Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Thing I Can't Blog About

Yesterday (April 29th) was our first doctor's appointment. BioMom was exactly 7 weeks and 5 days pregnant.

We are over-the-moon about it, but at the same time probably overly anxious. It is exactly a year ago that BioMom was pregnant and ultimately miscarried.

Its so much different for both of us now. Where, last year, I wanted to shout from the rooftop, telling strangers, acquaintences and our closest all, this year I barely have the urge to tell my closest friends. And usually, when I do almost tell, it is not in the form of an announcement, but an aside, a part of the description of my every-day life.

I do, however, tell strangers. Strangers at Starbucks, strangers at our sandwich shop, the waitress at our sushi place (who, maybe shouldn't be counted as a stranger since we ALWAYS flirt with her). Strangers are my outlet.

Anyway, we expected some relief after this first doctor's appointment. We were hoping for some reassurance, statistical or otherwise.

You're FINE! I can GUARANTEE that you won't have another miscarriage!

Oh. . . No. You won't miscarry again! Only 30 percent of all women have miscarriages and even fewer have more than one! So, no. . . Don't worry at all!

Of course, we get Dr. Realistic. Dr. I-don't-want-to-get-sued-so-I'm-not-going-to-blow-smoke-up-your-ass-with-falsely-reassuring-statistics!

Me: We're out of the dark with the ectopic pregnancy now, aren't we? I mean, that thing's the size of a cherry [I'd been on the Internet, of course, looking up every detail and searching out every ache and pain BioMom reported since week 4!] so if it were in her tubes, she'd be writhing with pain, no?

Dr. Frank: Actually no. It is surprisingly difficult to diagnose and ectopic pregnancy and we see them well into the 8th week. If you have severe pains and/or bleeding feel free to call. To WAKE US UP if you have to.

Me: [shit].

BioMom: And miscarriage? Since we had one already, isn't there a smaller chance that we'd have another?

Dr. Frank: Well, actually, statistically you have the same chance of a miscarriage every time you get pregnant so. . .

And then came the really stressful information: the NUMBERS. Being the ripe-old-age of 38, [and, of course, Dr. Frank had to point out that she'd be 39 by the due date] the risk for down syndrome is 1/137 and the risk for chromosome abnormalities is 1/103. So, they give you all of these options to test to see if the baby has any of these issues. The screening tests are noninvasive and therefore not risky, but they only give you probabilities (albeit better, or I should say more accurate, than the ones for the general population). If you want more accuracy, you have to accept more risk. Technology has gotten better, but not much less risky. The amnio results in a miscarriage 1/200 times whereas this new test, the CVS results in miscarriage 1/100 times.

AND these are only 2 of 200 googleplex possible problems. And that doesn't even count one's they can't possibly measure like will the kid smoke crack when he's 13? or will she get preganant in her sophomore year in high school?

Needless to say, we left the Dr.'s office more anxious than when we entered.


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