When the technician left the exam room to get the doctor, Val and I sat in silence for a moment. There was a frozen image on the monitor of two children that didn’t look right to the tech, but to us, were the most amazing and beautiful things we had ever seen.
How could something so amazingly beautiful NOT be right?
I gulped. Val gulped. We held hands and took death breaths. There was nothing to say. I’m not sure I’ve ever been that afraid in my life – or at least up to that point. I would soon discover what it was like to truly be afraid of something – I just didn’t understand yet.
The doctor came in and did her own exam. “There seems to be an increased nuchal fold on the back of the neck of baby #1.”
And just like that, we were whisked down a hallway to “genetic counseling.” It was there that they explained to us that such a diagnosis or detection can be an indication of Down Syndrome or worse. And let me tell you, some things are MUCH worse and they in no uncertain terms painted a picture of sheer horror.
It was so much to take in – all in the span of an hour: twins, “something’s wrong”, nuchal something or other, Baby #1, Down Syndrome, “selective reduction.” Did you catch that? Selective reduction… there are no words.
We sat in that dimly lit office for a long while, alone (while they tried to figure out what the hell to tell us), and then we completely lost it. The roller coaster crashed and exploded. There was nothing else to do at that moment but cry. And that we did.
When the doctors returned, they explained to us that “baby #1” was showing indications of an increased nuchal fold – outside the norm and that they would need to do an additional test to confirm. We immediately had the test performed (the same day) and were told we would need to wait 2 weeks for the cultures to grow in order for them to know definitively what was wrong and what our options were.
Two weeks went by… as if it were 20. We didn’t sleep. We didn’t eat. We held our breath for two weeks.
And then the phone rang.
“Hello, this is Sarah from Brigham & Women’s Hospital Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine. Is this Kip?”
“Yes, this is Kip. Hi Sarah.”
“I just received the results of the test.”
I sat down. My heart began to race and pound out of my chest. My throat went dry. After two weeks of waiting, we finally get the results and can move on with our lives.
I braced, “Ok, and they were?”
Shoot me in the freakin’ head.