Before I start part 3 of the story, I just want to say how truly amazed I am at all of the overwhelming support given to us by our friends, family and complete strangers during this time. I just returned from a conference where I had no access to my blog (ack!) to see 21 comments to my last post… 19 from people I had never met before! I read them this morning with tears streaming down my face. I am overcome with emotions at the beautiful words of encouragement and complete kindness of strangers. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We have found solace knowing that we are not in this alone.
Our heads were spinning as we left the hospital. I called my work to let them know that I wasn’t going to be able to make it back that afternoon. I wasn’t ready to face all of the smiling, inquisitive folks who just wanted to know the sexes of the two little ones growing inside of me. I wasn’t prepared to answer. In fact, the last news given to us completely trumped the fact that we were having two little girls. We didn’t send out a massive text… we didn’t post updates to facebook… we didn’t call all of our friends and family to tell them the good news… we just weren’t up for any chatting at that point.
After a very silent, uncomfortable lunch at our favorite diner, we went home to process the information. We went back and forth about our options and our feelings on having a child with Down syndrome. I think we talked through all 5 stages of grief that night. At one point, I went into the shower to find some solitude and allow myself to experience every emotion I needed to. I cried to God and prayed for him to give me two healthy little girls without Down syndrome. Then I cursed myself for being so selfish and thinking that way. I was disappointed in myself and ashamed that I didn’t want a child with any disabilities. Because I work with adults with disabilities, I thought “I outta know better” and should completely embrace the news. I thought “I know that a diagnosis of Down syndrome is not a death sentence and that plenty of people live full and happy lives with it. I know that people with Down syndrome are beautiful, loving people who enrich the lives of others. And I know that the relationship that Damon and I have is more solid than stone and that we would be incredible parents with lots of love to give to a special needs child.”
Then the pendulum swung the other way and I again begged God not to have a child with Down syndrome. It took me sleeping on it and a lot of praying that night to calm down and accept the possibility. I also started to feel better about my odds and decided to focus on the positive.
We’ve decided not to do any genetic testing. To us, it doesn’t matter if one of our babies has any birth defects. We would still have her, raise her and love her unconditionally.
We did, however, decide to have my blood tested to get a more accurate “risk” result. The chemical levels in my blood actually decreased the risk for the babies. Baby B now has a 1 in 620 chance and Baby A’s risk has gone down to 1 in 80.
Worry, fear and doubt still creep into my head every once in awhile, but I try to push them out and focus on the positive. Worrying about it won’t change anything, fear won’t make things better and doubt won’t allow me to be excited that I am having two precious little girls. So when I start feeling down, I just go out and buy them something adorable. There’s a lot to be said for retail therapy.