[formerly private…

[formerly private entry]

Sorry for the long silence, guys -- I think I worried a few of you. As far as I know, all is still well; I just had all that backlogged work slam into me, and had to put my head down and work really hard for a bit.

Hope you like the new format; Jed set it up for me. So now you should feel free to comment away, though of course I'm also happy to have you e-mail me privately if you prefer.

Kev and I went in last week for our genetic counselling appointment. She was really good and clear; seemed to know exactly what she was talking about, which was reassuring. One of the things she clarified for me is that the early testing I'm doing is not the 'triple-test' -- that's an older test that they used to do. What they do now is just called the 'first-trimester screen', and it's a combination of a blood test and an ultrasound that looks for nuchal translucency (needs to be done after eleven weeks). I had gotten the two sets of tests confused, but now I'm clear on it.

She also told us about carrier testing, which we hadn't thought about at all. That's ethnicity-based -- for Kevin, they'd be testing whether he was a carrier for cystic fibrosis, and for me, whether I'm a carrier for a set of anemia-related blood disorders. The diseases have serious consequences, and at first, I thought we should do the testing, but then when Kevin ran the odds, it became clear that it was really unlikely that we'd have a kid with any of these diseases, so I think we're pretty decided against it. One advantage to interracial dating -- really lowers the odds for this kind of thing. Hooray for hybrid vigor! :-)

I *am* pretty nervous about the ultrasound. It's next Wednesday, and once it's done, they'll soon after give us a set of results that tell us whether our odds for Downs and trisomies 12/18 stay up around 1/200, or drop down -- possibly as far as 1/13,000. What they tell us will determine our next step -- if the odds are up around 1/200 still, we may well go ahead and do the chorionic villus sampling test right away, so we can have a definitive answer, despite the 1/100 risk of miscarriage. If the odds drop dramatically, then we won't do the CVS, but we may still do the amnio after 15 weeks. We'll probably just wait and see what we think at that point.

So it feels like something major may be decided very quickly -- among other things, if the odds drop favorably, we're thinking that's when we'll tell our parents. (Exciting, scary.) So we're mostly just waiting now. Kevin's pretty good at thinking about other things, and this job search is keeping us moderately busy and distracted -- but that doesn't mean I don't spend some time every night obsessing about what's coming.

Physically, I'm feeling better. Generally reasonably normal energy levels during the day, although I do have this lingering cold that I think I've had for a good month now -- I guess pregnancy depresses your immune system. So tired, but not too bad. Some queasiness, but mostly it comes for an hour or so and then goes away, which is a definite improvement over the queasy-all-the-time period. I'm at eleven weeks now, so if I'm lucky, I'll soon be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel -- or perhaps a better metaphor would be that roller coaster they have at Space Mountain.

Do you know the one I mean? You're sitting in a car in the pitch black. It climbs slowly, slowly, slowly on a steep and winding path, and you keep thinking that it can't possibly go any higher (since it's inside a man-made mountain), but it does. And then finally you reach the top, and there's this moment when you hang there, and you can finally see light -- tiny, tiny lights, impossibly far below. And at that moment, you think maybe you really want to get off this ride, but it's too late now, your car crests the ridge and you're hurtling down at ridiculous speed, diving and swooping and being hurled from side to side in this tiny little car you have absolutely no control over, and all you can do is hang on tight and hope that whoever designed this ride knew what they were doing...

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