Thursday, September 27, 2012

Short But Incredibly Sweet

First I have to say a heartfelt thank you to those of you who read my last blog post and sent personal messages of support and understanding. It meant so much to me.

And now for the wonderful, amazing, overwhelming news that I received yesterday afternoon. The results of the Amnio show no abnormalities whatsoever! It looks like our beloved little baby is perfectly healthy. I don't mind admitting I wept tears of relief on the phone to the doctor and then onto Andy's shoulder for about 15 minutes afterwards.

I am carried away by gratitude and joy. How lucky are we?!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Dreaded Word

There are lots of words you don't want to hear: card declined, sold out, no, code brown (our personal alert when Agatha's nappy needs changing), you're fired. Yet there is one word that is worse than them all and that word is but.
You see, a few weeks ago I had some news that made my heart sing, I found out I was pregnant! This is a much longed-for and much tried-for addition to our little family and we are overjoyed. But - and there is that little word again, so small and seemingly inoffensive yet filled with potential menace. But there may be a problem with our baby.
At my nuchal scan everything looked fine. My beautiful baby, the size of an orange, was wriggling and swallowing and waving tiny limbs in what looked a lot like glee. Andy, Agatha and I heard his/her heartbeat and my eyes filled with happy tears - s/he was okay! Sadly I have had scans in the past at which there was no heartbeat, just the sonographer's silence, followed by a deep breath and the information that our baby hadn't made it. Scans are nerve-wracking for me, the fear that something has gone wrong never leaves you.
And here we were at 13 weeks with a heartbeat and a nose and little arms and legs and everything in the right place!
But, but... my nuchal translucency score puts me in the "high risk" category for having a baby with Down Syndrome. When the doctor uttered these words I was shocked, I knew my score would be lowered by my age, every year has a big impact on the risk score and at 38, I'm no spring chicken in reproduction terms. Still the news floored me, a 1:190 chance of Downs and a recommendation for a CVS or Amnio.
Both the CVS and Amnio tests carry a risk of causing miscarriage - 1 in 100 for CVS and 1 in 200 for Amnio. The benefit of the CVS is that you can find out straight away, you must be 16 weeks pregnant before you can have the Amnio. I chose the latter despite the awful, stressful wait to minimise my chances of miscarriage.
Andy and I talked and there is no question of termination for us, (please know this is a personal decision and not a judgement, every family must do what is right for them) but we agree that we need to know. To be able to get our heads around it and to prepare, possibly to change some things about our lives to accommodate a special needs child.
So off to Amnio I go, on Tuesday. I know those odds aren't too scary when taken at face value, Hell you'd even say they were good. But apply them to this situation, with the weight of love and fear and hope that's behind them and couple them with the words: "the scan was fine but..." and they take on a different feel. There's no two ways about it, "high risk" is what it is and we've got an anxious time ahead of us.
But - and here's a nice but, the nicest in fact - no matter the fear, no matter the outcome next week, this baby is ADORED. Beloved, cherished, valued. And there is more happiness in that than any word can express.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tough Times

I must begin by apologising for my tardiness in writing a new blog post. It’s been a hell of a few weeks dominated by illness including a three day vomiting festival (I have been dubbed the “vomiting cavalier” in our house) and a two week battle with bronchitis which was actually rather scary on the old gasping for air front.
However, that was then and this is now and on we go. Last Wednesday was an important day for this little permanent resident as Andy and I had our Australian Citizenship test and interview – a pass meant we get to be bona fide Aussies who can vote and get a passport and everything. I was just hoping they didn’t ask us who we support in the Ashes… It all worked out well with high scores on our tests and big ticks in the interview boxes. It’s very exciting and as soon as we officially get our “true blue” status I am going to throw an Aussie-inspired party for all the lovely friends who have helped to make our lives here so enjoyable.
In other exciting news we just sold our house! This one is bitter sweet as I love our home - it’s been such a happy place and has hosted many wonderful events including the Naming ceremony of the always-fabulous Agatha. The place has got soul. But, selling means we’ll be debt-free and able to enjoy disposable income again (Hawaii, here we come!) as well as save for the future. In that respect it’s an exciting opportunity to shape our lives and it really feels that we’ll be doing more of what makes us truly happy – spending fun times as a family, travelling and not stressing about mortgages and rates bills. Oh to be free from the tyranny of the bank!

The hunt for a suitable rental property has been painful. We didn’t think we had particularly extravagant needs – air con, 3 bedrooms, pet-friendly, fenced garden – but Lordy it’s been a challenge! Thankfully, as of 9am today we had an application accepted on a great house in a great location available at just the right time to tie in with our settlement date – phew!
And just because I can, here is a photo of Agatha enjoying a babyccino in what will be our new local café.

Good luck on your path to doing more of what makes you happy, even if it’s a bit uncomfortable/annoying/downright bloody painful at first.