Thursday, May 14, 2015

the results are in...

...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.


  1. The anxiety can completely consume you. I keep telling myself that whenever we make it past the first trimester I'll be able to breath and enjoy pregnancy and being a parent. But the more logical side of me knows that won't be the case.

    The anxiety and worrying about your child will never go away and you should 't feel ashamed or bad for having those emotions. I would assume that it's more a matter of figuring out how to cope and deal with them.

    Congratulations on a healthy little boy. Try your best to relax and enjoy this information as much as you can. Hugs!

    1. You know, I always thought the same thing - that if I could make it to 12/13 weeks, I'd feel better. But I'm just anxiety-ridden about different things now. Sara always talks about that - how the anxiety morphs - and she's 100% right in that. But I am trying to be more at peace.

  2. Congratulations on the results! Enjoy them!

  3. Oh honey congrats! It's hard but just try to assume everything is ok. All signs point to yes!

    1. I'm so used to being the rare case that I think I focus on what happens in rare cases (if that makes sense). Maybe in another week or two I'll feel more at ease.

  4. It's a journey to find peace with pregnancy, or that's been my experience anyway. Your brain has every reason to expect bad news because that's all that's happened in the past. Hang in there! I hope as each day passes you'll feel a little more confident, happy, connected.

    1. Thank you, Sara. I hate that I default to catastrophe. I'm sure being crazy hormonal isn't helping.

  5. In this world of IF, struggle, loss and the information that is available to us, it's no wonder you have this anxiety. We don't have the luxury of floating around with assumptions that everything is fine. We've seen, read and been through too much to know that there's all sorts of things that can go wrong. I wasn't convinced at my NT scan once I googled the results so I had to scramble to get the blood test done, too. My step-son passed his anatomy scan with flying colors but it turns out he has a major heart issue that wasn't discovered until he was a day old. I know you feel all consumed and part of that is the pregnancy hormones. The other part is waiting for the other shoe to drop because you don't know how NOT to expect it to drop. Good things DO happen. You are on the right path to a healthy baby boy (eek!) so just take it one day at a time. Given your level of anxiety at this stage I'm going to stick my nose in where it probably doesn't belong. You should definitely speak to your OB about anti-anxiety meds once the baby comes. You are a prime candidate for PPA/PPD. Once you are in the throws of it, it's hard to see it and I'd hate for you to suffer if you don't have to. PPA sucks the life out of you. I went through it (I still have it to an extent) and I didn't know it even existed. I wish I had because I thought I was going crazy. If you plan for it and then you are fine, great. But planning for it might be a sanity saver. Get all the non-invasive tests you want that will help you feel better. You are the mom and it's your child and your state of mind. Big ((hugs)) to you.

    1. You're so NOT overstepping here. I work with a psychiatrist already and meet with her at the end of the month for another check-in, and I work with a therapist who has already talked to me about PPA/PPD. So it makes sense why you would say the same thing.

      And I do think hormones/meds are part of the problem right now. I was reading up on prednisone withdrawal and mood swings and depression are high on the list. I spent three months on prednisone, so the weaning was going to be tough no matter what. Two nights ago I felt crazy (like, throwing the remote control across the room because cable was hiccupy and howling over it - literally howling). And on top of that I stopped the estrogen earlier this week so I know my body is like hormone stew and completely out of whack.

      And you're right - the curse of awareness makes everything harder when you've spent years battling IF. This is why I love having a community of people like you to talk to about this stuff. Because you get it. You've been there.

  6. I am glad the results came back good! I think anxiety about something is always there in pregnancy and parenting. A little boy will be different from what you want but it is still a good chance to raise another human the way you want to and to have a mother child relationship that will be fulfilling.

    1. I know. And this is dumb but I keep saying to myself, "You adore Precious Pup, and Precious Pup is a boy, ergo you will adore a tiny human that is a boy, too." And I know I will.

      I think if Mr. Hope and I knew for sure we were going for a second I wouldn't care so much. With a second, I could pretty much spend extra money to make sure I only transfer girl embies. This is an actual possibility. So if I could get there - getting okay with going for a second when I'm 41 - I don't think I'd even care that I'm having the boy first. A boy first means a protective big brother. You know?

      Our house isn't big enough to have two kids here. At least not without building a second bathroom. So really, deciding on two isn't just about saying POOF! WE'LL GO FOR TWO! It's committing to fixing up our house enough to sell it. Buying a new one. Eventually paying for day care for two. Etc. Etc.

    2. I think you need a second bathroom anyway, just because you will be sharing with 2 males in the future, and boys are messy!! Even if taught to put the seat down, they still somehow manage to miss the bowl from time to time!