The response and outpouring of love, prayer, and support has been overwhelming from sharing what we are experiencing with this pregnancy. We feel like through processing it all we are in a really good place, as good as we can be right now. In some ways I find it hard to believe that the day after tomorrow, we will finally get to look at Raptor's chromosomes. In other ways, I cannot believe how long this process has taken...on Thursday when we go in to see the report from the amniocentesis it will have been hours shy of 8 weeks. Now technically, we could have found out on this past Thursday and I could, in theory, call right now to talk to the genetic counselor over the phone to see what the report says, but I feel better about it all this way. It adds a sense of control to something we have had absolutely no control over. It also makes it feel more normal, less urgent, and like there is a sense of "it doesn't really matter, we just need to know in order to prepare." I am really excited, besides getting to know, to look at these chromosomes. It is a very cool side effect to having this testing done, getting to see a map of what makes Baby Raptor who he or she is. The very building blocks of his or her life will be mapped out in front of us! I was speaking with several people over the past few weeks and I think it is incredible that we know so much about the human body that we can isolate the difference between 46 and 47 chromosomes. We humans think we are so amazing that we can build Ipod nanos and small circuitry, but God is so amazing that He can build our chromosomes! And that isn't even the smallest part of our body!!!
One thing that I am having to prepare myself for is the fact that not all of our questions may be answered on Thursday. There is a lot up in the air with different testing that has been done. Regardless of whether of not Raptor has T21/Down syndrome, we still have to take a good look at the heart, and I will still be on pretty close watch for the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy from what I understand. I feel like we need a flow chart with several different hypotheticals to summarize where we could be headed. And we could, theoretically, have something more serious to deal with than T21. I realize that we will either have an answer or a lot of things ruled out on Thursday, but we still have a long road ahead of us just to get to delivery. It feels odd that everything seems so normal on the outside and I am able to do all my typical tasks when there is so much going on inside me with this baby. It will be exciting to get a "normal" ultrasound beforehand because even though I have had two very long, very intense ultrasounds over the past few weeks, they didn't print out pictures for us to show off to everyone and they don't really linger over the cute little face or hands and feet like we are used to. We are very thankful for the amount of knowledge and how capable all our medical providers have though.
Regarding our feelings ourselves (and we will see how this actually manifests itself on Thursday), Matt and I truly want this baby to be healthy. In our hearts, we obviously are hoping for normal chromosomes, no heart issues, and for everything to resolve itself. But we are also preparing for an extra chromosome and we can't make any assumptions about the heart issues before we talk to the specialist because we just don't know. Matt and I have gotten to a place where we know, eventually, we will accept and love and adore Raptor because Raptor is ours. We know that there will be pain and strife and struggles regardless of how many chromosomes Raptor has. And we know, in the end, it is important for us to "follow" our children and let them show us what they are capable of. We have, in our opinions, done a good job of not holding MacKenzie and Keegan back and letting them show us their abilities. Raptor will be no different. We will love, support, encourage, and teach our hearts out and know that is enough. I am to the point where I am excited again, I get a lump in my throat thinking about holding this sweet baby, and am planning normal things like birth announcements and Christmas cards with all three kids. I am freaking out a little bit right now, not because of the potential extra chromosome, but because I just typed out "three kids"! We know we might be sad for a while if we see an extra chromosome and that is ok. We are just excited about what the future holds and are very glad we are taking this on together.
Again, we are so appreciative of all of the kind words sent out. Our cups are truly overflowing with the outpouring of love we have received. It has been nourishing and strengthening for us and Raptor.