The last two weeks (weeks 14 and 15) were a crazy roller-coaster ride of highs and lows. First, we went in for the dreaded and fearful genetic screening tests. We decided to do it just for piece of mind but with all the talk of my “advanced maternal age” and statistics being thrown around and things they were testing for that could go wrong, I admit I was a little more worried than I probably should have been. Call us cold and callous but it was such a relief when both the hubby and I were honest with each other about the fact that if there were indications of severe problems, we would most likely choose to “interrupt the pregnancy” which I guess is the polite way of putting it. (As a woman, I am so glad I have that choice and it is still a legal option in the USA – even though I hope never to have to make it!)
The testing itself was also one of the highs because as part of the screening we got to have a pretty extensive ultrasound. We were able to take our 7-year old who LOVED seeing the baby and getting to be involved. It was so surreal to watch the monitor and see how feisty and lively the baby is – constantly moving around and waving at us – and yet not be able to feel one bit of it yet. At one point the baby had decided to flip over and wasn’t cooperating so we took a break (OK, I had to pee so bad!) and my daughter became like this drill instructor reminding me that I was supposed to be pushing on my tummy to get the baby to move around. It was so much fun to have her there with us and feel like she was a part of the whole process. After a great discussion with tons of our questions answered by the genetic counselor, we headed home for the process of waiting – something which I don’t do well AT ALL. This all happened on Monday and the counselor said (and I quote!) “if you don’t hear from me with the results by next Monday, give me a call”. I of course figured we would hear long before the following Monday….
In the meantime, the following Monday was time for Girl Scout camp which I had signed my daughter and I up for months before I was pregnant and included many hours of planned horseback riding activities. I called my doctor and asked for specific permission on whether it was safe for me to be riding or not (with fingers and toes crossed!) He gave the green light which kind of surprised me considering the “no running” rule but I said THANK YOU and didn’t question it. Now “camp” implies somewhere in a rural setting – in this case, up a canyon about an hour from home. As we were driving and I was trying to navigate to a new location without the help of a male or GPS, in the back of my mind was “today is the day I get to call and bug them about my test results” with the plan to make that call when we arrived. HA! Little did I know we were driving into not only 3 days of horseback riding and camp songs, but 3 days WITH NO CELL PHONE OR INTERNET SERVICE. Of course because I am a good and responsible cell phone citizen and try not to make calls or text (or read Facebook updates) while driving, I didn’t realize this until we were there and what turned out was miles from the nearest service area. I carried my phone with me the entire first day and every time we came to a new spot in camp, I would check to see if I had service there. It was so frustrating when there was never a single bar – especially when we were surrounded by flushing toilets, showers, and electrical lights. I got over it quickly and enjoyed camp but always in the back of my mind was the hope that there would be a voicemail with good news waiting for me when I was back in cellphone range.
Wednesday arrived and that afternoon we bid farewell to camp. I turned the cell phone back on and waited for the inevitable alerts of incoming voicemail and text messages I was certain to have missed to signal our official arrival back into civilization. Came they did – but not until we’d been on the road for more than 7 miles. (Good lord!) When we stopped for the slushy I’d promised my daughter, I checked the voicemail and NONE OF THEM WERE FROM THE GENETIC COUNSELOR. I was pissed… if there’s one thing I hate it is people who do not meet their commitments. I don’t care what you tell me to expect, I will expect them. Since I was told I would get a call LAST WEEK and that if I hadn’t heard I could call on Monday and it was now WEDNESDAY and I still didn’t know what the tests had shown, I was not a happy camper.
Several days and several phone messages later – each one I’m sure in a more bitchy tone than the previous one – finally resulted in the genetic counselor calling me on Friday. After all the anticipation and accompanying worry – which was exacerbated by the fact that I had signed up for a service through my insurance company where I was able to see the test results but still not know what they meant – we got the news that I am officially in the “low risk” category for genetic disorders. What a sigh of relief. We have one more step in the genetic testing processes which includes more blood work this coming week to measure the specific markers for 3 genetic disorders. Because I am low risk, it is merely a precaution and we expect everything to be smooth sailing from here.
The next big step is that this week I am far enough along to find out what the sex of the baby is. Totally frustrating is that there are three different places you can go and pay for an ultrasound to determine the sex of the baby and because we live in Utah, NONE OF THEM ARE OPEN ON SUNDAY. So, that didn’t work out today and who knows when we will have time during the week to go before we leave for the last camping trip of the season on Friday. We are hoping to squeeze it in as early as tomorrow if we can get an appointment so stay tuned!!
Meanwhile, I am still feeling great, getting some of my appetite back for things other than cold cereal, and am finally able to walk without inner-thigh soreness from my horseback riding experience. I tell you, there is one good thing about being a horse girl, and it is toned thigh muscles! I am starting to be able to feel little movements from the baby and besides the very unmistakable baby bump it is the first thing that makes it in-your-face real for me. I still worry about how I will love another child as much as I do my first and how I will go back to sleepless nights and carrying a diaper bag and everything else that goes with having a newborn but man, am I excited!