So this isn't quite the post I expected today. I tried this morning once again to do the whole what this really means to me thing but it wouldn't come. And then I thought I'd blog this evening about the procedure. Well, there was no procedure. Though I did spend a long time trying to think of a clever post title and that's the best I can do.
CVS can be done two ways - abdominally or vaginally. A lot depends on the placement of the placenta - if it's in front, abdominally might be the way to reach it best, if it's behind, or really low, then vaginally. Say it's in front and fairly high (a long path from the cervix), as mine is. Vaginally becomes a little bit more of an effort. But say you're going for it on the early side and your uterus, while frigging huge, hasn't quite pushed everything out of the way - particularly the bowel. And, if the risk of infection is really the major risk with CVS, the last thing you want to do is nick the bowel on your way.
The doctor looked at a couple of angles and said, I know you're anxious. But the last thing I want to have happen is to really push this, extend the procedure, make you physically uncomfortable, and quite possibly not grab placental material. She strongly recommended waiting a week.
She also spent a lot of time looking at the baby, including the nuchal space. While it's too early for an "official" measurement, the nuchal space was very small. She repeated many times, I have a really good feeling about this. This looks good.
(Last time, while my measurements were just a hair off, she said she was a little concerned and urged further testing, and now I really wonder if she knew - I mean knew knew - even then.)
Dammit. I sort of - very teeny tiny sort of - am starting to think this might actually work and be real. I wish she had not been so positive. Because, as we were going over the procedure with the genetic counselor, I realized that even after the CVS results, it wouldn't be over. CVS picks up genetics, yes. But not a whole host of other things. So, say we actually get through these next few weeks. There's still blood work at 16 - 18 weeks, and the scan at 18-20 weeks.
Silly me, I had in my head this was the high jump, and I find myself in the 110 meter hurdles.
We re-scheduled the CVS for next Thursday.
There were things I expected. I expected the genetic counselor to be extremely empathetic and sympathetic (this must be so hard for you, sitting in this same room...). I expected that would make me cry.
I expected the doctor to be brusque, funny, practical, and business-like, and as expected it helped dry my tears.
I did not expect to rain silent tears while the ultrasound tech did the inital look, took the measurements, found the heartbeat. I'm at 11 weeks now. I had a ultrasound at, what, I think about 7 or so and it was just a bean. There was a heartbeat, but really, that was about it.
This time there was a baby. Kicking legs, flailing arms, twisting head, jumping and swimming around. And I can't....I can't do fucking anything right now. I can't tell my friends, I can't tell my family, I can't ask my sweet "little mother" daughter if she wants a brother or a sister (I die a little every time she hands her doll babies to me - mommy, hold my little brother - always, always it's her little brother). I can't think about how I'm supposed to launch a fucking multimillion dollar project this fall. I can't plan for the future.
And so it's put off another week. But what's another week when the results are 10-14 days after that? And the blood work 2 weeks after that? And the advanced scan 2 weeks after that?
This. I knew this would be hard. Given my history, given my marriage, given my job, yeah, I knew it would be tough. I know others are contemplating going down this road again. I know we all know that we're no longer on the fairy tale path of happy endings and sunlight. We walk in the shadow of fear, of doubt, of death. And yet we push on, hoping, wishing, praying that our path, our valley path, might converge with those on the upper, easy walk. Out twists, our turns, our setbacks mean we'll have gone 100 miles to their every 1.
Someone named Elizabeth Stone, who unbelievably does not have a wikipedia entry, once said, Making the decision to have a child -- it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
I read that soon after my daughter was born and thought, yes. Yes, that is exactly what it is like. And I was, and am, very scared for my fluttering, fragile, vulnerable heart. But this. This time. My little heart is tiring, and falling behind, struggling to keep up as I hack my way through the valley path.
5 days ago