Monday, November 15, 2010

Carrier or Not - That is the Question

Two Thursdays ago, we had a knock at our door and when we opened it, no one was there. But at my feet, I saw a little white box. A white box that seemed to be holding a big part of my future in it. A little white box from Ambry Genetics. It was the box that held a tiny little vial, for me to fill up with my blood, and send off for the full test (read: the most extensive test there is today, testing for 99% of mutations) to see if I am a carrier for CF. As some of you may have read in previous posts I don't yet know if I'm a carrier for CF, as Ronnie and I were waiting to have me tested.

What does it matter if I'm a carrier you may be thinking? One word: Babies. We know we want to have children. And there are a TON of ways for us to start our family, but the way that we have to go about creating our family really depends on if I'm a carrier. We'll write a longer post later regarding some of the meat and potatoes that go into the following statement, but for the sake of keeping this post short(ish), I'll just make the statement for now: Ronnie and I won't have biological children if I'm a carrier. The main reason - we're not willing to take the risk of having a child with CF.

Needless to say, I'm pretty nervous and excited about getting the test results back. I'll be really honest. I'm hoping that I'm not a carrier simply because it leaves us with more options. I feel pretty comfortable with all of the options that are out there, but being a carrier somehow feels like instantly there are a few doors shut which to someone that wants to be a mommy really BAD, hurts a bit. So we shall see. Again, in another post I'll go into all of my emotions around all of our options, but we're not there yet :)

Once we know if I'm a carrier or not, we'll start to process through all of our family making options. As I'm sure many of you know, there are a TON of ways to create a family for a CF couple (which I guess I should mention, we've already ruled out the natural, "oops I'm pregnant" way based on a test Ronnie had done years ago), from IVF to adoption and pretty much everything in between. Again, we'll dive more into all of our thoughts on each option at a later date, when we actually get to that stage in the process. For right now, we are just getting past step 1.

We know that it can be a LOOOONG process for CF couples to create their families, and we're ok with that (ok, Ronnie's more ok with it than I am...but I'm bracing myself). We don't want a baby tomorrow or even in the next 6 months. But we know that whatever route we're going to take, we'll want to carefully and prayerfully consider it. So this is just our way of arming ourselves with all of the facts before starting the process of researching, investigating, praying, and visiting doctors or lawyers.

We took some videos so you could be a part of the process. It was surprisingly easy. You just go to the Ambry Genetics website and request a test. It shows up in the mail. You take the box (with blood vial inside) to the doctor. They fill out a form. You fill out a form. They take blood. You take a pre-addressed and paid for envelope to FedEx with the box and blood inside. You hear back in 15-35 days.

Tomorrow is day 15...