Define "Slow Learner." October 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 8:00 pm

Is it a person who has multiple children?

Only if the children were a mistake. Ergo, no.

Maybe the slow learner is the one who has a blessing… or is fortunate enough to have multiple blessings and still thinks only a slow learner would want to be so blessed.

Oooh, people who assume that children are a mistake really steam my Irish potatoes.


Prayers and news September 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 2:38 pm

Just a quick prayer request for Oldest Daughter. Tomorrow she’s having labor induced. Please pray that everything goes well, and that it’s not too difficult. They’re also moving household, so please pray that the baby’s dad is able to be there when she gives birth.


Baby Day, Tuesday January 7, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 7:11 pm

That’s right. Tomorrow I’m going to deliver Baby Peter by c-section at 9:00 AM pacific time. Prayers for our safety and health will be mightily appreciated, and we’ll update info as soon as feasibility allows.


And the results are in… August 7, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 7:36 pm

Spoiler alert.

It’s a boy!

The results are mostly good. The typical markers of Down Syndrome are absent, and all of the organs and limbs look good. He’s a very active tyke already, with a taste for the thumb. It also turns out that the blood screening did not turn up factors that increase our risk; rather, the opposite. Apparently the normal risk for my age is 1:70, and the adjusted rate taking into account both age and the hormone screening brings the risk level to 1:81. I do wish they would give more explanation over the phone than just “the triple screen came out positive for Down Syndrome, but don’t worry, there are a lot of false positives.”

One unexpected but fairly small worry did come up in the sonogram. The normal umbilical cord is supposed to have one vein and two arteries, and this one has one vein and one artery. One artery is usually enough to handle the blood flow, but it is sometimes associated with kidney problems, heart problems, or slow growth. They’ll be keeping an eye on this, meaning more closely monitoring the pregnancy. It can, in rare instances, be a marker for Down Syndrome, but not a strong one. Most of the other sometimes-associated problems would have been visible in the sonogram, and were not.

Now you know more than you ever wanted to about my pregnancy. Either you’re a sucker for baby stories, or you’re a friend or family member that I should be in better contact with. Either way, thank you for your prayers and interest.


Doctors and Lab Tests and Sonograms, Oh My! August 6, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 6:33 am

Well, last week was stressful, and this week promises to be at least as much so. I took the triple screen last week, which I do know has a possibility of false positives. It came out showing higher than usual odds of my baby having Down Syndrome, so tomorrow I’m scheduled for a level II sonogram an hour and a half away. (Our medical facilities here in town are pretty limited. Everything out of the ordinary is out of town.)

I’ve never been worried about Down Syndrome before, even though my last two pregnancies were also past age 35. I declined the triple screen for them; but this time, I’ve had this nagging worry that I should at least be prepared for the possibility. It seems like everywhere I go online, I am seeing people discuss Down Syndrome, how they found out, and how they wouldn’t trade their child for anything. I appreciate that sentiment, and if I have a child with Down Syndrome, I think I will feel the same way. But for now, not knowing, I am really hoping and praying that this child does not have any problems.

Partly, I’m selfish. We have two children over 18, one of them moved out. We’ve been married 4 1/2 years and have not been able to have a honeymoon, or even a weekend alone, since we married, because we are constantly surrounded by our blessings. I’ll be the first to say every child is a blessing, but it would be nice to be able to spend time with my charming and patient husband sometimes, too, without it being interrupted by bickering, diapers, and “can I haves.”

And let’s face it: I’m 40 years old, arthritic, overweight, tired, and depressed. I love being a mother, but I would dearly love someday to retire from being a mommy. I want to be grandma; I want to turn bedrooms into offices and libraries, and to send children home for dinner. I want to have a guest bedroom that it’s a treat for a child to sleep in. In other words, I dream of the day I can move on to the next stage of parenting: grandparenting. I would love to take a honeymoon, and as it is we might be able to do that for our 25th anniversary.

The thought of having a child who will likely never move out daunts me and haunts me. It isn’t that I don’t love my children, you know. But I’ve spent the past three years in the same three rooms almost constantly, listening to electronic toy computers singing the alphabet, in-depth discussions about the merits of one handheld gaming system over another, and demands that I choose sides in arguments over whether a child did nine minutes in the kitchen or ten. Most of my adult conversations have been limited to a half hour, over coffee, before Joel leaves for work. Is it so selfish that I just want to think that one day — some day — I will be able to have adult conversations on a regular basis?

I find myself looking forward to tomorrow, for that reason. Three hours in the car with a grownup, and not a single child to interrupt. A chance to see the baby in greater detail, probably to find out if it’s a boy or a girl, and ease my mind or learn to adjust. One way or the other, it’s better to know than to worry.

And perhaps selfishly, I pray.


There was an old lady who lived in a shoe June 8, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 7:10 am

Very old, to hear my doctor talk.

I had my first OB appointment yesterday afternoon, and got the litany of risks, most of them age related. “You do realize that there’s a drastic increase in the chances of having a Down Syndrome child because of your age?” Yes. “As much as 1 in 260.” Yes. “There is also an increased risk of other genetic problems. Are there are any genetic or congenital conditions in your family?” Tourettes, Autism, Aspergers. (Scribble, scribble.) “Is there any diabetes in your family?” Yes. “Who?” I list various family branches and relationships. (Scribble, scribble.) “Do you remember the weights of your previous children?” Yes. 8-12, 7, 7, 8-14, “8-14? David, right? Are you sure?” Yes. (Thoughtful look.) 10-6 1/2. (Scribble, scribble.)

Then the lecture about what to expect. High risk pregnancy, watching it more closely, especially after 30 weeks… if there are any problems I get referred to an OB (my doctor is in family practice), am I sure I don’t have any particular worries about this one? Do I want genetic testing? Do I want genetic counseling?

The end conclusion is that the doctor is more worried than I am. I’m less than two years older than I was when the last pregnancy began, and I have no reason to think that 40 is some magic cutoff line between a healthy and an unhealthy pregnancy. I’m marginally older, and I believe I have marginally more risk. Frankly I’m more concerned with the risk of an upcoming c-section than I am with the risk of a baby with problems.

I’m also not terribly concerned that someone — even a doctor — think I’m old.

When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
(William Butler Yeats)

My love has not fled. How can I be truly old?


Don’t you know what causes that? May 14, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 9:42 am

Why, yes. Would you like me to explain it?

1. I am too proud. God wants to make me humble.
2. Chemistry.
3. My husband is really, really attractive. (In addition to being charming and patient, and making me feel every day like he is honored to be sharing a home with me.)
4. Biology.
5. Well, you see, when a Mommy and a Daddy love each other very, very much, they hug each other in a special way…
6. God has a sense of humor.

What kind of a fool wouldn’t laugh when God makes a funny?


I don’t have an i-Pod. May 10, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 5:52 pm

It must be the real thing.

Prayers welcome.