The day after our scary news, I called my OB's office to talk to my doctor again about doing additional testing. After talking to her again (and doing some Google research of my own), I'm in a much better place. It turns out that brain cysts really are common. My OB told me that she normally wouldn't even mention the brain cyst but she wanted to give me another opportunity to consider chromosome testing considering the "two-vessel" umbilical cord (which I remain skeptical about).
It's funny how the light of day brings a clarity and rationality that does not exist at the time of a 9pm phone call from your doctor with unexpected news. Anyway, I've come to terms with everything and I'm much less worried.
We also decided not to do any additional testing. No matter what baby is like, I already love him with all of my being. When he takes his first breath and arrives into this world, my heart will overflow with love and admiration. I will fill to the breaking point with happiness and gratitude for the little life that has been given to me. The moment you first meet your baby is magical and the most beautiful experience on earth.
Even if baby ends up having a chromosome abnormality, it won't change my love for him. It won't change the fact that he is a beautiful new life or the fact that he can give something to this world. So I don't want it to overshadow our special first meeting. I want to focus solely on him and not some preconceived notion or label of him.
I accept him the way he is. The way he is now and the way he will be. And the beauty of a mother's love is that it is unconditional and uncontrolled. Unlike the rest of the harsh world, a mother loves a child for the very fact that he is her child, regardless of capabilities or appearances or characteristics. I often wonder if a mother's love is the closest thing earth will come to God's own love. There's something so pure and perfect about a mother's love, even despite our failures and shortcomings.
I'm already his mom. I already love him uncontrollably and endlessly. Whatever the results of some test happen to be is a complete nonsequitor.
With that said, here is the official 20 week update:
The top picture was taken Wednesday. The bottom one was taken yesterday (both at approximately the same time of day). It seems like my belly is shrinking. The weirdness of the belly cannot be understood. Somedays it looks gigantic, other days I barely feel pregnant. There may be some correlation with my donut-eating habits....
Sadly, my knee still bothers me so I probably won't be running my half marathon in two weeks. The race that I prepaid $150 for! RRG! But I have been doing about 5-6 miles per day on the elliptical. I always feel better (and I swear I'm a better person) after I work out. I've started doing plank exercises (2x1 min) and pushups (up to 7) each day as well. I feel strong and healthy and it's awesome!
Weight gain at the halfway mark is about 5 pounds. My morning sickness has pretty much disappeared (yay!!!!). And I really want to drink beer. Like, all the time. I feel baby kick a lot and can even feel the kicks from the outside. Apparently he is already about ten inches long. That just seems crazy to me! I wish I could fast forward to October and just meet him already!