Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Clarification: I feel like I should say that we’re doing OK. I mean, nothing is certain in life – ever, and certainly, we don’t know that anything is ‘wrong’ with this pregnancy. In fact, it is highly likely that everything is fine. We just don’t know. And for an information junkie, like me, you might think that was a recipe for crazy-making. But it’s not and I’m actually OK. If I was just saying that and didn’t mean it, I wouldn’t be sleeping well, but I am (when Bobo’s cough lets me).

The reason I’m OK: let’s assume we get a worst-case diagnosis (which we probably won’t but this is just for argument’s sake). There are worse things in the world than congenital CMV, Down Syndrome, or cystic fibrosis. In the grand scheme, problems with your baby go from the mild like having a baby elf ear to anencephaly with a whole lot of middle ground like asthma, albinism, and left-handedness (joke!).

So, really, we’re keeping it all in perspective. There are conditions that I would find much more frightening, and there are cases where we would opt for the amnio. And we even agree that there are conditions that would cause us to terminate.

So, the less-than-totally-reassuring ultrasound was on Tuesday. Thursday was my regularly-scheduled ob appointment. My doctor is originally from Long Island (his practice was in Hauppauge for years) so we small-talked about my recent trip for a good while (and the relative merits of dividend stocks versus bonds versus funds of stocks/bonds…good times at the ob). Then I hopped up on the table for my Doppler. I told him I went for my Level II and blah blah blah. He said the placenta thing was no big deal but if it’s not him performing the c-section to make sure my husband mentions it. Then I told him about the two soft markers, and he asked how the amnio went. He was shocked, *shocked*, that we had elected not to do it (and frankly, so am I). I told him my husband was not in favor of it, and I had to defer to him a little on this one (so not like me) because the benefit, in this case, did not outweigh the risk to the pregnancy and Muse.

I asked my ob if I could get the MaternitT21 test. He said, “Sure, if you tell me how to get it for you.” I handed him a piece of paper on which I had written the company’s name, phone number, physician ordering info, etc. He said someone (like a drug rep except, I guess it would be a test rep) had been in to talk to them about it. He said he hadn’t reviewed the journal articles and didn’t know how accurate it was (I said I have but I don’t know how reputable the journal was). So, we talked about that for a bit, and he said he’d call and find out how to get the test for me. Since someone had been in to talk to him, I assume that we are close enough to Chicago metro to get the test. He hasn’t called back yet.

If I don’t get the fetal DNA test, we might elect to have the amnio after the next ultrasound if the soft markers persist. Ideally, I would like the amnio at 36 weeks. If it sends me into labor, no big deal (well, actually 4 weeks premature is a tiny bit of a big deal in a boy but you get the idea). The results take 2 weeks so we would have them before a scheduled c-section at 39.5 weeks. If that doesn’t work out, we’ll probably take the umbilical cord blood at birth and have tests run on it. It’s a plan. And I do better with a plan.

In other news, Bobo had his 3-year well-“baby” visit. He got his new Prevnar-13 vaccine and I could not possibly be happier about this. My husband took him for the visit, so I actually got a call from the exam room to follow along with the appointment. I had guessed that he no longer had an ear tube in his right but still had one in his left. I WIN! Woo Woo. That’s just how it is (he had done the tiniest big of tugging at his right ear on the plane and I noticed a very small amount of drainage from his left during his recent cold…so I figured right side is closed up now and left is not). He passed his eye chart exam, his pulse is good and strong, his blood pressure was fine, he didn’t need a lead screening again. He is 36 pounds and 39-1/4” tall. Those are both between the 75th and 90th percentiles, so he’s proportional. He has a head cold (which we knew…see also, the coughing). He is on track and on target for everything. And every time someone tells me this, I am so happy because we had been so worried about him. But no more.

In different other news, in between the ultrasound and the ob visit, we had Chuckles’s parent-teacher conference. Not the most amazing conference I’ve ever had about him. The teacher asked us what our long-term plan is with him, “With all his eccentricities, are you going to put him in a lab school?” Uh, no, we were hoping you were going to teach him something here in our suburban, well-regarded, well-funded school system. Guess not. We’re holding on to hope for 3rd grade when they finally start the clustering by class for kids of same ability.

Chuckles is a handful, this much I know. He’s bright, but he is not a hard worker (or maybe just not self-motivated yet). He’s easily distracted and chatty (but I keep telling myself, he’s 6…seems normal and typical to me). He needs to learn about the joy and value of work. He’s never had to work at anything in his life (nothing, really..he’s athletic, has friends…once he gets over the shy thing, artistic, funny, somewhat musical, and smart…he even cooks and has family members ask him for the recipes he’s invented). I would really like him to have a teacher who would challenge him (as his father and I do…we do not accept that he’s only a kid and let him go on not knowing about internal combustion engines or WWII). I think if properly challenged in a classroom environment, he could learn about struggling to understand a concept and about the reward/payoff that comes with mastery. You don’t get that sense of accomplishment when someone asks you to count to 100 or tell time to the hour when you’ve been doing that for 3 years. I do understand about state standards and being measured against a standardized test…that’s how our school district got well-regarded, but this is my kid and I really would like them to teach him something.

So, he has an enrichment folder, but he needs to be self-taught and self-motivated to complete it in his free time (while also being expected to do the regular grade-level work…which I was assured is mandated by the state curriculum law). He feels a little punished because he has to do “more” work than the other kids. The teacher said he should feel grateful for going to such a good school that even offers him these opportunities. I see her point, but I think I understand Chuckles’s point more. He does not like to be singled out (that’s the shy). However, there is at least one other kid in the classroom with a folder and he likes her so I told him that he needed to step up and get some of the work done because she was getting ahead of him (very competitive, that child). We’ve already seen some improvement on the folder front, so we’ll see how it goes. And I already know who I am going to request/suggest he get as a teacher next year.

In other, other news, I have 17 people coming to dinner on Thursday and we’re frying a Cajun style turkey (again). We get raves over the turkey every year so we just keep hosting the holiday.  I can't wait to turn the cranberries out of the can onto a pretty crystal plate.  That contrast is the highlight for me.

Things for which I am thankful:  my family, our health, our love.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a fellow canned cranberry fan! Growing up, we always had it in this cut glass dish, complete w/can lines.

    We have similar issues w/first grader, "gifted" teacher warned classroom teacher off of having extra more challenging work, as kids do see that as punishment & gifted teacher has seen kids dumbing down to avoid extra work. Our Bean is also bright & not engaged or challenged by the worksheets which he whips through. He loves his "special" math, he gets pulled out for it, and also is with a pod of kids to do in class stuff too. I hope you get a better fit w/teacher next year, and I hope this year gets better after winter break.

    Glad Bobo got a good report! And hope you get the tests you want & good info from it/them, so you have more clarity.
    Lisa F.