Tuesday, October 20, 2009

To Genetic Test or Not to Genetic Test

....that is the question....

Now that I'm officially OLD, and pregnant, the Clinic really starts pushing meeting with a genetic counselor & having an Amnio. I don't know what to think. My gut says, no matter what the tests show (unless they showed that there was NO development, no spinal growth, etc) that we would proceed and what would be would be. Yesterday at my appt, the NP said that's all fine and well, but IF by chance you found out the baby had Downs we would treat YOU differently. We would give you more ultrasounds, look at the heart more (specifically) due to Downs babies having a higher risk of heart problems, etc etc.

After 35 the chance of having a miscarriage due to an amnio is LESS than the chance of your child having Downs. But STILL there is a chance. 1 in 1000 have a miscarriage; 1 in 220-250 have a Downs child. Both numbers are quite frankly terrifying to me.

When I talked to Steve about it, he was pretty certain. Why would you have that test if there was ANY chance of miscarriage. He is against doing it. I'm not too thrilled about the idea either.

And it's kind of a scary test, isn't it? Has anyone out there had one?

I'm 13 weeks right now which means we need to decide in the next month (or less) whether or not to do this. I'm leaning towards NOT but not 100% sure on that.

OH! And I'm SO excited (sarcasm...). I have to do my *first* Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) in 4 weeks. Ugh! That's 17 weeks! That's 11 weeks earlier than normal which means if I'm a BIG FAILURE (which I probably will be) I will once again be on a stupid restricted diet for Thanksgiving! I'm hoping that even if I do end up with GD again it won't show up until AFTER the holidays. It's bad enough I can't enjoy a glass of wine!


feisty said...

ugh. i don't envy the choice. isn't there an early ultrasound and blood test they can use for screening beside the amnio? i know it isn't as inclusive, but that could be a compromise.

good luck deciding, don't beat yourself either way. even though the odds sound really bad, it is still less than 1 percent!

carrster said...

The blood test will likely say I'm "high risk" (because of my age). It's not very indicative.

Anonymous said...

I think the amnio stats that they give you are consverative. I think the chances of anything wrong are less than what they are required to tell you. If you have one, I would have one at someplace that does a lot of them. I believe that is why your risk goes way down.

Personally, I would have one. But I like knowing that everything is ok, otherwise I can't relax.

juliemac_29 said...

It's such a personal decision. I would opt for the testing because if there is going to be something different, then I want to be fully ready to take that child with all his or her challenges home to an educated home environment. Being surprised by something like that when there's a chance to know in advance is not something I want to cope with in a birthing environment.

BUT, I can totally see the concern about the risks of the actual testing as well. It's just not an easy decision.

Constance Squared said...

I say you have to go with your gut. If you know that the results of the test don't matter to you, then what is the point of even a small risk?

Kate said...

I'm no help, not having had children, but I'm opting for going with your gut. It doesn't lie.

MamaD4 said...

My OB pushed it too, but we declined. We had the same thought, that whatever happened, we would accept and love.

With my German OB, I didn't take a glucose test until over 30 weeks, weird, no? Hopefully yours turns out well so you can enjoy turkey and all the trimmings!

gtr said...

yes, hard choice. I am old, too, and just opted for the ultrasound. It showed normal heart chambers, limb growth, head size, etc, and that was enough for me to feel reasonably sure that baby bean was OK. And he is, thank goodness.

Curious about that "we'd treat you different if we knew baby had Downs..." What will more ulstrasounds do? Won't fix anything, just would make you more prepared, I guess. Or worried?

Amnio is pretty invasive; really long needle! Good luck with the decision!

J. said...

This was a hard decision for us as well, but you are only just 36! We did special testing for down's with the special blood test and amnio - can't remember what it was called, but I think the dr could give you the odds for the down's test this way and then for the results for the downs test for the amnio. I was terrified to the results - I would not have done anything, but Tom always said he didn't think he could raise a down's baby. Now had there been a problem I don't think he could have terminated the pregnancy, but that's a hard thing - different people have different limits. In any case, I'll ask my sister if she has any input.