Okay, so Curie’s birth story for me starts at 36 when Eleanor and Miranda are born. You see, before that I had actually resigned myself not to get married or have children. It was my opinion that our family breeds for intelligence sometimes at the expense of stability. This is an observation based on my own troubles as an adolescent coming to terms with growing up, but nonetheless, it is where I ended up. I was afraid that my own angst made me the penultimate terminus in intelligent children who could still function in society (the reality is more that I was afraid of commitment, unsure of myself as a person, and still working through growing up, but that is for you armchair psychologists to try to figure out). I had not dated in 12 years, and was self described jokingly as techno-monk, player-lite.
So Eleanor and Miranda are born, and I don’t see them until late because I had been sick. I get to hold them in my arms and then realized that I had been fooling myself with all of my angst and that I needed to get my act together to find someone and get on with my life. The Erin and Albert story is a whole different one, timing, kismet, bubbles and maple butter, but that is for a different time. Suffice to say that when we were married, I was ready to have children, but Erin was not. I put a child into Erin’s arms every chance I got to get her biological clock going, which works by the way.
Three years later, Erin is ready to have children, but, well, I am not. But we stop trying to not try and for a year nothing happens. Contrary to belief we did not conceive on our trip to Japan, but shortly thereafter. BTW taking a trip abroad to work out parenting differences is actually very healthy, rocky, but healthy.
I had been tracking Erin’s periods for some time now (those of you who know me should not be surprised, and those of you who don’t, I recommend it highly for the harmony of a relationship). Anyway, I noticed that she was moody off cycle and told her that I suspected that she might be pregnant. One pregnancy test later (see “Our Surprise” in the photo blog) lo and behold we are expecting.
Now we don’t tell anyone about it because it could be a false pregnancy, or other concern, so we keep it to ourselves for the next three months.
Here we digress to a concern we discovered about people and pregnancies. You don’t hear a lot about miscarriages and problems with pregnancies until you have concerns of your own, and then you find our how common some of these things are. I highly recommend you read Agnes’s blog and talk to your relatives and friends if you are interested.
Ultrasounds are amazing. the very first sonogram we had you could already see the baby. The medical group we used we chose because Taylor and Eric (Taylor is Erin’s cousin in case you are from my side of the family). Had gotten pregnant a few months before us and had chosen the practice because of their reputation. One of my faults is laziness, this is not always a fault, in some business book I will write sometime I will have a chapter that reads “laziness + ambition and accountablitiy = innovation” or something like that. Anyway, what I am trying to say is that we just chose Eric and Taylor’s practice, which was phenomenal.
We were excited, and worried. Erin wanted to have a place that the baby could grow up other than our apartment, so we bought a house (that is yet another story). The practice routinely does blood tests and one of them checks for genetic defects, which came back clean, and with Erin’s age at 29 (the number is for posterity’s sake) the odds were 1 in 10,000 for Downs Syndrome.
Another digression here. Not long ago, the only way to tell if your baby was going to be Down’s was through an amniocentisis, commonly referred as an “amnio.” before that there were markers you could find through sonograms, before that it was a blood test that was not very reliable (many states had you take a blood test before you could get married). Anyway, the only way you could be sure was to do an amnio. If there were risks or markers you had an amnio. A word, I had some advice and agree that unless you are willing to do something, it might not be worth it to test, but of course that is a very personal decision. An amnio carries a risk of miscarriage of 1 in 400, so you have to weigh the odds of other risk and the risk in the amnio. The blood test I refer to above is referred to as the triple screen or quadruple screen and was developed as an alternative to the amniocentisis. Its reliablity is fairly high. We didn’t know this at the time and saw it as a step before amniocentisis if there was a concern. I believe our practice treats it that way. Other practices save the screen as a step after a blood test or evaluation on a sonogram.
In our practice we do a sonogram every visit. We are sent to a specialist who does a very detailed sonogram to measure and screen and evaluate for genetic markers.