Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My experience with prenatal testing.

One of my first posts was my baby girls birth story.  In all honesty I think the reason I started the blog was to get my story out there.  By out there I mean taking all the emotions I had tied up in the experience and spilling them into the interweb hoping to find companions in the misery I experienced for almost 7 and a half months.  To help me justify my feelings.  Even the ones that crop up to this day.

Up till that point in my life I had never really dealt with something as hard and confusing as Isabella's prenatal testing ordeal.  With my first pregnancy I signed up for the nuchal translucency test not because I was concerned about my babies chromosome count, it was simply because the test included a ultrasound.  Any chance to see the blob with a flickering white shadow again was a chance to be taken.  I honestly did not even know what they were looking at in the NT ultrasound with Noah nor did I care.  The ultrasound at 13 weeks was a whole baby!  Complete with arms and fingers and legs and toes and they were pretty sure...A PENIS!  I left with absolutely no idea what the hell they were looking for but totally in love with my son (she was 70% sure). It was a no brainer that I would be having that additional ultrasound in any of my future pregnancies.

Fast forward two years and that future pregnancy was a reality.  The very first visit to the obstetrician and I was signed up for the nuchal ultrasound.  Little did I know that my naive notions about what this test was all about were going to be tested.  I go into detail about the experience in Bella's birth post here.  To make it simple, I did not expect to have the odds that a 55 year old woman is given that my baby could have Down syndrome.  I was 29, shocked and scared out of my mind.

It was my first chance to take all my "perfect" notions about my "perfect" family and my "perfect" babies and imagine my life maybe not as "perfect" as I thought it would be.  It is a scary notion.  The thought that you may have a baby that will not be what you expected. Not what everybody was picturing when you tell them your expecting.  Almost all of my emotions were more selfish then I could recognize at the time.  I can say that honestly, if it happened to me again, I would most likely feel the same way.  It is in our nature to surround ourselves with people that are similar to us.  People that share the same interests, ideas, and sometimes even appearance.    The idea that YOUR baby will not be in the same image that you have of yourself is, at first, terrifying and I am ashamed to admit...embarrassing.  I think maybe even more so when that idea is planted by a doctor before your baby is even here.  I had time mourn my little girl who had not even been born yet. What was I mourning?  Why was I so sad? What was wrong with me? What was wrong with her? I had not even met my daughter yet and I was already so desperately terrified of her.

It was because of all these emotions that I started a board on Babycenter just for mom's that were going through the same prenatal testing experience.  I started it thinking I would be lucky if 5 people joined.  Today that number is almost 200 and grows daily.  It is something that I am so happy I did.  I have learned so much from these women.  Women who give birth to babies with and without the predicted prenatal diagnoses that a NT can detect.  They have taught me more than I could have ever imagined and I truly wish I had read their words when I was expecting my Bella.

When I hear another mom say that the board got her through her entire pregnancy I smile with my whole heart.  It is exactly what I set out to do.  It makes me feel really good at the end of the day.  That and the son and daughter that I would have loved no matter how the hell they were born.  That is the part you don't learn till the very end of this journey.  These are your babies but they are not you.  They will all be different. They will be okay so long as you just do what you are suppose to.  Love them.  The way they are.  It is a struggle to keep your own selfish want to have a mini you running around that will get in the way but YOU WILL love them any way they are.  That is one test that does not have a false positive.

The Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound Information Group

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's that special time of year.

It is the month of October so that means two things, one, it is breast cancer awareness month and two, it is time to pump the septic system.  I know that I have mentioned this before here, but it is worth mentioning again since it causes me great distress each time.  There is just something about a big giant truck with the word SEPTIC painted across the side, sitting in your driveway with a huge hose pulled out across your lawn humming loudly while your crap gets pumped out of a buried concrete box.
a diagram for your viewing pleasure
I get the privilege of greeting this man once a year in October.  It is such a special time.  This year he came while the kids and I were outside playing.  I was just waiting for Noah to ask him what he was doing..."ohhhhh I am just here to suck all the poo out of your crap tank!"  Thankfully Noah spared me this one time.  I don't think there was any question what the man was doing in the side yard once the smell started to permeate.  Then you have to smile and wave as he gets into his truck full of horribleness.  "Have a nice day and enjoy your clean tank!  I will see you next year when you filthy animals fill it up again!"
No this is not "my" septic guy...talk about how creepy that would have been? 
Oh and you uppity town water/sewer people...your situation is pretty gross too.  I have seen where all yours ends up thanks to hubby's job building water treatment plants.  It's all gotta go somewhere.  But dude??? The crap that city folks flush down the toilet...really people?  Us septic tankers know better then that.  One tampon gets in there and you might be out two grand!

I am going to tell a little tale about a teenage girl who had a friend from the city.  All my life I was told we were not to flush any feminine hygiene products down our toilet.  It was drilled into our little heads.  That and the whole "if it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down."  I knew the deal, I knew why, but that did not make it "cool" to discuss with your new friends.  Well I learned the hard way when this city sewer girl decided that along with feminine hygiene products she would also like to flush about a roll and a half of toilet paper down the poo pot.  Thankfully the offender had gone home when the trouble began.  See, usually septic houses don't have very strong water pressure.  Wads of toilet paper the size of puppies can easily get stuck in the pipes.  About 3 hours after the offender left we see water seeping out from under the door of the downstairs bathroom onto my parents brand new hardwood floors.  The story ended with my dad in the basement, large black trash bin under the pipes, gloves up to his elbows, while he manually scooped this sopping wet catastrophe out.  I of course was called down to bear witness.  Since then I have no problem explaining that if anybody dares to flush anything besides shit down my toilet they will be personally responsible for getting it out when it lodges into a nice little corner of the poop shoot pipe.

I won't mention names but I have also heard a tale about a twenty-something year old woman being called by her father because he had just had his septic system pumped and there was a alarming number of condoms found blocking up the wholes in the leach field piping.  Mind you she hadn't lived in her fathers house for a number of years and also denies she had any part in the high volume of prophylactics.  It just goes to show you that these septic folly's can follow you around.

 I swear that having a septic my whole life has built some serious character.  :) Well that sums up this beautiful post!