The number showed up on the phone as "General Hospital." Hmmm. That's weird. Who would be calling us from the hospital? Turned out to be my OB.
"Indy, I got your test results back. The results indicate that you have a one in five chance of your baby having Down's Syndrome. I need you to schedule an amnio immediately."
Gulp. Breathe. Try to talk. "One in five?" "Yes. One in five."
Time stopped. I could barely breathe. I couldn't get off of the phone fast enough.
I had the standard old lady tests for my pregnancy, the quad screen. Being an optimist, I didn't think again about them. But today, I was stopped in my tracks.
At first, I cried and tried to not pass out. I just kept repeating "One in five" over and over again. Tears fell as I walked around looking for my husband's phone number. Too in shock to remember it. Husband was in a meeting. Tears continued to fall. I tried to remember to breathe and called my sister. Luckily she calmed me down and I could talk without crying.
My husband finally called me back and he could tell right away that something wasn't right. He agreed that we were going to have an amnio to know for sure. I need to know what I am dealing with and I need support. We have to know. I cannot wait another 21 weeks to find out the answer.
Last week I had a little discussion with my favorite aunt. She is very conservative and pro-life. I am very liberal and support abortion rights. We even talked about what I would do if my doctor ever said there was a problem with my blood test. I told her last week that while I support a woman's right to choose, I could never choose that for myself. Today, I know that it is true in my heart. I know it like I never thought I would know it. Abortion will never be an option for me.
So all day, I wasn't sure whether to share or not. When I write about the Snuggie or sex-ed books, I am showered with advice and suggestions. I am not in the mood for either this time. As my title states, I am just saying. I am not up for one on one discussions about it. I don't want to hear about your experience with these tests and false positives. We all have friends that have gone through this. None of the stories will change the feelings I am going through. So please, try to keep them to yourself or call a friend. But, please do not call or leave me suggestions about it. I hope you understand. I do. My hope is that someone will read this some day when they are going through this and it will help them through the process.
Tomorrow at 3:30 is my amnio. The results take about 10 days. I will keep you posted. I have read a lot about Down's. I know that if I have a baby with Down's that I will be blessed with the love of a very special child. I know it will be hard as hell. I know I don't want to do it but I would. I found this little story that I just loved. I read it years ago and it was comforting to read it again today.
WELCOME TO HOLLAND
by Emily Perl Kingsley.
c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy.
You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.
The Open Road
4 years ago