In May, Mike and I celebrated writing what we thought would be our last big daycare check ever. Our youngest would be five and heading to kindergarten, which meant our daycare days were over. Whoo hoo!!
In June, we found out that we would be starting all over. Baby #3 was on the way, ready or not. A baby is always cause for celebration. There are so many who yearn and pray and try and pay for a baby, so we are thankful. I am anxious and stressed, but thankful.
The first question everyone has is: WAS IT PLANNED?
It sure was--by God :) We have struggled with the decision of whether or not to have another baby for about three years now. I, admittedly, am not big on the whole baby thing, and we were excited to finally be out of the young child stage so we can begin doing more travelling, etc. But, we wanted the boys to have another sibling. So, long story short, we decided to just see what would happen--what was meant to be would be. It didn't happen very quickly, so we had gotten used to the idea that it wouldn't. I was 35, after all. Well, it happened.
Another question that may be on many people's minds is: WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF THIS ONE HAVING DOWN SYNDROME?
The type of Trisomy 21 Bryce has is not genetic. His Down syndrome was caused by a "random cell-division error" (I tend to believe it wasn't random or an error--hence the quotation marks). We were told when he was diagnosed that our chances of having another child with Down syndrome was only slightly higher than the average person. We have spoken with a genetic counselor about this pregnancy, and we learned that my "advanced maternal age" of 36 is a higher risk factor than Bryce is, but the two combined brought our chances to about 1:130.
We opted to have an NIPT test. It is amazing what science can do. This test consists of a simple blood draw from the mother's arm. There are apparently tiny fragments of baby's DNA floating around in the mother's bloodstream as soon as the placenta is formed. With the NIPT test, they segregate the baby's DNA from the mother's, and test for Trisomy 13, 18, and 21. This test is controversal in the special needs world because it is often used as a tool for eliminating children with Ds and other chromosomal disorders.
Let me be clear (and I said as much to the genetic counselor), we WOULD NOT TERMINATE IF THE TEST CAME BACK POSITIVE. We simply wanted to know so we could be prepared. Bryce's unexpected diagnosis was very difficult. We now know that Ds is not the end of the world, but I just wanted to know so I could prepare or put it out of my mind.
We got the results about ten days later, and we are happy to report that everything looks great. We have also had three ultrasounds already and we have a beautiful, active baby in there.
Another common question is: DO YOU THINK THIS ONE WILL COME EARLY TOO?
Both of our boys were born at exactly 34 weeks. According to my doctor, there is a good chance this one could come early too (one preemie could be a fluke....two is more indicative of a pattern). We are being monitored very closely. I am only 16 weeks today, and I have had three ultrasounds and four doctors' appointments already. Tomorrow, I will be starting to get weekly progesterone shots and bi-weekly ultrasounds to monitor my cervical length. At the bi-weekly ultrasound appointments, I will be seeing the perinatologist to go over the results. I will also be seeing my regular OB at all the regular intervals. LOTS of doctor visits and tests!! I am thankful that the doctor/hospital is less than a mile from both home and work! We will do everything we can to keep me pregnant longer. My main concern is getting to at least that 34 week mark. 36 or 37 would be wonderful.
Last question: DO YOU THINK THIS ONE IS A GIRL?!?
From the start, I was more nauseous with this pregnancy than either of the other two. That really led me to believe maybe I will get my little girl after all. Well, one of the perks of getting the chromosomal testing done was getting to learn the gender at only 13 weeks. Were there Y chromosomes floating around in there or not?!? If you want to know, watch the video below.
Prayers for my sanity dealing with pregnancy and all these appointments would be appreciated. Take care, everyone!