The Chromosomal Lottery

Posted on Posted in Induction/L&D, Multiple Losses, Stories, Termination after 24 weeks

Sad Girl

The Chromosomal Lottery
It was like we won the chromosomal lottery, but the prize was not a good one.

There comes a time in your life when you feel like you are mature and ready enough to start your own family. My husband and I felt that nothing will make us happier than having a little addition to our family. It didn’t take us long until we were happily pregnant. We told our parents and a few other members of our family. I was a little concerned about sharing the news so early because you never know what might happen. Unfortunately my concerns were correct: That pregnancy miscarried before the end of the first month.

Full of disappointment but with great hopes, we started working on a second pregnancy. This time it didn’t happen so quickly but at least we didn’t have to go through any treatments to get pregnant. We were thrilled when it happened, yet afraid of a repeat of last time. As the weeks went by though, this pregnancy survived.

I thought that this time I was going to be fine. I had passed the crucial early weeks and nothing bad had happened. My baby boy was growing and kicking inside of me. Then came the results of the AFP test; it showed a high probability of Down syndrome.  I had to do an amniocentesis to make sure everything was fine. I was determined to show the world that these tests are statistical and they don’t mean a thing. My baby must be fine.

I found the best doctor around and we tested. The night before my results came through I was awakened three times by nightmares that something was very wrong. Then came the phone call. The professor told me that my baby had Triple Y Syndrome (48, XYYY) and I needed to see him to discuss what it meant. We couldn’t believe our ears. It was the first case of Triple Y Syndrome seen in the United States; there are only 11 cases described in the medical literature.

This didn’t sound good at all. It was like we won the chromosomal lottery, but the prize was not a good one. How could this have happened to us?

We cried for days trying to understand what we were facing and making the decision whether or not we wanted to continue the pregnancy. I decided that I was not letting go of my little angel until I was sure that there was no more hope. I dug around in the Internet as much as I could and even bought some medical articles just so I could understand what kind of a child I was carrying. I wasn’t scared of hard work, and if keeping this child meant hard work, I was willing to give him as much as I could. But what would happen to him after I am no longer able to take care of him? What kind of life would he have? Will the world ever understand him? Would I really be able to give him the support he would need?

We finally realized there was only one answer, the one no one wants to even dream about in their worst of dreams. I was 24 weeks along by that time and I had to go through a termination of pregnancy by labor and delivery. However, I was lucky my labor only lasted 10 hours.

Ten hours, then it was like I had never been pregnant.

Three months have passed since that godawful day, and sometimes I don’t recognize myself. I have turned from a happy girl to a sad girl who cries every other day. We are trying for another pregnancy, but with my state of mind I don’t see it happening so quickly.

I hope that one day I will write again, this time with a story full of hope to share with people after a healthy pregnancy. Someday I hope I will be able, as a happy mother, to support other people like me who had to go through this terrible nightmare. I pray for all of you parents or parents-to-be reading this to be strong and keep hoping! Only hope can keep us strong at such terrible times. Know that your decisions are based on love for your unborn child.

photo credit: Not a Winner via photopin (license)