(24 weeks, 6 days pregnant)
Great news- Dr. Ballet is not leaving to go anywhere!!!!!!! Woo hoo! Apparently, there was some kind of language barrier/miscommunication between Sue and myself. (I may have to rename "Sue", because I found out she is from Albania, and I'm guessing "Sue" is not a common Albanian name. Anyone have any alternate Albanian-sounding name suggestion? ...As you can tell, I didn't actually ASK her name, because then we would have to go round and round with the whole spelling thing again...)
So, I saw Dr. Ballet yesterday and had another good appointment, for the most part. We got equally good information as our first visit, but this time he was much more personable. I also love how knowledgeable and cutting edge he is with the nutrition information. It's not very common to see this in most doctors (plus he clearly practices what he preaches, which is also refreshing.) The still scary news, however, is that there are two pretty serious defects that he cannot yet rule out. They are called Tracheoesophageal Fistula (TEF)and Esophageal Atresia (EA). Basically, Peanut was not fully cooperating during the ultrasound, and was too content playing with his toes and then dropping off into a good nap (in an uncooperative position) to give the doctor a good look at his Trachea and Esophagus. Dr. Ballet's attitude during our appointment was very optimistic and upbeat, and he confirmed that he sees no heart defects. Even with the possibility of TEF and/or EA, he didn't take on a more somber tone. I Googled these things later. Either or both (sometimes they exist together and sometimes separately) would mean surgery as soon as Peanut is born. The defects cause the baby to not be able to take food into the stomach at all, or the food can be directed into the lungs via the opening between the two tubes (a fistula). Both can be corrected surgically, but there can be some lasting digestive problems as a result, and a newborn surgery scares me: a lot of tubes, oxygen, and drugs...not to mention the actual surgery portion! I AM nervous because there are a couple of small indicators that one of these defects could exist. Additionally, the presence of one or both also puts me at risk for pre-term labor. However, I am actually not obsessing about this. Dr. Ballet reminded me that the continuance of a positive attitude, good nutrition & supplementation, and plenty of rest go a long way to giving our little Peanut the best possible chances. I am really taking all of that to heart. I decided that I really need to continue to work on the positive attitude- despite all of the scary medical stuff and the fact that life brings it's own challenges (see my post on "Sleep Training"- Yikes!) I had gotten into a big argument with my Mom (over nothing worth arguing about) and it was left unresolved for a full day and it was really upsetting me. So, when I had a chance yesterday, I called her and cleared the air. I don't want that kind of stuff floating around in my already over-taxed brain right now. I am also going be praying (and asking all I know who believe in the power of prayer to join with me), that God take on these burdens and that Peanut does not have TEA or EA and that God's path for me is a full term, natural, vaginal birth to Peanut (who will hopefully have a name by then!) I really want miracles...I do.
Everything that has happened- from the positive AFP blood test to the current ultrasounds- has me questioning my intuition. I have always prided myself on having a very strong intuition (even when I don't listen) and being very in touch with my body. But, I can't access it now. I don't know if I'm trying not to listen because I'm so desperately hoping for everything to be okay with Peanut's health or if my intuition is not telling me anything or if my intuition reader is just broken or if there is just too much extra information to be able to weed through it all. It's very frustrating. When I was waiting for the results of my amniocentesis, I told a very close friend of mine that I didn't know what my intuition was telling me because of how clouded my brain was with new information...too much information. She suggested that I think about what my intuition was telling me BEFORE I got all of the information. When I thought about it, I realized that I truly thought nothing of it and thought that everything was great with the baby. She said, "Then that is your intuition." Well since then, we found out that Peanut has DS, but I've also realized that maybe my intuition wasn't wrong at all. As far as we know, there IS nothing wrong with the baby. He just has an extra chromosome. So, I'm going to try to hold onto that for now, until I feel my intuition working again.
Last thought: Tonight I spoke to the photographer who will be shooting pictures of me for his project "I'm Down With You". I had chills from head to toe over much of what he said in our short conversation. He mimicked the idea of being chosen to raise a child like this, and said that in his time working within the DS community that he has begun to wonder if they (people with DS) are really the ones with the disability... (Chills again.) I'm really looking forward to being part of his project and meeting some of these people that have changed his life and his perspective so greatly.