nonsensical text

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

siding of the blind variety

Today, for various complicated reasons, my closest friend asked me to go to an appointment with her. She is expecting, and being over the dreaded age of 35 by a little over a month, she gets the not so politically correct tag of “advanced maternal age.” In recent years, a new form of non-invasive testing has come about to screen for genetic abnormalities. It involves an ultrasound and a finger prick blood test which assess the personal risk factor, thereby providing the means for a more informed decision about more invasive testing (amnio, cvs – both of which present risk of miscarriage). The results of any of these tests would not affect her decision to carry the babe, so she won’t be planning those additional procedures if the risk does come up high, but she doesn’t mind getting an extra peek at the growing wiggle-worm.

Everything looks fine right now, though she won’t get the official results for about a week, but I discovered something else today. Even though nine years have passed, things still have the capability of catching me off guard. A few simple sentences can cause so much memory to come flooding back to me.

Episode 1:

Friend: Your job must be so amazing.

Sonographer: It depends on the day. I see a lot that is not so good in my job, so some days are harder than others.

Episode 2:

Doctor: How many children do you have? How many pregnancies have you had? Do you have a history of________?” (fill in the blank; there are so many of these)

Episode 3:

Friend: What is the difference between having an ultrasound done here as opposed to, say, ABC Radiology?

Doctor: In the actual test, there is really no difference. It is the person performing it who makes the difference. They are radiologists. We are maternal/fetal specialists with an emphasis on high-risk obstetrics.

Seems like innocent enough conversation, wouldn’t you think? But you see, I couldn’t help but remember my own bad stuff – evidenced so clearly as the u/s tried to find the heartbeat the doppler couldn’t locate. I couldn’t help but fill in the blanks with my own answers – 6 children - 12 pregnancies, history of early miscarriage and stillbirth, enormous family history of hereditary type cancers and heart disease. I couldn’t help but flinch at the words “high risk obstetrics.” I hid it well – but the tears were there - right behind the eyes.

And so, as I think of every expectant mother of whom I am aware at this moment in time, I pray that none of them will ever have the need to understand my trepidation. I struggle to maintain their innocence. I close my eyes and utter a silent prayer.


  • My heart aches for you. Though our experiences have not been quite as brutal in many ways as yours (6 pregnancies, four births, all with subsequent medical complications), they have left me very sensitive to these pains.

    By Anonymous OddMix, at 11:38 AM  

  • Oh Odd one,

    Thank you. And I am tremendously sorry that you have reason to "get it."


    By Blogger atypical, at 12:52 PM  

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