On March 18, 2012 we found out that we were expecting a sweet bundle of joy! Baby Dunlop was what we started calling him/her. We kept it a BIG secret for several weeks. We wanted to go to the doctor and make sure everything was ok before we started telling everyone. Forrest was about to bust at the seams! He was so excited and full of joy from the very start. Me,on the other hand, well I was a little different. I was scared, nervous, and very anxious. We hadn't exactly planned this pregnancy, but I knew that God had planned something for us. Our first visit went great, but the nausea/vomiting had already started! I kind of expected it because I was sick during my first pregnancy. I sucked it up and tried my best to not let anyone know that I was getting sick because we wanted to tell our friends and family in a neat "family" way. With the help of my cousin we took "feet" pictures and sent everyone cards that showed our feet and an extra pair of shoes. It said "The Dunlop family is growing by 2 feet!" I was so excited when we mailed them and then took our family out to eat to pass them out. It seemed like I was getting more excited! At my second doctors appointment we got to see Baby Dunlop for the first time. He/She is 9 weeks old and Forrest SWEARS it's a BOY! Of course it is way to early to tell, anything can change! We also noticed that I had lost 13 pounds. That raised a little red flag and Dr Pickens decided to draw some lab work to check my thyroid. I was not expecting a phone call the very next day!! When Dr Pickens himself called me, I felt so special..........My doctor called me not the nurse! And on top of that he must have had them rush my lab results........very VIP! Well that wasn't exactly the case ....at all. The lab report came back so fast because it was very abnormal, and he was calling me himself because he would rather tell me the dreaded news than his nurse. I received this news on a Wednesday afternoon, and I was fortunate enough to be able to get in to see an Endocrinologist that next Tuesday. Sometimes it really pays to have GREAT friends that work at doctors offices!! We had 2 very important doctors appointments lined up for April 17th and 18th..... I am now 10 weeks along. We both were going and we knew we were going to get some answers and relief. Well, tragedy hit us for the first time on April 13th when Forrest's PaPaw passed away. He lived a wonderful great life for 88 years and we all knew that it was time for him to go home to be with the Lord. The funeral was going to be in Brookhaven,MS and it was scheduled to be on Wednesday April 18th. Deeply torn and not sure exactly what I should do, my husband made a tough decision and decided that I needed to stay at home and go to both doctor's appoitments. Forrest stayed in town to go to the Endocrinologist appointment with me. We get to the office on the 18th early to do all of the paperwork and not to mention my anxiety was through the roof! I break out in a sweat, started crying, and threw up twice all before I even got called back! If I didn't have friends that work there, that understood what I was going through, I'm sure they would have thought I was crazy!!! We get called back and Dr. Cunningham came in and before she did anything else she wanted to do a thyroid ultrasound just to rule out anything else. I wasn't to fond of having to lay down with my legs higher than my head........not good for a sick pregnant person, but sometimes you have to do what you got to do! Everything looked great, she sat me up and began to examine me. After she did her full work up, she sat down in front of me and began to explain my lab finding. Basically what she told me is "I'm not putting you on any medicine." or at least that is all I heard at the time!! She explained that because my freeT4 was normal putting me on medicine could compromise the baby's thyroid. For a split second I thought she just didn't want to put me on any medicine, but then when I snapped back to reality I saw that she truly did care about me and my baby. The verdict........No medicine, this pregnancy related hyperthyroid problem peaks between 8-12 weeks, so basically try and tough it out for 2 more weeks and hope it gets better! They draw more blood before we leave, and I throw up 2 more times. I headed to work and my husband headed to Brookhaven, MS to be with his family. Every hour he was calling me checking on me! The very next day I was scheduled to go back to Ruch Clinic and see Dr. Pickens. Not wanting to go alone my sister went with me. Right before they called me back I got sick (this was becoming the story of my life). They got my weight and I was down 4 more pounds, and my blood pressure was slightly high. The doctor said that was probably due to the fact that I had just gotten sick. I knew that I was trying to do all that I could do, but I'm sure Dr. Pickens was wondering if I was just being a wimp! Ha! This is when the "talk" came! He basically told me that if I didn't start eating and drinking (which I was) then I was going to have to go into the hospital for fluids, and if it got really bad we would have to do a feeding tube. He was very nice in giving me all my options. We talked about doing a PAP A screening test and he agreed that with everything going on that would not be a bad idea. He wanted to follow up with me in about 10 days. Due to scheduling conflicts with the test and his schedule I had to see the Nurse Practioner. Her name is Leslie and she is a doll!! They call us back and we got to see our little baby again on ultrasound! They took all kind of measurement and took lots of pictures. I still did not feel good. We went back and waited to see Leslie. She came in and I immediatly started crying. Ugh!! I felt like a BIG BABY!!!! I started explaining to her that emotionally this being sick all the time was wearing me down and I wasn't sure how much longer I could keep going on like this. She was very comforting and assured me that it would get better. she wanted me to follow up with Dr Pickens in 2 weeks. We had more labs drawn before we left as part of the screening test........I just THOUGHT I was beginning to feel like a pin coushin! I made an appointment and continued on my way. I pretty much had it down as to what I could eat and what I could not. Meaning what would hurt coming back up and what would not. I knew I was not getting the nutrients that my body needed, but I was not sure what else I could do. By the end of the week, im 13weeks now, I was still sick and so emotional. My sister, being swiper the sneaky fox that she is....Ha!....called my doctors office and explained the situation to the nurse. The nurse called me and said that they wanted to see me Monday (5/7) morning. They were concerned about how emotional, anxious, and depressed I was. I stayed in the bed all weekend and didn't do a thing. I did not feel like moving. Monday could not get here fast enough, but little did I know that when Monday came I would wish it hadn't! Finally Monday, May 7th!!!! Forrest met me at Ruch Clinic at 10. OUr appointment wasn't until 10:30, but if I was going to feel bad I might as well feel bad at their office. The nurse called us back, and first thing is "let's get your weight." I was thinking to myself "I was only down 1 pound last week, I'm sure this week I probably haven't lost any." Boy was I wrong. Blow #1 I was down 6 (SIX) more pounds in only 6 days. That's when I broke down and started crying. Dr Pickens came in and he knew I didn't feel good. He said the fact that I was now down 25 pounds ( im only 13 weeks) is pretty extreme and he wanted me to go see Dr Schneider who is a High Risk OB/GYN ....TODAY! I knew that was coming even though I tried to fight it. Then came Blow #2. That's when Dr Pickens informed me that my PAP A screening test for Down's Syndrome came back positive. My heart stopped...........I felt like I quit breathing for a minute. What did he just say? I'm here because I'm sick, does he realize that? He MUST have the wrong chart, nothing is wrong with my baby. I'm the one that is sick!!! I didn't realize how hard I was crying. He began to explain that for my age, my risk for having a Down's Syndrome baby should be 1 in 300. However since my screening came back positive that increased my risk to 1 in 57. TERRIFIED does not even begin to describe how I felt at that moment. I have seen this little baby on ultrasound moving and flipping, did Dr Pickens see that? Because if he had then he would know that my baby was perfect! He left the room and went and called Dr Schneider himself. I tried to take that time to get myself together.........it didn't work. He came back and said they were going to see me today at 1:30 and he was 3 floors down. Dr Pickens told us there was futher testing the high risk doctor could do if we wanted to know for sure. My answer was YES YES YES. I knew I wanted to know if something was going to be wrong with my baby. Did it matter.......NO, but I wanted to be prepared to give the best care I could from the beginning. Forrest on the other hand didn't want to jump into any testing. His thinking is "it's just a screening and they have false positives all the time." He was very right, but I wanted to know if it was a true or false positive on our baby. This is me, not a friend, or a friend of a friend, it was ME! Forrest called my work and told them I was not going to be at work because of the doctors appointment. We get to UT High Risk Group early, fill out all the paperwork, and then wait. I must say the paper work made us both stop and think! High Risk means they want to know everything about you and your family!!! They called us back and we go for more ultrasounds. We have more pictures of Baby Dunlop at just 13 weeks than most people have the whole pregnancy! We saw perfect hands, perfect feet, perfect body, head, everything was just so perfect. Then we got to see our baby on 4D!!! I'm not going to lie at 13 weeks it was kind of creepy looking, but none the less I was in love!!!! She printed off lots of pictures for us and then took us to a conference room to wait on the doctor. We just stared at the pictures in awe. Dr Schneider came in and introduced himself, and let me just say he is one of the nicest people I have ever met. We went over the nausea/vomiting and decided the best route to take would be to admit me into the hospital for a few days to get me plenty of fluids and some vitamins. I was upset but ready to get some rest and get better. Then we moved on to the "positive PAP A" which I was hoping we could avoid. He told us again that we should be a 1 in 300, but we were at 1 in 57 with the positive screening. However, during their test they found a Cystic hygroma on the baby and that put me at more of a 1 in 5 chance. My heart stopped and I stopped breathing. Numb from head to toe and crying uncontrollably the doctor started handing me a tissue and started talking to Forrest. It would do him no good to continue to look at me and try to talk to me. He did say it was a VERY small cystic hygroma and most of the time they go away on their own, but it could be something. In high risk we learned that there is no mild, moderate, or severe case. They diagnosis and give you best case and worst case scenario. They do not know the severity of it until the baby is actually born. He discussed Down's Syndrome, Turner's syndrome, SMA, and various other chromosome defects that the cystic hygroma could be a precurser to. The worst news of all was that MOST of the diagnosis he discussed with us had a grim outlook. Would our baby even make it to term? Would he/she only live a short while after birth? They gave us several options, 1. you can do nothing and wait until the baby is born, 2. There is a blood test that is very new in the United States that test chromosome 13, 18, and 21 (which are your major syndromes).It is about 96% accurate, only thing is with it being so new, insurances don't really cover it 3. CVS which is Chorionic Villus sampling. That is 99% accurate, and it has been around forever. Basically you have to between 10-13 weeks and what they do is stick a needle through your abdomen, through the uterus, and take a very small sample of the placenta. We had to give them an answer ASAP. If we wanted to do the CVS we had to do it that week, otherwise we would have to wait until I was 15 weeks and do amniocentesis. The doctor did not put any pressure on us but did make sure that we understood that if we waited that would only prolong the results. We both knew immediately that we wanted to do the CVS testing. The nurse and the nurse practitioner came in and told us they were going to walk us downstairs to be a direct admit. We checked into the hospital and went to our room. The nurses came right in and got started on the IV's! I had a swollen face, a sick stomach, and a racing mind. Friends and family came up that night to sit with us and check on me which was very sweet. I got sick, surprise surprise! They gave me some phenergran through the IV which kind of excited me because I knew it would knock me out! That didn't happen! The nurse practitioner and Dr Schneider came in and checked on me which made me feel better. They were very optimistic that everything was going to be fine. What they saw was so very minor they were not really worried. After everyone left we decided to get some rest. Poor Forrest had to sleep on the hospital room couch! I'm not really sure what time it was but after a while of me flipping and flopping in the bed he got up and went to the nurses station and told them that I was going to need that sleeping pill that Dr Schneider had ordered for me! HaHa! Not real sure if that was for my benefit or his! Either way I got a few hours of sleep. Tuesday came and went, I did get a shower which made me feel a lot better. I was getting very tired of laying down and having to turn around and get up, unplug my IV machine, roll it to the bathroom, come back, untangle all the cords, plug it back in, and lay back down only to repeat it in 15 minutes. I was able to get more sleep Tuesday night, but I was up bright and early Wednesday morning anxious to go. The nurse came in around 6:30 and started the discharge papers. We had everything packed up and we were ready to head downstairs! I got a wheel chair ride downstairs around 7 am. We didn't have to be at Dr Schneider's office until 7:30 so we walked over to the cafeteria and I got a little bit of oatmeal, and a plain jane pancake. I ate a little of both, enough to where I didn't feel like I would get sick during the procedure. We got to the office and they took us straight back to the same bad conference room we were in on Monday. I think I even asked if they had any other room we might could go to........joking of course! Dr Philllips came in and introduced herself, and explained the procedure inside and out. We signed all the waivers and went over all of the risks, and benefits. Out the door, down the hall, and back to the ultrasound room we go. They asked if it would be ok if a 1st year student resident stood in the corner to watch, and we were perfectly ok with that. They would not be assisting in anything, and this office had done us a huge favor by working us in ASAP I felt like the least we could do is let someone watch so they could learn and help people in the future. They started with the ultrasound, and she asked me how I was feeling. I was not feeling my best, but I was ok. The ultrasound tech told me I was having a contraction. A WHAT!?!?!? I'm only 13 weeks this is not suppose to be happening this early. Does that mean I am fixing to go into labor? My mind was racing and I started to get upset. Forrest was right next to me trying to calm me down, and the tech looked at me and asked me "Did you even know you were having a contraction until I told you?" That made me stop and think.......no I wasn't feeling anything. Then she told me that pregnant women have contractions all the time and never know it. It's completely normal. She showed us on the screen what a contraction looked like and what she needed it to look like.I layed there for a few minutes trying to calm down. Finally everything was where it needed to be and we could get this party started. Dr Phillips came in and gave me a little shot in my tummy to numb the spot. Really I could have done without that, but I guess some people think it helps. She made sure the ultrasound was in the right spot and she stick thee needle through my stomach, and then gave it an extra push to get through my uterus. That was definitely a different feeling! Since I have the weirdest pain tolerance in the whole wide world I laughed! To our surprise my intestines got in the way.........so embarrassing! LOL!! They could not get to the placenta from that spot so she had to take the needle out and start over in a different spot. Thank goodness second time was a charm! She did what she needed to do in retrieving the sample and out the door she went. She did say she wanted me to also be tested for SMA which is Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Having just read a blog about a family that went through this it scared me a little. But better to find out now than later. The SMA test was much easier, they just drew some more blood from my arm. I was just discharged from the hospital, had a needle through my stomach, and blood drawn from my arm. I looked like a walking band aid!!! We left and headed home. I was so ready to get in my bed and have my blanket and pillows. We took my prescriptions to the pharmacy and dropped them off for Forrest to pick up later. I was soooo ready to see all of my babies and kiss all over them. Joncarlo came home from school and all I wanted to do is hold him. Thursday came and I went back to work. Of corse everyone was glad to see me, and see that I was better. I left out all the "testing they did on the baby" part when everyone asked how I was doing. Honestly we didn't know what was really going on and I didn't want to talk about it until we knew something for sure. Joncarlo played ball all weekend so it kept us busy and kept me from thinking about things. Don't get me wrong, I thought about it, and I was very scared, but I had two other boys that needed me. The Spikes had the best weekend ever in baseball!!! I almost cried I was so proud of how Joncarlo played! Our weekend was cut short with Hunter because of Mother's Day. Of course I wanted to keep him and have my whole family all weekend, but I knew his mom wanted to spend that special day with him. I didn't sleep much Sunday night, I knew Monday was literally right around the corner. Forrest kept reassuring me that everything was going to be fine it was such a minor thing that they saw, but deep down I had to prepare myself for something. I felt it was better to prepare for the worst and receive the best than prepare for the best and receive the worst. I did catch myself thinking "I'm only 32 and this doesn't happen to people this young." Monday morning I got up and went to work as usual. I took the kids to school, did my normal stuff at their house, and then left. As I was leaving I text Forrest and said "Please keep your phone on in case the doctors office calls." HE was the one that was going to get the call with the results of the CVS and SMA. I was going to go home fix a lunch and go into the office early, but then I decided to be lazy and watch TV for a minute. I usually have a 2 hour break in between my Zeni babies and the office. I turned on the TV and picked up the iPad to start journaling. All of a sudden I heard the garage door open. I knew it had to be Forrest, and I was guessing that he had to run home to pick something up. He walked in and the second I saw him my heart stopped. Had they already called?? Immediately I asked him if he had heard anything. He didn't say anything. I ask again and I started crying. I think that was a natural reaction, to cry. I didn't know if it was good or bad but I knew that he knew something. He sat down next to me on the couch and put the iPad on the coffee table. With tears in his eyes and a smile on his face he looked at me and said everything is going to be ok. I knew everything was going to be ok but I knew in my heart that something was wrong. I prayed that it be the best of the worst. He said we are going to have a very special more than perfect baby.........we are going to have a Down Syndrome baby. Yes I was crying, but at the same time I wanted to jump up and down and celebrate! My baby is going to live!!!!! We called all of the family and told them the news, and everyone was excited for us. Throughout all of this we have been blessed to have the most amazing support group stand with us and be there for whatever we need. There will be a lot of changes in our future, and this will be a challenge, but we are ready. God placed his hand directly in our lives by giving us special Baby Dunlop! Anyone can choose to be pregnant, but only God chooses who he gives the special one to! We will have a lot more doctor visits than normal because we are now seeing 2 doctors, and we are very well aware that there is a strong possibility that Baby Dunlop will have to have heart surgery as an infant ( heart problems can be part of downs syndrome). While we are praying for a healthy heart we are ready for the path that God has chosen for us. When reading this at no point do we want you to feel sorry or sad for us. We are more than happy with everything, and actually feel as if we have hit the lottery! Please pray for us and Baby Dunlop as we embark on this journey. Down syndrome is also know as Trisomy 21 because there are three chromosomes on the 21st chromosome instead of two......and He or She is going to ROCK that extra chromosome!!! Sometimes you never knew you wanted something until God gives it to you, and that is so true for us! Thank you for all of the love, support, and prayers! We will keep everyone posted on Baby Dunlop's heart as we find out!! Oh and Baby Dunlop says "Be Down with Down's!"