Yesterday I shared the first part of this story. At 19 weeks the ultrasound tech found two things that raised alarm which led us to a specialist.
We had to wait two weeks until we could meet with the specialist, but it was filled with loads of work and the Thanksgiving holiday so it passed by quickly. I remember heading to the ultrasound and feeling anxious to learn more, but I was dreading it at the same time. We sat restless in the waiting room.
The ultrasound technician took measurements for about 30 minutes as I tried to catch glimpses of the baby’s profile or his little feet and hands. It wasn’t one of those happy-go-lucky ultrasounds where they just show you things you recognize and ooh and ahh over how cute the little one is. After she was done she shared the findings with the doctor and he came in to discuss. My heart was beating fast and I squeezed my husband’s hand.
The good news? There was no cyst. It probably was a misread. The bad news? They found something else that combined with the two vessel umbilical cord, highly increased the probability that the baby might have Down’s syndrome.
The doctor gave us three options.
1. We could do no further testing and see if any changes occurred at the next ultrasound.
2. We could go through with an amniocentesis, a procedure that takes a sample of the amniotic fluid but comes with a slight risk of miscarriage.
3. I could get blood drawn for a new test (made available only in October, 2011) called MaterniT21. It works by analyzing fetal DNA in the mother’s blood with no risk of harm to the baby. You can read more about the test in this NYT article.
I think the doctor could tell by the stoic look in our faces that we needed a bit of time to decide so he left us alone to process the information. I said a quick prayer in my heart and felt that the best decision was to take the MaterniT21. I wanted to be able to prepare for this child and that required the information available from the test results. I was so happy and relieved to know that a no risk option was available for us.
If you knew your baby had a higher chance of having Down’s syndrome, what would you decide to do? Find out during your pregnancy in order to prepare or wait until the baby was born? I think the decision is very personal and different for everyone. Maybe some of you wouldn’t need to take the test to feel comfort but I felt like I needed the reassurance.
My blood was drawn and we waited 8 days to hear the results. I prayed a lot during that time and my mind was always directed to the thought, “No matter if this baby has Down’s syndrome or not, you will love him just the same. He’s your son.” Whether you believe in prayer or not, I think every mother could come to the same feeling.
I got the call when I was in the sale section at JCrew. The results were negative. I started to cry and I think the sales associate thought it was because everything was an additional 30% off. I called my husband right away and we both expressed the extreme relief we felt.
I keep on going back to what my mom originally told me about how often they find things in ultrasounds that don’t result into anything and to not worry. As much as I wanted to believe that at the time (and searched out comforting stories from other people), I think it’s impossible not to worry when the situation concerns the health of your child. And that’s okay. Just listen to the advice from your doctor and do what’s right for you.
And remember, no matter the result, you will love that child. You’re their mother.
print from Keep Calm Gallery