Tuesday, October 18, 2011

$1,000 vs. a punch in the face

This has been kind of a hold-your-breath pregnancy. I've been counting week by week.

I held my breath for thee two weeks between the doctor sticking in the eggs and the nurse taking blood and calling me. And then I held my breath for the next couple weeks, at which point I started spotting, freaked out, and the doctor let me come in to see if everything was OK or it was going all to hell.

They did a sonogram and determined that there was indeed a little gestational sac in there, plus a little smaller dark spot of...something...

And then we went in later in the week for our scheduled scan, and it looked just fine, and the spot was disappearing.

Again at eight weeks we went in, and I was holding my breath, literally, until they said there was a little heartbeat. And the other spot was gone. (I'm now all, the kid totally ate his or her twin.) There was one little fetus in there, and it was measuring perfectly, and it was fine.

OK. So there was a heartbeat. And possibly healthy.

Also, let me tell you. When you do assisted reproduction, you get used to a lot of attention. At one point I was having my blood taken daily. Once you graduate to the OB, and they're all, "See you in four weeks!" you feel very neglected.


At this point I started waiting for 11 weeks, 1 day, for the nuchal scan. And of course started obsessively reading everything possible on the Internet about things that can go wrong. Reasons for miscarriage. Statistics for Downs, for the other trisomies.

I found this helpful chart, which put it all together. At my age - 42 - my risk of any of the trisomies is 1 in 42. (For the sake of comparison, it's 1 in 526 at age 20.)

Which, of course, is not so great, right?

Nick likes to take numbers such as these that cause me hysteria and put them in terms that he feels like will make them real-life for me. He put it in the following way:

"OK. So 1 in 42. Let's say that you walk out the front door on any given day for 42 days. On 41 of those days, someone will hand you $1,000. On only one of those days, someone will punch you in the face. Your odds of not being punched in the face are really good, aren't they?"

Naturally, I continued to fixate on the punch in the face. While remaining hopeful that a stranger actually will hand me $1,000, just for leaving my house.

And then we had the nuchal screen, where they take blood and do a sonogram and match up the bloodwork and the measurements that they see and then give you your odds.

I walked in terrified that it had stopped growing. So afraid they'd see a lot of fluid in the neck. No nasal bone.

And then the results turned out to be so dramatically much better than 1 in 42. And in fact, better than Jordan's results when I was pregnant with him. And he, of course, is perfect.

At 11 weeks, 1 day, no face punch.

And now, now I've started breathing...mostly. We're still having an amnio at 15 weeks, because I cannot handle these degrees of uncertainty. There could be a face punch right around the corner.

But so far, we seem to be winning.


  1. I held my breath while reading this post. Sending lots of good juju your way, in $1000 increments.


  2. Hoping the punch never comes. I think we'd all like that. Thinking of you and yours. x

  3. Here's to avoiding the punch, LG!!

  4. High five for no punches!!!! So glad everything is turning out to be the best ever.

  5. oh, dear, this must be so scary (yet exciting!) for you...remind me to regale you with my tale of the emergency appendectomy during week 14 of my first (only) pregancy- it's a real page-turner!

    best of luck and good thoughts!

  6. Oh yeah, thank heavens for amnio. I will keep my fingers crossed for you and the passenger!

  7. Sending good good vibes for your amnio!

    I was totally freaked for my quad screen (passed) and for the anatomy scan. I couldn't have cared less if it was a boy or girl (girl!), I was just relieved to see all 4 chambers of her heart and all of her ribs. I just kept thinking that something had to go wrong because everything had been going so smoothly and honestly, I'm a waiting for the other shoe to drop kind of girl. Anyway, it's now week 32 and my new item of worry is that the baby will wrap her umbilical cord around her neck. I'll take "get a freakin' grip" for $200, Alex. As I'm beginning to realize, this whole parenthood thing is even more of a nerve-wracker once they're born. Oh goody!

  8. God, I nearly tripped over every word racing to the end. Thanks goodness it was good news. So happy for you.

  9. And "thanks goodness" you won't judge me for annoying typos.

  10. I am totally a face-punch-fixator. I'm glad you have a Nick to explain things :o)

  11. I'm finally trying to get pregnant at the age of nearly 39 and I just read a very informative book called "A Few Good Eggs" so I've just been introduced to all you've been through to get this far. Wow! Many blessings to you and the little bun.

  12. No face punches!! Hoping for the very best for you and the little one!


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