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hi there, I'm new to the list, single, 37, lesbian, and 2 mos. pregnant (!) I have a question: Did anyone do the first trimester ultrasound/blood test screening? I can't decide whether to do it or not. I would like early notification if there's a problem, but hate to expose the embryo's brain to the ultrasound... I'm really torn!<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ldnct</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">hi there, I'm new to the list, single, 37, lesbian, and 2 mos. pregnant (!) I have a question: Did anyone do the first trimester ultrasound/blood test screening? I can't decide whether to do it or not. I would like early notification if there's a problem, but hate to expose the embryo's brain to the ultrasound... I'm really torn!<br><br>
Thanks!</div>
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For me it came down to the questions "am I willing to terminate this pregnancy if a problem is suspected?" and "am I willing to take the chance of aborting a health fetus based on tests with a high likelyhood of false positives?"<br><br>
Everyones answer to those questions is going to be differant, but I knew I wanted my child no matter what so I skipped the tests. I figured either way I would continue the pregnancy and I'd rather continue it from a place of joy and hope than fear or worry. If a special needs child was in the cards for me I was willing to take that on when the time came, but I didn't want my pregnacy to be anything other than a time of waiting for a much wanted child. And I'm not sure that there's that much you can really do to prepair for a child with special needs, just accept them, love them, and look for them to give you clues to what they want and need, just like any other child.<br><br>
Mind you this is all speculation on my part because my son wasn't born with any handicaps or special needs, but this is what I came to when I when I was contemplating testing during my own pregnancy.
 

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I am pretty much in agreement with most of the PP's thoughts. I think someone needs to be pretty sure of how they will handle the results of any prenatal testing before they decide to do it. I, too, knew that whatever child had decided to join me in this life, I would love that bambino and would not terminate.<br><br>
I also was an "AMA"(advanced maternal age) blasted all over every chart, document, notation, gosh, any one they could tell they would. Differing from the PP, my OB felt that there actually were some things that could be done both prenatally(like perinatal surgeries) and immediately post birth (having neonatologists on hand or knowing that a transfer would be needed for heart defect or similar) that warrented having some information. There are amazing surgeries now that correct certain embryonic defects. You might not choose that route, if you are concerned about an ultrasound, perinatal surgery may not be an option. I did not do any blood work or amnio, but I did do an ultrasound, they can determine so much from them that it could tell about a large number of issues.<br><br>
I think it is a personal decision, (obviously, sorry!) and at 8 weeks, you have some time to really look at those things. Good luck with it!
 

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Your two responses really lifted me up. I have a beautiful almost six month old daughter who happens to have down syndrome. I had the Enhanced AFP by the way (first trimester u/s and nucleal fold test) and they came back negative. We did not have a CVS or Amnio because we already decided no termination no matter what. So just keep in mind that the AFP and enhanced screening are just that - screens - everyone knows lots of people with false positives and negatives. If you must know i would just go straight to the CVS or Amnio. What i would have done differently if i did know beforehand about my daughter is have the baby at a different hospital and have specialists on hand at her birth. Good luck!
 

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Hey! Welcome and congratulations! Single lesbian in CT here too!!<br><br>
It's such a hard and personal decision to make. I guess for most people it comes down to what the results mean to you. If the "screens" come out with not so good news, will you terminate? Does it make no difference to you?<br><br>
As a pp said, those screens can yield false results. If you are really worried for some reason about defects etc..a more advanced test would make more sense. But those can be very dangerous too...<br><br>
Gee, I"m really helpful 'eh?<br><br>
p.s. Feel free to pm me if you are interested in having a CT friend. I'm always interested in meeting other lesbian moms- they seem hard to find.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Welcome.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="welcome"><br>
I just couldn't resist popping in to say hi & Congratulations on your babe-to-be!
 

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hello! here's what happened to me:<br>
at the age of 42, i found myself pregnant. my sweetie, johnbear, was assured by his doctor that he could not father anymore children. hmmmm.... so i went to my doctor, only to find that i was NOT pregnant.... or so they said. two pregnancy tests came back negative, even though i was exhibiting all the signs.<br>
a couple of weeks later, i went back to the doctor, insisting that i WAS pregnant. they tested me again, and found that, yes, i was, but it was what they called a "blighted ovum"; there really was no embryo.<br>
fast forward a few more weeks. morning sickness, weight gain.... that was the biggest "nothing" i've ever encountered! they were just shy of calling it a hysterical pregnancy.<br>
later, they confirmed, yes, there was indeed a baby there. but i'd better "have those tests", because at my advanced age, the baby "probably had chromosomal abnormalities". i refused the tests.<br>
a few days before the birth, i had an ultrasound. they assured me that the baby was only about 7 lbs. i told them he was much bigger than that. the day of the birth, they told me, "oh, he's only about 7 lbs". (here's where i manage to blurt out a big "HARUMPH"!)<br>
hunter, my "blighted ovum", weighed at 9 lbs. 3 oz. and no abnormalities. when they delivered him by C-section, i asked them to tie my tubes. silly me, they "couldn't find" my tubes to tie them! said i needed to come back in 6 weeks to have it done!<br><br>
how much faith do i have in modern medicine? not much. personally, i wouldn't opt for the tests. but YMMV.<br><br>
roxanne
 

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With my second pregnancy we decided NOT to do the testing because we already had one healthy child, we were young, we had no risk factors, and we would have the baby no matter what.<br><br>
Its a decision you will have to make for yourself!
 

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Welcome to MDC <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Moving over to "I'm pregnant"
 

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There was a fairly huge thread not too long ago about amnio, which was pulled for review and I think it never returned. I'd like to point out a couple of things. First, if you have the test, it might give you a lower risk than your age group alone gives, which can be reassuring. Second, if you get a high risk, you still have many choices available to you, including CVS or amnio. Third, amnio is not always about termination, as a PP mentioned, you could be preparing yourself medically or emtionally for the birth of a child with special needs. Fourth, and finally, amnio is not only about Down Syndrome. There are other chromosomal abnormalities that are much more serious, and not compatible with life. While people don't like to think about this, it does sometimes happen and it may help to be prepared for this (although some people feel differently.)<br><br>
It all boils down to what do you want to know ahead of time, and why? Only you can make that choice for your baby and yourself. If you are interested in my experience with the first trimester screening, I'd be happy to share.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ldnct</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">hi there, I'm new to the list, single, 37, lesbian, and 2 mos. pregnant (!) I have a question: Did anyone do the first trimester ultrasound/blood test screening? I can't decide whether to do it or not. I would like early notification if there's a problem, but hate to expose the embryo's brain to the ultrasound... I'm really torn!<br><br>
Thanks!</div>
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Congrats!!! I'm excited for you and your pregnancy!<br><br>
I think everyone has different opinions about all of this. One thing I think you don't have to worry about is having an ultrasound, in terms of the "baby's brain". Compared to amnio or CVS, it's (in my opinion as a science person) extremely safe. I think the risk comes from a u/s LEADING to an amnio or CVS, which in themselves have a definite risk rate. For me personally (I'm almost 34), an amnio or CVS was too high of a risk for me. I know other people with different risk factors, and if I were them, in that case I probably would get it. While the mother's age can certainly be a factor- perhaps so can the father's age!! This hasn't been tested well enough, and I think they are finally starting to look into it. So, if you knew (maybe you don't), but if you knew the Sperm Age and it was much less than yours, that may help riskwise.<br><br>
I think it depends on your health and what you would do. We got the u/s absolutely, but I didn't do the triple test screen because of my above average weight, I knew the false positive/false neg rate would be so much higher. If the u/s showed a problem, I would have had a level II sonagram with a perinatologist and go from there. I would definitely want to know if there was a problem, and I think some problems can be solved/mitigated if you know you have them and can treat them. For example, I have fibroids, but they are small still, and I want to make sure they are not a problem. It's good to know the location of them and the size.<br><br>
Best of luck to you!
 

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I just had the quad screen last week, opting for knowing sooner than later if there were problems. I'm 39. We were aware of high false-positive rate, and I had an elevated chance for neural tube defect with DS (who's 2) that turned out to be false-positive. Of course, the quad screen came back with an elevated risk for downs. I just had an ultrasound a couple days ago and feel completely reassured. They looked at everything which seemed to be right on track. I would never have an amnio, and I don't even feel like I need a level-2 ultrasound. I guess I feel like it was fine to have this test and now I feel quite reassured. Ultrasound seems pretty benign to me, and frankly it's really wonderful to see that baby in there moving around! I had been really ambivalent about having the quad screen, but my H was leaning toward wanting to know sooner than later, so we went for it. We would never have opted to abort or anything like that. We are settled with the possiblity of downs or another issue in the event that we are faced with it. I do think this is a really personal decision and you shouldn't feel pressured to decide either way. Good luck to you!<br><br>
Marian
 

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I agree with everyone here. Choosing to do any of the tests or the amnio are very personal decisions.<br><br>
I chose to go ahead and did the screens (blood test with nuchal translucency) not really questioning it, thinking everything would show up as normal. And then I got back positive results. I ended up worrying A LOT on what to do after this. And decided to opt for the amnio, simply because I thought it would help knowing if chromosomal abnormalities were present, even though the risk of miscarriage was high in relation to what we were testing for. In the end, you need to be comfortable with your decisions, so take the time you need.<br><br>
If anything, through the whole experience I found testing to be difficult since the doctors and medical professionals seem so quick to counsel about genetic problems and also just seem to generate nervousness in new mothers this way. Whatever you choose, but especially if you do testing, I'd say make sure you have emotional support, since it can be hard to go through. I found it hard that during these tests, my nurses' and doctors' responses went from "congratulations" to "good luck" now that my results were not as favorable. Mothers need encouragement no matter what!<br><br>
Additionally, if you do make it to amnio, you will be given a genetic counselor to answer questions you might have. One of the big questions they ask prior to amnio is "what are you going to decide based on the results of the test?", i.e. will you keep the baby, will you terminate, and on what conditions. It seems like most people know beforehand what they will do. It was VERY hard for me to make this decision, and I ended up being forceful with my husband and the counselor to tell them my decision was that I would make this decision when I had to. I felt uncomfortable even thinking of terminating, when I was really rooting for this baby to be healthy and was starting to bond. In any case, no matter what you end up choosing, take the time to be comfortable with your decisions.<br><br>
P.S. Congratulations on your pregnancy! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I chose to do the nuchal translucency w/ blood sampling at 11 weeks and I was comfortable with that decision. It's important for me to know, one way or the other, whether there might be a problem. I need to deal with these things in my own way. And would I terminate? Yes, sorry to say, if the baby was found to have some catastrophic abnormality that would lead to death shortly after birth, then I would not choose to carry to term.<br><br>
The nuchal translucency scan is completely non-invasive. The u/s takes less than 5 minutes, or mine did anyway. The blood sampling was a finger prick and they took a few droplets. It's much, much more accurate than the triple or quad screen. Less accurate than the amnio, but obviously far less risky.... since with the NT, there is no risk.<br><br>
Many people confuse the quad screen with the NT scan, or think that you need to do both tests if you do in fact choose to go through with screening. That is not true. The NT scan <i>replaces</i> the triple or quad screen. The "false positive" rate w/ the NT scan is much lower than the quad screen. Since the NT scan does not check for neural tube defects, you might still opt for a regular AFP (not triple or quad) to test <i>only</i> for spina bifida (very low false positives there too).
 

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Are you talking about the triple screen/AFP test? We decided not to get that because we don't have any risk factors and we wouldn't terminate the pregnancy even if something were wrong with our baby.<br><br>
But I've already had an early ultrasound and our baby is still doing just fine. I don't really think ultrasounds are as bad as some people make them out to be. Almost every baby I've ever known has had at least one ultrasound, and in one family I knew (due to some serious health issues with the mom) each child had at least 20 ultrasounds and all four of them are perfectly healthy kids! I've got the gender ultrasound in less than a month.
 

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I agree with everyone else about how personal a decision these tests are. Hopefully you can read everyones responces, do some research and do what feels right to you.<br><br>
With my DS (child #1) I choose to do all the testing, u/s, etc that the doctor suggested. I was very ignorant and just went alone with everything the doctor said. I don't regret anything because all my results came back just fine, and my son ended up being healthy and 'normal'. With this pregnancy I chose not to have the quad screening because I knew about the high false positives and by the time I found a provider I was too far along anyways. But I knew from the beginning of BOTH pregnancies that if there was a problem the baby wasn't going anywhere. If the baby bad a disability then so be it, I have quite a few people/children in my family with disabilities and have a lot of experience in that area. So I really could care less if I know ahead of time or not, it wouldn't change anything. If there was some sort of genetic issue where the baby would die shortly after birth, then I would also deal with that as it came and let things happen naturaly.<br><br>
Now, I did choose to have an u/s with this baby simply for peace of mind for myself, and to have a picture of the baby. The tech said the baby looks 'normal' and everything looks good. My main concern was to make sure the heart looked good (at least from that u/s) and that if there were any other odvious medical issues we could be medicaly prepared (ie haveing specialists on hand if needed, preparing for surgeries if needed, etc.). I just trusted my gut and decided that if there is a problem with the baby were it needs special treatment that it would be found in the u/s, if it wasn't found then we weren't ment to know at that point in time. I am now due in 4 weeks and I still feel very secure and confident in my decisions.<br><br>
I also am not "high risk" at all, but I believe I would feel the same way rather I was high risk or not.<br><br>
Good luck with your decision and congratz on your pregnancy!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>tiffer23</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Are you talking about the triple screen/AFP test?</div>
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No, the first trimester ultrasound/blood test screening that the OP refers to is a completely different screening than the triple screen/AFP. They are unrelated screening tests.<br><br>
Just wanted to clarify.... they get mixed up a lot and they are very different.
 
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