The Longest Weekend

Week 11, Day 6

There are some definite benefits to being an engineer. 1) An affinity and talent for performing research.  2) A logical approach to just about everything. When stressed out, it is definitely easier for me to be an engineer first and respond emotionally later.

After being told my 11 week sonogram showed an enlarged and abnormally shaped yolk sac, I did some research.  I found three research articles in British and American medical journals, which are good sources of information, as far as the internet goes.  The statistics were depressing - 80-100% correlation between an abnormal yolk sac and an abnormal outcome (i.e. miscarriage and chromosomal defect).  But all of the statistics were for yolk sacs measured between weeks 6-8.  My results were from week 11.  That doesn't help.

One of the articles made the connection that if the measurements were more than one standard deviation away from normal, then the risk for miscarriage and chromosomal defect increases.  John and I took grad school approach: where did they screw up the numbers?  How big was the sample size?  What was one standard deviation?  What was their reliability coefficient?  Was their sample pool skewed to begin with?  Ultrasounds at 6-8 weeks are not standard, so maybe they're looking at a high-risk population and the sample is not representative of the general population?

Even with the questions, there wasn't any relief.  John and I were no comfort to each other; we were both scared and thinking the same terrible thoughts.  To make things worse, the neighbor John had spilled the beans to had assumed we were telling everyone and told the other neighbors.  I made John go and do damage control and tell everyone to keep their mouths shut.  I spent the weekend basically in hiding.  I knew the neighbors all knew and I just couldn't face them.  I couldn't even wave or make eye contact.  Any question or comment would put me in tears.  I felt them staring when I stepped outside.

I was still planning on slowly jogging a half marathon and had an 11 mile training run planned for the weekend.  I thought maybe that would help relieve some stress.  Wrong.  With nothing to do but think, I could only think about the worst possible outcome.  Every mile or so I'd start hyperventilating.  I threw in the towel at 6 miles and decided I really needed to talk to someone.

The only person I had told was Kelly, and she was out of town that weekend.  I didn't want to bother her when travelling.  I couldn't talk to the neighbors so that meant telling someone else I was pregnant.  The first person I called?  My mom, of course.

Except Mom didn't answer.  I called her cell.  No answer.  I called the house again and left a message.  I called my brother to see if Mom and Dad were out on the farm.  He said they were travelling to northern WI for the weekend.  I tried Mom's cell again and left a message.  I was working myself into a panic with every unanswered call.

OK, Mom is out.  Next I tried my friend Jenn.  She's a mom and one of the few people who knew we were thinking about having kids.  She also lives in Hawaii.  I assumed even with the time change she'd be awake since she has an 18 mo old.  The phone rang and rang and then "Your call cannot be completed as dialed.  Please try again."  Argh!!

Alright, I still don't want to bother Kelly, so I'll try my cousin Becky.  We've always been close and I hadn't planned on telling her just yet, but I need to talk to someone.  I called.  No answer, just voicemail.

I gave up.  I was sitting on a park bench at 9 am, crying into my sunglasses.  Sobbing, really.  I felt so alone and so helpless.  I sat in the park long enough to regain some composure and drive myself home.

John and I kept busy all weekend and didn't talk about it.  Later, my mom got the voicemail and called me back.

"Well," I said "I have good news and I have bad news.  The good news is I'm pregnant and the bad news is..."
I couldn't even finish the sentence before breaking into tears.  My poor mom.  I can only imagine how much it broke her heart.  I tried to explain everything and I couldn't tell you what all was said.  But no matter how old you are, talking to your mom when you're upset makes things a little more bearable.  I felt marginally better.

I wish I could adequately describe how helpless we both felt.  But I am not eloquent enough to put into words just how my heart broke at the thought we might lose the Peanut.  I was amazed at how attached I already was to something the size of a AA battery.  Maybe I will make a good mom after all.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Reading this breaks my heart! I hope everything is ok with your peanut and I can't wait to read your next entry.