Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Happy Birthday Gerrard!

It isn't such a happy birthday actually. After I had Just The Four Boys I had two stillborn babies. Hannah was born in May, 1989 (I wrote about her here ) and then Gerrard was born October 27, 1990.

I was a Science Experiment when I was pregnant with both these babies.

When I was formerly married it was to a immuno-geneticist (Dr Ex). One of the co-productions we developed was for a non-invasive foetal diagnostic test - unlike Chorionic Villus Biopsy or Amniocentesis tests which have a risk of miscarriage etc.
And it was a co-production because he was working on some AIDS diagnostic testing stuff using mass spectrometry and I knew some foetal cells always cross the placenta and said "Why can't you use the same technique to flick out the baby's cells from the maternal blood and then test them?".
And he smacked his forehead in amazement and astonishment, and did the science.

So when I was pregnant with Hannah my blood was sent to University of Michigan at Detroit where they were able to do the tricky mass spectrometry and amplification of the cells, etc.
However much of the samples denatured and although some cells were able to be isolated it wasn't a great success. BUT - enough of a success for us to believe that we were onto a reasonable thing.
About the same time Dr Ex became involved with a company that took over the funding and ultimately the glory of what was really my little idea...
Because there was more money around I went to Detroit myself when I was pregnant with Gerrard. Was away from Australia for almost two months.

AND THE SCIENCE WORKED!!

Much better and quicker than the invasive tests, and at 10 weeks gestation we knew he was a boy, that on the genes that were tested he was AOK, and in fact was genetically identical to S3.

Sadly, at 22 weeks gestation he too died.
No reason.
One perfect tiny baby the same as Hannah. And so identical to S3 that his left ear also had the same little crumple (and the same as my Youngest Baby Brother Alpal!)...

A few months later I found out Dr Ex had been Having A Relationship with the neighbour's wife since I was pregnant with Hannah and I threw all his clothes out in the middle of the road and rang him to come and pick them up before they were too run over.

Detroit was really interesting. Like living in a war zone, with burnt out buildings and underground carparks with mega security and nobody on the streets. I went to Canada, and lived in Ann Arbour for a few weeks (bought a tonne of books, including a massive Websters, that I brought home with me) and lived through a tornado.
Oh, and lots of OshKosh (by gosh) clothes for boys, and hit a craft shop so successfully I am STILL using some of the embroidery threads and linen!

Here is where you can learn more about the non-invasive foetal diagnostic test. It is still apparently 'in development' (WTF????).

Anyway, happy birthday my little son, the last year of being a teenager...at least in my memories.

2 comments:

Missie Krissie said...

Oh jas your poor little babies, your soul must ache for their lives unlived. O couldn't imagine anything more terrible. I'm so sorry.
You seem to have had quite an interesting life though and lived in sone interesting places ;)

Lulu said...

Fascinating post Jasmine.