A Cautionary Tale.
You might remember me as the lady having no testing outside of a 20 week ultrasound. I posted earlier in the DDC about it and was very self-congratulatory if I remember correctly.
Our ultrasound was Wednesday. I was nervous and agitated all morning but chalked it up to excitement. Me, DH and both kids were happy as clams watching the little one do all HER (it's a girl!) cute stuff (sucking her thumb) on the screen. All limbs, organs, etc look great. The tech brings in Dr #1 to "verify" her findings and she agrees. Dr #1 spends a lot of time looking at the baby's heart which I thought nothing of at this time.
Here comes Dr #2 (who my DH and I refer to as Dr. Shorty McDreamkilller) who decides that my baby has an "echogenic bowel" which means her bowel is "brighter" than her other organs and this is a "soft marker" for chromosomal abnormalities (Down Syndrome, etc) or Cystic Fibrosis. He asks me if it was my choice not to have earlier genetic testing (yes) even at my age (an elderly 36 year old) (yes again). So then he goes looking for other "markers." He finds her nasal bone is on the short side. Absence of a nasal bone is another soft marker but a short one **might** indicate a problem coupled with the bowel irregularity. All other organs were fine.
Now it's time to see the genetic counselor. I'll spare the excruciating details but sitting in the room it became very apparent that these people really thought something wasn't going right with my baby and they weren't going to give me any peace until we knew for sure. I felt pressured but we agreed that it would be better to be prepared for a special needs child to make her life easier. I hated the idea of the amnio and begged God to protect my baby.
Fast forward...results came in early...the baby is fine. Down Syndrome is off the table as well as most other chromosomal issues. Cystic Fibrosis is a possibility but very remote. We'll know in a week. Baby is moving all around and does not appear to hold a grudge towards me.
I'm still processing all this. I can't believe I got caught up in the "system" and risked my healthy baby for so-called peace of mind. The test changed nothing - she is our baby and no matter what we were going to have her so I feel like the risk of the amnio was unjustified. My DH thinks they saw that we have good insurance and wanted to make so money. I hate to be that cynical. Surely they were just erring on the cautionary side right?
And I found out later that bowels can be "brighter" when babies swallow amniotic fluid which has little bits of mama's blood in it which would make her bowel appear echogenic. And I watched her swallowing the whole time! Dr. #2 never even mentioned this as a possibility.
Still processing the whole experience...if I had to do it again I would be more well versed in "soft markers" for "issues" that way I could say "Well, sure but can't that be caused by X,Y, or Z as well?"