Quad-Screening Scare and the Bittersweet Outcome - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-28-2010, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a 38-year-old mom, and therefore, of "Advanced Maternal Age," and recently fell victim to that nasty title. At my 16-week appt. last week, my OB suggested doing the quad screen. "Why not?" I thought. If something were wrong, I'd rather be informed now and prepared when the baby comes, than surprised upon delivery. Birth is emotional and exuberant and exhausting enough. I left the office without thinking twice about the outcome. My doctor called me back three days later and said that the baby's risk of Down Syndrome had increased from 1 in 2500 at my 11-wk ultrasound to 1 in 40. He suggested having an amniosentesis - the quad screen itself is not diagnostic. We were leery due to the risks associated with an amnio, so we made an appt with a genetic counselor (who was awesome). She reassured us that now that amnio is done under the guidance of an ultrasound, the risk of sticking a needle into the baby is essentially eliminated. We went ahead with it.

The week between hearing the baby's risk factor and the day that the geneticist called back was torture. We're pro-choice, but would not abort under these circumstances. Would we love the child? Of course. My worries centered around the medical and health concerns that a special-needs child has to endure - surgery... medicine... therapy... and how the demands of those needs would affect the time we spend with our 2.5 year old son. I didn't feel strong enough to handle it all.

In the end, the test revealed that there is no chromosomal abnormality. AND that we're having a girl. I was giddy with relief about her health and that we'll get to raise a son and a daughter. But I also felt angry that all of this testing, all of this technology, was the cause of seven days of needless worry and tears. I don't think I would have done the quad screen if I could go back in time.

Married to Tony 6/07. Mommy to Jude 4/08 and Gemma 4/11.
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:42 PM
 
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Well congratulations on the girl, and on the clean bill of health! But yeah, sorry you had to endure the wait.

Mama to Ella (1/15/08) and Django (03/20/11) - remembering 2 angel.gif
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Old 10-28-2010, 01:17 PM
 
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Glad your daughter is healthy and I'm sorry about what you had to go through. A friend of mine had several months of worry after an u/s showed increased risk of down's or another chromosomal issue. Everything turned out fine but she said that time was torture. How scary!

I turned down the quad screen at my appointment today and the dr said that was fine! I'm glad he didn't make a big deal about it. I'll do the anatomy u/s in a few weeks but I know the quad screen has way too many false positives.

Stacey reading.gif Happy wife to Rick coolshine.gif ,homeschooling Mama to Jacob, Noel, Joanna jumpers.gif  and a sweet stork-girl.gif due in the Spring!
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Old 10-28-2010, 01:26 PM
 
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ddcc i went through similar, i was only 24 but returned a 1:15 result from nuchal screen/blood test

i spent the three weeks between finding that out and getting the all clear, screaming uncontrollabley into a pillow day and night, luckily my ds has awesome grandparents who had him most of the time as i was AWOL from the real world. it was awful and i too felt traumatised afterwards even though baby was fine, i felt cruddy for having the amnio too.

now though, im typing this one handed as i'm BF'ing my gorgeous girl... picture perfect in everyway and only remember the whole ordeal when i read about poor mamas going through it.... so it does pass and you too will soon hav a gorgeous healthy girly, congrats!

heartbeat.gifmy DH DS (5) angel1.gifx2... rainbow1284.gif DD 8th oct!! 9lb 5oz  Madison Akina-Mae - i wear her, feed her, co-sleep and hold her just about every minute of the day DS is my little scientist and the most loving person i ever did meet.  I'm lucky and I know it
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:05 PM
 
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I am happy for your good news!!! I also can relate. I am DDC crashing, I am due in March but I just went through something similar and I feel for you...I am in my 40's and I was told I had a 1:18 chance of the baby having down's. I would have had my baby either way, and loved my baby either way, but wanted to be prepared -- I am a single mom and felt it would not be responsible for me not to be prepared. For me, I felt it would be better not to learn it at the birth -- plus it got me so worried, I really wanted to know. At the end, the results were normal...I was relieved. But it's a tricky question to test or not. I wouldn't have if the risk had been lower. I suspect there are different answers for different people and situations, it's so complicated. Fortunately the genetics doc was really nice...that helped.
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:42 PM
 
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I have read that the quad has a pretty high rate of false positives too, if I'm remembering my research correctly. It's a tough choice to make either way, and so stressful!
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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I'm sorry you went through that - that sounds terrifying. I am also very happy to hear your daughter got a clean bill of health. Hugs.

Mother to L.O. born at home 10.17.08 EDD for #2 4.21.2011
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgreenemama View Post
In the end, the test revealed that there is no chromosomal abnormality. AND that we're having a girl. I was giddy with relief about her health and that we'll get to raise a son and a daughter. But I also felt angry that all of this testing, all of this technology, was the cause of seven days of needless worry and tears. I don't think I would have done the quad screen if I could go back in time.
Congrats on the girl and the good report! I thought the same thing as I read, why do it in the first place? I'm glad the worry time was relatively short compared to months of waiting and worrying.

Alicia, wife to an loving and faithful DH, and mama to three fantastic though nutty children (cs, then an HBAC, then a VBAC!!).
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:04 PM
 
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I'm sorry for the scare and stress, but so happy for the great results!

mama to two sweet girls love.gif 8/05, fairy.gif 11/08, a handsome little guy babyboy.gif 4/11, and expecting another 5/13
always missing our angel1.gif (11/04, 4/07, 8/07, 5/10)
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:23 AM
 
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Congrats on your little girl!! That is very exciting!

Sorry you had to go through so much the past few weeks. I opted to do the integrated screen, I just did the 2nd part of the blood work on monday. I still feel like despite the stress I would rather know what to expect. But I can see where the stress of doing the test just wouldn't be worth it. I"m glad things are okay for you!

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