...and if the MaterniT21 Plus test can be believed, we are having a healthy baby boy.
Why do I say "if"?
Well, I'm me, you know. Mrs. Agony, at your service.
When I got the call this morning, just as I was about to leave for work, I was a little shaky. Then the nurse told me that the test was negative for all of the bad stuff, and before I could even process that she said, "And it looks like - wait, do you want to know what you're having?"
"Yes," I said.
"The test is consistent with characteristics of a male."
I'd expected this, so it wasn't a shocker. In fact, I would've been MORE shocked if it had been a girl.
I called Mr. Hope, who'd left less than five minutes earlier. I told him the test was negative. Then I said, "We're having a [insert male name here]."
"No!" he said.
"Yep," I said.
"I guess we're going for a sibling then?"
"Let's get through this one first," I said. "Then we can talk about going again."
I got in the car. I started driving to work.
It's hard to explain what I was feeling. I'd spent most of the past week terrified that our baby would have a trisomy that was incompatible with life. It was all-consuming, thinking of this. It wouldn't matter if it was a girl if the baby wasn't meant for this world.
So there was overwhelming relief about that.
There was also a kind of flatness. I wasn't sad, or upset, or even disappointed. Resigned, maybe? I kept saying it was going to be a boy, because I wanted a girl so badly. That's just how things work in my world. So I'd been steeling myself for a boy.
"You want too much," Glam Coworker admonished me later. "After everything you've been through...just stop talking."
"Little boys are adorable," Fellow Preggo said. "Just wait. You'll fall in love the minute you lay eyes on him."
But that is not what this is about. It's really not. I am obsessed with Precious Pup. Obsessed. I know it will be worse with a tiny human. I know I will love this child with every fiber of my being.
When I think about why I wanted a girl, it's less about cute dresses and Barbie dolls and more about getting the chance to re-parent myself. I texted a couple of people about being disappointed that I wouldn't get the chance to be the mom I never had. But you will! they told me. But they weren't getting it. Because so much of that, psychologically, is tied up in getting a do-over for myself.
Is that selfish? I know that's one reason Mr. Hope wanted a boy. It can't be that uncommon.
So then I started Googling to see if there was any way the test was wrong about the sex of the baby. It's 97% accurate. Not 100%. There are plenty of stories of women who had the test tell them one sex and then on the level 2 u/s discovered they're having the other. And then I thought, "It would so be in the spirit of everything I've been through on this journey to get all excited about having a little boy and then, in week 18, discover that we're actually having a girl."
And then I went down the rabbit hole. If the test could be wrong about the sex, and could produce false positives for a bunch of different reasons, could it also produce false negatives, too?
I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this. But if not, the answer is yes. False negatives happen. Women think they're having perfectly healthy babies and give birth to ones who have heart defects that require weeks of surgeries once they're born.
The fear that gripped me as I was reading these things was overwhelming. You are never safe. Never. I thought this test would make me feel better, but really, all it did was make me feel like I have a false sense of security.
So now I want to call tomorrow and see if I can still get an NT scan in over the next two weeks. I want to do all of the noninvasive screenings that my insurance will cover. If no markers come up on any of those, I'll feel better. Maybe.
Glam Coworker told me not to steal Mr. Hope's joy. She told me I had no right to worry him with my anxieties and fears. But I am not good at keeping things from Mr. Hope. And he knows who he married.
So on the ride home from work I called and told him about the rabbit hole and my fears and how I wish I could stop feeling terrified all the time. How I hate being this person. I started crying.
He gets it. And he comforts me the best he can. But I still feel like this raw, gaping wound that just. won't. heal.