"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our Autism Story...Part 1

I sit in a small white exam room waiting impatiently for my Primary Physician to come in, do his exam on my sore neck, tell me how to magically fix it so I can be on my way.  I can hear foot steps approaching and I eagerly watch the door, expecting it to open any minute.  The door doesn't open and muffled voices can be heard from the hall.  I hear the door to the room next to mine open and I hear the voice of my doctor.  He went into the other room! Doesn't he know I'm busy!?!  Not only am I in the last stages of nursing school, working 20 hours a week and starting to stress over my nursing board exam, but I'm about to be married in a month!  I have a wedding to plan, I don't have time to sit in this small impersonal and cold room all day!  Footsteps again.  I impulsively watch the door and this time it opens.  "Finally!" I think to myself.  The doctor asks me the usually questions.  No, I didn't injure my neck, yes its painful when I move it this way, no I don't have numbness or tingling, no I can't turn my head any further...On and on it goes.  He asks me how the rest of my life is going.  I tell him my plans.  He congratulates me and I think him.  As he write out my prescription he says, "While you re here, I want you to start taking a multivitamin with Folic Acid.  I tell this to all my female patients that are of childbearing age, just in case.  So make sure you start taking that ok?" "Oh yeah sure, no problem." I say and I'm on my way.
Sitting in another cold, white and impersonal room months latter and his words echo in my ears.  Is this all my fault?  The door opens and in comes my OBGYN with the orders in her hands just as she had promised.  I take them without making much eye contact and she gives me a quick little rub on my shoulder as I walk out the door.  I get to the car, wondering why I haven't cried yet.  I pick up my cell phone and I call Babes, and as I begin to explain to him about the unexpected turn of events at my prenatal visit, the tears begin to pour down my face and I begin to sob.  I knew something was wrong before I even got there, I just had a sinking feeling and unfortunately it wouldn't be the last time this would happen.  I was pregnant and when my bloodwork was done my alpha-fetoprotein was higher than normal.  My baby could have Downs Syndrome or Spina Bifida, and now I sit in my car crying, holding on to the ultrasound orders the doctor had just given me.  Again, my primary doctors words echo in my head. "I want you to start taking a multivitamin with Folic Acid..."  I never did.  I was too busy and stressed and although Babes and I were now married we weren't trying to get pregnant. 
6 months after our wedding I was tired, really tired.  I thought nothing of it because I had just gotten my RN and I had just starting working the overnight shift as a nurse.  Of course I was going to be tired!  Babes was traveling alot and so I only saw him on the weekends.  One weekend we were getting dressed and I couldn't button my jeans.  We laughed about the fact that I had "chunked out" a little and had to lay flat on the bed in order to zip them up.  Latter that day I remember looking at the calender thinking, "When was my last period?"  Again, I thought nothing of it.  I had never had a "regular" period and would at times go 6 or 7 weeks in between them.  After the weekend was over Babes went on to his next business trip and I went to the drug store and bought a pregnancy test.  I had to work that night so when I got home I decided to just take the test and ease my mind for the day so I could nap before my shift.  Every woman knows that we spend a good part of our lives taking pregnancy tests and watching them turn negative, and thats exactly what I expected to happen.  This time, it didn't.  I was pregnant!  Wow!  There was a miracle inside me!  The beginning of my pregnancy was uneventful.  The floor I worked on at the hospital was nice enough to be careful with which patients I was assigned so I didn't expose myself to unnecessary organisms such as MRSA, C-Diff, VRE ect, ect. 
Now my baby has something wrong with him (I say him now, but I said it then too.  Although we hadn't been told the sex of our baby yet, I knew, it was a boy). We scheduled a Level 2 Ultrasound with a local neonatologist and waited...

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