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Surprise of a Lifetime: Gia's Story Pt. 2

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Surprise of a Lifetime: Gia's Story Pt. 2

While enjoying every moment of being pregnant, I tried to love the baby while being semi-detached. I was really afraid of getting my heart broken again. After finding out the baby was a girl, all plans of remaining detached until she was born flew out the window. I was surprised at how fiercely I loved her. As her due date drew near, I was consumed with fears of something being wrong with her. I didn't regret not having the testing done but as the negative thoughts took over, I spent most waking moments forcing myself to imagine a healthy baby. I imagined this dark-haired baby with blue eyes and the biggest smile. As a gift to us, close friends transformed Tommy's room into a room fit for a princess. The only stipulation I had was it had to be pink because when I had Isabella, I also had Tommy so I had to go with the neutral color of light green.

As a family, we decided that if she was born with dark hair, her name would be Gia Nicole (after two of my other sister already claimed the name Angelina which has all of our names in it). If she was born with blond hair like Belle, she would be Elyse Nicole (because I loved the name). Leo wanted Jessie or Jenna or something like that but there was no way I was backing down. I loved both those names and since we decided as a family, they both felt right.

Looking back, giving birth to Gia feels like it happened to someone else. You know when you have a great dream and it stays with you? It feels like that. I look at her and I don't remember the pain or the actual c-section. I just remember one minute she wasn't here and the next she was. I was so afraid to see her because I was afraid they were going to say, "You should have had the testing. Look at all that is wrong with her." When I saw her, she had this really dark hair and she was so big. She ended up being my biggest baby. She was absolutely perfect. We stuck to our original plan and gave her the name Gia Nicole. Even at birth she hated eating. Breastfeeding was a joke. I had one lactation consultant gasp at what Gia did to my breast and another put me in a strange position and told me to sing her lullabies. I was done breastfeeding after that.

We brought her home and instantly we couldn't remember a time without her. The sleepless nights didn't bother me, the dirty diapers didn't bother me. She didn't eat very well but what really worried me is that they tested her cord blood for CF and we didn't have the results yet. I looked for every sign that she didn't have it but couldn't see past my fears. When we took her for her two week appointment and the wait for the doctor to come in and tell us was agonizing. When he walked in and said, "She doesn't have it. She's a carrier," I hugged him and started crying. The relief washed over me in a flood. After that, I would spend the days just staring at her in awe that she was actually there. I couldn't believe that after all that time, God gave me this beautiful gift. He finally answered my prayer. When she was about 2 months old, we went in for her check-up and very casually the doctor said, "She looks great so I think it is time to get that sweat test (standard test for CF) done." WHAT??? My heart fell. I became confused and scared and a little mean. We had the genetic test done and it came back negative! Why did we have to have the sweat test when that was the test you do before the genetic testing? He explained that because she failed the screening (because she is a carrier), the state demanded proof that we had the sweat test. They weren't satisfied with the genetic testing. He left to get the paperwork and I looked at Leo and started crying. Leo, being the hero of the day told the doctor when he came back that we were not going to have the testing done. That we already did and that was that. I was petrified of having her retested. As it was, I felt like at any moment someone was going to pinch me and I was going to wake up from this wonderful dream. I felt like as long as I didn't retest her, she'd stay okay.

While thoroughly enjoying Gia, I had the state calling me (3xs) and saying in a cheery voice, "Hi, your baby tested positive for the Cystic Fibrosis screening so we are calling to make sure that you are going to have a sweat test done." I knew she was just doing her job but I hated her. I argued with her three times about how we already followed up on it and they were so stuck on their protocol of "fail the screening, have the sweat test, do genetic testing" that they didn't make any allowances for the fact that we already had two children with it and we tested the cord blood and SHE DIDN'T HAVE IT! Correct me if I am wrong but aren't there crack whores who have issues that they could have bugged them about? Why were they so concerned about my baby having CF?

When we went in for her 3 month appointment, the doctor said the state wasn't backing down. We had to have her retested. On top of it, cord blood lends itself to inaccurate results because it could mix in with the mother's blood and since I was a carrier of one type of mutation, they might have misread the results. This made no sense to me because if that was true, she wouldn't even be a carrier and that would mean Tommy was only a carrier and wouldn't have it. When I brought that up, they decided both kids needed to be tested. I was devastated and the fear was mounting that the original test was wrong and that Gia had it.


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