We decided last year (2009) that we weren't quite ready for kids-but that it felt the season was coming soon- so in a few months into the year I'd go off the pill. At my checkup after that my gynea diagnosed me with a condition which would most probably result in me struggling to fall pregnant. I was devastated of course.However after a month or so,we thought that actually we could do with a bit more time so felt comfortable that the timing was meant to be. After almost 6months I fell pregnant-after not 'trying' at all. Didn't have a clue until just over 8weeks. Did the test by complete chance(due to some woman in pick n pay!),came back positive...and went out for a glass of wine! We were suddenly terrified!!
I didn't have bad morning sickness so was overly grateful for that. We went overseas from week 10 to 12,and only got tired after that. I was clearly being looked after from above. I started to think about birth,our home,our life post baby etc! So exciting! Of course for a few months in the middle I was just pregnant,we hardly spoke about it we were just getting on with life. Its way too long to be completely drawn into it for 40weeks!!!
On 9th december 2009,we had our 22week scan scheduled.Simon and I met there,had both had chaotic mornings,I was in the middle of a workshop and remember still planning what I was going to say when I got back when I was lying on the bed. It was a looooong scan,they go through so many things.But its beautiful,seeing this creature inside you,falling asleep and then waking up and being all lively! Totally incredible! I'll never ever forget that moment. I was holding simons hand,she went over the heart and suddenly stopped talking and kept scanning over the same area. I knew something was wrong. Then she said it.'It looks like there is a hole in the heart.'-in a very nice way. I can't say my heart sank,because I was in complete shock. She then continued trying to show us what she was seeing and said that she wanted to call in her partner to confirm. She walked in,took her what felt like a split second to confirm-definitely hole,in both chambers.
They then said a few things to each other,and the partner then started chatting to us. I'm not sure how much I took in,but I heard association to Down Syndrome,amnio,would we like to know,can assess options. Left there,due back at 5pm for the amnio as we had decided that we'd rather find out. Not sure if I've ever felt like that before. Numbness all over. Wondering how something could be wrong with my perfect little bump that I'd been feeling kick for weeks. Waiting then became our game. Waiting for the amnio,waiting for results,people etc.
So I had the amnio,the longest needle ever directly into my uterus,obviously I couldn't watch. Neither could simon. In the waiting room before-hand there was a girl in tears,I thought my tears were bad! Then heard that her case was the same as ours but with further complications,at that stage I felt like ours was bad enough.
The days that followed-were filled with nothingness,yet so much. We were hoping to get the results by friday,so we chatted to a few people that we knew who were connected to DS in some way. We were now on the road of how to figure out whether we would terminate or not. We had no idea how to make that decision,and no-one really told us either. We wished we had been told. The first night we hardly slept. So many questions haunting us.
Friday came and we were clearly not going to get any results,it was then confirmed that the tests should be done by monday. I was furious,couldn't imagine going through the entire weekend trying to make the biggest decision in our lives when we didn't actually know what we were dealing with.
Those first few days I was so completely devastated, plus I was a little worried about the risk of the amnio too. Simon really looked after me. My mom was away at the time,my dad was around for one evening before he went away. A blessing looking back I think. I gave simon and I the time we needed. Our friends were incredible,our fridge suddenly had food in it,always checking up on us. Then after those days,he was just completely finished-wiped out,exhausted,almost emotionless...and I looked after him. Luckily we were never really low at the same time. Wow,amazing how these challenges bring people together.
The weekend was the best thing that ever happened to us. It really gave us such a peace(and numbers of plp were praying4us-funny that!).We had worked through so much,learnt so much-it was time to come to some conclusions. We decided to try get to an answer before we got the results,but then would review it once we heard.
It woke us up. Simons phone rang,it was Steffi - all I think she said was 'the result has come back positive for DS'.(she was as nice as she could be).He hung up and we cried.I couldn't believe it. Our lives were seriously going to change. The day was bit of a blur. We passed the message on,but didn't talk to anyone for most of the day. We went to see Steffi that afternoon-i couldn't have faulted one thing she did,she was excellent in dealing with it all along with all our questions.
I guess it doesn't matter what followed,but we stuck to our decision to keep the baby. Over that time,we had some incredibly hard conversations with others. I will never know how hard the process was for our families(and friends),but I know they just wanted the best for us. God knew what was best for us.
The termination decision for us was based on a number of questions we asked ourselves (please note-these were related to our specific case,not a black and white termination or not question). But I knew in my heart all along,that termination would destroy me forever. Some may have said it would have been a few months,but I knew it would be forever.
When I look at this gorgeous little girl now,its frightening to think that I wouldn't have her,that its this beautiful little soul that I wouldn't have given life too. I wouldn't change her for the world.
Not everyday has been easy since then, the weeks that followed are a bit of a blur. Dealing with the way people responded/didn't respond was so incredibly hard (not everyone of course).Yet,in amongst that we felt an incredible community around us who were right there for us-no matter what they thought of our decision.
I am not sure how to end my thoughts,everyday I think of another thing I hated/loved/thought about/struggled with/learnt over that time...but I guess that's what this blog is about...everything since that day...