So it’s been awhile since I have posted. Not much news in the baby department outside of the usual doctor appointments. Karen has said the baby has been very active, she feels her swishing all the time. Even the doctors agree as they always have a tough time getting her to sit still in order to check things out.
This past Monday we had our 20-week anatomy scan. Well, 19-week since they bumped us up on account of the DS test. Had we not done the DNA test, this would have been the first time they would have checked for the ‘soft markers’ associated with DS and other symptoms. We were happy to hear that our little one only showed one of those markers…..a bright bowel. Everything else checked fine. The heart, her facial features, her limbs, all checked fine. While this is all hopeful news, the doctor cautioned us that this doesn’t necessarily mean she has or does not have DS, it’s just the markers are not showing up. We still have to account for the positive scan result from the DNA test.
So call us cautiously optimistic. We have an EKG in a week to get a better picture of her heart. Hopefully the positive news continues. 🙂
It’s now been over a week since we received the news that our baby tested positive for Downs. While we’re still coming to grip with it, we have turned towards a more positive outlook. We’ve researched it more and have spoken to our doctors who have laid out what we can expect in the coming weeks. Anatomy scans to see if & how extreme some of the physical signs of Downs are. So all thoughts and well-wishes would greatly be appreciated in hopes that our little one won’t be too affected as they grow. We will obviously deal with whatever comes our way, but a less stressful upbringing on the baby would be a blessing.
A big help this past week has been the outpouring of support we have received from all the family & friends we have told. We’ve discovered a lot of personal connections others have had with Downs and how those people are living complete, loving, fulfilling lives. While we have not gone full-blown public yet, just knowing we have so much support to begin with has helped ease a lot of our concerns.
A common phrase being repeated to us as we let people know is ‘if anyone could do it, it’s you guys’ or ‘God picked the right people to give such a special child’ or something along those lines. And while we greatly appreciate it, I sometimes fear or worry about not living up to that image. Let’s face, nobody’s perfect. I think we’re doing a great job raising our oldest child Ailsa, but we still have moments of weakness where we lose our composure. I worry that with a special needs child those instances will occur more often, even with all the support we have. I hope/pray that God gives me the strength and willpower to deal with everything that comes our way. I know he will but I hope to keep it all together so I can somewhat reach that image people have of us.
When I first created this blog a few years ago, I had planned to use it as a vehicle to write all the stories, experiences, lessons, whatever I encountered as I raised my daughter, Ailsa. I had planned to post as often as I could, turned out that meant hardly ever. With so many things going on, both personally & professionally, I had little time to put it all down on paper..well, e-paper. I often told myself I would write more if and when a certain situation arose. Well, that time is now.
A little backstory, a few years ago my Karen & I decided to try for baby #2. Ailsa was old enough and we felt we were ready to bring in a new addition. It turns out this time around did not go as smoothly as when we got pregnant with Ailsa. Numerous tries resulted in negative results. After a year or so of trying, we decided to seek out medical help because obviously something wasn’t meshing. Even then it took almost another full year of trying before we finally were able to nail down the problem. It seems the scarring from my wife’s C-section for Ailsa had attached to her tubes, thus causing blockages that prevented anything we created. A surgery later and we tried our second IVF procedure. Then…success.
I remember the call from my wife, she said ‘hello Daddy’. Elation is an understatement,considering we were already expecting bad news since all the signs of the previous IVF (which failed) were showing. But this time it worked. It was actually Father’s Day weekend, talk about the perfect gift.
So we ventured down the pregnancy path once more. Appointments came and went, and things proceeded according to plan. Along the way, our doctors suggested we (well Karen) have a Free Cell DNA test done. With Karen being over 35, they considered her to be advanced age & high-risk. These tests are done to test for such genetic diseases as Down Syndrome and other more serious afflictions. We were offered the same test with Ailsa, however Karen was younger and thus our insurance did not offer to cover the pricey test. This time around, they did. So Karen had the testing done. They said they’d call in 7-0 days with the results. We waited.
The call came just this past Wednesday, the same day as our appointment with our regular doctor. The moment is etched in my brain forever. Karen immediately tearing up as she mouthed the words ‘Down Syndrome’ to me. I was crushed. I sat back on the couch feeling completely numb. Not knowing what to do or where we would go from here. I thought back to the call Karen made to me when we first found out we were pregnant with Baby #2. Talk about two extremes.
You immediately think, well the test is wrong. It has to be. They say it’s 99% likely it will happen. Do you hold out hope of your baby being in that 1%? Or do you accept your fate and move forward? Bracing yourself for what the future will hold. I chose option 2. I immediately hit the internet and found a wealth of positive information on DS. Stories left & right of people who have this condition who live happy, fulfilling lives. Not only just the individual, but their families as well. As I read these stories my fears subsided. I knew we would have a challenge ahead of us, but what child isn’t a challenge? Raising a child is always a challenge. This will just be a different kind of challenge.
Also what helped ease our minds was the outpouring of support we received from all of our families & friends. In such a short time as well. Co-workers sharing stories of personal connections they have to DS as well as other, more serious, conditions. Telling us those individuals are happy, successful, and able to function like everyone else. We grow more & more confident each day that we will be fine and be able to welcome our new baby into the world and shower her with love and help her grow.
A quick final thought before I end this post. I will expand on this thought in a later post, but for now I just want to get it out there that I have no doubt in my mind Ailsa will be the best big sister and be our strongest ally as we raise our baby. We always said how loving and accepting she was to everyone she met and well we now know how extra awesome that is. She will love her sibling like no one else could and be an excellent guide through life. She won’t let a thing happen to her sibling that’s for sure.
So that’s it for now. This blog will now shift in a direction that will share our lives as we prepare to welcome an extra special person into the world. We know we will have so much support for everyone around us and I just want to say from the bottom of my heart as we start down this journey….Thank You!
So I decided to give this blog thing another shot. I had one started a few years back, but other more important things came around and the blog got pushed down to slot #57 or so. My daughter was born and enjoying her early moments in life took precedent to any ramblings I might have had about bad drivers, beer, or sports.
But as my daughter grows, I find I have some free time. Especially if Sofia the First is on, Ailsa finds that and I’m good for a few hours. So here I sit, throwing my hat back into the blogosphere. Will anyone else outside of myself read these? Probably not. Do I care? Definitely not. But it’s a way to speak my mind and try and gather what goes on in this cranium of mine.
What will my posts be about? Who knows, most likely my daughter & fatherhood. But I may throw in a sports post or a beer post, to show I do have at least three interests. So like the Joker said, Here…we….go…..