Pregnant and Positive

So we're doing it. Baby Girl #3 will be here in 20 short weeks. You'd think the 20 seemingly long weeks leading up until now would allow me to process. But it's still unreal.

Feeling the drama

Every woman who has been pregnant knows there is a level of anxiety and fear we learn to live with. The moment you see that second line, half of your brain is in your uterus, worrying and freaking out over every twinge, pain, piece of toilet paper you use.

And once you're part of the mommy world, you learn the stories of your fellow mothers -- the stories of miscarriages, of defects, of life threatening illnesses or late-term losses. To me, my first pregnancy started with an ignorant bliss and each pregnancy since has been harder both mentally and physically.

This one, knowing all I know and being BRCA-positive and pregnant has been bittersweet.

We made the choice to try for this baby before I have my prophylactic surgeries (mastectomy and oopherectomy) after my husband said to me: "You will regret not trying. You will never regret another child."

There are times when that man is actually sensitive and insightful.

But the reality is that I'm coming to the age when my grandmother was likely diagnosed, an age when I need to consider the lack of screening in ovarian cancer that killed my aunt. So, we came to an agreement: try for the 6 months between my screenings and if it didn't happen, I would schedule my surgeries.

And here we are. Excited, scared, freaking out about not only every movement (or non-movement) in my uterus, but also every lump, bump and pain in my breasts.

I go from thinking about names and giggling about internal tickles to reading stories about other BRCA women finding their cancer during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Logically, I know Research shows pregnancy is protective against ovarian cancer and breastfeeding is protective against breast cancer, but it's really a roll of the dice.

It's not easy, but it was my personal choice based on my personal risk tolerance. It is right for my family right now. My girls are excited. We are excited. And we know three is our limit, so I am already planning preventive measures for the post partum period.

So, I am choosing to look at this pregnancy as life after BRCA. I'm making choices based on my wants, desires and needs before ever knowing about my mutation. I will not let my genetic destiny control my every choice. I choose life, BRCA-positive or not. I choose this baby's and then I will choose mine.