I am 37 and am pregnant for the first time, finally!!
I spoke to my doctor today about getting an amnio because of my age and because my husband and I both have a down syndrome child in our family and we just want to be prepare...don't like surprises. He said it's a personal choice if we get one done, but almost sounded against it. He said he wasn't but I truely felt he was. He just kept saying "you have to decide if your reason for getting the amnio is worth the risk of a possible miscarriage".
I was just wondering if anyone has ever heard of anyone that had a miscarriage or complications due to an amnio? I know alot of people that had one but have never heard of any problems with any of them. I have to decide soon if I am going to have one or not.
You might not know anyone personally who lost a pregnancy because of an amnio, but statistically, it does happen. When you say "finally," does that mean you've been trying for a while? If so, losing this pregnancy could be devastating, because you only have a few more years of fertility and it might take you as long to get pregnant again. If you're sure you'd keep the baby anyway, do you really need the reassurance an amnio would provide? I'm assuming, of course, you've done the triple screen and the NT scan -- but even if not -- if you'd keep the child in any case, is it worth even a .5% risk to you?
That's a tough decision you're facing! Weighing out what's in your heart, do you think you are strong enough to raise a down's syndrome baby? You are at a bit higher risk because of your age... does it increase the risk when you have a person in the family with down's syndrome? I thought it was only based on an individual basis, but I'm sure you've looked into this.
I am replying because I've thought about this myself... and I personally don't think I could raise a down's syndrome child. So if it were me I'd take the low risk and get the test done. I think I'm going to get this done anyways because I want to screen for other major health problems. Again on the other hand, if it's taken a long time to get pregnant this could be devestating if you aborted. So I guess that leads back to the first question, are you ok with raising a down's syndrome child? My thoughts are with you and good luck to what ever you decide!
It's all fun & games 'til someone gets an eye poked out!
i don't know any one who had any problems from cvs or amnio. i think i would do the amnio too, to be prepared incase my child had ds rather than be unprepared and not know how to meet my childs special needs. like all things there are risks in life if the person doing the amnio is experienced you have a 99 - 99.5% chance that you won't miscarry. i like to look at statistics positively rather than say there is a 1% chance of m/c. best of luck
One thing I would add is that they can do a blood test that is less intrusive than the amnio (no risk at all to baby) that gives you a ratio, like 1/100 chance or 1/10,000 chance, etc. This may help you to decide then if you want to get the amnio or not. It is a tough decision, but whatever one you make will be the right one, because it will be right for you! Good luck!
Congratulations on your pregnancy!
I can see your concern based on your age and family having DS babies. Ok, let me tell you that I have a healthy beautiful 9 month old little girl and when I was pregnant with her I had taken the triple screen test. I was only 28 and the test came up with a 1/200 ratio that my baby had DS. The next step was going for a level two ultra sound which shows markers for DS but is not by any means 100% accurate. The ultra sound showed nothing and we were asked if we wanted an amnio. My husband and I weighed the odds and said no. The thing is that in practice everyone says no way can I raise a DS baby, but when you are five months pregnant (the point they do the triple screen test in the USA) you are attached to the life inside you. You feel the kicking and the moving and love it more than anything in the world. I couldn't abort or risk loosing that little life. Although I always had the thought in the back of my mind I am happy we chose not to go through with it. My baby girl is perfect, there is nothing wrong with her. Even if there was I would still love her and care for her.
At the same time however my best friend had the exact same results with the AFP test and chose to have the amnio. She is not the only person I know who has had it, most of my friends have done it for various reasons and none has lost the baby. Yes, there is always that 1% but in this day and age with modern technology I think its very rare especially if you have a good doctor that you trust. All doctors tell you the worst case scenario to cover their butt.
You have to sit down with your husband decide on what you both want. Would you keep the baby if it had DS? If so you must make sure you inform the hospital so they can have specialised ped. in the room. Also, if you don't how will you feel during your entire pregnancy? Would you think about it all the time? Why not have the AFP test and then the ultra sound and take it from there.
I hope you do whats right you and your hubby. Good luck
I am 36, and my ob said we could be as agressive as I wanted/she felt we needed to be. One of my visits the midwife seen me and was explaining the quad screening and the importance of it. I had already declined the amnio because I would not abort regardless. She went on to explain that this blood work is important so further testing can be done. The level ll ultrasounds now can measure the thickness of the babies neck. It also can do other things that identify ds.
She said that this ensures if there is a problem they can have me deliver at a major hospital than this little rural one.
I am not sure how far along you are, but I am staring with the least invasive tests first. I have my level ll u/s in 2 weeks, and can't wait. I hope I get to see what it is.. I didn't find out with my first 2.
Good luck with whatever you decide
Thanks to all of you ladies for responding to this question. Each of you have great points and have given me some things to think about. My husband and I talked it over and we've decided to do the triple screen first and go from there.
Bxr35 - yes, we've been trying for 8 1/2 years. We finally got pregnant on our 5th IVF cycle. That is what made this decision difficult. We've been through so much ....and you're right...i'd be devastated if I lost it because of a test that is voluntary. What is the NT Scan?
Heather13 - My doc said that just because we both have a ds child on each side that it doesn't increase our chances. My chance at my age is about 1/150. I see what my sister-in-law goes through with her ds baby and i'm not sure I would be up for that challenge....but we've wanted a child for so long that I don't think I could abort either, regardless.
Weepyone - thats a good way to look at it...I tend to look on the positive side as well. Being able to be 'prepared' is my reason for wanting the test. My sister-in-law didn't know she was having a ds baby and didn't handle the surprise well.... you have enough emotions going on just having a baby and getting adjusted to your new life with baby....her advice to me was to get it so i'd be emotionally and financially prepared as well as having my ducks in a row with the right peds and daycare, etc, to handle a disabled child.
Green Frog - is the test you are referring to the triple screen?
Usam - congrats on your beautiful baby girl! Good points to think about!
Mum2three- I will be 12 weeks on saturday. My next appt will be at 16 weeks. In two weeks you do the level11 us...how far along are you?
Thanks again for all of your advice and I do take it all to heart.
The nuchal translucency scan is an ultrasound between 11.5 and 13.5 (I think -- somewhere here) weeks that measures the thickness of the fold behind the baby's neck. It is much more accurate than the triple screen, and certainly worth doing, though you have to act fast if you are already 12 weeks. Call your doctor to ask about it. I didn't do it because by the time I found a doctor (I was moving a lot my first trimester) it was too late.
Additional factors to consider, regardless of whether you would terminate pregnancy or not based on having a down's child, is that there are about 35 other things they screen for as well.
Being able to prepare (mentally, emotionally, physcially, etc.) for any complications and eventualities is always a plus in my book.
Having the appropriate pre-natal medical care both during pregnancy and during delivery, and the apprproiate neo-natal care available IMMEDIATELY after birth are also big plusses for me. The closest hospital with a Level 3 NICU is over 2 hours away from me. If there is some sort of complication, or if they think that a c-section is appropriate for anything I've got going on during this pregnancy, I'd rather have it done there, where there are perinatalogists and neonatalogists on staff.
I'm having my amnio on June 26th (Monday). I figure that the risks are pretty small compared to the things that I can do to prepare myself, my family, and my baby for any potential problems that may arise.
I have to travel to the hospital that's 2 hours away to do the testing, which is a pain (no neonatalogists at my hospital with a Level 2 NICU) though.
I'm just too practical to NOT take advantage of the information that these types of tests can give me.
I'll be 35 in September and am due December 1 (17 weeks today).