Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yoga Means Union

I went to a prenatal yoga class this morning. It felt great and I think I'll go again. I was officially the least pregnant woman there (we went around the room: name, how many weeks, baby #). Being around all those big bellies made me feel normal and comforted in a way I hadn't expected. Towards the end of class the instructor was talking about feeling connected to your baby. It went along the lines of, "this is truly an auspicious time - the only time you are truly one with another person. You are now responsible for two lights: your soul and your babies." She went on to say thing about the changes we are experiencing in our bodies, the most obvious changes, but also the deep profound changes in our lives, minds, and relationships.

I tried to imagine my own mother feeling connected to me. I know that as a baby she did. She still wishes I was a baby. I know because she tells me this all the time. But something happened to her over the past 36 years and because of it we are sooo far from connected. I can't imagine feeling less of a bond with a person I'm supposed to love. This is mostly stemming from a recent melt-down on her part. Yes. Another one.

I found out we are having a girl last Thursday night. I came home and told Tim. The next morning on the way to work I called my mother at 7:42. We had a conversation that lasted 3 minutes and 41 seconds. I said to her, in these words, "You can start telling people. We got the first bit of results. Everything is OK, we're having a girl." The outpouring of babble came and we agreed to talk next week (work, In law's coming to town). Then I called my dad, we waited for dinner that night to tell Tim's parents, then even later on Friday I blogged on Pregnant Peeper.

I get a text from her on Monday morning that reads, "Wish i didnt have to find out things on the blog. Would have been nicer to hear you say it's a graddaughter, i'm happy for you both!" I texted back that we had a conversation Friday morning, remember? Nothing. I've called her 3 times and she won't pick up her phone or call me back. My mother never acts out by ignoring me. So she's in a corner somewhere licking her wounds and surely complaining to her friends to garner some attention, her favorite thing. The best I can figure is that she stopped listening when she heard she could tell people.

How am I related to her? How? How is it that I used to be inside her - completely connected 36 years ago - and now she is a virtual stranger to me?

The more important question is how can avoid this estrangement with my own daughter? Can anyone tell me this? Share a secret? Are you close to your mom? Why or why not? Feel free to leave me some comments...

Friday, December 5, 2008


Discalimer: If you found my blog by accident and are about to flame me I'm telling you up front that you can kiss my ass.

We had the CVS last night. For anyone who isn't familiar with this test it is one of the tests you can do to look for chromosomal aberrations. They collect a little bit of the placenta by putting a needle through the abdominal wall. It does carry some risk - in the hands of the place we went to the miscarriage rate is 1 in 350. That also means that you have a 99.7% chance that everything will be just fine. Nevertheless, I'm parked on the couch and Tim is being very attentive. So far, so good.

Normally they do a basic karyotype to look for trisomies like Downs Syndrome and sex chromosome aneuploidy that causes things like Klinefelter's Syndrome. We met with a genetic counselor (she happens to be our landlord/neighbors sister and she was awesome) before we did the test. We went over our heritage and complete family history. We were already screened for cystic fibrosis and we're clear. The only real risk factors for us are basic statistics and my age, which was the original reason for the recommendation to do CVS in the first place. When a practitioner who knows way more detail and the extent of the risk says, "I was in your shoes X months ago and I did the following" it lends credibility to the recommendation.

We knew from well before we were pregnant (even before TTC) that we intended to be pretty aggressive about perinatal diagnosis. There is a long freaking list of really debilitating chromosomal abnormalities that scare the crap out of me. Since we are pretty dorky, have some knowledge of disease, and both did some molecular biology for our PhD's we know just enough to ask a lot of annoying questions. By way of long discussion with the genetic counselor we learned that you can actually screen for a lot of these things now. It isn't widely available yet but is due to become the standard of care in the next 3-5 years. In the end we decided to do more extensive screening that includes Fragile X and microarray analysis at Baylor COM. It may take up to a month for results to be available. I'll let you know the outcome and whether I think it was worth it 6 and 12 months from now. Some of my friends may still have yet to face this as a choice (e.g. which tests if any).

The bottom line for us is this: if there is the potential for a serious problem and you can learn about it ahead of time how can it then be ignored? We can't so we tested. Judge me as you will.