Yesterday I really wanted to write a post about Thanksgiving. All the things that I should be so thankful for. My beautiful children, my husband, my most fortunate life that I have the opportunity to live and so often feel like I don’t deserve. I keep hearing the Sandy stories and my heart just hurts for them. So what am I thankful for? With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I am so thankful for so many things. I’m so lucky, so very lucky and then other times, I’m just not. But today, I just cry. I don’t even know why I’m crying. It’s an overwhelming, gasping for air crying and I can’t stop. I keep trying to refocus. There are bigger things in life… bigger things than me. But I can’t today.
Last night, my husband got mad at me when he realized I posted about the results of First Trimester Screening. He yelled at me that I can’t keep anything a secret (I don’t think he meant to yell)… and then he said it so loud I can’t stop the echoing in my head… What if the baby has Down syndrome? Everyone knows because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. The thought behind his words were so evident, unspoken and yet the words I didn’t want to hear. I wanted to scream. I wrote because I can’t talk to him about it, I can’t talk to anyone, and I just wanted it in print, so it was real. Am I suppose to feel ashamed? What if my baby has down syndrome? I had to write it, if even for me and for the baby. If I hadn’t, I’m afraid if the baby does has Down Syndrome, it will get buried, like a big secret and swept away. Told that I should forget about it and move on (again).
I wanted to tell him about all the hope and amazing outpouring of support everyone has given me. The words of encouragement, their personal stories that give me hope. Unfortunately that’s what got him yelling at me in the first place, when I mentioned a friend shared their similar story. Her story, a glimmer of hope because she and her family defied the odds. Those fateful ratios were nothing to her now complete and beautiful family. It was one of many that friends chose to share with me privately and I wanted to channel their success stories, to be one of the 5%. I feel like he’d be even more mad that people are giving me false hope. I know he’s scared too, but his way of handling things is too black and white for me. That we should just know better. But why can’t we for once be that 5% false positive? Is it so wrong to hope?
What if the baby has Down syndrome? The question I’ve been so afraid to ask him. I’m afraid of living this again. Being treated like a baby who doesn’t know what’s good for her. I’m afraid he’ll say that we should terminate. Or even worse, not say anything but resent me all the way. I’m scared, I can’t say that I’m not. But knowing whether or not the baby has Down syndrome for me isn’t a choice about terminating or not. It’s whether or not I will be a good enough mother for this baby. I once resented my sister for saying this to me, but “God only gives you as much as you can handle.” This time I really want to believe and yet I’m terrified.
This pregnancy was a surprise, and part of that surprise has me wistfully thinking that he or she is simply meant to be. He/she has definitely not made it easy for me to forget his/her existence with prolonging bouts of nausea and now these pesky palpitations that has sleep evading me. I can’t be suffering through all of this for nothing right? I love those moments when I allow myself to forget about the results and focus on birth day. The anticipation of whether the baby is a he or a she. The restructuring of the house once we know. Thinking about who will be my dream team at the delivery of our last and final baby. Making sure it’s only the best for my little one. This was going to be the pregnancy we always wanted, a happy one. These thoughts make me happy if even for a brief moment.
Then there is the heart palpitations. Premature Ventricular Contractions, aka PVC’s according to my doctor. They are supposedly benign, but only to those who don’t have to experience them hundreds of times a day. To me, they feel like my heart is in my throat, beating rapidly and fast. Every now and then, it just stops… pauses… and then double beats to make up for the one it missed. That pause, is excruciating. I feel like I can’t breath for that brief second. I have them all day long now. Some stronger than others, some definitely more noticeable and some definitely more bearable, the few moments I can forget everything. I went to see a cardiologist yesterday who didn’t think it was stress induced but I disagree. Unless I just simply feel them amplified when I’m upset or have a minute to just rest and let my mind wander.
I wanted today to be about Thanksgiving but instead my heart is broken. I’m going to chalk today up to a bad day. Wednesday is D-day. A day filled with appointments. My regularly scheduled prenatal appointment, my genetic counseling appointment which I am dreading, to my amniocentesis, and ending with an echo-cardiogram. A day packed with anticipation for answers, hope for the best and those pesky little nervous butterflies. Here’s hoping for a better day and a better week to come.