When I was growing up I loved celebrating birthdays and holidays, especially Christmas. I remember how excited I would get. Even for other people’s birthdays. And I remember running around to my parents, yelling Merry Christmas, yelling Happy Birthday. And my father was never really excited. Maybe my mother wasn’t either, but she was at least better at hiding it. And I would ask him why – why aren’t you excited? Why aren’t you running around like me? And he would say “It’s just another day.”
I never really got it before. It’s your birthday, not just another day! It’s your day! But I guess I kind of get his point now. Tomorrow when I wake up, it’s just another day of grieving my lost pregnancies. Just another day of trying to wrap my mind around the fact that if The Husband is also a carrier for the mutations I carry then making a baby might be more complicated than I ever thought it would be when we began this journey over a year ago. Just another day of people announcing their pregnancies in obnoxious ways and me rolling my eyes and feeling ambivalent towards their happiness.
With some of the things I do and say I realize that I really am my father’s daughter. I do get some characteristics from my mother, and of course I love her just as much as I love him, but I recognize more of him than her in myself.
On Monday we had a preconception appointment with Dr. T. Dr. T is the MFM specialist that works with Dr. F, and Dr. F wanted us to meet her and go over our history with her since she would be caring for us along with Dr. F if we get pregnant again. I really really liked her! One of the first things she said was how sorry she was for our losses. And we went over our pregnancy history, and she really seemed to get it and how hard it has been, and the fact that I would be a nervous wreck with any subsequent pregnancies. She was really upbeat and bubbly, but not in the overbearing annoying way, in a nice way. And she works closely with E (the counselor who runs the support group meetings) so E will be around for us if we need additional support (if we ever conceive again that is.) I really feel happy with the choice we made to start fresh with a new doctor and a new hospital and think we really have a great new support system.
We told Dr. T that we aren’t trying right now, as we are waiting for The Husband’s test results. Which, it’s been over two weeks now and they said two-three weeks, but with the holidays I am hoping it isn’t delayed too much. She did mention that she’s seen Meckel Gruber and mentioned that it is associated with encephalocele. Which is a NTD. Could my second baby have been diagnosed with anencephaly, due to the encephalocele, but it was really Meckel Gruber? The baby was only 13 weeks, so how accurate is the diagnosis that early with things like this? I guess those were questions I should have asked but they didn’t come to me until after. I told her that at this point it doesn’t really matter to me if the cause of the two lost pregnancies is because we are both carriers of the same mutation. I don’t need to know that they are related. Yes, it does suck, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that my luck in this area has been nonexistent and that the world can be a cruel, unfair place. So I’m not on a search for an answer to “Why?” What I am on a search for is some sort of reassurances about future pregnancies. I am on a search for answers as to the risk of this happening again. What are the chances? If we are both carriers of the same mutation than the risk is 25%. If we aren’t, then what is the risk? I don’t know. But my guess is it is less than 25%. She understood my position, but was quick to point out that even if The Husband’s tests come back fine and he doesn’t carry anything that I carry, that only considers the specific genes and disorders tested on this one panel. It isn’t testing for everything and there would still be risks in future pregnancies.
She mentioned that even if he is a carrier we have options. Donor sperm, donor eggs, donor embryo, IVF with PGD, adoption. So she said that if we are both carriers we don’t have to let that deter us from having a baby. On the drive home The Husband and I spoke briefly about this. He said that he didn’t think a 25% risk of having a sick baby was that great of a risk, that 75% odds are good in his book and he doesn’t know why, even if we are carriers for the same disorder(s), we wouldn’t just keep trying naturally. Obviously I have a different feeling about this. A 25% risk seems huge to me. I was actually surprised that he felt this way. He is also of the mindset, at the moment, that he wants a child if it is biologically his. He doesn’t seem to keen on donor sperm, donor embryo or adoption. He isn’t necessarily keen on donor eggs either but if I was carrying the baby, at least I would go through the pregnancy and birth. Now this is the first discussion we’ve ever had about any of this, and it is all still very new to us. I think it was just a lot for him to process – the fact that it may not happen just as easily as going into the bedroom and doing our thang.
I feel like I’ve gone off track with this post and it was kind of aimless. I think that’s because of the jumble of thoughts in my mind. Obviously the first step is getting the results back. No decisions will be made until then. And of course I hope that we never even need to seriously consider these options. But I know that if it were that easy and everybody got their wish than these options would never even exist.
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas, peace on Earth, good food and company, etc. etc. Thank you to everyone for all the kindness and support you’ve shown me over the past few months.