I've posted in some other areas on Mothering about my concerns about my now Toddler DD. We are in the 90% range that at some point she'll be given a dx on the Autism spectrum. This scares me a lot less now that in did when we first started to suspect that she was "different". Of note, I had a very healthy, typical pregnancy, 0 risk factors. 3 Ultrasounds in total during my pregnancy with her. Delivered at a hospital with an OB who I love; labor was very very long (3 days) that ended up augmented with Pit and an epidural in the last 20 minutes of labor-if I would have known it was only going to be another 20 minutes, I would have declined the epi (which totally sucked and I continue to feel guilty about). I worry that her repeated U/S AND awful labor with Pit and epidural may have caused her issues and/or made them worse.
However, I'm now pregnant with #2, at about 10 weeks. I'm currently being followed by the same OB and a HB midwife with co-care. I'm over 35, so AMA, and my OB is encouraging a 1st trimester screen with ultrasound. Our MW is encouraging me not to, but stated that she would support me should I decide to. I'm having all sorts of conundrums with this pregnancy. Both DH and I are in the medical field, so we see the benefit of some of the testing; however, we both are well aware that every procedure/medication/etc has risks (hence the goal of a homebirth but with the OB following just in case). I also know that my OB will want to do a level 2 U/S at ~20 weeks for the anatomy scan.
Given my worries that I've "caused" my daughter's issues, I'm wondering if any of you Mommies have struggled with any of the same issues? I know this is my decision to tease out, so I'm not really asking for advice as much as asking for experiences. It really don't need to know if this baby has any issues, other than the fact that we'd like to be at a hospital if we were delivering a baby with a genetic condition so that baby could get the care they needed.
Good for you for recognizing that your daughter has special needs and facing that head on. That is a very difficult step to take and many parrents take longer to do so.
My experiences come personally from working in a NICU for two years. I agree that the ultrasounds are a good thing to determine if there are health problems that need to be addressed at delivery. I saw too many babies born with surprise issues to take that chance with my own baby.
As to the autism. I do not believe the ultrasounds caused your daughter's issues. My twin sister has two children. Her oldest is a high functioning aspbergers which is on the autism spectrum. He makes good grades in school and is smart but he has NO concept of how to deal with people. His parents and family have worked with him very hard over the years and we are very hopeful that he will be able to be a contributing member of society. For that pregnancy, my sister was in her 20's, was in perfect health, had a perfect term labor, pushed a total of 3 times, and had NO ultrasounds at all.
Her second son, she was 36 years old when she had him and due to her age and developing gestational diabetees, she had an ultrasound at least 8 times. Her labor was augmented with pit as well and she had an epidural. That child is perfect mentally as well as physically.
As to your epidural, almost all hospital births have an epi these days. Some of us refuse them but believe me, far more women get them. I believe the epi can cause you back damage but it did not hurt your baby.
Nothing you did caused these problems. Research her specific problems and as she grows older, do not let her use them as an excuse for not achieving. Being "hard" on my nephew has allowed him to grow into a college bound young man. If my sister had not insisted my nephew learn appropriate behavior, he would never have done so on his own.
I hope you have an awesome homebirth!