Apparently, the baby can start to hear around twenty weeks so starting week twenty, I’m going to say these two statements to him over and over again:
1. No one will ever love you more than your mother.
2. If you say you're going to call a woman, you’d better f*cking call her.
The woman doing the sonogram asked my husband and me if we wanted to know the sex of the baby and we both said yes. She said that if she was able to see anything, she’d let us know. Five minutes later, she went, “WHOA! You still want to know the sex???” We knew immediately that it had to be a boy with that reaction. I mean really? Who says “Whoa!” to a vagina other than perhaps Joey Lawrence? Man, what a crappy catch phrase that was, huh? Damn you writers from BLOSSOM. Damn you straight to hell.
Right after the appointment, my husband made a list of all the things he can't wait to do with his son: Go to a baseball game, play catch, show him STAR WARS, etc. He also turned to me and very seriously said, "And think! You'll probably catch him masterbating when he's thirteen!" Uhhh, thanks? Frankly, I'd rather go to a baseball game. Yikes.
I’m also happy (and relieved) to report that the family member I spoke about in my last post (see here) did eventually email back. She thanked me for acknowledging her recent loss, she shared how she’s been dealing with it and she was generous enough to wish me only the best.
One thing she shared with me that I feel I MUST share with you was that when she returned to work after her loss, almost all of her co-workers avoided her and in some cases, wouldn’t even look at her. This absolutely breaks my heart as you know it wasn’t because she did anything wrong as much as it was that they didn’t know what to say. In my last post, where I debated whether or not you should acknowledge when someone loses a baby, I still think it’s a case by case basis, however, to totally avoid the person is unconscionable. Seriously – on what planet do people honestly believe that’s the best response? “Oh look… there’s that person who recently had a heartbreak. Quick! Let me run in the other direction!” Nice.
And I did end up getting an amniocentesis. I know so many of you were against that and it amazed me how many Tweets, emails, comments and even advice I got from people I work with about not doing it. To be extra clear – I was just as concerned and hesitant as many of you. I had three lengthy conversations with my doctor, I went to a genetics counselor and asked a million questions, I spoke to my husband and therapists about my feelings on it, and I went online and did as much research as possible before agreeing to do it. So, trust me when I say a lot of thought and energy was put into deciding to have it done.
A few things I learned on the subject was that when the "powers that be" initially said there was a 1 in 400 risk of complications from amnio, that was when they were doing these tests WITHOUT use of a sonogram. This absolutely blows my mind. Basically what they did was stick a needle in blindly and take a sample. If that’s the case, I’m surprised the statistics weren’t worse! Nowadays, it’s more like 1 in a 600 risk and the chance of miscarriage was a 0.5%.
Also, when they put a needle in the amniotic sac, it is not like a balloon that pops. I'm sure you all knew that but in my head, that's what I imagined. It turns out that it’s more like sticking a very small needle in your skin that starts healing as soon as the needle is removed. It's not as fun as a vacation in Bermuda but most of forty-five minutes for the amnio is taken up by doing a sonogram, sterilizing and prepping. The needle is usually in for no more than 60 seconds. For some, it doesn't hurt. For me, it pinched a little and I had a slight back pain afterwards but that was the worst of it. They have you on bed rest afterwards to help the healing process along… and in my case, to help me catch up on some serious crap television.
The main reason I decided to do the amnio wasn’t that I thought I would ever terminate the pregnancy, but it was more that if something was wrong, I would much rather be prepared and have the time to research Down Syndrome and find the very best way to raise the child.
Let me be EXTRA clear here though, I am in no way saying that what I did is the “right” or “best” choice. It was the choice my husband and I felt the most comfortable with. I don’t want anyone to ever think that I’m telling them what to do because whether to get an amnio and what you would do with the results are nobody’s business but your own.
That’s what kind of stunned me about the whole experience. On Twitter, I had asked people what their experiences were with amnio but I never asked, “Do you think I should get one or not?” However, I received tons of responses urging me not to get one. I don’t take offense to that at all since really, if anything, I think they cared enough to give me their opinion. Again though, I think it’s close to impossible to tell someone what to do in those circumstances. You have to do what's right for you.
As I mentioned earlier, even people at work, when I told them I would need to work from home because I was getting an amnio, openly shared their opinions. I had three different people say, “Oh don’t do that!” and I had four people tell me they had it done and it was no big deal. Again, who can say what’s right or wrong? Different things work for different people.
Any which way, we did the amnio this past Thursday and I got the results on Friday saying that everything was ok and that the baby was healthy. They also confirmed that the baby is a boy which I appreciated. A friend of mine was told she was having a boy and then the week after, she found out that she was actually having a girl. Apparently the person who did the first sonogram mistook the umbilical chord as a penis. Whoa indeed. That would be one hell of a big penis!!!
All in all, things are good. I now have to learn about all things boys. I haven’t had a lot of experience in the boy genre so I’ve got to bone up on sports, trucks and army toys. I would describe myself as a girly girl and if I were having a daughter, I had anticipated make-up lessons and pink fairy dresses. Unless this baby is a drag queen, I’m pretty sure those things are out now. Dresses or trucks, I’m just so grateful that our baby is healthy.