhelmed with the state of not knowing. I kept crying on an off, and I did not want to have to go in and face 180 teens the next day, again. If I stayed home, I could really use the time to think and work and clean and just try to keep going. The thing that made me cry the most though was the realization that a special needs child would really need even more love and devotion than a "healthy" child, and I was already expecting to give everything I had to a normal-needs baby. I was just going nutty over this.

I dragged my growing Bs (BabyBellyButtBoobsBreasts) to work on Friday, and tweaked my lesson plan to require as little as possible from me. On my prep period I called my husband (who's currently working third watch and sleeps during the day) to get the phone number for Genetics from my planner, which I forgot at home . . . again. Then I called Genetics, who said my CNM was wrong; they don't get the AFP test results. She does, or at least she can. So then I called my poor sleepy husband again to get the CNM's number, then called to leave a message for her. She wasn't going to be in for a week, so somebody else was going to get back to us.

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And I was still sufficiently freaked out, then feeling even worse simply because no one else seemed to care about my baby, the most important creature in the world! (LOL . . . it sure can seem like that sometimes though, can't it?)

I got a call at the end of my lunch break from Sleepless Hubby telling me they'd called and said the AFP results look totally normal. They'd actually said verbatim "so stop worrying about your baby. The baby is fine."

But even with this reassurance, I realize I feel changed. My perception of the situation is different; I have considered it more seriously, and I realize I would probably have the baby anyway. My mantra would just change from "my happy, healthy baby" to "my happy, healthy, high-functioning baby." It's quite an experience to realize the extent of your own unconditional love, and I'm sure that's not the last time I'll think that.

So, I finished out my Friday with tired, puffy eyes, finished the tutoring I had scheduled to give afterschool, and went home feeling better . . . emotionally zapped, but better.

~ Marisa

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