Saturday, October 2, 2010

Piper.


For the last few weeks, we've been waiting to go for another ultrasound at the specialist to learn more about Piper's umbilical cord situation. During that wait, I had another regular visit. I went in, I was tired, I wasn't thinking, and when they handed me a consent form for the AFP quad screen test, I signed it and gave a vial of blood. I wasn't even sure what test it was, but I vaguely remembered turning down all those tests with Mallory. I shrugged it off, but OF COURSE, the next Friday night at 10pm, I opened a letter from my OB saying that my test had come back abnormal and to please contact them AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Really, guys, a letter?
Although it was a little worrisome, I spent the weekend not thinking about it too much. I know of LOTS of people who've gotten that test back the same way and it's nothing. It's ultimately a screening, not a diagnostic, so it just lets parents know if their child is "at risk" for certain conditions. I went in on Monday and learned that we had results which put Piper at risk for Down's Syndrome. The doctor was very good about explaining that this was still rare, and that these results only prompt further testing, that we can take as far as we want, or refuse altogether. I agreed to go for genetic counseling and another ultrasound to look for physical characteristics, but was pretty sure we would not do the amnio test.
Yesterday was the appointment. In the waiting room, I randomly picked up a magazine, and randomly opened to an article about a mother giving birth to a baby girl with Down's Syndrome. It was odd, but reading it made me worry less. She had had no idea that it was a possibility.
Adam and I got to see Piper again and the tech who did the ultrasound told us everything she was doing. All her organs look great. Her heart is perfect. Her arms and legs measure right where they should. She has ten fingers and ten toes. She is still a girl. (I was concerned...haha) She is 3/4 a pound, and a wiggly little thing. She is beautiful.
Afterward, the doctor took us into his office and proceeded to ask us four thousand questions about our family history. He was SUCH a nice man, very patient with us and very thorough. He showed us our test results, which revealed that Piper has a 1 in 65 chance of having Down's. The average risk for a 30 year old woman is 1 in 952. He said sometimes these things can happen with no reason, whether or not there is a family history. He advised us on the amniocentesis...which is invasive, and while not as risky as some people believe, there's 1 in 500 risk of miscarriage. THAT number scared us much more than the 1 in 65. The ONLY advantage there is to knowing for sure is research. Time to learn all we can. But it's not worth the risk to me, and honestly, I don't feel a whole lot of urgency about knowing or not knowing. She's going to be fine, either way.

Adam said on the way home "I think if any parents were going to have to deal with this, we're really good ones for it." (How much do we love this guy?)
So, in conclusion, I'm not stressing the tests. We're proceeding as normal. The umbilical cord is perfectly fine as well, so Piper is getting everything she needs. Mama feeds her well. Everyone is getting excited. Adam taught Mal to say "hey, Pipuh!"
No need for a fuss here, I just wanted to share what we learned because, um, that's what I do. Everything is going to be great! We can't wait to meet you, little girl. :)

11 comments:

Rachel said...

Sorry you have to go through this but I love your attitudes. And I LOVE the name Piper!!! Can't wait to virtually "meet" her!

Ellen said...

I am sure everything is going to be fine. I cannot tell you how many friends I have that have been told there was a chance of Downs and then they have a perfectly healthy baby. The people I know how do have a Downs child had no chance according to the test. I really do not think those tests are accurate at all. I will keep my fingers and toes crossed and pray to all the gods of all the religions so we have the bases covered.

Shannon- said...

Wow! Intense and soooo ... what's the word?... beautiful.

Cindy said...

Amazing.

Laura said...

There is a 100% chance that Piper is loved. In the end, that's really all that matters because with love you can truly deal with and/or conquer anything.

I <3 you.

Stacie said...

I love that you share. I love it. And I love the faith that your husband has in you, in himself, in your family.

Jane said...

Heather and Adam, I am Chris's mom from Peep-eye. Your blog on Piper is so upbeat..and just from reading your blog I believe you and Adam will be amazing dealing with any twists in Piper's path.

Learning all you can is a splendid idea! On that note, a new website just launched this month for parents expecting a child with Down syndrome. It may prove to be an incredible resource for you as you navigate unknown waters.

http://downsyndromepregnancy.org/
A free complete downloadable pregnancy book is available (with photos!) here as well.

Virtual hug to all 4 (5) of you!

ErinM said...

I hope that Piper is just fine, but I know that she will be just perfect no matter what :-)

Ronnie and Suzi said...

Was that the Parents magazine article about Nella? She has a fantastic blog...http://www.kellehampton.com/
in case you are interested! BTW...love the name Piper!

Ashley said...

You're right---you'll be great parents to Piper, whatever happens. My thoughts are with you!

Josh, Amy, Olivia, Josiah, Girum, Tarikwa, and Taye said...

I read that article! I have been away from blogs for a long time but am so happy to see ALL of your kids growing and strong. And its so wonderful to see their parents continually growing and strong as well. You continue to challenge and inspire me.