Mini Mini!

This blog post has been a long time in coming. I have planned it for weeks, months even. Ever since those double blue lines appeared in the window of that first pregnancy test. And the second. And the third. I thought that this time it would be different. That I would give myself over completely to the joy and excitement that expectant mothers are supposed to feel. Except it hasn’t been. I’m still the same emotional wreck I was during my first pregnancy. If anything I’m worse.

See I’m not a glass half full kind of gal. I try to be positive but there are just too many bumps that can occur in the journey. One of the reasons I didn’t want to have kids in the first place was because of the fear that something would be ‘wrong’ with them. I come from a home where a sibling has a disability. I know it’s a tough road to navigate. What if something was wrong with future minis? But you can’t, well  we can’t!, leave Mini on her own. She’ll make an amazing big sister, of that much I have no doubt, but what of the other niggling uncertainties?

So we went down the testing route. After your first child is born with Down syndrome, the odds of the same thing happening with a second or subsequent pregnancy increase dramatically from about approximately 1/535  to 1/100. In my case, the starting off point for pregnancy no.2 was 1/128. We got an early scan done to measure mini Mini’s nuchal translucency-the translucent space in the tissue at the back of the developing baby’s neck. Babies with abnormalities tend to accumulate more fluid at the back of their neck during the first trimester, causing this clear space to be larger than average. If it’s very thick-over 3.5mm-it is a possible indication of a chromosomal abnormality, specifically Down syndrome, Turner syndrome,Patau syndrome or Edwards syndrome. Mini Mini’s stats came back as 2.2 mm which instantly increased the odds of her carrying a little something extra to 1/348. 

Next came the blood tests-these measure certain proteins which again can be a possible indicator of extra chromosomes. Now I’m guessing in other countries, the results of the blood tests return fairly promptly. But this is Ireland-supposedly one of the places with the greatest level of maternity care on the planet, or so pro-lifers would have us believe. I wholeheartedly disagree with this statement and believe that Ireland’s health care system is one of the worst in the developed world. It took nearly two weeks for the results of the blood test to come back to the hospital. They have to be sent outside the country, to somewhere in the U.K- as did the karotype test to confirm Mini’s Down syndrome. I didn’t ask if they were being outsourced to the same place, I was just happy to finally get them back and even happier with the results-odds up to 1/672. The odds for the other chromosomal abnormalities were much, much higher so good news all round.

Of course these are just numbers. The only way to know for certain is to get an amnio and after some pretty gory nightmares where we lose the baby as a result of having an amnio done, we opted to forgo the procedure. The risk of miscarriage from an amnio is only 1/200 but I trust my (often crazy!) instincts in this instance.

So here we are, 25 weeks in. Another 15 to go. The sonographer at the twenty week scan told me to enjoy the pregnancy. Everything looked great at it and as a result, the odds have been doubled to  1/1344. It should put my mind at ease, but it only does so some of the time.

I feel awful for imagining problems where there are none but I know I won’t be truly happy until our baby is here, safe and sound and I hate to use this word as it seems to suggest that other babies would be abnormal, which I know now is most definitely not the case-normal. I also feel guilty when I think of all the families out there who either through infertility or miscarriage or both, are unable to have what I have-a healthy baby growing well in my womb. 
I love Mini and wouldn’t change her for the world but special needs are exactly that-special needs that bring a plethora of possible health problems-digestive, coronary, visual, aural, times the list seems endless. Add to that the extra time and effort-especially mentally-that all her extra appointments bring-speech and language, physio, occupational therapist, trips to the orthotics clinic, trips to the ENT clinic. And I find those appointments mentally draining-four walls with me, the therapist and Mini. Where there is a whole range of tasks that Mini is required to perform and I’m silently willing her to satisfactorily complete each one, and when she doesn’t I feel deflated. It’s exhausting. A child without these extra needs would be an amazing blessing.

So, deep breath-think positive! Here is our first pic of mini Mini-a girl and a cutie no?

The Frenchman is slightly apprehensive at the thought of living with 3 women. His worst fear was brought to life one evening courtesy of an episode of Modern Family where Claire and her two daughters’ cycles have synced up and its hysterical woman to the power of 3. His other fear is he’ll need two of these t-shirts-

See him being the glass half full kind of guy, these aren’t really problems. I know, I could really learn a thing or two from the man I’m committing my future to, couldn’t I?Just don’t tell him that! 🙂

0 thoughts on “Mini Mini!

  1. You're right, she looks very beautiful in her first close up! She's definitely going to be a heart breaker!
    This is my first visit to you corner of the web and I love it! Took me ages to get past that huge cheeky grin at the top – that brightened my day no end- you are blessed with 2 beautiful daughters!

  2. What a beautiful post. I was with you in every word. My youngest has a genetic problem, and the odds our next child will have the same thing are about 50%. Since he is our youngest, the decision not to go down that road was easier. Had he been our eldest, I would have been in your shoes completely. So I don't know if people with “normal” kids can understand that fear, but I can, and I am sending you hugs and prayers that the numbers are on your side.

    arrived through Blog Love Day

  3. Lovely post Aedin -I'm very excited about the new arrival!

    you know the reason smear tests take so long is they have to send the samples to America!

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