who we are
mom of 3
Hi, all. My name is Misti, and I'm mom to Axel, who is rockin' an extra chromosome, Aleigh, and Abree. My husband Scott and I found out we were pregnant with our third child a week after my thirty-fifth birthday. My doctor's office offered the prenatal screenings for "increased maternal age," and I agreed, never imagining they would ever come back "abnormal."
We brought our girls to my twenty week appointment because we were finding out if our little peanut was a boy or a girl. We had no reason to be worried or think this would be anything more than your typical twenty-week ultrasound. We'd had the first-trimester combined screening, including the nuchal translucency scan, and all was well. We had completed the bloodworK for the quad screen, and we anticipated typical results. We were just anxious to know how we could decorate this baby's nursery!
At 1:30 p.m., I was called back for the ultrasound, and we found out our little peanut was, without doubt, a boy (incredibly, considering we had accepted that this would probably be a 'baby girls only' household). Aleigh was elated, but Abree cried... she wanted a little sister. With pictures in hand, I sent my family home, for there was no reason for them to join me in the tiny exam room for the five minute checkup with the doctor.
At 2 p.m., my doctor walked in and asked me how I felt. I told her I felt twenty weeks pregnant with my third baby, which meant exhausted, huge, and exhausted. She made this face... this odd pursing of the lips... and said she wanted to talk to me about my quad screen and some markers they saw on the ultrasound. My heart dropped from where it was fluttering somewhere in my throat to the very pit of my stomach, heavy like lead. My quad screen came back abnormal, and my baby had some spots on his kidneys that were indicative of some soft markers associated with Down syndrome. I wasn't sure I'd heard her correctly because, now, everything she said was coming at me through a barrier of something resembling water. Her words were muffled and thick and I was struggling to make sense of them. What I remember very, very clearly, though, was the ratio.
I'd suddenly, in a matter of half an hour (or so it seemed to me), gone from having a 1 in 350 chance to a 1 in 30 of having a baby with Down syndrome.
I remember crying. I remember looking for comfort. I remember my doctor, continuing to stand at the door with her hand on the knob, asking if I was alone. Of course I was. I'd sent my husband home because these appointments with the doctor take five minutes! I remember asking for my favorite nurse, who happened to be off that day. I remember the next steps would be series of appointments with a specialist in Fort Worth. I remember the words "I'm sorry" and "can I call someone for you?" I remember stumbling from the office to the appointment desk and then through the waiting room and to my car, tearful, confused, numb. I didn't call Scott. I couldn't tell him over the phone. I drove home and made it to my garage, where he met me, before broke down and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.
Since finding out Axel might have Down syndrome to receiving confirmation that he does to celebrating his birth and first year of life, I have grown so much as a mama and as a person. And that's why I started The Upside. I knew nothing about Down syndrome, which is the truth most of our general population faces.
mom of 3
mother of 2
grandmother of 5