Wednesday, November 16, 2011

21 Weeks and Limbo

Just for the record, I was able to be quite zen about the echoflouresence of the bowl they saw in the ultrasound for almost 4 days.  That is pretty much a record for me on needing to know the facts and doing research.  The googling was a very bad idea.  I've since cut myself off.  Really, what did I expect to find?  Rainbows and butterflies?  There's a whole lot of info out there about what it could mean -- everything from maybe nothing, to bowl obstructions that require surgery to Downs syndrome to Trisomy 18 and other non-life compatible issues.  WOW.  Just what I didn't need -- something to obsess about and get all twisted up with hormones and the lovely mood swings that come with being preggers.  I've talked myself off the ledge, mostly, but still have intense moments where I get overwhelmed that this baby we wanted so much and wished/prayed/worked so hard for might end up not surviving.

On one hand I think it's beaten the odds several times already -- made it to a viable embryo, survived thawing, implanted, grew when it looked like it wouldn't and so on -- so it's made of hardy stuff.  On the other hand I think about how much more crushing it will be to discover extreme issues this late in the game.  How would I survive a loss now?  I guess I would, that's what you do, find ways to grieve, deal with loss and continue to live, but it is almost unthinkable.

I've tried to talk to Tim about it, but he just doesn't process things the same way I do and we end up at cross-purposes.  He's not logical about things like this -- preferring to say things like "I'm sure they made a mistake and it wasn't really there."  That makes absolutely no sense to me to look at it that way, and it feels like he's dismissing my logical thought progression, causing my head to explode.  I think he feels I keep pushing the bad stuff on him and he doesn't want to take it on, even when I'm just trying to talk it out. . . so in the end we just can't talk about the what-ifs yet.  I have come to realize that things need to be much more concrete for him before he'll start to work through the problem.  For example, with Stella's pregnancy he didn't even want to talk about names until we knew the sex of the child.  He finally realized he had to when she was not cooperative and we were getting into the 3rd trimester without knowing if she was a boy or a girl.  Until he realized the baby was coming in a few weeks he refused to do much with the lists I had started.

Follow up ultrasound on the 21st -- to have another practice do the test and have new eyes on it.  I'm preparing myself for the fact that we're not likely to have resolution with this one.  The most probable outcome is that we'll see some of it or (God forbid) other soft markers of issues and need to discuss next steps with the doctors.  The only way to know for sure if there is anything out of the ordinary is amnio.  We're not ready to go there yet due to the risks, but there may be a case where it makes sense to do later when the risks are lower.

We're in the middle of the pregnancy with neither the intensity of beginning or ending.  There is the sense of not knowing and foreboding that creeps in when I don't keep pushing it away and the feeling that it will take forever to get to the end of the pregnancy.  The time has changed and the days are getting darker and shorter.  We all have colds and feel crappy, including Stella.  Ugggg, all of this contributes to the sense of being in suspended animation.  I'm praying a lot and trying to take better care of myself to get through the hump -- not sure what will work exactly, but I'll keep trying!  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ultrasound! with pictures :-)

We had such hopes for the 19 week ultrasound this time.  It goes without saying we wanted to see a healthy baby that was growing like it should.  All the right parts in the right places and no signs of anything amiss.  We also really wanted to learn the sex of the baby.  I'm a planner and it's just easier to know if you're having a boy or a girl.  Plus, I thought it might help Stella to understand that her world is changing if we could talk about a new brother or sister specifically. 

Tim wasn't able to go to the ultrasound due to school, but Katie was in town for a long weekend and got to see it with me.  I took a card with me because we asked the tech to pictures and a note if she was sure of the sex.  Katie and I looked away while she did that part, so no one would know until Tim and I opened the envelope.  This baby was much more cooperative and the tech could tell very quickly -- in fact she was 99.5% sure what the sex was.  Yahoo!  I was so excited when she handed me the envelope and the other pictures. 

The baby looked great and was moving around well. They did see one sign that could be a soft marker for chromosomal abnormalities -- something that sounded like echofloursence of the abdomen or gut.  So we'll have another ultrasound the week of Thanksgiving.  This time at the hospital so another tech does it to see if they see anything similar.  All the sequential screening came back negative, and they even used my current age, not the age I was when they collected the eggs, so those scores will only go more negative.  I'm not going to worry (really!) until we have the next ultrasound to see if they see anything else.  The only definitive test would be an amniocentesis.  Tim and I agree that there would have to be really strong signs that something was really wrong -- something we would need to be prepared for at birth before we'd take the 1:200 risk of miscarriage of a healthy pregnancy.  This is our last baby and last chance, no need to take unnecessary risks. 

I got lunch for us and met Tim at school.  In his classroom we looked at the pictures together and learned we are having a boy!   Awesome -- the Kirk last name will live on and Stella will have a brother.  I love my daughter and would have been ecstatic to have another daughter, but I'm glad to be having a son.  I can't wait to see what he looks like and how his personality develops.  Stella has pretty much been herself since day one, so I can already tell this baby will be different.  He was cooperative at the ultrasound and is already moving around -- plus he'll have Stella for a big sister, and that's gotta count for something!  Tim has been an awesome daddy to his little girl, but I know he's excited to have a son too.  He has been sure this baby was a boy all along.  I didn't know if it was wishful thinking or if he really had a gut feeling -- but either way he was right! 

Don't be too upset by the picture below -- I promise I'll keep the penis shots of the baby to a minimum!  This angle is as if you were looking up at a seated person from under the chair.  The rounded edge of the butt is to the right and the legs are sticking out to the left.  The "boy parts" are in the middle between the legs :-) 

Now on to the real work -- getting our name list together.  Since Stella and Sarah both start with S (not done on purpose) we are thinking of T names so the boys both have names that start with T.  Josh suggested Tiberius as in James T. Kirk of Star Trek fame.  I think it has a nice ring to it, but Tim's not going for it!  We won't tell people names or even the list, because I don't think we'll be totally sure until we see him. 

I'm still terribly fatigued, but the doc assures me that this is completely normal.  Even if no one really talks about it.  Especially with a toddler at home and working full time, he's not surprised or worried.  I feel great today because I got lots of sleep this weekend with Katie taking on Stella duties and doing some special auntie things with her.  They play well together.  Stella now will say Katie and calls Jake by name.  Good weekend in the Kirk house!