Mommy and Brinley
We booked our first ultrasound just to make sure that all was going smoothly, little did we know that the rug would be swept out from under our feet.
We had the ultrasound on February 13th, 2013 and I got the phone call one week later. I was at home with our little girl, while daddy was at work. I heard the nurse say that everything looked wonderful and the measurements were perfect, yes that was the word that she used. I clearly remembered saying that this was all fantastic. Then the nurse said that my placenta may not be providing baby with enough nutrients and may not be able to sustain life. I thought ok, we can work with this, I will do some research and it'll all work out, because that is just how it goes....it all works out. Being the teacher that I am, I felt I needed to go over the conversation with the nurse once more just to clarify what had been said about the results. I repeated the conversation and she told me that she was ALSO saying that we had a 1:2 chance that our baby would be born with Down syndrome. I shut down, I cried, I cried hard and then heard nothing else but, amnio, CVS, testing. There was no way that our baby would have Down syndrome. Nope.
I called my OB and went in with hubby, sister and Brinley. It was a bit of a blur but I felt better after walking out of the office, I had some more information. We would meet with the genetics counsellor and discuss options, resources and educate ourselves further on chromosomes and trisomy and abnormalities........
James (hubby) and I felt that this was something that we just couldn't do. We can't raise a child with Down syndrome. This will be the rest of our lives. This will be the rest of Brinley's life. This means a whole family needs to come together and love and support and take care of this child. No way, this is too much. I cried.
The following day, I got up and realized that we could totally do this. Yes, we can!! I am educated, I am a teacher, I teach girls who are at-risk of sexual exploitation. I deal with behaviour, truancy, drugs and alcohol, the court system. I can do this. Down syndrome kids are loving and cuddly and are always happy. Who's to say that her big sister won't drop out in grade 9 and become a prostitute downtown and smoke crack with her buddies??!!! A parent's dream!! This new addition will always love us and may go to university and get a good paying job and earn lots of respect. I don't know. Is this a realistic expectation??
Later that week, the charge nurse called me and said that we were booked in for an induction that day. I lost my breath, we were booked in, to terminate the pregnancy. I told her that we had an appointment for an ultrasound the following week and needed to go and see if there are any other health concerns. The nurse fully supported our decision and felt it was a great idea to get some more information. We could of ended it all that Saturday.
Ok...maybe we can do this. We went for our 18 week ultrasound and saw that little bean flailing her arms and legs. I was amazed and in love. The tech was very thorough and kind and I was pretty sure that I saw a little 'hamburger' up on the ultrasound screen. We were having another little girl!! Ok, we can do this. we have everything. We have bins and bins of clothes in our basement and some diapers and even some jars of food. Yup, we can do it.
The doctor came in to talk to us and said that he was a bit skeptical whether or not our little girl had Down syndrome because everything looked rather perfect. He asked if we considered an amnio....well geeze, we spent almost a 1000 dollars to have the non-invasive testing done, so now why we would have an invasive test?? Wait, maybe it'll all come back normal. She does have a nasal bone and her measurements are more perfect then what her sister had in utero. Wow!! Could you imagine???!!! That trip I had to take to the hospital because I was having major panic attack a few weeks before could have been for nothing. The worry and the tears and all the upset, for nothing??? Yup, let's do it, let's do it tomorrow.
We went for the amnio and it all came back positive for Trisomy 21. Our little girl STILL has Down syndrome. Ok, I can do it. I can totally do this. I'm strong, I think. I'll talk to friends and I'll access all the resources that I can. I can't let myself get into a panic again. My little girl needs me, my hubby needs me and this little bean, needs me. I am the mother and wife and I must keep it all together for the family. Maybe I can't do this, maybe this it too much for me, for our marriage. What if Brinley gets bullied, what if her friends make fun of her for having a sister with Down syndrome? What if somebody calls the new little bean the 'R' word? What if adults make fun of her? How will I react?? What if somebody is staring at her? Will I rip them to shreds? Will I start a punching fight in the middle of Costco? I am that mother who protects her children and who would do ANYTHING to keep them safe and healthy. What if this is all too much??
I decided to go and talk to somebody. Being a teacher, I have always been on the other side of things. I fix problems. I let people cry on my shoulder. I don't get weak, I don't need to get strategies and advice on how to cope with the ups and downs of life. No way, I am Krista. The one who controls my life and takes charge.
Ok, I will go and talk to a therapist and get my thoughts in order.
Beautiful BrinleyIt went well. I felt good when I left and felt that by talking to somebody out of my network of friends and not a family member, it was a healthy and positive choice. Yup, I talked and I talked and it felt good. I told her that I over think and sometimes in the middle of the night, I wake up and feel so overwhelmed. I need to be like James and get into bed and fall asleep within seconds. Why can't I turn it off? I don't want to get all in a panic when the sun is asleep and it's all quiet in the house. I need some good strategies for when I get scared. We will work on this for the next few weeks, possibly months. I feel good about it. Everybody should talk to somebody.
So here we are at 20 weeks and still going. We are in a much better place, mentally and emotionally. We are booked for an echo on April 24th and looking forward to positive results. We have connected with a couple not far from us who have a darling little boy with Down syndrome. She is just as crazy and wild as me and her hubby is calm and grounded like James. We are getting the necessary information needed for the all of the forms that will need to get filled out. We are getting our lives in order, the best we can without losing the fun and excitement of having another beautiful, perfect little girl.
Brinley and Baby Bean's crazy dad!! :)
We are still scared and we still have concerns, this is why I have started the blog. I want to connect with other moms and I want to know your thoughts and your stories. I want to take this journey with others who are experiencing the same feelings and emotions. I want to support you, I want to cry with you, I want to laugh with you. I want to do this together.
Mommy and Brinley