Last Wednesday, just hours after my last post, I received a call from my doctor's office saying that my blood work came back positive for Down's Syndrome. They asked that I come in and meet with the doctor the following day to discuss the matter and speak about what our options were.
My world crumbled. As soon as I hung up, I broke down and cried as I have never cried before. It was a cry filled with a sense of panic. I knew I had to call Clint right away so that he would be able to take the time off the following day to go with me. My husband, being the stronger one, was calm and reassured me that regardless of the outcome, we will get through it. (love that man). I was still so upset that the intense crying made me sick and I tossed my cookies.
I immediatly got online and did my research. I told myself that since 1/250 seemed to be the average of what women were reporting their tests came back as, I told myself my magic number would be 1/178. I don't know why..but this is the number that came to me. I told myself that if the doctor told me that number or anything higher, I would not panic. I was sure they would come back higher. I described to Clint on the way there that I felt as if I were on my way to a funeral. This may sound harsh...but it was the best way I was able to describe my feelings. I felt as if I had to say goodbye to the healthy baby I thought I had been caring for for the past four months and learn to welcome the idea of a new, unhealthy version of what I had just lost. When we were called into the doctors office....the thing I remember most was that the number he gave me was 1/54. I was in complete shock. My heart sank. It was so much worse than I had ever imagined.
The doctor asked if I had any questions. Before arriving, I had a million but at that moment I couldn't think of any except what our next steps were to get further confirmation and also, how would the birth or care of the baby be any different after the birth (at the hospital). To my first question, he said that I must go to get a more intensive ultrasound the following week and meet with a specialist at the hospital. That is scheduled for Wednesday. If that was unable to confirm for sure, I would be getting an amniocentesis. We would first have to weigh the chances of the baby having Down's versus the chance of miscarriage that exists with the test. Next, he said the birth would not be much different, but that I may need to give birth at a different hospital where there are doctors specialized for these types of cases in case the baby needs any types of surgeries or special care.
After leaving the office, I felt defeated. I picked Jude up and put on my brave face. I took him home and went in his room with him and just watched him play for hours. All I could think about was the challenges this baby my face and how this may affect Jude. I had an overwhelming sense of guilt. I already felt a little guilty about having a second child because of the attention it would take from Jude, but just imagine a what a child with special needs will entail. I kept telling myself that Jude was loving and caring enough to handle the situation...which I am confident he is. At the same time...I still had the guilt. Would he feel like he always had to defend his brother/sister when others make comments, would he be embarrassed, etc. When Jude took his nap, I held him and cried....for hours. My brave face was gone. The entire day, minus the appointment, I had not left the house, done anything productive or even turned on the lights in the house. I just closed the curtains to be left alone with the thoughts and tears. I was at a very low place.
The things I kept thinking about was how guilty I felt for Jude and for Clint. We tried so hard to get pregnant with this baby...not only could I not give him a baby quickly and on my own (without medication), but I couldn't give him a healthy child either. I also thought about whether I would be able to work once the baby arrived, what types of special schools or therapies I needed to look into. I even thought about who would care for our child if Clint and I were to pass away. Most of all, I thought of all the things our child will not be able to do because of the condition. There are so many emotions involved when you receive news of this magnitude.
I keep telling myself, there must be a mistake. They must have my due date wrong or maybe because I had Gestational Diabetes last time...and may have it this time...this may have affected my results. I even thought tht maybe they had a mixup and switched my bloodwork with someone elses.
I am trying to remain optimistic that the ultrasound on Wednesday will not find any signs of Down's Syndrome, but anytime I do, I remind myself not to get my hopes up. This may be our fate.
If it is in fact positive, I am confident that Clint and I are strong enough to handle this type of situation. We have said before ever hearing the news or even being pregnant that we would be the type of people who could really handle that type of situation never expecting to receive such news. I am reassured that because of our strong marriage, wonderful support system and most of all our faith that we will be able to handle and make it through any outcome we are given.
It's funny that at a time like this that you realize just how many people truly care about you and your family. People I haven't spoken to or seen in years have gone out of their way to show they care...without even knowing the entirety of the situation. They just knew something was wrong and they really pulled through with their kind words and gestures. I am overwhelmed with the amount of love that surrounds us.
I hope you all keep us in your prayers. I am praying that the appointment Wednesday dispells any sign of what the bloodwork showed. If not, I pray that we are able to do our best to be great parents to a child with special needs while balancing the rest of our lives.
I know that if we are indeed blessed with a special needs child, there was a reason. God must know that we could handle it and Jude will learn so much from the situation.