Monday, March 12, 2012

Anatomy Scan and Sequential Blood Screen

Uggggg.  I don't want to write this post, I've been putting it off since Friday.  For the record, I have not cried this time.  I've stopped myself each time. 

The Anatomy Scan ultrasound was perfect.  (Did you notice my emphasis on perfect this and perfect that in my gender reveal?)  Those were the doctor's words.  She saw all four chambers of the heart, with no holes or shadows.  He was measuring one week ahead.  His nose, neck, and every other measurement exceeded the minimum requirements.  The doctor said those were all indicators of a very healthy baby and that she saw no markers for DS.  I left my appointment feeling reassured.

Then I got the call with the blood screen results on Friday afternoon...  If you remember, my first trimester blood screen showed an abnormally high risk for Down Syndrome (1 in 110).  My doctor explained to me that that risk is actually reduced by 1/3 to include error ratios and the NT Scan measurements; so my overall risk at the time was 1 in 330.  The sequential blood screen showed a risk of 1 in 86; which is also reduced by 1/3, putting my overall risk at 1 in 240

I have mixed emotions about that number.  At a glance, it's not so's still a less than 1 percent chance, especially when I think about the "perfect" ultrasound.  But...the ultrasound isn't really perfect.  Ultrasounds can only detect 2/3 of DS babies, meaning 1/3 of DS babies will appear perfectly healthy.  Not to mention my tendency to fall into the smaller, less likely percentages (having a breech baby, the failed version, cesarean section, I could go on and on).  And then I think about how my risk is 5 times higher than other women my age (1 in 1100)... 

It was our hope that the risk would decrease after the second screen, and that we could stop thinking about this altogether; but since the risk has increased, there will be more tests and more worrying.  I'm in the process of getting authorization from my insurance company for the MaterniT21 blood test.  The test is 99% accurate (second only to Amniocentesis) and poses no risk to the baby.  Unfortunately, the test is very new, and not all insurance companies cover it.  After MaterniT21, depending on the results, comes Amnio - which absolutely terrifies me.  I will have another ultrasound around 20 weeks with an echocardiogram of Babe's heart, in an effort to find any subtle heart defects. 

This is all so doctor was talking about all the hypotheticals:  the need for specialists, the NICU, delivering at a different hospital, being induced early.  I wish I could curl up in a ball and sleep for the next 5 months.  I wish I never had the NT Scan.  I wish I could fix this.


  1. Love you. Love Lu. Love Little Boy Blue!

    We love you and are praying for you and this precious little boy Tay! No matter what you're going to come out of this with a beautiful baby boy! You're one strong lady- and I known you'll make it through this! We're all here to support you- no matter what you may need (even if some of us have no idea how to make your Hulu cable work- well still try ;)

  2. There is nothing to fix, Sweet Pea. Your precious baby boy is growing and healthy, he's perfect and he's loved. He is not broken, nor are you...... should he arrive with that extra special chromosome, the big picture doesn't change.... what changes are the small details.... and I know you can handle the small details.

    I am proud of you; scary as it may be, you are doing what is best for your son. You are making decisions and not curling up in a ball, sleeping away a glorious pregnancy.

    Keep your chin up and smile when you talk. You know he can hear you now, and he needs to hear that smile in your voice.


  3. I have never taken those tests with my 6 kids because of the high false positives. I've seen too many people scared for no reason.
    I was offered an amnio my last pregnancy and said no as well.
    Babies are precious and will be loved no matter what :)

  4. Big hug! Hang in there, everything will be fine. You love your son and that is obvious, that is all that matters in the end.

  5. Thank you girls! The support means the world to me!
    ::group hug::