I was the newly elected chairperson for the Union and I was summoned to be part of the mid Term review. I thought this was awesome, I was being whisked away to a lodge in the Free State for 3 days, I would get to see the inner workings of the Department , have my opinion valued and heard, and just all round work on my career.
When packing for the trip, I packed like any woman who was ending her cycle, extra everything including the painkillers! After all I was due on the 28th and I left on the 26th!
The trip was tough and tiring, I could barely keep my eyes open and they just didn’t feed us enough, or so I thought. It was only on the last day that I had a light bulb moment. It was freezing cold and I was dying of the heat, I could walk, stand, or do anything without feeling like I was going to pass out. Yet I still just pinned it to be exhausted.
By the time I got home, I was officially late. Philip and I bounced the idea around of doing a test, but neither of us courageous enough to actually act on it. So I waited, and waited, and waited some more. Still nothing!
I remember making the call on Saturday, the 30th of October 2010 to be precise, to my bestie. I told her I need to go to a lab and have bloods taken, she was there in a flash.
While in the lab (I don’t trust peesticks) I was so afraid. I was afraid of a negative and even more afraid of a positive. I COULD NOT LOOSE ANOTHER BABY! While anxiously waiting for my results, bestie and I meandered, had lunch and did the girly thing. Neither of us was focused on anything. She would say let’s call, I would say let’s wait, I would say let’s call se would say let’s wait. Then my phone rang, in the middle of a parking lot. “Hi, Mrs. Nichols?, this is the Sister from Ampath” I swear I stopped breathing, Alet stopped breathing, the world stopped turning….” Your blood tests are back and your betas are high, congrats you are between 4-5 weeks pregnant” ……breath out, heart pounding, Alet jumping up and down. I was afraid.
With every positive, I always tried to call Philip first, Philip NEVER answers his phone. He was warned the morning he left. I called him and it rang once. “Babe, its positive” There was no excitement in his voice, when he uttered the words “that’s fantastic” there was fever, pure unadultered fear.
We kept my pregnancy were quite, until 12 weeks, when I ended up in hospital, having an asthma attack and they put me in the maternity ward. Besides I was 12 weeks it was safe to tell everyone, I made the first trimester!.
While I was in hospital, I had many scans, so that the Doctor could monitor the baby with all my meds, well that’s what she told me. They did the bloods and also checked for the Trisomy’s. It was routine according to the nursing staff. I was discharged on the 24th December 2010 and was told they will call me if there is something abnormal with the results.
Weeks went by, and eventually, we adopted, no news is good news……then I got the call. It was my doctor, “ I need to see you now”.
Philip and I rushed to her room expecting the worst, and the worst we got. The Baby’s nuchal fold was too thick and the test results came back positive for Trisomy 18. The devil of all the Trisomy’s.
I was booked for an Amnio on the 22nd January 2011.
I have never prayed so hard in my life, I have never had so many people pull around me, I have never heard so many prayers, I have never cried so hard in my life when I was told I will need to decided very quickly whether I am planning to medically abort or keep. The FSH results were due in 3 weeks and I would be 19 weeks when I got them.
It didn’t take much, when we had the amnio, our baby was moving (she actually has a scar where the needle nicked the bridge of her nose) the baby was ours and it didn’t matter how long we would have her for, what she would be, but we knew she was ours, from God and we want Him to take her when He felt it was time.
It was the longest, most agonizing 3 weeks of our lives.
I got the call at work, and I could hear in my Doctors voice, “ its Negative Tracey, all negative and its definitely a GIRL” My colleagues, erupted with excitement, I didn’t realize they heard it, the celebration was the one I missed on the 11th June2010 Prayer groups erupted, and I sobbed on the phone with my nearest and dearest.
Even though we got a 99.9% clear, 9 months later in the theater waiting for Tori to arrive, Philip and I held our breathes, until the moment on the 24th June 2011 at 3h21 when we heard her screech in anger and announce her vicTORIous arrival.
I have been blessed everyday since then.