I never really thought about things going wrong in a pregnancy until I actually got pregnant.
When I was pregnant with Little Bear, I remember being scared that first trimester because my progesterone levels were low and that could increase your chances for miscarriage.
Once we got past that little hurdle I had a super smooth pregnancy. No morning sickness, tired but got my energy back in the second trimester and I worked until the very end. At 38 weeks we realized I had preclampsia (that explained my extreme swelling) and Little Bear was born and ended up in the NICU for a week. So a slightly scary birthing experience.
|Little Bear in the NICU - 2 days old|
Going into this pregnancy I have been so scared of the possibility that I could get preclampsia again. I never even gave a thought to anything else that could possibly go wrong.
At the 17 week mark, my doctor called to discuss the results of some testing I had done at 12 & 16 weeks. These are considered standard tests that can indicate if you have increased odds of having a baby with Down Syndrome.
So here I am on the phone with my doctor and I feel so caught off guard as she gently explains to me that the test indicates this baby in my belly has an increased chance at having Down Syndrome. I don't know what questions to ask. I don't even know much about Down Syndrome. So I just sit and listen and tried my hardest not to start crying while I was on the phone with her.
For someone my age (umm, I'm only 32 not 62) your chances of having a baby with Down Syndrome are 1 in 470. My test indicated a 1 in 170 chance. I asked how we could find out for sure. My doctor said I could have an amnio done but there was a 1 in 200 chance of a miscarriage since it can be an invasive test. She also said if I wasn't considering terminating the pregnancy she didn't recommend the amnio. I had a doctor's appointment with her the following week which would give me some time to talk with Tommy and do some research before I told her next steps.
I hung up the phone and bawled. I was just so overcome with emotion that there could be something wrong with my baby. I dreaded having to tell Tommy and decided to wait until he got home from work. It seemed pointless to upset him at work and I didn't want to tell him over the phone.
After Little Bear was sleeping, I sat Tommy down and calmly explained my call with the doctor. If there was ever a moment I loved Tommy the most it was right than. He was supportive and we were on the same page that those weren't odds that would terminate this pregnancy. I truly believe that this baby is the baby God intended me to have. If it's a baby that happens to have Down Syndrome than that is the path my life is supposed to go on. My friend Jen said something so comforting and it basically was God wouldn't give you something you can't handle.
BTW I am not here to debate or judge the topic of abortion. It's your life and your choice, but not a choice I can see myself making in this situation.
Now that I knew Tommy was supportive of my decision , I of course kept thinking about the what ifs? I was scared because I knew nothing about Down Syndrome. Were people diagnosed with Downs able to live their life as a functioning member of society? Were there other health complications? I had sooo many questions and did find comfort in reading blogs of moms that had a child with Down Syndrome.
I am not going to lie, I spent over a week moping and crying and just being overly emotional like someone was dying. It hit me one day that my baby was going to be fine. Whatever the outcome it was still my baby. One that we are excited for and one that will be loved soooo much.
Waiting until delivery to know if the baby is going to be okay is hard. There are moments I want to know so I can deal with it. There are moments I am calm and know that it is out of my hands. There are moments I feel guilty because I pray to God that I have a healthy "normal" baby.
And through all of this I realized that motherhood truly starts at conception. Only a mom could be so crazy in love and so worried about a baby they never even held in their arms before.
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