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Surprise of a Lifetime: Gia's Story

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Surprise of a Lifetime: Gia's Story

When I went to my doctor, he was not as excited as I was but just as shocked. He even joked and said, "Weren't you just in here telling me you were closing this door?" That first week was a blur of activities. Ultrasounds to make sure it wasn't in my tube and blood tests to make sure my numbers were doubling and my 39th birthday where I was going to breakfasts and lunches before going on our annual trip to Vegas (which I no longer wanted to go on because I just wanted to stay home and make sure I stayed pregnant). The worst was on my birthday, I was hoping that the best gift would be a good report at the doctor. Nope. Instead on the blood test form were the words: possible spontaneous abortion. Now, I know that means miscarriage but seeing those words on the paper really upset me. My doctor, after seeing me through some of the worst "fertility" times, was not hopeful and didn't want me to get my hopes up. I wanted to be excited but was afraid it was going to lead to more heartache. Right before we left for the airport the next day, the nurse called with my blood results. The number more than doubled. That was the first time I got good news since the test came up positive. I spent the whole plane ride worried I was going to miscarry on the plane and went to the bathroom at least 10 times on the plane. I spent a lot of time praying on that trip and allowed myself to tell every stranger that I was pregnant. I figured even if it ended badly, at least I was able to be excited in Vegas.

When I got home, I decided I needed to switch doctors to a more positive one. I went for an ultrasound and saw the heartbeat. With all my kids, seeing the heartbeat made it real but this time, the relief I felt was overwhelming. The doctor, who knew me and knew all that had happened, didn't make me feel like this was impossible. She was very matter-of-fact and acted like this was any other pregnancy. She even said to me, "Why would there not be a heartbeat? You are 6 weeks pregnant." That was exactly what I needed and decided she was who I was going to see from that point on. That changed when she started making me feel bad about not doing any prenatal testing. I would love to say that I didn't do any testing because I wasn't going to do anything different but really, I didn't do any testing because I didn't want to know. I wanted to hide for 9 months and then deliver a healthy baby. I didn't want to do anything that I did with Rocco. I thought by doing that, it would alleviate the worry. It didn't. I spent nine months praying and imagining myself delivering a healthy baby. I bought a heartbeat monitor (what a sanity saver that was) and after switching back to my original doctor that supported the "no testing" rule I had, went every two weeks to do a heartbeat check.

With my other pregnancies, there were milestones that I reached that each time I breathed a sigh of relief. The first was the positive test and then the heartbeat and then 12 weeks. This time, there was no sigh of relief. There was not only the worry that the baby would die again but there was the worry that there was a high chance (1 in 4 but with two kids that had it, the odds meant nothing to us) that the baby would have CF. I felt like I was holding my breath the whole time. Every time a negative thought would enter my head, I would force myself to picture a healthy baby (with dark hair for once...maybe I'd get one that looked like me). All the worrying aside, I LOVED being pregnant. I did a great job, for the first time in my life, of living in the moment. It was hard to be pregnant with the kids' schedules but Leo knew I needed to not be stressed out so he picked up a lot of the slack. I knew it was going to be my last time so I really enjoyed every moment of it. We went at 16 weeks for the anatomy ultrasound. I opted for a basic one in the office instead of the high tech one at Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the hospital. I could not bring myself to go back there. I didn't want to ever talk to the genetics counselor and I didn't want to lay on the same table I did with Rocco and wonder if ten days from then, I'd end up making burial arrangements again. Leo went with me and it was the absolute best experience. The tech was super fast so I wasn't that uncomfortable and she asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby. We said yes and she announced, "It's a girl!"


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