Yesterday I had my 4th ultrasound (I'm just over 15 weeks) and an amniocentesis*.
Let's back up to three weeks ago when Froggydaddy and I had our first ultrasound at MUSC to measure the nuchal translucancy fold of Froggybaby and the bloodwork done to test for Downs Syndrome and other genetic abnormalities, known as the quad or triple screen. We were confident that everything would be fine and this was just a precaution because we are people that need to know stuff because we have to plan. The ultrasound went great and the nuchal measurement was perfect so we left feeling confident.
One week later, I'm at work on a particularly busy Friday afternoon when K, the geneticist, calls and says that my results are in. She proceeds to tell me that based on my age before the bloodwork, my chance of having a baby with Downs Syndrome was 1 in 803 and after the bloodwork, my chances are now 1 in 73. I stopped cold. Especially when she gave me the actual numbers for my results. The PAPP-A should be 1.0 and mine was .8 - a indicator of Downs but not that huge of a difference. Then she talked about the HcG and how that was supposed to be 1.0 and mine was 5.8...a huge difference and the largest indicator in my screening that there was a possible problem but again it's all just a numbers game unless you get an amniocentesis and then you know for sure so that you can move forward.
There are questions that we don't know the answer to yet, if my kidney disease is affecting the results, if there's a problem with the placenta that is skewing the results, or if it's just a fluke result on either side of the spectrum. I asked all of these repeatedly and K just kept telling me that it's a numbers game right now and there is no black and white...without the invasive amniocentesis.
I didn't know how to react. I was scared, I was upset, I couldn't help but worry that I had done something to hurt my baby to make my baby have this problem. I cried most of the night, even through doing research. A conversation with my Dad is what helped me most. I told him about the results and about not being sure about the amnio because it's invasive and then what do we do with the information and just what was I supposed to do? It wasn't that froggydaddy wasn't helpful but he was dealing with the same sort of feelings I was and a whole different view. Dad simply asked me why we wanted to know the gender of the baby and I told him so that we could plan. Then he asked if it mattered if we had a boy or a girl and I said "Of course not!" He then asked why we wanted to know if the baby had Downs and I told him so that we could plan and he asked if it mattered one way or the other and I realized that it didn't. Of course no mother wants their child to have difficulties or health problems but in the grand scheme of things...it didn't matter one single bit because we would love the baby regardless and termination was not an option (well it is, just not for us).
That night I learned that Downs Syndrome is caused by an extra chromosome at conception and that there is nothing Froggydaddy or I could have done to prevent it or anything we could have done to cause it, so I knew that if it was meant to happen this way for us that it was Gods plan and I don't argue with God (much). By Saturday morning I'd pretty much accepted the possibility but Froggydaddy and I decided not to worry ourselves about it until we knew for sure because worrying doesn't do any good for anyone. We did a great job of not worrying until yesterday.
Fastforward to yesterday when we went in at 8:30 to meet with K and go over family history so that she could determine if there was anything else we might want to test for since we were testing anyway and nothing new came up so we waited for the ultrasound and then the amniocentesis and everything went smoothly. It's amazing to see that tiny little baby hopping around inside and open it's little mouth and put it's hands up to its face. Simply amazing. The amnio went perfectly fine and was minimally painful, a pinch and a cramp is really all I felt and afterwards the little needle hole felt irritated like a bee sting for about 20 minutes. Everything looked great and now in 2 weeks we will know without a doubt if the baby has Downs Syndrome or not and if we're having a little Froggygirl or Froggyboy. I'm really excited and hope that these two weeks fly by and thus far I'm still doing a good job of not worrying...and in the mean time my belly and Froggybaby continue to grow normally.
*I am writing about this because it's OK and because I want other people who get the same news to have a place to read about my experience.