Thursday, December 3, 2015

weeks 20 & 21 and oh what a month!

first off, our 20 and 21 week fruit baby...

i don't really get the fruit measurements.  i mean to go from a banana at 20 weeks to a pomegranate at 21 doesn't make a ton of sense, but oh well.  it's fun for the girls to see something tangible and know how big the baby is.  it also makes it crazy for me to realize that this tiny little piece of fruit is floating around in my rather large belly.  i think i was just starting to wear maternity clothes with harper around 21 weeks or a little after, and now, this.

and finally, i am thankful it's december.  our month of november was less than stellar.  i attended 3 funerals- one for a young student of mine from school; another for the father of a very dear friend; and the third for a very young boy within our community who died of an inoperable brain tumor.  going to funerals is tough.  going to funerals for kids and parents of friends of mine who are still much too young is tougher.  going to 3 funerals in 4 weeks being revved up on pregnancy hormones has put me just a bit over the edge.  it was a lot to take in and process.  and i still don't feel i've processed it all.

on top of all of that, smack dab in the middle of the month on friday, the 13th, we had our big ultrasound.  everything looked good that day.  the technician did seem to be taking a few extra pictures of the heart, but i assumed it was just because the baby wasn't cooperating in that area.  and when we weren't escorted into the back room to wait and talk with the doctor right after the scans like we had to with crosby's ultrasound, i breathed a sigh of relief.  but, 5 days later when i met with my ob-gyn for my monthly appointment, she let me know that they did in fact find something worth mentioning in the area of the baby's heart. 2 eif- echogenic intracardiac foci- were located in the left ventricle.  they're basically bright white spots, a mineralization of calcium that causes some extra thickening and shows up on the ultrasound like a bone would.  she said it was a soft sign for a chromosomal abnormality, specifically trisomy 21, or Down's syndrome.  there was nothing anywhere else on the scan that lead them to believe it was any other chromosomal issue.  it took a bit to process that as well, but michael and i decided that we would do some further testing.  essentially, we consented to a blood test, where they would take a sample of my blood, send it to a lab in california and spin it for 5 days to pull out the fetal dna.  then the lab would examine that and piece the dna together to determine if there was any abmornalities.  it had a 98% accuracy rate, and would help ease our minds with what we might be encountering.  we completed the test the monday before thanksgiving, and were told it would take 7-14 days.  we tried to not focus on it, and instead enjoy the holidays, but it was there.  it was present.  and finally, last tuesday afternoon, i received a call from the nurse with the results, that all 3 trisomies that were looked at came back negative.  meaning that 98% chance that chromosomally speaking, everything with this baby is fine.  i hung up and cried a deep lose-your-breath cry for a weight i didn't realize i was carrying.  we have done a lot of praying, and we knew God was holding our hands.

after losing maximus in october, then with the funerals and the genetics testing, i don't think my weeping hormones have really had a break since.  i'm really hoping for a happy, restful, somewhat-calm-despite-being-the-crazy-holiday-season december to allow me some time to reset before panic sets in when i realize the babe is due in just about 4 months.  here we go with lots of bedroom shuffling and preparations to do!

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