Not Everything is Black and White

At nine and a half weeks along, I had my first ultrasound. That magical moment I saw that little bean growing in my belly. Right there in black and white. In that moment, I understood this unexpected surprise was real. My eyes welled up at the joy of this amazing blessing and I couldn’t wait to tell Kevin about it, as he was unable to be there. I walked out clutching the first pictures of my little one and still couldn’t believe that this actually happening to me!

I went back to work and during lunch my phone rang. It was my doctor. I answered excited and nervous, and totally unprepared for what I heard.

I was nine and a half weeks along as I thought and the size of my growing baby was right on track. However there was something that caused concern. In measuring everything the radiologist noticed that the nuchal fold, which is at the nape of the neck, was thicker than normal. It could be nothing or it could mean that there were come chromosomal issues with the baby. After all…I was considered a geriatric mother. Anyone over 32 is, apparently. And that, quite frankly, is bullshit! Yes, I was 44, so that definitely put me as an older mom, but to call me geriatric is just mean!! I knew the chances of something being wrong with the baby were higher due to my age, but to hear that something could actually be wrong was jarring.

A week or two later I met with a specialist for older moms and babies who may be facing some issues. He suggested a blood test that would show if there were any chromosomal abnormalities with the baby. Kevin and I agreed to do that, and though we were scared, we decided that unless there was something so wrong with the baby that he or she would have no quality of life at all, we would be having this baby no matter what.

About 10 days later the tests came back; and with the exception of some anomaly on the X chromosome, everything was perfectly normal. The doctor said that we could do an amniocentesis to see exactly what the anomaly was, but we decided not to take the extra risk. In 4 weeks, at our next ultrasound, the nuchal fold thickness was gone and we were looking at a very healthy baby who was growing perfectly.

On Father’s Day, we made the announcement to all, that we were pregnant. We had felt an outpouring of love and excitement from all of our family and friends. And with that, this thing was real. My belly was growing, I was starting to make plans for my baby registry and maternity leave, and all the things that all moms-to-be do, but all the while I had a little something in the back of my head that was bugging me about that anomaly on the test. I hoped everything was ok. And then I somehow convinced myself that everything was. Besides, what could possibly be wrong?

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