Sunday, April 1, 2007

An arduous question.

I have been blessed with one child whose body has been enhanced with an extra chromosome. Will I be blessed with another? And, should I unearth God’s plan? The question weighs heavy on my mind. I have told myself that I will not screen for chromosomal “idiosyncrasies” with this pregnancy, or should I say what I now find to be “customary” traits. I am struggling with my decision, primarily because my husband is very inquisitive.

Alas, as I am a person who suffers with rare thyroid conditions, (carrying antibodies for opposite autoimmune thyroid diseases), we will be forced to undergo an amniocentesis at week 22 of the pregnancy. Shall I simply run the chromosome report as well? My heart tells me “no.”

Serious complications from second-trimester amniocentesis are uncommon, however, I am uneasy. (Just a bit of background...) I must determine if our baby carries antibodies for either Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s disease. If I refuse the amnio, we run the risk of death inutero due to thyroid troubles. My medications must be adjusted and altered to safely treat our baby inside. Elliot was born prematurely due to the fact that my Graves’ disease went undiagnosed while pregnant. Like me, Elliot carries antibodies for both diseases. And, he is here and healthy despite endocrine complications inutero.

Elliot’s diagnosis is non-disjunction Trisomy 21 Down syndrome. Elliot does not have translocation Ds. I know the statistics. In general, the chance of having a second child with Down syndrome (without taking my age into consideration) is 1% in each ensuing pregnancy. Based exclusively upon the fact that I will be 37 when our new baby arrives, the probability of a baby with Ds is 1/225. Hence, the probability of sweet baby number three being blessed with Ds are relatively low. So, why is my husband so inquisitive? Why am I questioning my decision to forgo the chromosome test? Regardless of the outcome, I do know that we are simply blessed to be pregnant with a third child. My physicians said that it was nearly impossible. God had other plans.

Because of Elliot, the limitations of my “heart” have been stretched out a little farther, to take in more of the splendor that surrounds him and our family. If our third gift is enhanced with Ds, I will love him or her all the more. However, do I want to know now...or simply wait to see what God has in store? The question remains.

3 comments:

Emily Elizabeth said...

I can so relate to this post.

I wish I had some words of advice, but as I am sure you already know, this is one that we each have to figure out on our own. I did need to know, but much of that stemmed from a deep seeded desire to have that typical birth experience so many others are lucky enough to have. I might not have desired that so much had Emma not been my first, so maybe this is different from you. As we all know, I was not able to have that typical birth experience and it seems as though crisis births are my "lot in life" so to speak, and that has been difficult for me to accept.

Whatever you choose to do, it will be the right choice. There isn't a wrong one.

And just for a little nerve soothing, the newest research is showing that both CVS and Amnio are much safer than the quoted stats. It's still scary tho.

Peace to you, my friend.

S. said...

First of all, congrats on your pregnancy! We decided not to do another pg. (not b/c of the risk of T21, but b/c I have incompetent cervix). It would be too risky for me to have an amnio due to IC, but I think if I had to have one, I personally would want to know about the chromosomes. I was glad not to know with L., but for me, the uncertainty would be difficult.

Good luck with this tough decision, I do believe that we are perfectly matched with the children we are meant to parent!

mom2rhett said...

You know, if you are going to have the amnio anyways, and if it will set Jeff's mind at ease, I say go for it. I know that you will love that little baby no matter what. There is not really a right or wrong choice in this case, just lots of love to be given to a sweet little baby.

You guys are wonderful people, and I am so blessed to have the pleasure of knowing you. If it were me doing it, I would run the chromosmes, just so that I knew.
Hugs to you my dear friend. I love you!!!