Thursday, August 23, 2012

First Trimester Screening

Yesterday was an emotionally draining day, it's amazing how sometimes highs and lows can coincide and occur simultaneously, it's hard to process everything at one time.  First and foremost, we had our first trimester screening yesterday.  We were referred to a popular MFM practice that many ob/gyn's refer to in the DC metro area.  I had the bloodwork portion of the test done last week, so that the results would be in yesterday, and we could discuss them with a genetic counselor.  We arrived for our 10:15am appointment at 10:00am, and weren't taken back until 10:45.  I had been drinking water all morning to make sure my bladder would be full for the ultrasound, so by the time we were taken back I thought my bladder was going to burst.  I asked if we could do the ultrasound first, because otherwise the genetic counselor was going to have a puddle all over her floor before long.  Luckily they were able to accommodate us and make that happen.  I was taken to a room and we got started pretty quickly.  I was holding my breath while the sonographer found the baby, and said a little prayer that that heart was still beating...and sure enough, the heart was beating beautifully, and the baby was moving around like a champ.  She started taking measurements quickly, knowing that my bladder was super full, and showed us how well the baby is developing.  The nuchal fold was measured, and it was a great measurement for the size of the baby, which enabled R and I to breathe a sigh of relief.  We got to see the blood flow in the spinal chord, which was so amazing, and we learned that the baby is measuring 5 days ahead of schedule.  We were feeling great.

We sat down with the genetic counselor and she told us that the screening was very positive.  Just the fact that the age of the egg was 28 vs my age of 36, brought the risk for major chromosomal abnormalities down drastically.  The results of the bloodwork and ultrasound were consistent with the statistics, everything is looking great.  We left the office feeling so hopeful and lucky, we decided that were going to begin sharing the news with our extended families and friends.  Of course, we had to tell our beautiful Smiley that she's going to be a big sister :)

The rest of the day was a bit of a blur, both of us went our separate ways back to work, I started sharing the news with some of my co-workers, everyone was so excited and supportive.  My boss most of all, she has exceeded all of my expectations in so many ways.  Sharing the news with friends has been amazing, we decided we would tell our close friends about using a donor egg, but limit it to that, and ask that they keep that detail to themselves.  The people that are closest to us know our history, have shared our journey with us, and are our biggest cheerleaders, even if they don't understand everything there is to know about using a donor egg, they know that it's a wonderful option in building a family.  One thing we do want to avoid, is someone in our lives who may not completely understand, opening their mouth later on and making a comment around our child about him/her being a donor egg for now, the closest of the close will know, and others, don't need to know.

So the wonderful news about the first trimester screening should have been enough for the day, but unfortunately, as things have tended to go for us, there has to bee some bad with the good.  My dad has been unhappy in his job for quite awhile, I knew that his boss was having some financial issues and couldn't afford to have my dad work a full week, but I learned yesterday that things for my dad are worse than I thought.  He himself, is having financial troubles (which is not a new thing for him) and he is asking for us to give him some money that we were holding for him (very long story that involves him avoiding debt collectors from his previous business failings).  He e mailed R asking for the money yesterday morning, and R sent him an e mail back letting him know how much he'd have remaining, and that we would not be able to lend him any money beyond that amount, given the expenses we are going to have ahead of us.  My dad was hurt, and sent me an e mail saying he was glad that R "warned him" - this all took place before the screening! Did I need that??  I completely understood where R was coming from.  When my dad's business was failing several years ago, my dad borrowed a lot of money from us, and we did not see any of it back.  We were lucky that we were able to help him a the time, but we swore that we would never do that again, especially since now we have our own family to support.  My dad understands that, and he holds onto a lot of guilt for having put us through that...but it doesn't change the fact that it did happen.

My dad has been sinking into a depression the last couple of months, he revealed to me tonight that things have been going on in his office that he hasn't shared with us, and he's spent many days unable to get out of bed.  It's so painful knowing that my dad is suffering, he's had such a terrible time since my mother died.  He's not in great physical health to begin with, but to be so depressed is not going to help matters at all.  He needs to find another job...but he's paralyzed.  He's convinced he's too old, and has no real skills that an upstanding organization would find useful.  My dad used to be a successful, confident business man, and to see him deteriorate these last 10 years has been heartbreaking.  He said that he made an appointment with a therapist, that is a HUGE step for him, given that he's shared in the past that he didn't believe in therapy.  I guess he realizes that he has to do something, or he's going to be in real trouble. 

I am trying to not allow my dad's issues to spill over into my life like they used to, but it's easier said than done.  I guess his issues and our issues need to coexist right now, but I know that I need to focus on my own health, and making sure the baby is getting what he/she needs.

The best part of our day, yesterday, was telling Smiley that she's going to be a big sister.  We picked her up from school, and as we were driving in the car, we told her.  She started laughing and clapping, and repeating, "I'm going to be a big sister!"  She has a couple of friends with baby siblings in the infant class at her school, so she has some concept of "baby sister and baby brother" but we don't think she really gets it...yet :) 


  1. That sounds like such a frustrating situation with your dad. I am lucky, I think, in that I've never had to take a parenting role toward my own parents (and probably won't for many years). It's so far beyond what you can really help with, though. I'm glad he recognizes that he may need some outside help.

    And yay for telling Smiley about the baby! I loved that part - couldn't wait, and told J much too early.

  2. What a tough situation with your father - I'm sorry you have to deal with this on top of everything else. So glad he's getting help - this is huge.

    Yay for a good anatomy scan and good genetics testing!!! I'm so happy for you! And telling Smiley about the baby - how wonderful!!!

  3. So glad for the great scan! I hope your dad can find the help he needs. It's hard to be in the middle of the generational sandwich.