Now that it's been officially announced on Facebook, the most official of all news outlets, I can make it public here; I'm pregnant!
It's been difficult not sharing the news here as so much of what I've experienced over the past month or two has been related to that. It's part of the reason why I haven't been posting as much (well, that and I was too freaking tired to stay up much past Tera's bedtime for a while there).
I won't lie; the emotions that have come along with this have been completely overwhelming at times. It was not unexpected by any means, we had been planning for a while on a "sequel", but planning something and actually having it happen can be two very different things. I spent a lot of time before getting pregnant worrying about how we would handle having two kids, with at least one of them having special needs. As the pregnancy has progressed, I've focused more on the health of this baby and found myself just hoping that everything is okay.
We knew after we had Tera that if I got pregnant again, we would do as much testing as we could to find out as much as we could. I have said many, many times before here, that while I wouldn't change not knowing with Tera, neither one of us wants to go through another surprise at birth like that. And unfortunately, except for an amniocentesis, there is no way to know anything for sure; and we don't want to do that.
The first round of testing was done two weeks ago (I'm 14 weeks now). I went in for an ultrasound to try and detect any "soft markers" for DS and also a blood work up to test me for about 45 different genetic conditions that I could be a carrier of and also to test for Trisomy 13 (a third copy of the 13th chromosome), Trisomy 18 (a third copy of the 18th chromosome) and Trisomy 21 (DS), and Turner Syndrome. One of the soft markers for DS is a less transparent nuchal fold which indicates fluid at the back of the baby's neck. Fortunately the technician told me right away that everything looked normal on the ultrasound. The blood work on the other hand, was going to take a week to two weeks, but as a result of the the blood test for the trisomies, we were also going to find out the gender.
I spent most of my spring break anxiously awaiting the call to tell me the results. But it didn't come until Monday. I of course missed the first call, had to call back, leave a message, and then wait for another call back. Then I finally got the results. The test for the trisomies came back as a very low risk (1/10000). That doesn't mean they can't happen, just that the chances are low, but it's enough to give me some piece of mind. And the gender result is... A GIRL!
While Tom and I were kind of hoping for a girl (really out of convenience sake because of all the clothes accumulated by Tera and my twin nieces), most of the people in our family were really kind of hoping for a boy, but as it's not something we really have any control over, we'll just love her as much as we love our current little stinker. Tom and I both did admit after finding out that as much as another girl will save us money on clothes (for now at least), a boy would have been kind of nice too. However, we are NOT planning on any more so it looks like girls it will be.
There are days I find myself wondering more than I ever did with Tera, if everything will be okay. I didn't even know about, or think about at least, so many of the things that I've become more familiar with since Tera was born, outside of DS. As we waited for the results, Tom and I both agreed that while having two kids with DS would be challenging, it wouldn't be as scary as it was when we had Tera and we didn't know nearly what we know now. I try to limit these days the best I can, and fortunately my sweet Tera helps with that as she is an excellent distraction from most things. Of course as a result of Tera and her boundless energy, we have both found ourselves asking each other, "Are we really doing this again?" To which we both try to respond with, "well the second one can't be MORE difficult than the Tera is, can it?"
Tomorrow Tera makes her second runway debut as a part of the Gigi's Playhouse Fashion Show, so I hope to have at the very least some pictures to share, but with Tera performing, you never know what else I might have to share as well...