Friday, June 14, 2013

Some Sweetness Today

I woke up this morning determined that today was going to be a good day, and that today I wouldn't sit in the dark agonizing over something I can't control. So far, it's going well.

Today marks eleven months since Justin and I said "I do". I can't believe it's almost been a year since I put on a white dress and became his wife. We have plans for dinner and a movie tonight, which will be wonderful. I need to get out of the house. He also did some major cleaning and organizing last night while I typed yesterday's post and felt Jellie Bean's little flutters against the inside of my tummy. I was so preoccupied with the events of the past few days and trying to get clawing feelings out into words that I didn't even notice what he was doing until he was almost done - so thank you, sweet husband, for all that you do.

Justin has the day off today, so we'd been spending the morning just enjoying each other's company: laughing, talking, and fending off Sadie kisses.

And then the phone rang.

I felt that flush of hot, red panic rush through me again as I answered.

It was the nurse who gave me the bad news on Wednesday. The final report from my anatomy scan was in.

She didn't take a huge breath, or let out a massive sigh this time, but it still felt like ages before she gave me the news.

Everything looked beautiful.

Little Jellie Bean's profile!
Jellie Bean's heart, lungs, and all of her other organs were healthy, strong, and functioning well, and she didn't have one single marker for Down Syndrome.

This doesn't mean that we're out of the woods yet, though, as some babies will have no indication of a problem via ultrasound, but will be born with Down Syndrome or another birth defect.

But, the nurse told me that this was very reassuring, that it gave me better odds for a baby without Down Syndrome, and that I can breathe a bit easier now as I wait for my appointment on Monday.

Since my head was clearer today than it was when she gave me the call on Wednesday, I was able to ask her some very important questions that I wasn't able to ask when I got the initial news. And I am sure glad I asked...

When a quad screen is done, labs are supposed to factor in not only the hormones in your blood and the baby's gestational age, but also the mother's age, race, weight, and whether or not she has insulin-dependent diabetes. Also, if a crown to rump measurement from an ultrasound scan is available, that measurement is to be sent in with the blood sample as well.

I can say with confidence that my doctor's office knows that I am a 22-year-old white female weighing approximately 185 pounds, and I can also say with confidence that my doctor's office has measurements of Jellie Bean.

But for whatever reason, none of these factors were used in establishing the 1 in 12 ratio I was given on Wednesday afternoon. Not even my age which (considering I'm a pretty young mother), you think would kind of be a...oh, I don't know...HUGE DEAL.

My 1 in 12 ratio came solely from sweet Jellie Bean's gestational age of exactly 19 weeks at the time of the blood test, and my hormone levels, particularly elevated HCG (also known as the pregnancy hormone). I'm sure the fact that my hormone levels are completely out of whack due to suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum was not taken into account for this ratio, either.

So ladies, if you ever decide to get a quad screen (and I'm not even sure if that's a good idea, given the false positive rate, and the irresponsible way the test is apparently being done), make absolutely certain that ALL of these extremely important factors are being included in the calculation of your risk ratio.

Now I wait, not knowing what the true odds of Jellie Bean having Down Syndrome are, but knowing that they are already better than 1 in 12. If that number goes up only to 1 in 13, I will still have all the more reason to get down on my knees in gratitude to God, just as I have upon hearing this good news, and just as I have ever since learning this sweet little girl is growing inside of me.

We'll get a better idea of that number when we see the perinatologist on Monday, and will decide from there whether or not an amniocentesis is the right choice for our family.

Thank you all for your love and support, and please continue to keep us in your prayers as we continue on this journey.

Much Love,

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