Thursday, May 19, 2011

Guess who is going to be a big brother?

That's right! I'm about twelve and a half weeks along. My due date is Nov. 27. We are a little nervous, but very excited. I felt a little green the first 2 months, but have been feeling really good lately. It is harder this time around not being able to nap all the time. Our Developmental therapist was working with Gabe about a month ago and brought a baby doll to see how he would interact with it and if he would know to feed it or be gentle. Gabe definitely picked it up by it's foot and threw it. The therapist jokingly says, "I hope you weren't planning on expanding on your family soon". I told her I was pregnant and she says "oh it's okay...we'll work on it". It was a funny moment. Gabe now knows the sign for baby and he pats my belly when I tell him there is a baby in there. It is too cute. Here are some answers to questions people may be wondering....

1. What are your chances of having another baby with Down Syndrome?
The chances are around 1 in a 100 (the same as a 37 year old) for the mother of a child with Down Syndrome to have another child with Down Syndrome. I've heard different theories on why this is. One common theory is that most babies who have chromosome division issues are miscarried and often times, no one knows why. My body proved I can carry one to term and this ups my chances. Another theory is mechanical error is typically 1% on detection tests and they label the 1% to women who have already had babies with any chromosome division issues to give them the highest risk of possibility. No one really knows why. Read question #2 for my specific chances...

2. Are you having any testing done to find out?
Let me start out by saying I would not change a thing about Gabe for the world. I strongly believe I was meant to have him...Down Syndrome and all. Prenatal testing is a pretty controversial subject with lots of opionion. Many people in the Down Syndrome community do not support early detection because it often leads to increased termination...destroying a life definitely worth living and decreasing the Down Syndrome population. While I understand this fear, I feel it is up to us to educate and spread the word of awareness and acceptance of people who happen to have Down Syndrome, decreasing the fear of the unknown that often triggers the decision to terminate. Anyway, having said that, I was very happy I knew before Gabe was born that he had Down Syndrome. I felt like I could grieve, accept, and then prepare before he was born. I don't know if I could have handled my grief along with his serious illnesses at the same time. We have chosen to do some testing with this pregnancy...nothing invasive, just ultrasound and blood work. The baby's nuchal fold was measured this week, along with my hormone levels. My results came back with a 1 in 2071 chance of this child having Down Syndrome and <1 in 10,000 chance for having Trisomy 13 or 18. While these numbers are not definites, they are reassuring. We will have a 20 week ultrasound and a 24 week fetal echocardiogram and unless there are any markers, we will be good with this amount of testing.

3. Do you want a boy or a girl?
Trust me when we say I want a health child, I really really mean it. But if I had to choose, pink would be nice.

4. So you are going to have two kids under the age of 3....are you crazy?
Probably. However, we both felt it was time. We always wanted 2 kids. Plus the idea of Gabe having a sibling is a really nice thought. Not someone to take care of him....he will be able to take care of himself, but another person to be his grow up with. I thought long and hard about whether I wanted another baby or Gabe to have a sibling and I've decided the answer is both and that is when we decided we were ready to have another child.

That is it for now. I will keep you updated as things progress.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

vacation was great

We are adjusting to life without the beach. We had a great time and Gabe loved it. St.John's Virgin Islands is a long trip, but beautiful.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

We made it!

After a long day of travel, we made it to st,John virgin islands. All the kids did great. Gabe did awesome on the plane and ferry. It is beautiful here. We are on the search today for a sandy beach as the one by the house we are staying at is by a big drop off and rocky. The house is nice and big and open. However, this means bugs get in and no air conditioning. So far it is breezy enough not to be uncomfortable. Gabe is loving hanging out with the other kids and we are looking forward to relaxing today.