Getting the triple-screen? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 04-07-2006, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What have you all decided about getting the triple screen? I am right in the zone (16-18 weeks) and keep going back and forth on it. on the one hand the test itself is risk free and could potentially provide some useful information. On the other hand the false positive is really high, and I would need to be really convinced that there was a realtively good chance that something was wrong before I would risk the amnio. But I would definitely want to know if there was a real abnormality with my baby, as early as possible so all my options were open... ugg, why does everythign have to be so hard????

so what did you decide and why?
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#2 of 35 Old 04-07-2006, 10:44 PM
 
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We had a positive, which led to an amnio, which almost led to a miscarriage. The positive was FALSE, we had a perfectly normal baby girl. I would never ever ever ever do it again. Ever.

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#3 of 35 Old 04-07-2006, 11:46 PM
 
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I refused it when I had a midwife, and then had UP's. Glad I did, because I would never want to have been bullied into aborting my beautiful son and missing not only an amazing pregnancy, but being able to hold him.
I'd much rather not know and be at peace, able to enjoy what I have, than to spend my whole pregnancy grieving, scared and confused.

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#4 of 35 Old 04-08-2006, 12:37 AM
 
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I decided to do it with my last pregnancy, and was very happy I did. I did have a positive screen, and had an amnio, but in the end everything was fine. I knew in my heart that I couldn't be pressured into terminating if something were wrong, and in fact that was the farthest thing from my mind. I would never have aborted my pregnancy at that stage, all I wanted was to know. My concerns were more stressful for me than I felt knowing something was wrong would have been. But I'm the type of person who would rather know and be emotionally prepared than wonder.

The triple screen does only test for three things though, all of which are compatible with life (although Trisomy 18 babies don't usually make it to a year). So while even combined with the amnio it is not a perfect test, and cannot guarantee you a healthy baby, it will tell you about major abnormalities that can't always be seen on U/S.

A suggestion though, if you do decide to do prenatal screening, I would ask about if your area has IPS available. This test (Integrated Prenatal Screening) combines two blood tests (similar to the triple-screen) with a nuchal translucency ultrasound. While the triple-screen alone has a 20% false positive and false negative rate, the IPS has a 3.5% FP and a 5% FN.

Good luck with your decision, if you'd like any more answers or personal experiences that I can help you with, let me know.

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#5 of 35 Old 04-08-2006, 10:29 AM
 
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The last time and this time I have passed on it. I figured what ever came our way, came our way. I truthfully could not think of a reason to have the test done.We also decided that if a test is not mandatory to continue on at the center we are going to pass on it.
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#6 of 35 Old 04-08-2006, 02:57 PM
 
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We passed on it last time and this time we opted to do the 12 week nuchal fold ultrasound with a finger prick. It has a much lower false positive rate and gives the results in the form of odds (like, 1 out 12000 chance of trisonomy 18) versus just saying positive or negative. We will be skipping the second blood test (the one they do at 16-18 weeks).
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#7 of 35 Old 04-08-2006, 04:24 PM
 
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The triple screen also gives results in terms of odds...

Peaceful mama to three blissfully-birthed and incredible small people: dd10, dd7 and ds5. Always awed and so thankful to be a midwife.
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#8 of 35 Old 04-08-2006, 10:51 PM
 
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I wasn't offered a triple screen, but a quad screen. I decided to do it, but I will not do an amnio under any circumstances. I have been on several medications during this pregnancy (before we knew) that can cause some pretty severe birth defects. That is the only reason I chose to do it. I just did it on tuesday and haven't heard back yet what the results were.
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#9 of 35 Old 04-09-2006, 12:10 AM
 
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Can the medication cause the things that the quad screen screens for? Cause usually chromosomal problems aren't a result of environmental factors, however spinal cord defects (spina bifida, anencephaly, etc) can be. Just curious what the medication can cause to happen.

Peaceful mama to three blissfully-birthed and incredible small people: dd10, dd7 and ds5. Always awed and so thankful to be a midwife.
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#10 of 35 Old 04-09-2006, 03:08 AM
 
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I'm not doing it.

I'm not overly worried about the possibility of abnormalities- they don't run in either family, and both of us are young and healthy. The presence of some defect wouldn't change the fact that this is my child- it would just make the rest of my pregnancy stressful as I imagined all the possible outcomes and scenarios.

Mama to Raina (9/06) and Peter (8/09)!
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#11 of 35 Old 04-09-2006, 09:58 AM
 
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Nope not having it. Discussed w/ my nurse midwife on Friday, She seemed relieved I didn't want it. The false pos. rate is SO HIGH. (& the addl tests carry risk)
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#12 of 35 Old 04-09-2006, 01:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by blissful_maia
Can the medication cause the things that the quad screen screens for? Cause usually chromosomal problems aren't a result of environmental factors, however spinal cord defects (spina bifida, anencephaly, etc) can be. Just curious what the medication can cause to happen.
Well the medications I've been on cause a lot of birth defects. One has a 1 in 5 chance of having a large range of birth defects with the most common being spina bifida. If continued it would have also given me a 1 in 5 chance on mental delays with a 1 in 10 chance of mental retardation. (not a nice medicine). The other, if I hadn't stopped it when I did (which was hopefully in time) has almost a 1 in 5 chance of causing a large hole in the heart (larger than the body can naturally heal) which usually results in infant mortality. I know not all the possibilities can be detected by the triple screen, but the more serious ones can, so I thought it worth while for that reason.
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#13 of 35 Old 04-09-2006, 02:18 PM
 
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Just had my first CNM appointment last Thursday and all the tests were offered to me. When she mentioned the triple screen I said no. The CNM's reply was "Are you sure, it's 3d and that's where they can see the baby so much more clearly?". She kind of confused me...I started thinking, well I could see the baby very clearly-that would be cool.

But after mentioning it to my DH, he brought me back to reality.

So even though I'm AMA...I won't be having it. I'm a stresser, and I would not have a peaceful pregnancy w/ this little one if they said there was a chance something was wrong. I want to enjoy every moment of our babies life inside me.
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#14 of 35 Old 04-09-2006, 05:29 PM
 
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No, I've never done it and will not do it this time either. Too many false positives and I know I would never terminate, so I don't see the pt. Also I have incredibly bad luck with these things. I just spent a month worried because I thought I had Hep. B(the regular bloodwork came back +) but after additional testing it turns out that was a false positive. So I put myself and my family through a whole bunch of nothing. If I can't pass that, I figure there's no way I won't at least get a false positive with the quad screen.
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#15 of 35 Old 04-09-2006, 11:33 PM
 
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[QUOTE=soccermominsd]Just had my first CNM appointment last Thursday and all the tests were offered to me. When she mentioned the triple screen I said no. The CNM's reply was "Are you sure, it's 3d and that's where they can see the baby so much more clearly?". She kind of confused me...I started thinking, well I could see the baby very clearly-that would be cool.

QUOTE]

I'm not quite sure I understand what your CNM was talking about. A triple screen is just blood work. That sort of ultrasound is a seperate thing. I am doing one of those too. The naval hospital I have to deliver at (hospitals, yuck ) is trying to get me to think the ultrasound is a normal required thing. I know of nowhere that requires a level 3 ultrasound. That's just laughable. I have decided to do it though. It really didn't require much thought in this case. It just seemed the logical responsible thing to do. Especially since that's the extent of the testing I will allow them to do. They wouldn't even get to do that if it weren't for the high possibility of complications in labor from all these medications.
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#16 of 35 Old 04-10-2006, 01:26 AM
 
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I had it done last week. I initially said I wanted to pass, but DH is a planner and was interested in having it done. We would never terminate, and I'd probably refuse an amnio, but he felt better having it done. I figured since it was just a blood draw and no risk to the baby, I'd go along with his wishes.
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#17 of 35 Old 04-10-2006, 08:37 AM
 
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With all due respect, in response to "I figured since it was just a blood draw and no risk to the baby, I'd go along with his wishes." and others of you who get the triple screen and will refuse an amnio...

There is risk to the baby, IMNSHO. Very real risk. IF you get a positive, and many of you testing will... even if it is false... then you will have reason to worry, no? So, you spend some time, or all your time, worrying and stressed about what might be. This affects the baby, poses very real risks to the baby.

Not trying to change your minds, just wanting to point out the related possible risks to the family, including the baby. Testing usually causes MORE concerns and stress, not fewer.

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#18 of 35 Old 04-10-2006, 08:44 AM
 
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"The Tentative Pregnancy" By Barbara Katz Rothman is one of the most informative, thought provoking books I read during my CBE and doula training.

I highly recommend it to anyone considering testing, birthworkers, or those lay people interested in the issues surrounding birth and prenatal testing. It is less of an argument for or against testing, and more of an exploration of the development of testing, its affects on mothers, babies and families... even communities. So much stuff in there I never even thought about.

Give it a look-see!

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#19 of 35 Old 04-10-2006, 11:15 AM
 
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I never had. I was 1st pg at 22 and read the false positive rates and said.. Ah, no. This is our 4th pg, and the answer is still, ah... no.

It's lonely being the only XX in a house of XYs.
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#20 of 35 Old 04-10-2006, 12:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariahsmum
With all due respect, in response to "I figured since it was just a blood draw and no risk to the baby, I'd go along with his wishes." and others of you who get the triple screen and will refuse an amnio...

There is risk to the baby, IMNSHO. Very real risk. IF you get a positive, and many of you testing will... even if it is false... then you will have reason to worry, no? So, you spend some time, or all your time, worrying and stressed about what might be. This affects the baby, poses very real risks to the baby.

Not trying to change your minds, just wanting to point out the related possible risks to the family, including the baby. Testing usually causes MORE concerns and stress, not fewer.
Some mamas, and I can attest to this because I am one of them, feel better with a negative screen, and would in fact be more worried without the test available (due to family history, past pregnancies, medication as a PP has said). I just think you need to be conscious of that, that it may actually alleviate the stress for some mamas.

Peaceful mama to three blissfully-birthed and incredible small people: dd10, dd7 and ds5. Always awed and so thankful to be a midwife.
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#21 of 35 Old 04-10-2006, 12:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ariahsmum
With all due respect, in response to "I figured since it was just a blood draw and no risk to the baby, I'd go along with his wishes." and others of you who get the triple screen and will refuse an amnio...

There is risk to the baby, IMNSHO. Very real risk. IF you get a positive, and many of you testing will... even if it is false... then you will have reason to worry, no? So, you spend some time, or all your time, worrying and stressed about what might be. This affects the baby, poses very real risks to the baby.

Not trying to change your minds, just wanting to point out the related possible risks to the family, including the baby. Testing usually causes MORE concerns and stress, not fewer.
We are already fairly concerned, all things factored in, and that was my deciding factor. If we get a negative I will know there is nothing to worry about. If it comes back positive I won't tell my dh (he would worry more) and we will just continue to wait and see knowing there is a very real possibility of the baby having some serious problems. I don't see how it could make things more stressful in our situation. It could only help to alleviate some of the present worry.
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#22 of 35 Old 04-10-2006, 12:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by daisysmom
Quote:
Originally Posted by soccermominsd
Just had my first CNM appointment last Thursday and all the tests were offered to me. When she mentioned the triple screen I said no. The CNM's reply was "Are you sure, it's 3d and that's where they can see the baby so much more clearly?". She kind of confused me...I started thinking, well I could see the baby very clearly-that would be cool.
I'm not quite sure I understand what your CNM was talking about. A triple screen is just blood work. That sort of ultrasound is a seperate thing. I am doing one of those too.
You're right Daisysmom...I was confused and referring to the Level II ultrasound, though the AFP & triplescreen were also offered and I would not even consider them. The level II was what got me thinking in a confused manner initially that I could see the baby. But na-ah...we'll wait to see little sweetie till he/she gets here.
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#23 of 35 Old 04-10-2006, 04:48 PM
 
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yup, level II, I've got mine on the 25th. It sucks though, I'll have to drive an hour away through Seattle rush hour traffic to get there.
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#24 of 35 Old 04-10-2006, 08:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by blissful_maia
Some mamas, and I can attest to this because I am one of them, feel better with a negative screen, and would in fact be more worried without the test available (due to family history, past pregnancies, medication as a PP has said). I just think you need to be conscious of that, that it may actually alleviate the stress for some mamas.
Aahhhh, I am *so* tired, we will see if I can come across the right way... it is sooo hard over email at times.

I am sorry if it came across that I was not being conscious of the other issues involved with testing. I did not at all intend to disregard the reason why some people test, I just was not focusing on that in my response. I was ONLY commenting on the issue that there can be effects to the fetus from stress... in this case the stress that could result from a positive triple screen that is not resolved from amnio.

BTW- I *love* the name Ayla. We had a newborn baby here for a while we called Ayla (her birth nmother had not named her). Now dd has named her babydoll by that... think she misses the baby.

Blessings,

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#25 of 35 Old 04-10-2006, 09:04 PM
 
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Preface: my personal opinion, blah blah. Please don't twist where it isn't needed.


Here's my issue:
If you are an incredibly nervous, worried mama.... scared of any (related or not) family history, scared of "What if" scared of it all and you believe that testing will alleviate your fears - will it really?
Does it really "Fix" the root of all your anxieties?

I ask this question to both prenatal screens and things like home doppler use. Lots of mamas use these potentially risky devices to listen to babies to be sure "everything is okay". Once turns into a little more, turns into a little more, until you're using it all the time and your fetus' exposure is through the roof.
Because you *can't* get rid of that root anxiety, and no technology is going to fix your panic.
Instead, why not address the root of your issues... that deep fear and worry that is preventing you from enjoying a pregnancy without invasive technology and tests with high rates of false positives.

I get uneasy, especially only five months after losing my son. I *could* get tests, ultrasounds and all the like but what would it really do for me?
Positive tests: Now I know my baby has something very wrong. I mourn, I cry, I feel very sad. I have trouble enjoying the pregnancy because a lot of problems are looming on the horizon.
Negative: I feel relieved. But what about in two months when the baby isn't kicking so much? Or one day I just 'have a bad feeling', or those rates of false negatives and how inaccurate ultrasounds are... I've relied on medical technology to make me feel better, and it's not permanent. I am obviously a nervous person if I was scared into getting tests and screens, that isn't going to go away overnight.

Physician, heal thyself. Only you can address and fix your worries.


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#26 of 35 Old 04-11-2006, 01:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleteapot
Preface: my personal opinion, blah blah. Please don't twist where it isn't needed.


Here's my issue:
If you are an incredibly nervous, worried mama.... scared of any (related or not) family history, scared of "What if" scared of it all and you believe that testing will alleviate your fears - will it really?
Does it really "Fix" the root of all your anxieties?

I ask this question to both prenatal screens and things like home doppler use. Lots of mamas use these potentially risky devices to listen to babies to be sure "everything is okay". Once turns into a little more, turns into a little more, until you're using it all the time and your fetus' exposure is through the roof.
Because you *can't* get rid of that root anxiety, and no technology is going to fix your panic.
Instead, why not address the root of your issues... that deep fear and worry that is preventing you from enjoying a pregnancy without invasive technology and tests with high rates of false positives.

I get uneasy, especially only five months after losing my son. I *could* get tests, ultrasounds and all the like but what would it really do for me?
Positive tests: Now I know my baby has something very wrong. I mourn, I cry, I feel very sad. I have trouble enjoying the pregnancy because a lot of problems are looming on the horizon.
Negative: I feel relieved. But what about in two months when the baby isn't kicking so much? Or one day I just 'have a bad feeling', or those rates of false negatives and how inaccurate ultrasounds are... I've relied on medical technology to make me feel better, and it's not permanent. I am obviously a nervous person if I was scared into getting tests and screens, that isn't going to go away overnight.

Physician, heal thyself. Only you can address and fix your worries.

I totally understand what you mean, mama, no worries. I just think it's a totally individual choice and that's something that needs to be acknowledged, kwim? Personally (and I can only say personally, as can everyone), I wouldn't consider myself an incredibly, nervous, worried mama. Maybe a little worried, concerned. And for me, I had the IPS test, which only has a 3.5% rate of false positives, and a 4% rate of false negatives. Not the same as the triple screen (about 20%), which I'm not sure I would do. So, if I can know, with 96% certainty that my baby is healthy (well, free from the few major things that these test for anyway), it puts my mind at ease, makes me feel good. I should mention that I don't rely on medical technology to ease my mind, I do a lot of thinking/meditating/sending positive energy to my baby, trying to connect etc.

Of course, there are still many, many other possibilities, and while I do think about it sometimes, they're not the center of my focus. I still feel totally happy, blissed-out and confident that my baby will be perfect (whether perfect in the textbook sense or not, you understand what I mean I hope). The results of the test don't truly, deeply affect me, it's just an added level of comfort I guess, with no real risk. I do totally understand your p.o.v. though... and by the way, home doppler use freaks me right out. I haven't even used a doppler in my midwife's appointments. Yikes.

Also, mama, I just wanted to say... I totally appreciate you being open and sharing your feelings/thoughts with us/me. While not everyone agrees on everything, I think it's wonderful to be able to share, since that's how we learn. Most everything you say (in this and other threads) resonates pretty strongly with me. I'm glad I can feel comfortable sharing too.

Peaceful mama to three blissfully-birthed and incredible small people: dd10, dd7 and ds5. Always awed and so thankful to be a midwife.
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#27 of 35 Old 04-11-2006, 02:00 AM
 
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Aahhhh, I am *so* tired, we will see if I can come across the right way... it is sooo hard over email at times.

I am sorry if it came across that I was not being conscious of the other issues involved with testing. I did not at all intend to disregard the reason why some people test, I just was not focusing on that in my response. I was ONLY commenting on the issue that there can be effects to the fetus from stress... in this case the stress that could result from a positive triple screen that is not resolved from amnio.

BTW- I *love* the name Ayla. We had a newborn baby here for a while we called Ayla (her birth nmother had not named her). Now dd has named her babydoll by that... think she misses the baby.

Blessings,
Thanks mama, we love the name Ayla too (obviously ). That's a sweet/sad story about your Ayla... are you a foster mom or something?

And thanks for clearing up what you said, I obviously misinterpreted. I too totally agree that feelings and thoughts directly affect baby... have you read the book "Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives" by Deepak Chopra. I think you would like it.

Peaceful mama to three blissfully-birthed and incredible small people: dd10, dd7 and ds5. Always awed and so thankful to be a midwife.
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#28 of 35 Old 04-11-2006, 02:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by blissful_maia
I still feel totally happy, blissed-out and confident that my baby will be perfect (whether perfect in the textbook sense or not, you understand what I mean I hope). The results of the test don't truly, deeply affect me, it's just an added level of comfort I guess, with no real risk. I do totally understand your p.o.v. though...
That's awesome.
For me, having had a baby that was born and died of birth defects, I don't take comfort in the idea that my baby is 'perfect' - I take comfort in that whatever happens, happens. And there is a reason for it.
I cannot control or know everything, and so I spend my time loving and living, accepting whatever is there. An ultrasound or tests won't *change* what is there or what isn't. Nothing will. For me, there's no such thing as perfect.

I felt so much better not knowing ahead of time that my son was going to die, and being able to share that wonderous, perfect time with him. It would have been devastating to find out 5 months in that there was literally a 0% chance of survival, and then be pressured into getting an abortion.
It's easy to say you wouldn't do it, but I know a mama whose baby had the exact same condition. She talked to me about how hard it was, all the doctors, nurses, family EVERYONE telling her "You don't want your baby to suffer", "he won't live", "don't do this to yourself", "It's the best way", "It's peaceful" etc etc. When you're so vulnerable after having been crushed so hard... it's difficult to stand up to all those people. She ended up terminating (which I completely respect, for the record) but has regrets, feeling that she was bullied into it.
And even though they always add in, "But it's your choice" it's kind of like how the formula commercials add in, "But breast is best". They think they're saving you pain. I literally had nurses say the *night* my son died, "she could have had an abortion and avoided all this pain".
It's a mindset: get an abortion for a defect, and everything's okay!
As if you don't have to go through childloss if you aborted a fetus.

They really do pressure you, and it's hard not to bend when you're that broken.

Quote:
and by the way, home doppler use freaks me right out. I haven't even used a doppler in my midwife's appointments. Yikes.
Don't even get me started!

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Also, mama, I just wanted to say... I totally appreciate you being open and sharing your feelings/thoughts with us/me. While not everyone agrees on everything, I think it's wonderful to be able to share, since that's how we learn. Most everything you say (in this and other threads) resonates pretty strongly with me. I'm glad I can feel comfortable sharing too.
Thanks.

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#29 of 35 Old 04-11-2006, 02:33 AM
 
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My first Pregnancy, i dident know it was optional, so i did it. Last time i said no(but the baby dident make it) THis time i said no again.
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#30 of 35 Old 04-11-2006, 08:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleteapot
I don't take comfort in the idea that my baby is 'perfect'
I cannot control or know everything, and so I spend my time loving and living, accepting whatever is there.



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