Looking for a recap? Look to your right and find The Quest archive somewhere beneath my bio-type-info. In fact, go ahead and read part 3 if you haven't; this one picks up right where it left off...
So a day or two after my birthday, and after having received my miserable GRE scores (including a 3.4 out of 6 on the 2 essays. Why the deduction? I ramble. no shit, really?) I called and made my appointment with Dr. Daniel, which required a $500 deposit. But hey, its worth it. Just a few days later, we received my wife's test results.
Now somewhere along the way, and I honestly can't remember the chronological point because it was one of those moments for me, we received Joel's autopsy report. Or at least we received a phone call from the midwife to give us a basic run down of the results. We recently received a printed copy of the report, along with my wife's blood work, but that comes a little later on. The piece of information I want you to get here is that the autopsy did not yield any conclusive evidence of a cause of death. There were some additional tests that might have been performed, but certain tissues needed for those tests were too far along in their natural processes to be used for the tests.
So with that information, we turned to my wife's lab results (31 tubes at the hospital, mind you) to maybe give us a clue as to what happened and how it might affect the next child. At this point I am going to refer you to my wife's blog because, well, she's already written about this part and I think she did a pretty good job of covering it. She gives a lot more insight into things and covers other parts of the spectrum of craziness in our lives right now. So read hers then come back, or finish mine then go to hers, either way; it is suggested reading, just not necessarily required to get the story but it will probably make it more enjoyable AND you won't just read it in my voice (variety is the spice of life).
Basically, we were looking for genetic mutations that might have caused a defect of some sort. Several mutations were found. The midwife had the OB giver her a rundown on what it all meant, but still it was over her head as it was also a bit over his head, but we all did the best we could in looking at it. Jess (my wife) did some Googling about the different things she was told about, and well, it was still over our heads, but we got enough to get a bit scared and discouraged. However we knew that nothing was definite until we went to a geneticist with her test results along with mine.
Yes, I had to go get tubes upon tubes drawn as well. Only then might we get some numbers on what might happen with our third child.
So we've been playing a bit of a waiting game. Actually, we've been playing a LOT of a waiting game. And I've hated it, but even more so at this point where we are waiting to get real results on the blood work and have it fully explained. I don't hate it for me; I hate it for my wife. That whole idea of "I killed my baby" started gnawing at her, and sure, I don't see it that way or feel that way, but I knew the feeling was there and I just wanted to make it go away. I don't want that for her and my heart goes out to any parents that are in that situation.
So we make arrangements to see our midwife. My wife needs her 6 weeks check-up (now 7.5 weeks) and I'm going to get my blood drawn for the testing along with getting all of our printed reports. Well, my wife got her check-up, and we got our print-outs, but I needed 21 tubes of blood drawn with some needing to be frozen and well, she doesn't have that kind of equipment in her living room. No biggie; I go to a lab in a couple of days and take care of it.
Now for the true purpose of the appointment: laying out the battle plan. Angy, our awesome midwife, is very much a part of this Quest. She was a source of support when we lost Joel, and now she has the means and the connections to help us to carry on (not to mention her ability to write zoloft prescriptions). The plan worked out as such: Angy would work on getting an appointment for us to see a high-risk OB /perinatal whom she works with, who also works with a geneticist (whom just happens to be his wife). We, in the meanwhile, would go get my bloodwork taken care of along with the vasectomy reversal. Then we get back together, see what the geneticist has to say and go from there.
Flash forward a couple days past our drawn out trip to the lab (some miscommunication between Angy and the lab on what needed to be done, so we had to wait). Angy calls us at home to update us on a conversation between herself and the high-risk OB. Their topic? My wife's bloodwork. It turns out that the particular mutations that she has are not particularly bad: for one she may only need a folic acid supplement, another is inversely abnormal (dangerous if levels are too low, but Jess is really high), and the others are at a level that is of no concern. In fewer words: a relief. Chances are there was nothing about my wife's genetics that caused Joel's death or that would cause concern for our next child. Note that we will still be extremely cautious (and there are just a few more tests they would like to run) , but it is good news nonetheless.
Now we wait to see if maybe it was something from my side. Perhaps I can be the worst X-man ever: "So, what's your mutant power?"
"Me? Oh, well I make bad babies"
"You mean like mean babies?"
"Huh? Oh, no no; I mean like malfunctioning babies. "
"Hmm, I guess actually they just don't function at all"
"... * "
"Yeah, its a really shitty mutation. Wish I'd just get the Legacy virus..." (fanboy comicbook reference)
So, I believe this actually has us caught up to real time. Just waiting to make that journey for the vasectomy reversal. However, that doesn't mean that things are quite calm yet. Earlier in this post I mentioned that Angy also gave us Joel's printed autopsy report and we all looked over it together. Let me tell you, those things are just as fun to read as you imagine. There were, however, a few interesting pieces of text. Items that Angy put in a call about a week ago, to which we have received no response. That kind of goes into play with some other little things floating around us; other experiences and tidbits of information.
I've known all along that he would always have an impact on my life, but it would appear that Joel's story is far from finished.
snip-snip, the sequel
The Book of Joel