I spent a few days after our amnio obsessively Googling “choroid plexus cyst.” Most of what I read was entirely reassuring – tons of message boards where parents who’ve gone through the same thing talked about their completely healthy babies. I found academic studies that pointed to positive outcomes most of the time, especially in cases where the cysts are “isolated,”—i.e. where no other markers like cleft palate, heart defects, club foot, or clenched fists are found on the ultrasound.
Still, I kept coming across the words “Trisomy 18,” and found myself clicking through those links, needing to know the worst case scenario—what, exactly, it meant to be “incompatible with life.” I had to look at the pictures. At the family tributes to Trisomy 18 babies. At the utter outpouring of grief all over the Internet from parents who’ve experienced the worst possible pregnancy outcome. As our Ask the Labor Nurse blogger so eloquently put it, these kinds of births are “Hello and goodbye said simultaneously.” I needed to be mentally prepared if this was going to happen to us. I needed to see how other people got through these situations. I was utterly blown away by the fact that there are so many people out there, going through this right now, saying hello and goodbye to their babies in the same breath.
Two boxes of Kleenex later, I decided to stop Googling and to just trust that everything was going to be OK. But, left to my own devices, my mind wandered anyway… to that misplaced Fragile X test that I was suddenly very concerned about… to that turkey sandwich that I maybe shouldn’t have eaten…to the fact that the geneticist who’d called with the results of our initial blood work had said that I had the same risk factors as a healthy 20-year-old, and I’d called Will to joke: “Your wife has the body of a 20-year-old!”
I kept coming back to the fact that these cysts are seen in 1% of pregnancies, and that I am that 1% statistic, and if I could be that 1% statistic, then I could be any other statistic, no matter how remote the odds. I could be that rare person who does have the genetic anomaly, or who does have the complication from the amnio.
As I unloaded my worries onto Will, he simply said: “Let’s just wait and see what the test results say." Very calmly. Very rationally.
I think this must be why God gives us two parents.