Here is our Trev, our boy child. He’ll be two months old soon and he is beautiful and perfect.
He also has a very large head. Bear’s family joke about having big head genes but crikey.
I have to tell you a story though, and this is why I’ve been subdued this year and hadn’t introduced Trev yet – I had this story sitting there all heavy and waiting to be told first. So here goes.
(This story contains both cussing and emotions – I don’t do usually do emotions online, and the women in my family are not skilled at cussing, preferring to shout “Shit bum!” when things go wrong, so watch your step)
Early on in my pregnancy I had the regular dating ultrasound. Part of that procedure is measuring the nuchal fold, in order to estimate the risk of Down Syndrome. The sonographer measured… and measured… and then asked us to sit in the waiting room while she Phoned an Expert. When she called us back in she handed us our scan results and told us that the risk of Trisomy 21 had been increased to 1 in 25, and gave us the information sheet on amniocentesis and CVS testing. I asked her about the maternal serum test that is now funded in New Zealand, and she didn’t know anything about it.
So we went home, Bear rushed off to pick up Beetle from kindy and pies for lunch, and I went down the bedroom to howl.
The next 2 months were shit, I tell you. We decided after consideration not to have any invasive testing like the amnio; this little guy was going to be coming to our house regardless of the outcome, and I don’t like big needles, and didn’t want to take the risk of miscarriage for that. So we had to wait until the time had passed so I could have the maternal blood test on me, and then we had to wait to get the results from that – over a time frame that included both the ongoing house building project and my brothers wedding.
What do you know but the blood test came back with an adjusted risk of 1 in 1250 or something like that – a much better ratio than would be expected for my age.
So that was somewhat a relief but of course we had to wait until our boy was actually born, because even if you have a reputation for Coping you also expect things to go wrong.
And he went overdue a little bit, and then they did another scan and said that there was practically no amniotic fluid (what’s up with that?) so he would have to be induced, and then I went into labour naturally anyway, but collectively Henry and I came to some kind of halt and things weren’t progressing, and his heart rate kept dropping enough to worry everyone but not enough for them to call in the guys with the gumboots and the scalpels. So they called in the Hurry Up drip instead and I said – fuck this, I want my epidural – and I was just telling my midwife and Bear that I was SCARED about the end of this story, and I wasn’t feeling very energetic or very brave, and some dick of an obstetrician comes in on his rounds and looks at me and says all incredulous “Is she crying?” and tells me “Don’t stress, it doesn’t help.”
Well the epidural perked me up somewhat despite only mostly working, apart from a thick black colouring-book outline of OW that remained on the left-hand-side of my tummy, and Trev and I got our collective A’s-into-G and he was born.
Anyway, as you’ll have gathered, the ending was a happy one. Trev doesn’t have Down syndrome. He’s a big little guy, 10 lbs 2oz (less than Beetle, by crikey but still big enough to write home about) and he is sleeping really well at night now, feeding like anything and growing and growing and learning to eat his fists and whack at the dangly bits on his play gym, sleeping all snug in the front pack while I do my Christmas shopping and go up to school for carols and a hangi, and so on. It’s lovely. But I am not going through all this again!
PS: Did I mention that the day I got my blood results back, I rang Bear at work and told him, and the very moment he hung up his boss called to say that the NZ office of his workplace was being shut down? (He finished work at the end of September)
You said this year was two weeks too long. You’re right.
Before I go – a big, big thank you to Upside of Down – a lovely, lovely online community of NZ families who were so welcoming and lovely that I was actually kind of disappointed when my blood test results came back.