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Anyone of "advanced maternal age" (35 +) and getting a CVS test? I'm scheduled for one on the 4th of April and just wondering what to expct. Did some looking online but would like to know what a real persons experience was.
 

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I can't give you my experience, because I won't be having one. DH and I opted for the Nuchal fold test (an ultrasound that measures the fluid on the back of the neck, and I had to get my blood analyzed). The results were that my risk of Down Syndrome and trisomy 18 & 13 are very low - lower than the risk of a 20-year-old (which is as low as the charts go). It was non-invasive and very reassuring. However, had there been a higher risk (higher than my age - 37 at birth), I would have been prepared to go on with either CVS &/or amnio, whichever my OB thought was indicated.

DH & I are at very low risk for recessive genetic disorders, as our racial backgrounds are very different. Neither of us have any congenital disorders in our family histories, so no further testing is indicated at this point.

Is is "just" your age that is leading you to the testing? Can you do a Nuchal fold test (which is less invasive)? It may not be too late to schedule it.

Best wishes to you.
 

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Hey, Jazzpurr88.

I'm glad you asked this question and I'll be interested in others' experiences and responses as well. I don't have one to share, but it brings up some general thoughts/feelings and questions on prenatal testing that I was going to post, so I hope you don't mind my piggybacking onto your question . . .

I'm 37 years old, pregnant with my 2nd, and living in Costa Rica. Though I have whatever host of medical advances available to me, I'm birthing with a midwife who firmly believes that in the event of a healthy pregnancy and healthy mama, ultrasounds or any other prenatal testing (except for a prepregnancy blood panel and urinalysis) is unnecessary, so I'm opting not to have any first-trimester tests and won't have my first ultrasound until 20 weeks.

With my son 4 years ago, I had a subchorionic hemorrhage so my pregnancy was heavily monitored. I bled heavily for the first 5 months -- very scary -- and I had countless ultrasounds and blood tests to determine the viability of the fetus and -- you know what? -- in the end, it didn't make one bit of difference. In the meantime, I was misdiagnosed with a bicornate uterus, told several times that I was definitely miscarrying, and experienced a host of other unnecessary anxieties because of the monitoring that was supposed to be so reassuring and helpful.... Ultimately, there was nothing that could be done regardless; he was going to grow or go no matter what we did, and it was really just for me to trust and have faith in the process and my body's own will. Gratefully he thrived and was born naturally and with strong health. We did find out later that he was born with a VSD (a hole in his heart), which was corrected with open heart surgery at 9 months. But, in hindsight, even all of those ultrasounds and tests did nothing to identify his VSD in utero -- and if it did, it still wouldn't have made any difference in his health or the post-natal care he received.

It's for each of us mamas to ask ourselves what our motivations are for having the CVS or any other tests done (and this is what I'd like to hear from you all out there). What difference would the testing make for you and why is it important? Is it simply because it's the establishment's protocol, or do you have a legitimate concern that such testing would alleviate? Is it worth taking the chance and possibly undergoing false worry? For me, there are no genetic anomolies on either side of the family, and identifying the child I'm carrying as having downs would not affect my decision to carry it or change my preparation for welcoming it into our family. I trust that I'm taking good care of myself, eating right, being loving and gentle to myself (and therefore to my baby), and I trust that my body knows what it's doing. So, that's why I'm not having the CVS or amnio. But I look forward to hearing the perspectives of those who have or are going to.

Thanks for posting and for listening, mamas.

Cheers, Deneene
 

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I will share that part of my decision to have early testing is that I have already had 2 miscarriages, and I have lupus. So, I'm already "high risk" and I'd rather stay away from a perinatologist if I can. The more we can determine that this pregnancy is going in a healthy direction, the less monitoring I can get away with in the latter parts of the pregnancy.

Plus, because of the lupus, I'm not entirely sure it will be easy to carry a pregnancy to term or to deliver. I will be honest - if the pregnancy were to be a trisomy disorder that is life-limiting, I would abort rather than go through an entire pregnancy that might otherwise cause my now fairly-good health to deteriorate. If it were Down Syndrome, we'd have some thinking to do.

Another reason is that women with lupus can have infants with heart defects. Ususally, these defects are seen on ultrasounds and can be prepared for and/or treated early on.
 

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I am having a CVS test next month at 10 1/2 weeks. We chose to do the test because I will be 42 at the time of the baby's birth, and I had 6 miscarriages in my late 30s. We don't know the cause of the miscarriages but they suggest that I am at additional risk of conceiving a baby with abnormalities.

In my last (and only successful) pregnancy I was 39 and we chose not to do the CVS or amnio, but we did the nuchal translucency combined with first and second trimester bloodwork. If I remember correctly, the blood tests weren't completed until around 18 weeks. Luckily all the testing suggested a very low risk of abnormalities, but if the results hadn't been so good, we would have been looking at doing an amnio at 19 or 20 weeks.

In hindsight, I think 20 weeks is just too late for the information to be useful. I have friends who found out at 20 weeks (from an amnio) that their baby had trisomy 13. I do not want to be in that situation, I would much rather find out at 11 weeks. I know it is not a popular position on MDC, but frankly, at my age, I would choose to terminate a trisomy 13 or 18 baby if I could do so in the first trimester. I would be able to try to conceive again much sooner, and I think I would still have a chance at having another child. (I don't know what we would do in the case of Down syndrome. We would have to do some more research, I think.) On the other hand, I don't think I would be able to terminate at 20 weeks for any reason.
 
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