know what i mean? here we go... (and these are in chronological order, not at all an order of importance.)
the bee came back last sunday, october 26. it started out as him coming over to talk. just talk. then he was going to stay the night but i made him sleep on the sofa. and at 4am i found him in bed and i was cuddled up next to him. it was one of those things that just happened.
we had our nt scan and our first trimester screening on monday, october 27. the ultrasound was incredible - it looks like baby is doing well. (we're still calling it wal-mart because i refuse to assign a gender just yet.) wal-mart measured well - the doctor said that there was nothing to be seen on the u/s images that concerned her. and hearing her say that made me feel so much better, i can't explain the relief that gave me. i was so stressed about that appointment that when we got home i just fell asleep. it was barely 6pm and i was in bed.
same day, i'm still in bed but it's 11pm and the phone is ringing. this is never good. my mom calls to tell me that my grandma has passed. this is one of those things that you think you're prepared for - you think you've got it under control - and then it happens and you realize that control is a fallacy and you've really got nothing under your thumb but air. because on some level i thought i was ready for this to happen but it turns out i was wrong.
now i'm a pretty cognizant 28-year-old. i was aware of the pain and the suffering that she was going through and i knew she was ready to go. but it dawned on me that there would be no more holidays, no more birthdays, no more phone calls or text messages or trips to grandma's house, in fact it won't even be grandma's house anymore - as soon as i realized that this was it - it was final and it was over and she was gone - i wanted her back. i wanted more time, more of everything. i wanted to go back and appreciate her more, appreciate what i'd had more and it just couldn't happen. i really felt like i'd missed out - i felt bad for not going to see her or calling her or just being more of a good grand kid.
the whole week was hard - family was in town and sometimes the family dynamics get in the way of the real purpose that we're together. but for the most part we pulled it together and had a beautiful memorial service to celebrate the incredible woman that my grandma was. and not only did the majority of the family make it down for the service, but so many of my grandma's friends and acquaintances did too - and there were so many people that i hadn't seen in years or i'd never met at all - to think that the woman that i loved so much was also loved by so many people was amazing. i was still sad - i'm still sad now - but it made me feel good to know that i wasn't the only one who was going to miss her.
the most difficult part of the week was not being able to help my momma. she was so close to my grandma, in spite of the distance from one home to another and the illness that had left my grandma just a shell of her former self. i can't imagine the pain of losing a parent. i've not experienced it and i wish i didn't have to. i understand the whole "circle of life" thing and i know that chances are, i'll bury my parents. it's what kids do. it's how life works, or how it's supposed to work. but it doesn't make it any easier. just like my mom is my rock, my grandma was solid for my mom when things got hard. and even though gram was sick and mom knew it would happen someday, it didn't soften the blow when the time arrived. i don't know what it's like to not be able to talk to my mom or be able to go see her or call her for advice or just know that she's there. all i could do was tell her i was sorry, that i missed grandma too and that i loved her. and it didn't feel like enough. it still doesn't feel like enough.
my grandma was a great lady and i loved her a lot. i still do. in my mind, she's 53 years old. she makes pizza meatballs and grilled cheese and loves her country music and my grandpa. she lets me come over and eat nothing but pillsbury cinnamon rolls and frosted mini wheats all weekend long and i get to stay up late and watch tv and color all over every blank sheet of paper in her house. it's okay when i spill bright pink nail polish on the floor (even though the stain never came out). when my grandpa was out of town, i used to sleep in her bedroom and fall asleep to reruns of newhart and coach. and as i got older, she didn't seem to age. she was still the same to me - and even now, that's how i'm going to remember her.
i miss her.
that was pretty much all of last week. i tried to get back into the my necessary routine of sleep and awake, work and home and doing it again the next day but i feel like i'm still getting back into that routine and i haven't mastered it yet.
the bee is still here and we're doing a lot better. i know that he loves me and i know that i love him but sometimes we can't communicate and we're working on that. but i do know we're on the same page as far as the baby is concerned and after the last few days, that's a good thing.
remember that nt scan and first trimester screening i had done? the doctor's office called on monday morning with the news that it came back positive - which is abnormal - and that i was at high-risk for having a baby with Down syndrome. instead of 1:1053, which is normal for my age, and instead of 1:220, which is the normal risk cutoff, i came back at 1:23, which is definitely concerning. so concerning that i, of course, was in hysterics and call the bee home from work and call my mom to have her calm me down. all the pregnancy books i have don't have a lot of positive information on first trimester screening or Down syndrome and this puts me in more of a funk than before, so for the moment they're all tucked away under the bed.
my first thought is "why me? why again? why can't things be easy or normal?" and as if that wasn't bad enough, i started thinking about all the things i know about Down syndrome, which isn't a lot at all, and they're all stereotypes anyway and this gets me even more upset. but the one thing i do know - and there was never a doubt about this in my mind - is that this doesn't change my mind about the fact that WE ARE HAVING A BABY. it may not be perfect (but what baby is?) and it may be harder than i thought (but i know that was going to be the case regardless) but this is still OUR BABY and it's going to be loved, no matter what.
the bee and i met with a perinatolgist last night that discussed our options for us. and since terminating this pregnancy is not an option for me and the idea of hurting or harming wal-mart doesn't turn me on either, we've decided against the cvs testing (which can be harmful to the baby and painful for me) and we're going to take a less invasive route. we're going with a series of ultrasounds to look for soft markers (or physical characteristics) of Down syndrome.
and the rest, i've decided, is up to God. it's either there or it's not, you know? and while having the invasive testing done would give us a definitive yes, there is D/S or no, there is not D/S, it's not a guarantee that there wouldn't be other things wrong that we hadn't prepared for. so in my eyes, any way we go is a surprise. there could be nothing, there could be lots of things. it could be less severe than D/S, it could be worse. but in the end, it's still a baby. it's still our baby. and it's still a miracle.
before i had a piece of paper in front of me that told me that i was high-risk, i was still high-risk. but i didn't know and therefore didn't care. i'm still going to be excited about this baby and this pregnancy and try to soak it all in because it won't be that long before it's over. yup, i'm getting fat and my momma had to take me shopping for new clothes because none of mine fit anymore. and that's okay with me. this journey is amazing and i wouldn't give it up for the world.
so right now, i'm a little sad, a little scared and a lot excited. this friday is 13 weeks and we're almost out of the first trimester. go wal-mart go! and i'm hungry for convenience store nachos with lots of jalepenos and cheese and a cherry coke. but that's for later.
so much for an espn-like post, huh?