Monday, October 3, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes...

It's crazy how fast a year goes by, and how different things are from then. I was on Facebook earlier tonight, and a friend posted her status about her baby's 1 year birthday coming up in a few short days, and where she was a year ago...pregnant and ready to meet her princess! It got me thinking about where I was one year ago, since Mason wasn't here yet. I went back to look through some of my photos, and this is what I found from one year ago (tomorrow):

I'm by no means "crunchy," but I guess you could say I am "lightly toasted" when it comes to some things. (A friend said that once and it just stuck with me...) For example, I have given my kids cookies and McDonalds and other junk food...once in a while. But, I give them natural, whole grain foods as well, and I breastfeed (not currently, but I did!), and babywear. And when it comes to pregnancy and birth especially, I am quite opinionated on my beliefs in medical interventions and birthing as naturally as possible. I don't believe in any medical testing or interventions during pregnancy. At least, not anymore. When I was pregnant with the twins, I didn't bother researching much into the numerous test run on you to detect for certain disorders or the "probability" of certain disorders. I just did the blood work and tests because it seemed like that was just what was supposed to happen. I had the same mindset with Mason, so doing the 16 week quad screen blood test just seemed normal to me. I feel very differently now.

A week after doing that blood test, I got a call from my midwife that said my test results were slightly elevated for spina bifida. As she kept talking about what that meant and how we would confirm it, my mind was racing with a million different thoughts. Of course terminating the pregnancy was not an option for us, nor would it ever be, no matter what disorder or disease our baby may have. Our baby is our baby, plain and simple, and we would adjust accordingly to whatever situation came our way. But the thought of raising and taking care of a child with a disability such as that was intense, stressful, and so scary. I immediately started researching spina bifida, and I'm not sure if that helped me or scared me even more.

Our 20 week ultrasound was bumped up a week earlier, and my husband was unable to go with me, due to a work engagement he couldn't get out of. A good friend of mine who is also a twin mama came with me, while her husband stayed home with all our children. :-) We met with a genetic counselor who went over spina bifida some more and what that would mean for our future, and how they determined, from ultrasound, if the baby did or did not have it. Finally, it was time for the ultrasound. I tried to enjoy seeing Mason moving around on the screen, but all I could think about was spina bifida. FINALLY, the tech checked the things that needed to be checked, that hold him whether the test was positive for the probability of spina bifida, or whether I was a victim of a very common false positive screening test. Turns out, the later was true. I could not have been more relieved! And then we were told we were expecting another baby boy...another surprise, since we were all so sure we were having a girl, for some reason. ;-) I was ecstatic and so much stress was taken off my shoulders at that point. I could enjoy the remainder of my pregnancy, and get to planning for Mason's arrival after that.

We did have one more follow up ultrasound at 32 weeks, just to check his spine again since it was more developed at that time, but that was all clear too.

Mason at 32 weeks via ultrasound:

 Me, pregnant at 31 weeks with Mason:

Of course, all the ultrasounds proved right when Mason was born and was just amazingly perfect....

Today, Mason is a normal, healthy 7 month old (wow!!) with a **perfect** spine. ;-)

It's amazing how much of a difference a year makes........

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