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?"
DD 8, DS 6, & New Little One - EDD 6/20/11
well..Im the opposite and slightly smug in faith in all things testing....have had multiple ultrasounds and last week had the routine mid pregnancy scan..
tech said nothing, everything great, go wait for the dr in the other room
dr comes in looks at the scans and says..hmm..the tech couldnt find the baby's brain ventricles on one side and noted a possible "lemon sign" on the baby's skull...
dr "well, I don't think its anything, I think its a bad scan. All your other testing is great but lets send you to the perinatologist to rule everything out"
honestly the dr really did treat it like no big deal at all...but naturally..I freaked out anyway
ok...so no one has to google this...lemon sign and possible ENLARGED ventricles is pretty concrete evidence of severe spina bifida, like you dont even need amnio kind of concrete evidence
which would need to be known about ahead of time...c-sectioned spina bifida babies have better outcomes and a surgery team can be on hand immediately if need be etc etc...*sigh*
go to the peri in an ice storm because Im so upset..only to have the peri look it over and say "geez, I wonder what kind of equipment they have over there" "this baby looks excellent, very good brain, very smart!""excellent spin, no bifida! she'll be an athlete!" lol...anyway.....
it was a week of hell !!!
now I'm not thinking I shouldn'tof gotten the original testing because as I said...bifida has a better outcome if caught and prepared for
I sometimes think you're damned if you do, damned if ya don't
and for once wondered why I went along with so much testing for all four of my kids
glad everything turned out ok for you..hopefully the cystic fibrosis testing comes back fine too....good luck
Sounds like both of you have had a stressful week! It sure does hit a Mama's panic button to hear that something might be wrong with our babes. When I began bleeding I went into complete panic mode and was in my OB's office within an hour having an ultrasound done so that I could see that my babe was okay. This after not wanting any ultrasounds to speak of. We all do what we think is best at that time, panic, and the thought that something may not be as we had hoped can certainly cause a shift in what we had planned. I'm so glad that everything turned out aces for both of you!
Beloved of Chris since 12/31/08. Missing our sweet Persephone Grace 5/24/11 - 5/26/11 So much love baby girl, so much love.
i also got some concern from the u/s technician and the MD he left he room to consult at my recent 20 week sono. baby looks fine according to them, but they were concerned there may be a window on my uterus (the implication being a possible chance of uterine rupture). they want to check again in 4-6 weeks. i spoke to my midwife, who recommended waiting the longest, so now i have 6 weeks to agonize over my homebirth plans and whether i am headed straight for another c-section. all my research has shown that the chances of uterine rupture are low and that ultrasounds are notoriously a bad way to determine uterine integrity. but i feel bad for being in a funk - all these tears i find myself shedding cannot be positive for the little one cooking.
Awww...hugs to all of you mamas who are currently or have been in panic/worry mode about baby's health. This sounds like torture of the worst kind. As far as technology goes, it's there if we need it and can do some good. But it can create problems and worry for no reason too. Like someone said, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't!
We're only planning for one u/s and we're putting it off until 28 weeks so that I can get my Rhogam at the same time. Since I go to a home birth mw for check-ups I kind of want to get multiple things done at one time when I go to the ob. I hope that we're not taking any horrible risk by waiting until 28 weeks for our first u/s.
Crystal (34) married to LPN DH (38) , mama to (7/07), (1/09), and (7/11) and (12/28)
I'm so sorry that happened to you! I'm glad all turned out well, but it really makes me mad when medical professionals use their position to badger mothers into dangerous, invasive, and unnecessary procedures!
I agree with this. I'm so sorry that happened to you. We had the same feeling as you described. The baby will be our baby no matter what, we will deal with whatever comes as it comes, so no testing of any kind -- because I would just be stressed the entire pregnancy (especially since those tests have such a high rate of false positives and negatives!).
Thank God you and baby are okay and thank you for sharing your story.
Grace-based wife & mama to 2 unschoolers! One & . We live simply & mindfully. Expecting another blessing Feb 2015 Praying for another
I appreciate all the replies. It was a hard experience but it strengthened my faith immensely. I felt like the medical professionals just kept waiting for us to freak out and we didn't. They didn't get it. I told them God was in control and I would have the baby He gave me and cherish her because His plan is better than mine.
Still trying to learn the lessons from this experience and not be held back by resentment. I just felt like I knew better but got sucked into the game anyway.
DD 8, DS 6, & New Little One - EDD 6/20/11
Both. I have worked in it and I can honestly say that most practices and hospitals keep both financial and emotional issues on the forefront. They pressure you to have tests like amnios because they don't want you to turn around and sue them after the delivery, claiming that whatever abnormality is present was a direct result of something the doctor did during the birth or the care rendered prenatally. If they know ahead of time that there is a problem, it rules out any potential for blame.
That being said, these people are more used to dealing with people who indeed are emotional wrecks when dealing with even a small potential for an abnormality with the baby. Believe me, as a nurse in an Ob office, I spent at least half of my day talking people down from the ledge of mama insanity. Most folks completely freak out when they hear that there "might" be any wonky markers whatsoever so when they meet someone who is calm and centered when faced with the potential for problems, they have no idea how to react.
I am so sorry you had to go through all this. Hugs to you and your family and so glad the little one is okay!
Proud Mama to DS1 09/07 , DD 07/09 , and DS2 06/11 . Feeling more and more blessed with each day!
This was the vibe I got when the tech found a soft marker on my US a couple weeks ago. The doctor came in and dropped the news, then just stood there when I said "with none of the other markers, and my BW being fine, I'm not worried." I felt like he had no idea what to say after that. He just kept repeating "well, I wouldn't worry about it." I was much more upset about the fact that they kept me in the room so long without telling my why, and that they didn't actually get my quad-screen results from my MW (which would have obviated the need for further exam) before coming in and threatening me with a chromosomal disorder. They were so busy covering their butts that any concern for me as a person, rather than a potential liability, was tossed out the window.
I'm so glad your LO is okay! Hopefully this is the end of the roller coaster for you and your family.
I forgot to mention that my sister-in-law had a girlfriend that had blood work done 2 times telling her she had a 1/10 chance of having a Down's child and then amnio confirmed this as well. She went on to have a very healthy baby so the accuracy on these tests is far from perfect.
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