Thursday, May 3, 2012

22 Weeks Down

I feel like each week is coming faster and faster. I'm 22 weeks- more than halfway. It freaks me out every time I think about it. I can't even think about the actual delivery or the fact that I will be BRINGING HOME a child at the end of this. It's not real and probably won't be until it actually happens. Along with the surreal-ness there is of course excitement, worry, wonder. At our last appointment where they confirmed he was a boy, the nurse had a hard time letting us hear the heartbeat because he was moving so much. He barely ever holds still during ultrasounds. Here he is arching his head back.
We joke about whether baby boy will have a Fenn chin or a Faught chin.
 As far as how I'm feeling (I'm still not used to people asking me that wherever I go), I am doing really well. I sleep decently well, but for some reason I can't nap during the day anymore. I get heartburn every day but it's nothing that some tums can't fix. I get migraines a few times a week, but it's not the end of the world. And I crave hamburgers almost every day.
We did have a bit of a scare recently. A few weeks ago I got a call about one of my blood tests they had done at the doctors. Apparently I have the mutated gene for cystic fibrosis. It's not a big deal to have one mutated gene- it doesn't mean anything. The only issue is that if David also has a mutated gene, then our child has a 1 in 4 chance of having cystic fibrosis. The doctor told me all of this on the phone while I was out shopping by myself. My head was swimming with questions-- first being, what the heck is cystic fibrosis??
We looked it up on wikipedia when I got home. I did remember the doctor asking us on our first visit what our heritage was, which I thought was odd because no one had ever asked me that before. I told her we were both European descent. Apparently she asked because cystic fibrosis is common among caucasians, specifically those of Jewish descent. So back then I hadn't thought anything of it.
So back to what we were worried about... we figured out that David had about a 1 in 29 chance of having the gene for cystic fibrosis. I started to figure out what would be involved if our child was born with it. I don't think they can figure out if the baby has it until after it's born. It's basically a lung disease and often requires the baby to have surgery soon after its born (I was already crying by the time I read that). They usually have to get a double lung transplant at some point in their short life (expectancy is about 37 years). It seemed like someone with cystic fibrosis can lead a semi-normal life. They have to work at making sure their body is breaking up the mucus built up in their chest and lungs by moving and exercising a lot. Anyway, this is something we both did not want for our child. It broke my heart thinking that this could be something they'd have to deal with.
David had to get a blood test to find out if he was a carrier of the gene. I was thinking it would be at least a week before we got the results, and every hour until we got the call from the doctor my mind was filled with worry. As I've talked to people about cystic fibrosis, I've heard a lot of encouraging stories of families with one child with cystic fibrosis. They were encouraging stories that made me feel a little bit better about the possibility. David and I both knew, however, that if we were both carriers of the gene, this baby would be our only biological child, whether or not he had the diseas. People we have talked to have not felt the same way if they were in the same situation. They have felt like it was worth taking the chance multiple times, and that the outcome would be fine either way. Choosing to have children is a big deal, and there are always risks, but for our family, we both agreed that this risk wasn't something we were willing to take with more than one pregnancy if David was a carrier.
When it comes down to it, none of this even matters, because we did get the phone call 3 days later that David was NOT a carrier, so our child has no chance of having cystic fibrosis. However, since I am a carrier of the gene, our baby could possibly be a carrier. It also means that one of my parents is a carrier, so some of my siblings could also be. I've brought it up to them about getting tested before they get married (or even sooner). In a relationship, something like this can be a HUGE deal. I think it's good to know before you decide to have children...something I wish was brought up to us or we were made more aware of. That's mostly why I'm writing this much information down. I don't think they used to test for this disease at all. I just want everyone to be informed for their own sake and sanity...because I almost lost my mind waiting to find out.
We are happy this little bump in the road is over with. I'm sure there will be plenty more as time goes on. For now we are enjoying all of the kicks that both of us get to feel :) I think this baby boy is going to be hyper just like his dad.

2 comments:

  1. Oh Natalie...all the anticipation for this baby is so normal especially now that u have to wait for blood tests. It is always best to check out support groups and speak to families that have a child with cf. Nothing can ever prepare you for the moment u get to meet ur child but once he is here...u will know it was meant to be.
    And Ps...as for the heartburn... ask ur doctor for ranitidine (not positive on the spelling). But it works wonders. :)

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  2. Im glad everything is OK! My moms side of the fam carries a scary cancer and I had to get tested for it last month to see if I have the gene, scary stuff. Glad to hear that you guys are now over that and enjoying life... excited to see you :)

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