I would like to start from the beginning. This way if I write it all down, I know I won't forget anything! Although I feel as if I couldn't forget one moment of this roller coaster journey.
It was the end of June and my mother-in-law had invited me and the kids to go to the beach for a four day weekend. It was a great time! McKenzie ran around with her cousins and I chased after the boys from kiddie pool, to big kid pool, to the beach. As soon as we got home we went on our yearly vacation to Sandbridge. I had thought while I was at Myrtle beach it was strange that I didn't have a period. So while we were at Sandbridge we kidded about being pregnant. I bought 5 pregnancy test. ALL NEGATIVE. I was a little disappointed but truly okay with it. The whole week we talked about "THE BABY", in jest of course!! It was really funny. Because from the test results I knew I was not pregnant. I told my husband it must be early menopause. Even though I have four kids, it was very hard to conceive a couple of them, while losing twins in between. Getting pregnant for me was not an easy task. I thought we didn't need to worry, I couldn't get pregnant. As I had not in all years, Adam was 5. I came home and called my doctor. She said to come in and we'd check things out. She put me on a drug that causes you have your period.
I had scheduled a doctors appointment 6 months before to get my knee checked out. When I went into the office they asked me is there any chance you could be pregnant. I said well I might be with an ectopic. I had been before. Which would explain why I had no period and no positive test results. He said well then NO X-rays. I went into meet the doctor and was crying and explained why I was so upset. He said I promise I will get you in for X-rays as soon as possible you will not have to wait another 6 months as long as your not pregnant. I left immediately and went to the emergency room. They did an external and internal exam and said no baby. They did blood work and there was no baby! The next day I went back to Dr. Branche (knee doctor) and they did do X-rays. They said I had arthritis in my knee and needed physical therapy.... blah blah blah..... which seemed strange because I had that pain my knee all my life!! That seemed like a non answer. I had waited my whole life to know what was wrong and it was just arthritis. Still not sure I believed the diagnosis.
A couple of weeks passed and still no period after the drugs and still no baby. I went back into the Ob doctor's office and she did another blood test.
The next day it was a friend of mines child's birthday and we went to Kings Dominion. While we were there I got a message from the doctor, it said Hey Denise this is Doctor Cutting we need to talk, I have some news that might be quite shocking. I called her back and she confirmed I was pregnant. I felt crazy with panic. I had done the X-rays. My thought was something will be wrong. God I hope not because it will totally be my fault.
I called Aaron and was crying mostly for the reason I was in shock. This was going to be his last year of preschool. The prospect was so great with all of our children in school I could really get organized. I was so excited about that. All of it came crashing down, freedom seemed so far away. I called my sister and I remember talking to her in one of the stores. She was kinda happy and very supportive. I don't remember much else about that day. Just that I was very hot and I felt sick.
I went for my prenatal check-ups, just like with the other kids. Different doctors than before and Dr. Cutting didn't do OB. I was sad but whatever. A few weeks in they wanted to start the testing since I was 38 and a much older mom. I thought that was joke. I was 38, not 44. People told me to decline the "testing" but it was a sonogram, at 13 weeks, who doesn't want to see their baby and make sure that there really is one. I was excited but a little nervous. It happened to be September 23, 2009 ,Aaron's 40th b-day. I never imagined anything would be wrong and if they said there was I wouldn't have believed them, the eternal optimist. We sat there waiting, I was looking around at the other mothers wondering what their story was and hoping mine wasn't like theirs, and I wouldn't be back. We met with Doctor Poochie. Her nickname to me much later, had become Dr. Doomesday. They did the sonogram and the blood work. During the exam she let us know the nuchal fold was very large which was indeed common for down syndrome children. She said to us well I have two things I could say. One people that have kids with down syndrome stay married longer. All I could think of was of course they do, they most likely have already been married so long having kids in their "old age" and everything. Then she said siblings of Down syndrome children are usually more empathic in life. That was it, then she sent us on our way. I think Aaron was in shock a little. I felt so bad this was his 40th b-day. As we walked out of the Alexandria hospital, he said to me "From the moment you told me you were pregnant, I knew something was wrong". My heart broke into a million pieces. The man I depended on, loved, and felt he was truely the most wonderful husband and father, had deserted me. I felt alone in my pregnancy and scared. He had surcommed to the idea "that something was wrong". And for once, he had no solution. I was crushed.....
Maybe a week had passed and Dr. Doomesday called with the news we had a one in four chance of having a child with Down syndrome. We scheduled the amnio. We had agreed that we should know so we could be armed with all the information we could find. Plus we could also prepare our other kids and everyone around us. I was very concerned about a large needle in my tummy!! My mother had come in town to go with us. That night we discussed it. We already had decided we would obviously not do anything if the baby had Downs so Aaron said let's not do it, it has to many risks. At that moment I knew everything would be okay. My husband was there for me again. Ready to help me get through this, and I knew I was not alone, anymore. We went to the doctor anyway and they did another sonogram and they told it, "it's a girl". Another girl. I was elated. A precious little girl. My mom had never seen a sonogram so it was totally cool and exciting. I loved her being there when we found out.
But little did I know this was a couple of weeks in and had many more months to go...... I truely wondered would I get there, and where was there?