Sunday, December 16, 2007

To get the amnio or not to get the amnio. That is the question.

Tomorrow we should find out the results of our quad screen prenatal test. The quad screen is not a perfect test but it's what we decided to do before making a decision about the amniocentesis.

The amnio. Just thinking of it has been a stress. Unfortunately, being of "advanced maternal age" it's one of those things the doctor has suggested we consider. Apparently that one calendar year makes eggs very sticky and extra chromosomes can get attached where they didn't just a few months before.

That's not necessarily true, of course, but I'm a little bitter about being considered "advanced" when it comes to my age. I am not advanced, I am prime.

Me and my prime self have been really wishy-washy when it comes to making a decision about amniocentesis. I don't relish the idea of someone sticking a needle into my belly and into the sack that holds my unborn child, especially since I struggled so much in my first trimester. I really don't like the possibility of problems happening as a result. But I would hate not knowing if there was a problem with the baby before he/she is born. Then again, what would I do with the information? So many buts and none of them about my prime behind.

This baby, though easily conceived, has been hard won in my opinion. I don't think many women would have voluntarily gone through what I did for a baby, especially a second one, and definitely without knowing if the sickness was ever going to stop. If I had known it was going to be as bad as it was I don't know if I would have gotten pregnant. And that's the hard truth. Ignorance is bliss, but it can bite you in the ass if you're not looking.

And that leads me back to the amnio. If there are no glaring problems in the quad screen I don't know if we'll go ahead with it. My pregnancy has been tough, would I really consider (if you'll excuse my bluntness) aborting the fetus if something seemed to be wrong or will we live in ignorant bliss and see what happens?

It's a hard decision and not one I can make until I'm in the thick of it, which is why I'm waffling on getting the amnio done and waiting for the quad screen results. It has nothing to do with ethics or religious beliefs, I just don't know what I would do if placed in that situation until I was actually faced with hard facts. And I'm not sure I want to put myself there. Especially since I had a very long ultrasound when my doctor thought I was a candidate for the early screen. Can you bond with an image on a television screen?

T.B. Wams @ 14 weeks
I think you can.


Mom101 said...

Oh, my heart just did a double little beat for those exciting moments when we used to "visit" the baby during ultrasound appointments. Love, indeed.

And not that you were asking for advice but me, I had to do the amnio both times. I can't live with any kind of not knowing in my life, no matter what that knowledge entails.

OhTheJoys said...

I had to do the amnio. It scared me to death, but it all went well.

I'll keep you in my thoughts.


flutter said...

ugh, stressful. That massage thing is still totally on the table....

Valerie said...

I am doing my amnio in 3 days, nervous but the thought of not knowing would drive me crazy. I am also of Advanced maternal age.

motherbumper said...

Oh this is a hard one and I offer little except: yup, I agree, you can fall in love with the image on the screen.

And advanced maternal age? My ass you are advanced at anything - oh wait - I mean that in the best f'ing way possible and in "the least amount of foot inserted into mb mouth" way possible, I swear.

Amy Urquhart said...

I think I'd have to know, too...try not to worry too much about it. I'm going to be 31 this year and finding I'd be insulted to be considered an "older" new mother...

Girlplustwo said...

if you are advanced, you are hotly advanced, so there.

no advice - it's your womb, girl...and i know you'll do what you need to.

Wendy said...

I hope everything will go well.

Lawyer Mama said...

I like to focus on the advanced part and ignore maternal age. I hope the result is good. I had an amnio with Hollis. It was scary but reassuring.

Ruth Dynamite said...

You can bond with an image. Oh yes you can.

You'll make the right decision for you, Mrs. Chicky, but little Ruth (you did decide on Ruth, right?) looks absolutely, 100% perfect to me!

Cate said...

I think waffling is appropriate. I'm always amazed by people who know what they would do, in a hypothetical situation like that. You can't know unless you're there.

They did change the recommendations on amnio. It's not as risky as it was. But it's still a scary procedure, and one I didn't make myself do. (In retrospect, I wish I had done it...but my perspective is kind of skewed on this one.)

Anyway. Beautiful picture, there. And I'll keep my fingers crossed for reassuring test results.

Redneck Mommy said...

Since I was a young spring chicken when I got myself knocked up, I never had to face the amnio decision. And since I only had one ultrasound at 9 wks to confirm I was still pregnant after a round of spotting, I was clueless about my Bug.

Had I known, I would have likely choose to abort. Because that's who I was. Young (25), two kids already and fairly poor. Not ready to take on a child with special needs.

I would have made the biggest mistake of my life and missed out on by far the most life altering, precious experience of my life and deprived my kids of the same.

Some times it's better to be unaware.

Just saying'.

But I'm not you. Listen to your gut. You won't go wrong...which ever direction you choose to go.

And remember, some little hick up north is thinking of you and cheering you on.

Julie Pippert said...

Oh you can absolutely bond with an US image!

And good luck deciding, but I hope tomorrow brings results that mean no choice necessary.


Using My Words

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Ahem, I think my age is much more advanced than yours, but I never had the amnio with any of 'em. Blissfully ignorant and happy with the bump inside of me is how I wanted to remain.

But, that works for me; not everyone. So, do what you got to do to sleep at night.

Kyla said...

If things looked good, I wouldn't. But what I would do has nothing to do with what YOU should do. If there was a question, like in Catherine's case, I think I would have to. It is too big of an if and I am a preparer. It wouldn't change my mind, but it would help me prepare for the reality.

Do what YOU feel is right for you, and in the end that will be the right decision.

Don Mills Diva said...

I was under the impression that the quad screen is really quite accurate. I know my doctor would never even have suggested amnio (and I was 35)unless the tests suggested there was a problem...good luck with whatever you decide.

Tania said...

I'm 35 and pregnant, and just had my first appointment with my OB. I asked him if the whole 35 thing was going to be an issue, and he told me that although it used to be, they don't tend to create the same panic that they used to due to whatever technology and experience has taught them. I personally will not have an amnio unless there are other red flags.

IzzyMom said...

I was of "advanced maternal age" for my second pregnancy but I was so terrified of the amnio that I skipped it. However, my quad screen results were very favorable so I felt pretty okay about not doing it. You'll know what to do when the time comes. crossing my fingers for you :)

karengreeners said...

of course you can. i'm a no thanks to the tests kind of gal, but you gotta do what feels best in your heart.

kittenpie said...

It's a tough call, that's for sure. Me, I need information. I can't not know. What I'd do with it, I'd decide afterwards, but I'd at least like to know what my options are or what I might be facing.

BUT! LOVING the new banner! And I really, really, REALLY need to know - do you own those shoes? Those are beyond awesome. What are those? See, I really DO need information! (And also your address, please - - to send you a card.)

the new girl said...

Look at that little bugger! That's who has been kicking your ASS already!

I think that you have to listen to what your 'inner voice' says about the amnio.

Magpie said...

I think you know your answer.

Nice shoes, BTW!

Table4Five said...

I was 38 when I was pregnant with Kaitlyn, and I didn't have the amnio. I'm sure it's a hard decision, and I'll be thinking about you :)

Manic Mommy said...

Was 'just regular' at 34 with HRH, then 'advanced' with RC a mere 21 months later. Hmmm.

I did the level 2 ultrasound but didn't do the amnio. I went with the odds, which were good.

PS I think you can fall in love with a blastocyst - or at least feel pretty damn maternal.

Mandy said...

At 35 turning 36 with my second child, I told my doctor I didn't want to have a "routine" amnio. My family doctor, who specializes in obstetrics, say she prefers not to give an amnio unless the patient is 40 or older and has a "positive" from the triple screen. (This can also be problematic given the number of false positives from this fairly inaccurate test.)

In your mid-thirties, your chance of miscarriage from the amnio (1 in 200) is higher than the chance anything is wrong with the fetus.

I guess I wouldn't know what to do if the test results came back with a questionable result, probably have the amnio, but I do know that I wouldn't ever have one just as a matter of routine because of my age.

Best of luck with your decision. I know it must be a hard one for you.

mamatulip said...

You have to do what's right for you.

Thinkin' of you. :)

LizP said...

Has your doctor given you the option of the CVS test? It's supposed to be less invasive than amnio (they go in vaginally). I am 41 and 29 weeks along. When I was around 12 weeks they did the higher resolution ultrasound then did the ultrascreen (quadscreen). They didn't recommend going through with CVS or amino since we weren't planning on evasive action if there was an issue.

The best of luck to you!

Sarahviz said...

First of all, LOVIN the bloggy makeover! Where can I get those shoes??

Second, I'm thinking of you. Tough decision.

And third, you look like a young spring chicken--advanced maternal age, my ass!

cooler*doula said...

NT scan gave in 1 in 2 odds of a trisomy.
I did the amnio.
Yes the idea of termination after one miscarriage this year made me sick to my stomach, but, 1 in 2. And Trisomy 13 and 18 are pretty devastating diagnoses...
Turns out baby was the one with the regular amount of chromosomes.

While CVS can be done earlier (although my amnio was 13 weeks) success (ie: no miscarriage) is a little more related to operator skill. And it's my understanding that they're as stressful and perhaps even more uncomfortable.

Good luck. Know that your false positive rate with that quad screen is pretty high...

Susan Getgood said...

I did the amnio with Douglas as well. Like Mom-101, I am not big on uncertainty :-)

It really wasn't that bad.

ewe are here said...

A very personal and stressful decision for everyone, I'm afraid.

I had amnio with both my pregnancies, because I just needed to know all was well. But that's just me.

I wish you luck with your quad screening results and your own decision re further testing.

Carla said...

I never did amnio. Had four by 40. If my babies had problems I believed I could face that head on.
I also regret the abortion I had years ago.
I hopped over here from The Trenches.
My best to you.

moplans said...

oh you absolutely can! She's gorgeous.
So glad to read you are feeling better.

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