Daily Archives: March 24, 2011

A Happy Announcement

If you’ve been following me here or on Twitter, you know that life has been pretty bad the past few months. There have been some major health issues in the family that we’ve had to deal with. One of those directly involved me and an awful lot of hospitals for five months. Well, we are relieved to say that this particular health issue has mostly been cleared up.

In fact, the boy has an announcement for you. He’d like you to meet his baby sister:

She’ll be joining us in late July. The boy was thrilled yesterday when the doctor at the ultrasound told him that he was indeed getting exactly the kind of baby he’d ordered.

For the past five months we’ve been struggling with some uncertainties. First of all, it took us ages to conceive again, as those of you who can do math and know that the boy is about to turn six have no doubt noticed. When we finally did conceive, we decided to be prudent and wait out the first trimester, as we’ve had our hopes raised and crushed before. My OB, after looking at my history and physical health, recommended that we skip the usual first round of screenings and go directly to the amniocentesis, as she was sending me for the amnio come what may and the first round of results (usually inconclusive for someone of my age) would just tell us to move on to the amnio anyway. So we decided to wait until we had those results back before we shared the news.

Except the results that came back were, frankly, scary, and confirmed our decision not to share the news of our pregnancy right off the bat. And the results weren’t false positives, either. There was some sort of genetic aberration that didn’t match any of the main things they test for. And so, HRH and I had to scramble and go for more tests so they could do a genetic profile for each of us to see if we’d passed something odd along to the baby. At this point we were betting on superpowers, figuring that they’d isolated the mutant X-factor gene if it wasn’t one of the immediately identifiable defects they test for. But even after the genetic profiles had been compared the results were kind of weird, so today HRH and I went in for a session of genetic counselling where they spread a bunch of papers and charts out on a table for us and walked us through the results and what they might mean. Those results told us that there is a high, high chance that our baby will be perfectly fine, which was the answer we’d been looking for. But there was still that… weirdness.

It turns out that HRH is perfectly normal. (You have to know he was slightly disappointed.) I, on the other hand, am a genetic freak in the nicest kind of way. Because of the genetic profiling of the parental DNA, they discovered that I have the same genetic aberration that my daughter does, only more of it. Now, this was actually very good news, because we (meaning all of us here plus the medical community) consider me pretty normal, so chances are stupendously good our daughter will be, too. There’s one last test that we submitted blood for today (I tell you, I have given more blood in the past six weeks than I did in the entire previous decade) that will wring the last possible bit of information from the baby’s chromosomal oddity, and give us every chance to be prepared for what it might indicate.

This has, to say the least, been very stressful. I am lucky in that I had a couple of people to listen to me wring my hands when I needed to and basically grump at them about how frustrating it was to have been held back for over two extra months from being able to share this news with confidence. We haven’t been able to fully relax and enjoy this pregnancy because there has always been the uncertainty about the baby’s development and health. There were some pretty horrific scenarios that we had to talk through and make provisional decisions about, scenarios, I am glad to say, that have not come to pass. We are thrilled to be finally able to share this news, and to be happy about our growing family. And honestly, we’d make the same decisions again about not sharing the news until we were as secure as possible about the baby’s health.

The boy is pretty happy, too.

I am still considered a high-risk pregnancy for various reasons and being treated for such, which is frustrating because I feel great. (Mind you, I felt great in the last pregnancy, too, until, well, it ended in a baby two months early.) At least I haven’t been put on bed rest, although it came close until my doctor realised that I work at home, so we’ve dodged that bullet for now. In fact, while we were worried about how my fibro would impact a pregnancy, we have discovered that it has actually eased some of the fibro symptoms. So no, I was not thoroughly exhausted this winter because I was pregnant; the pregnancy actually allowed me to sleep, something that doesn’t happen well normally, and seems to have somewhat eased the muscular exhaustion issue I deal with on a daily basis. Energy levels and mental fog were at a normal fibro low this winter, not made any worse.

There. That’s about all the news we’ve got for you. We hope you’re as thrilled as we all are.