I don't know where to start this post, so I'll start at the beginning.  We had a regular OB appointment and ultrasound on September 15th.  We decided at our appointment to get the AFP screening.  This is something we've done with all our babies, not that the results of this screening would change our hearts about our pregnancy, but so we are prepared if God ever sent us a curve ball.

After that appointment I got a call that our AFP screening came back with a risk of Down Syndrome.  I was not too concerned because I know this test can be commonly inaccurate.  The Dr. told me that it was completely optional for me to see a specialist & to get further evaluated.  Jade & I decided that yes we wanted to talk to the specialist.  They told us we would meet the Dr. and get a level 2 ultrasound.

Yesterday we met with the specialist & we had a very detailed ultrasound.  The doctor was very nice, and covered everything with us.  She told us that our initial blood results gave us a 1 in 30 chance for having a baby with Down Syndrome.  We first thought those odds aren't that bad.  Then, she told us that a normal woman my age has odds somewhere around 1 in 850.  I can't remember the exact number because there was a lot going on in my head at that moment.  During the ultrasound they look for "soft markers" for Down Syndrome.  We found out that our baby has 3 of 7 soft markers.  The first marker showed that our baby is missing the nose bridge bone.  The second marker showed that our baby is missing a bone in it's pinkie finger.  The third marker happens in 3-4% of normal babies and is a bright spot on our babies heart.  The bright spot isn't anything to worry about but it's a common marker in Down Syndrome babies. 

Profile of Baby Ollie 10-4-10

Our next option was to get an amnio for a yes / no answer.  With this came a risk of 1 in 500 that she could break my water, causing us to lose the baby.  To Jade & I this isn't worth the risk to have a yes / no answer to if our baby has Downs.  Down Syndrome isn't what we wished for our child, but it's definitely something that we can handle if it is God's plan for our family.  We will have to wait until we meet our baby to know if our baby has Downs.  Our Dr. said she highly suspects that he or she does have Downs & we are OK with this news.

The bad news came after all of the talk above.  Right now there is an opening between our babies two ventricles.  We go back in 3 weeks for another ultrasound of the heart to see if the hole is still there or if it grows shut.  Today I'm 20 weeks 2 days pregnant & around 22 weeks is the best time to really look over the heart in an ultrasound.  Right now we don't know what will happen.  If our baby still has a hole in his or her heart, that means we most likely will deliver at a hospital much larger than Champaign - I'm guessing that means St. Louis, Chicago, or Indy and surgery of some sort. 

So right now I'm calling on all of you for prayers.  I pray that God does heal our baby before we meet so none of my fears come to reality.  Of all things I hate to tell my other two children any bad news about the baby they are so excited for.  So please pray hard for our family, and put us on any prayer chains you are a part of. I realize that our babies heart may not heal itself before we meet.  In that case I also want to pray in advance for all the doctors and nurses that we may meet, and for our family during this time. 

Jade & I are doing OK.  We have each other to lean on, and we're very thankful that we have the marriage that we do.  God has blessed us beyond measures in that respect.  We also have amazing parents to stand by our sides, two beautiful and healthy babies we adore, and a huge support system with close family and wonderful friends.  My parents personally know the heartache and every emotion we are feeling, and that helps to know that someone that loves you so much knows exactly what you are feeling without even talking about it.

Thank you all in advance for all the prayers & support!  After our next appointment with the specialist we will update you.

Jade & Annie

*Added 10-6-10 -  There have been some stories swirling town that our baby will not make it until birth.  This is 100% not true.  Our doctor has not once said these words to us.  As of now our doctor led us to believe that our baby may need heart surgery.  However, this will be determined at our next appointment & detailed ultrasound, and probably closely monitored the rest of my pregnancy.  Right now this is what she suspects based on our last ultrasound*

*Added 10-7-10 - WOW - I am speechless.  The prayers and support from people I have never met is overwhelming.  My husband and I can tell your prayers ARE working.  We are doing well & are very excited to meet Ollie in the future.  With your prayers we are finding encouragement in other websites & resources - thank you all for the prayers & your time you spending thinking of us!*