Hopefully this will give optimism to someone else- Amnio Decision

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Registered: 12-31-1969
Hopefully this will give optimism to someone else- Amnio Decision
Mon, 10-15-2012 - 2:11pm

I lurk, mostly but wanted to share, in case any of this story helps someone else stay optimistic in the face of worry. I'm 39, w/unplanned pregnancy with 3rd child (husband procrastinated far too long on the vasectomy...yes, I should've taken birth control more seriously/ into my own hands!) Found out I was pregnant with 3rd in late July and truth be told... I was SOOO not thrilled. We have 6 1/2 yr old and 4yr old sons (both planned), we are happy/settled in our lives and truly, "comfortable" on the financial front but really don't have the extra funds around for #3, we both work FT outside of the home in an expensive metro area. We were finally seeing the most expensive years of daycare come to an end. We had a lot of freedom with ages and abilities of our children now. When we left the hospital after having #2, I knew then, and was happy with it,  he would be my last.

Anyway, I made only little attempts to gracefully accept the news over the first trimester, knowing the child really deserves us to be happy and how, to so many parents who desparately want just ONE baby, we are so blessed. I needed an ATTITUDE change quickly. I was physically taking care of myself and little one, but just mentally/emotionally there was something missing. I did the Nuchal Trans @ 12w 5days. All was great on screen said the Radiologist, very healthy looking little one, and blood results would be back in about a week- but all in all, very promising.

Going on the visual results (nasal bone present, low nuchal fold measurement) I slowly started to reveal our news and let ourselves, an ounce at a time, get happy. A week later my OB called to say that one of the blood markers was little elevated (HCG, specifically) and this could signal a Downs Syndrome child. My risk of Downs/Trisomy 21 went from 1:94 (age based) to 1:57 with the combined test results of blood+good nuchal fold. Dr. was not stressed, but urged me, if I wanted to find out more/be better prepared if something WERE really wrong, to do amnio.

That decision was a no-brainer for me. I weighed the <1/2 % chance of m/c to the 1.8% chance of downs (1:57 mathematically) and made the appt. If I had ANY hope of bonding with the child for the next 26weeks (by this point) of pregnancy, I had to know. And yes, admittedly, we CONTEMPLATED (not saying we'd have done it, but we did seriously talk about it...) termination if the prognosis was just too bad. I waited 3 wks for my amnio appt at the top Genetics practice in town and just did amnio last Thurs. It was SOOO not bad. Procedure was much easier than I thought, though I didn't watch (I kept my arm over my eyes and looked upwards at the wall clock behind me.) I took it easy for 48 hours, followed Dr. orders of no lifting, etc. 

Today I got the FISH (expedited) test results and I'm luckily one of the 56 of my odds-based group who have a good prognosis. No Downs- all necessary chromo present and accounted for- no more, no less. Confirmed another boy (we'd have been happy either way) and full results come back late week/early next week of the more rare/"unique" stuff. But FISH results are reliable, and the Trisomy21/Downs was why we were there to begin with. I can't even talk about how relieved I am without crying. I am not particularly religious, but modestly so (very personal relationship for me) and I knew God's plan for me would be the ultimate outcome, but of COURSE I was praying his and my "plan" were in sync!

So I hope this (longer than planned) narrative is found in searches by other moms with 1%+ chance of Downs based upon NT and age. I don't regret any decision- neither to do the NT/1st trimester screen, nor the amnio. Yes, the worry sucks. But 3-ish weeks of worry, & fortunately with a so-far-so-good outcome, is worth every ounce of relief felt when the amnio produces good, certain information. And my genetic counselor told me that she is MUCH more in the position of giving good news to parents than bad news, so odds are already in your favor. God Bless, and good luck!