Anyone NOT want to see their baby via u/s? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 34 Old 07-02-2012, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I (first-timers-- I'm ~6 weeks) just have zero desire to see our baby via ultrasound.  Is that crazy?  I did have an u/s with my first pregnancy (miscarried in April) at around 8 weeks because of spotting, and we saw a ~6 wk sac with no HB...  but it's not because of that.  We felt this way before the m/c, too.

 

I'm not sure exactly why...  Because it's not really that great of a "portrait" anyway?  It feels like an invasion of baby's privacy?  nut.gif  LOL, IDK.  It's not that it's "unnatural," because I am fine with the judicious use of technology, and shoot-- I'm not exactly the world's most pro-"natural" person (don't even really buy organic).  I can't put my finger on it, but DH feels the same way.

 

I do NOT want to know the sex until birth and I'm not into any u/s unless needed anyway, though I am leaning towards the 20 week anatomy scan as my only "routine" u/s.  No (or almost no) u/s are fine, even preferable, as far as our HB MW is concerned, so no issues there.  I'm actually (crazy, I know), thinking of wearing a blindfold and earplugs if/when I do get my 20 week scan (partly because I REALLY don't want to accidentally see/hear about the sex).  And I don't even really want a still "photo" from the u/s. 

 

Is that insane?  Am I the only one?


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#2 of 34 Old 07-02-2012, 11:10 AM
 
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Hi there, I'm 7 weeks and in the Feb 2013 due date club!

 

I don't want to see my kids via u/s.

 

We did see #2 and #3 - we do home births but w/ #2 I just wasn't sure things were okay (they were) and with #3 I thought I was too big for just one baby (I wasn't).

 

When we saw the babies moving around on the u/s, I just felt like we were invading their privacy, like we entered into some kind of sacred space where we didn't belong. Also, when the tech asked us if we wanted to know the gender w/ #2, I suddenly caved and said yes, and then regretted it for the rest of my pregnancy. It's like when you are avoiding sweets, but someone offers you a piece of cake, what do you do? Most of us take it. :) With #3, I was firm about not wanting to know the gender, so the tech told us not to look when he was in the genital area... but at another point I saw ovaries. I'm not blind, I know what internal organs look like. I was disappointed about seeing that.

 

For the most part.... it just seems like pregnancy is so mystical and peeking inside can take away from that.

 

Not to knock anyone who wants an u/s, and in many cases it's a wonderful tool. But no, you are not crazy! I didn't even like hearing the baby's heartbeat w/ the fetoscope that my midwives offered. I could listen with my own fetoscope, in my own time, in my own privacy. But when they pass me the fetoscope at a prenatal, it just seems.... patronizing maybe? And not private. And not sacred.  (I may be doing an unassisted birth this time around).


 

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#3 of 34 Old 07-02-2012, 11:19 AM
 
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Oh, also, if you are planning to go for the 20-week scan, I don't know, if you are ambivalent, will your care provider let you refuse it? I just found it to be really uncomfortable! You have to fill your bladder and lie on your back for about 20 minutes, both of which are not even recommended for pregnant women. For me personally, I will never have another u/s unless it seems to be really necessary. I almost passed out from my last one, having my aorta compressed for so long. 


 

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#4 of 34 Old 07-02-2012, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one, Margarita!  It's so funny, because I'm not the world's most spiritual person (I mean, I AM spiritual/religious, but...) and I'm very science-y (which is actually WHY I'm having a HB)...  But u/s feels so...  IDK...  Unnecessary, I guess.  I do have a tendency to want to be special/different, LOL, but DH isn't as much like that, and I don't think that's the only motivating factor here... 

 

I do think part of it is vehemently not wanting to know the sex-- and like you said, I am not blind.  In fact, the blindfold for me would be precisely because I wouldn't trust myself not to look for clues.  You know... even if not consciously.  Plus-- and I guess this may be the big thing for me-- I actually regret getting my u/s with the last pregnancy, even though it showed me my instincts (that something was wrong) were right on.  Because... I was going to m/c anyway and it just made the whole waiting game more torturous.  I'm just such an obsessive type, I feel like a little knowledge is a dangerous thing for me...

 

I wouldn't have any u/s (unless really medically indicated), but with what I know right now, I do kinda feel like the 20 wk scan is worthwhile, particularly b/c I *think* I plan to decline both the NT scan and the quad screen (because of the false positive issues and the added stress earlier in pregnancy, per my above-referenced obsessiveness).

 

Hm.
 

 

ETA: Yes, my MWs have no problem with me refusing any and all scans.  They actually do not recommend any routine u/s, though they present pros and cons for the NT scan and 20 week anatomy (but that's it).  I think they'd even be okay with my refusing a doppler at my first couple of appointments too (before they switch to a fetoscope at ~20 weeks), but I'm not as sure of that...  I mean, they are big on patient autonomy and would be "okay" with me refusing most anything (except MAYBE intermittent doppler during labor), but I don't know just how big a deal that would be.

 

But u/s, yeah, they're not big fans, especially not of routine use.


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#5 of 34 Old 07-02-2012, 12:29 PM
 
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I have ultrasounds because I want to know, to the extent that they're able to tell, that all is going as it should. Other than that I really wish someone else's body could go. 


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#6 of 34 Old 07-02-2012, 01:03 PM
 
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I do not like u/s, I have zero interest in seeing the baby on a little screen. I actually find them rather creepy, this is for myself. I also do not care to hear the heartbeat either. Out of 4 babies, I have had three u/s. I did one at 20 weeks and found it uninteresting so I never did it again. With my last two babies, I was unsure of dates and elected to have a late first tri u/s since I tend to go early anyway.a nd good thing with DS1 because I was month farther then I thought possible, he was born at 38 weeks as it was with the new date.

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#7 of 34 Old 07-02-2012, 03:14 PM
 
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I had several ultrasounds so far, because I'm high-risk. That said, I've only had about 1/4 of the scans they would have liked me to have. Had I had a normal pregnancy I would have refused U/S..


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#8 of 34 Old 07-02-2012, 03:32 PM
 
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I had no us with1,2,and 4. We did not need us and I was pretty adament about not wanting to know. #3 and #5  were only late us due to being postdates and it was kinda neat but could not tell with either of them. This time is my first time doing ob care and we've had about a bajillion of them and let the kids decide if they wanted to know, which they did.


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#9 of 34 Old 07-02-2012, 04:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by margarita b View Post

but at another point I saw ovaries. I'm not blind, I know what internal organs look like. I was disappointed about seeing that.

 

 

 

I didn't think it was possible to see the baby's ovaries on a u/s. Also, technically, unless you had a late u/s, it could have been the testes since they don't descend until later.

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#10 of 34 Old 07-03-2012, 10:44 AM
 
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I don't particularly like it. I don't think a fetus via ultrasound is cute or whatever. Looks alien and weird and kind of unholy in a manner of speaking. I do think ultrasounds are invasive and we know that they are loud and annoying. I do really believe in a structural, especially for a homebirth (had a friend with a bad, avoidable outcome because they didn't have one) but I didn't enjoy it.

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#11 of 34 Old 07-03-2012, 12:09 PM
 
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I'm not on the same page as you (I really wanted to see my baby in the 20 week ultrasound, the only "real" one we've had), but I did want to say if you want to get the 20-week ultrasound just to check on anatomy, it's very possible to have it without having to view the ultrasound. If you don't want to see it/get any info, I would recommend going to a general imaging center that does pregnancy ultrasounds, but isn't solely for that purpose. We went to one, and the tech told us basically nothing, just got all the measurements as quickly as she could, and didn't really leave us much of a chance to look at the baby at all. She also asked us at the get-go if we wanted to know the sex or not. For us, it was a much less than ideal experience, but it sounds like that might actually work out best for you if you want the reassurance that everything is looking good anatomy-wise. I doubt we would have had any problem getting her to turn the screen away if we hadn't wanted to "peek".


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#12 of 34 Old 07-03-2012, 12:16 PM
 
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I feel the same way! no interest whatsoever, and am going out of my way to avoid an ultrasound. it's not as exact a science as they'd have you believe.

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#13 of 34 Old 07-03-2012, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is all really interesting-- thanks!

 

Monkey, I'm guessing that my MW would refer me to the same MFM place I had my vaginal u/s with my miscarried pregnancy...  Which, in one respect, I wouldn't mind, as it's a ~8 minute walk from my house, the OB who runs it is excellent and natural-minded, etc.  But something to think about, anyway...

 

ETA:  It just occurred to me that if I do go to the same place, I would think I could get them to turn off the "patient screen" or whatever it is.  That is, as I remember it, the tech and OB were looking at their own, main screen, connected to the probe, and I could also look at a second screen that was in front of me and a bit overhead.  I can't imagine they couldn't turn off that second screen if I requested it, as it wouldn't be necessary for them, per se.


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#14 of 34 Old 07-04-2012, 07:39 AM
 
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I didn't think it was possible to see the baby's ovaries on a u/s. Also, technically, unless you had a late u/s, it could have been the testes since they don't descend until later.

I just checked with my friend who is graduating from sonography school so I could be sure, and she said you definitely can! I was somewhere around 24 weeks, I think. It was a thorough scan, the tech went through layers of the brain, layers of the heart, showed us the cord insertion etc. And maybe undescended testes would look almost the same, but at the same time we've got mother's intuition saying, "I know I'm having a girl baby and yup those are the ovaries right there." I think testes would have looked just a tiny bit different, smaller maybe, less spherical.

 

 I hated it though! It took forever. I only wanted to know if there were twins. I wish I had said, "Oh, one baby, thanks, okay, bye!" right off the bat, but as usual I gave over my power to someone with "expertise." Sigh. 


 

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#15 of 34 Old 07-04-2012, 08:41 AM
 
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I'm 33 weeks along now, and I haven't had a single u/s either, and had/have no desire to have one. My overall philosophy for this pregnancy and birth is to be as free of interventions as is safely possible, and to me, an u/s is still a type of intervention. My midwife said that babies don't like u/s--they try to move away from them. That was enough for me to feel like u/s are invasive and intrude on the baby's private world. I know that people say u/s are completely safe, but I don't trust that there's been enough evidence to demonstrate it conclusively.

 

Having said all of that, though, I still think that there are situations in which u/s make medical/clinical sense. If I was/am concerned about something, I would definitely have one.


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#16 of 34 Old 07-15-2012, 04:29 PM
 
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I had two, and I was not happy to do either.  First because of possible concerns early on, and second at the end of the pregnancy to make sure DS was head down and that all looked ok for delivery.  I declined the 20 week scan because I felt like there would be little if anything anyone could do if there was something "wrong".  If I will be pregnant again, unless there's some real emergency to do one, I will for sure decline all of them.

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#17 of 34 Old 07-22-2012, 08:49 AM
 
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I've been all over the board on this. I actually LOVE finding out the sex.  If there was a intervention free way to know for sure, I'd do it every time no matter what.  I name my baby and call him/her by name and just adore that.  I also had a friend that was able to do my first few sono's for me in a very comfortable setting, she teaches sonography and was able to really make it a lovely experience for me

#1-obgyn, hospital-didn't think much of it-had one sono, found out sex

#2-mw, homebirth, wasn't going to do a sono unless medically necessary.  Started dilating at 6 months, carrying incredibly low, got the sono then to make sure everything was cool.  Found out sex bc I was already in there, and I like to know!

#3-mw, hb, new husband.  Went to same sonographer that time because I honestly really wanted dh to have the experience and at that point I had grown accustomed to finding out.  We also only had a boy name and could NOT come up with a girl name! lol

#4- surprise babe, mw.  never heard heart, started bleeding at 14 weeks.  sono to check.  confirmed lost baby.  obviously didn't check sex

#5-current. this one I've been way more into interventions, honestly.  Not as much as is usual for mainstream mamas but a lot for me. this one was planned, our last baby.  I have freaked out more than ever before after losing our last one.  I went in at 7 weeks for a sono to check the heart beat.  all good. I've made it to every mw appt since 6 weeks (I normally wouldn't even worry about getting in before 12 and then would prefer to spread them out more and not be managed as much).  We had the anatomy scan last week and did find out that it's a boy.  I can totally respect and understand people not getting them and I've been there too.  But I also really get wanting to.


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#18 of 34 Old 07-22-2012, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel the same way, Millie.  I can totally see both sides.  But for me, the loss has actually solidified the desire not to have (almost) any u/s.  Go figure!


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#19 of 34 Old 07-22-2012, 09:17 AM
 
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Interesting, buko!

 

I think for me, since I really love finding out the sex and have had such great sono experiences in the past, that made a difference for me.

 

Also, with my mc, the baby had probably died several weeks before and my body hadn't let go at all. I ended up with a d and c, and honestly, I'd rather know and be able to take care of it than go through it like that again. just sharing my experience here, I get that it isn't the same for everyone.


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#20 of 34 Old 08-03-2012, 01:17 AM
 
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I had two, and I was not happy to do either.  First because of possible concerns early on, and second at the end of the pregnancy to make sure DS was head down and that all looked ok for delivery.  I declined the 20 week scan because I felt like there would be little if anything anyone could do if there was something "wrong".  If I will be pregnant again, unless there's some real emergency to do one, I will for sure decline all of them.


I feel the same way about the 20 week one. I have declined the 8 week and am declining the 12 week one but my midwife wants to do the 20 week scan. I just don't get it. Nothing I've read from any midwife I trust has given me any reason to do this scan. There's only one midwife in the country so I have no other option. Very frustrating.


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#21 of 34 Old 08-10-2012, 04:24 PM
 
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Looking back at it now as much pressure as they put me under to do these things, in the end it is up to you.  It is your body, your child, and you have the power to say what you want or don't want.  Will she throw you out of the practice if you decline?  If there's only one midwife in the country I can't see that she could even do that.  Though maybe it depends on the country.

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#22 of 34 Old 08-10-2012, 08:51 PM
 
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I feel the same way about the 20 week one. I have declined the 8 week and am declining the 12 week one but my midwife wants to do the 20 week scan. I just don't get it. Nothing I've read from any midwife I trust has given me any reason to do this scan. There's only one midwife in the country so I have no other option. Very frustrating.

 

I don't feel comfortable doing scans either. With my first pregnancy I did everything they recommended and saw how much DS hated it in-utero - he'd wriggle away each time, and once the u/s tech actually had me walk away and take a moment to "calm down the baby" because he was too jumpy for her to see anything.

 

This time around, I want no scans at all, because I don't see much point to them if we are going to continue with the pregnancy no matter what. My OB though, says it could help discover conditions which may need super-speciality care at birth that could make all the difference. She's fine with me declining all the scans except the 20 week one. But it's just this sort what-if fear based thinking that I don't want to base my decisions on. I'd rather respond to events as and when they happen, instead of subjecting the baby to ultrasounds whose "safety" is at best dubious and which cannot 100% predict any outcomes. I think I'll be giving my doc a printout of that article in negotiating for no scans.

 

Here's a great post by a doula where she talks about the kind of false sense of security they give: http://vancouverdoula.blogspot.in/2007/03/window-childrenwith-protective.html

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#23 of 34 Old 08-10-2012, 09:57 PM
 
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i didnt have a US with DD nor this one.  had absolutely no interest at all
 


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#24 of 34 Old 08-12-2012, 02:04 AM
 
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I don't feel comfortable doing scans either. With my first pregnancy I did everything they recommended and saw how much DS hated it in-utero - he'd wriggle away each time, and once the u/s tech actually had me walk away and take a moment to "calm down the baby" because he was too jumpy for her to see anything.

 

This time around, I want no scans at all, because I don't see much point to them if we are going to continue with the pregnancy no matter what. My OB though, says it could help discover conditions which may need super-speciality care at birth that could make all the difference. She's fine with me declining all the scans except the 20 week one. But it's just this sort what-if fear based thinking that I don't want to base my decisions on. I'd rather respond to events as and when they happen, instead of subjecting the baby to ultrasounds whose "safety" is at best dubious and which cannot 100% predict any outcomes. I think I'll be giving my doc a printout of that article in negotiating for no scans.

 

Here's a great post by a doula where she talks about the kind of false sense of security they give: http://vancouverdoula.blogspot.in/2007/03/window-childrenwith-protective.html

 

I feel exactly the same way. I'm not going to change anything based on an u/s. I have to be very much on my toes because I'm dealing with for-profit health care where I am and Doctors try to do as many scans and tests as they can to make the hospitals more profitable. I've seen them threaten mothers who try to refuse them. 


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#25 of 34 Old 08-15-2012, 10:10 PM
 
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The biggest reason I can think of to get at least the 20 week anatomy scan is to rule out placenta previa. 


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#26 of 34 Old 08-16-2012, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The biggest reason I can think of to get at least the 20 week anatomy scan is to rule out placenta previa. 

 



I had considered this, but correct me if I'm wrong here...

 

-If there seems to be previa, you'll have to come back again later and see if it's moved (which it likely will, as I understand it).  Does that mean if there's no previa at 20 weeks, you'll still need to check later?  Or is previa unlikely to pop up past 20 weeks?

 

-A good midwife will be able to hear and possibly palpate a suspected previa-- yes, no?  At which point, one would go in for a non-routine u/s to confirm.


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#27 of 34 Old 08-16-2012, 06:10 AM
 
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-If there seems to be previa, you'll have to come back again later and see if it's moved (which it likely will, as I understand it).  Does that mean if there's no previa at 20 weeks, you'll still need to check later?  Or is previa unlikely to pop up past 20 weeks?

 

 

 

I believe it is impossible for previa to develop later in pregnancy when it wasn't there before.    Previa is when the placenta implants over the cervix.  The placenta moves as the uterus grows and the uterus can only grow upwards so movement of the placenta could only be in an upwards direction.


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#28 of 34 Old 08-16-2012, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Amelia-- I had that in my brain somewhere, but wasn't confident about it.


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#29 of 34 Old 08-16-2012, 07:54 AM
 
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Yeah, what Amelia said - if previa isn't there at 20 weeks, it won't be. But yes, if it was present, you would need follow-up later to see if it had moved, as it might (or might not). I don't know about being able to figure it out w/o an ultrasound... will be interested to see what others say about that.

 

On another note, as far as those who say they wouldn't do anything different regardless of the results, I will offer someone else's story. I had a friend doing UP/UC who didn't do any ultrasounds. She went into preterm labor and ended up with a c-section... for a baby who could not live. He did not have any kidneys, which is simply not compatible with life. For her, the c-section was very traumatizing, especially because it meant that she was not able to be with/hold/remember her son for the short time he was alive. I don't know that she regrets her decision not to have an ultrasound (she went on to have a successful UP/UC after that), and I'm certainly not saying that she should- but if she had known there was no chance for survival for her baby, she has said she would not have gone to the hospital and gone through all the trauma she experienced there. So that's actually a way that having an ultrasound can prevent unnecessary medical interventions. Again, that's obviously a very rare scenario, but believe me, it was running through my head during my anatomy scan. I personally would never terminate, regardless of the outlook for my child, but I might choose more or less medical intervention based on the information I got from the scan. But that's my call.

 

So how far along are you at this point, Buko? Have you figured out what you plan to do yet? (Maybe you posted that earlier and I missed it!)


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#30 of 34 Old 08-16-2012, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey, Monkey-- I'm 12 weeks tomorrow.

 

I actually looked into bilateral hydronephrosis and the like-- my best estimate for ALL conditions that I could have caught and would have terminated/"done something for"/wish I would have known/etc. was about 1 in 5000.  I mean total, including the "more severe" trisomies, etc.  That is a risk (of lack of knowledge) that I may be willing to take.  Downs, the biggest issue, is about 1 in 500 for me, but I am not convinced it precludes HB (for me) and my CNM HB MW agrees-- nor are DH and I convinced we would terminate, etc.  (I should note, for HB purposes, that I live almost literally behind an excellent hospital with NICU-- a literal 7-minute WALK to the door of the ER.)

 

Still undecided...  I'd say more 50/50, whereas before I was maybe 80/20 in favor of the u/s.  I'm much less concerned about any (possibly theoretical) negative effects of one u/s on the baby's development than I am about false positives and possibly the m/c rate of amnio, which we would perform if there were significant risk factors.  I understand the risk is relatively low-- I'd have to show markers first before I'd do amnio, and the chances of showing those markers are not high.  But IF we wouldn't terminate or do much differently for Downs, and IF previa is very likely to be suspected by my MW via fetoscope/etc., then...  I am looking at a 1 in 5000 chance vs... what?  This is the big question. 

 

Surely the chance of false positives in a 20-week are lower than in a 11-13 week NTT.  But let's say there's a 1 in 10 chance of finding scary markers or concerns calling for amnio (which we WOULD do in the case of scary markers), and a 1 in 200 chance of m/c via amnio.  Then my overall chance of losing the baby is 1 in 2000 if I do the u/s-- KWIM?  That's higher (again, just guesstimating) than the chances of my having a child with something scary and fatal (which I'm saying are 1 in 5000).  Of course, if there's only a 1 in 100 chance of finding scary markers, then the overall chance of m/c if I get the u/s is 1 in 20,000.

 

So...  shrug.gif

 

I don't know.

 

I do understand that if I see scary markers, that my chance of having a baby with a fatal/etc. issue have now risen dramatically, even considering false positives.  But I have to consider the odds based on whether I have the u/s at all, especially considering I would definitely do amnio if it looked like I had a trisomy...  I mean-- that's WHY I would do amnio, because the 1 in 200 risk of m/c would likely be outweighed by the (totally pulling this out of my butt), say, 1 in 3 chance of a for-real major problem in a baby with the markers for it.  So, because of that, even just having the u/s essentially carries the risk of losing a baby (perfectly healthy or not). 

 

Still really undecided.


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