Finally, we're back and I feel great!
The trip was a much anticipated one. In fact, I have been waiting for last Friday since the 22 July 09. As laid back as I have been about this pregnancy, there was something bugging me between the 22 July and 21 August. "Bugging" would be a mild word. This issue was hanging over my head day and night, making it difficult for me to fall asleep and making me wake up even more than usual.
I failed to prepare myself for the results of the Triple Test. This was something that I did with Aaron. I read all about it, and familiarized myself with the notoriously high false positive rates that it yields and then mentally prepared myself for it. TRUST ME, this is something that pregnant women should prepare for. In a nutshell, it measures 3 hormone levels in your blood, takes into account your age and age of the fetus and tells you the risk of the baby having Downs Syndrome or some other neural tube defects.
So on 22 July, I was surprised to receive an email from my doctor. I didn't think anything before immediately clicking it open. Now imagine the words "1 in 230" and "elevated risk" and "call me" suddenly taking up the whole screen and bouncing back and forth. That was all I saw. I was short of breath and felt as if I received a physical blow. It took me the whole night to regain some level of calm, and it was a fragile one. I couldn't talk about it but of course it was always on my mind. After a day of reading all the good and bad on the internet, I banned myself from Googling it. It worked, as long as I didn't read about it or talk about it, I found it a lot easier to keep it at the back of my mind. For some things, its better to share it with other people but I found that I had to keep this all to myself. So after day 2, I never said anything about it, not even to Richard. And it just ate at me.....slowly.
Rationally, I had read enough to give me some little bit of comfort. All over the internet, other mothers warned against doing the test because of the high rates of false positives. Plus 1 in 230 means 229 times out of 230, the baby is fine. Thats a 99.56% chance that the baby is perfect right now. If I knew my odds of winning a lottery worth $1 Million were like that, 0.44%, I'd probably think nothing of throwing the ticket out. But this was different, it just hung over me like a dark cloud, always threatening to push to the front of my mind and cause all sorts of panic.
At the same time, I felt guilty for fearing this so much. So what if the baby had Downs Syndrome or some other problem? I would never think of getting rid of it. And, why should I love it any less anyway? Why couldn't I just embrace the idea of a child with extra needs? Anyway, these are just a few of the many possible problems that can arise with a baby or a child. There are so many other things that can't be predicted. I felt so wrong about it.
After about 3 weeks, I started to feel the panic rise again. I was going back for a detailed scan. And, the day before we left, I decided to lift the Googling ban to go read about that. It got me worried again because they now mentioned the scans not being completely conclusive and could cause even more worry. Did I still want to do it???
We arrived an hour before the clinic opened and then waited another half an hour. It was A.G.O.N.I.S.I.N.G. The doctor was very comforting and did a really detailed scan from the brain to the toes and everything in between. The baby is developing normally. PHEW! The relief I felt was unimaginable. I do understand that no matter what my age and what the statistics, there is always a risk of this or some other problem, but I'm comfortable now. I'm happy.