I had a little scare earlier this week. The geneticist called to alert us that our risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome was higher than usual. I am not sure how they calculate the numbers, but I think it involves both maternal age and a blood test. She said my risk was 1 in 228, quite higher than the average risk for my age group, and suggested I have a special ultra-sound to perform something called a nuchal translucency screening.
After finding out I had finally hit our deductible, and that the test would only cost the co-pay, I decided to go for it. After all, what expectant mother can resist a tiny peek at her unborn baby? Normally, my only real ultrasound is at 18-20 weeks, but now I’d get two looks in there, plus I’d have time to prepare, if a less-than-ideal issue was present.
Fast forward to the screening – the equipment used by the perinatologist was so much more advanced than at my Doctor’s office. With Chloe, I saw static images that would switch periodically as a new scan was done. With this special screening, the look I got at the baby was like black and white video – I could see the tiny arms and legs pushing around in the amniotic fluid, and I was entranced! Seeing it like that really brought the reality of a baby in there to life, more than just my imagination and plain knowledge can. I really wish David had been there.
After the scan, a doctor looked at the results right away. My new numbers were infinitely better – 1 in 2116 for Down Syndrome, the same as an average risk for a 20 year old (although, not as good as when I had Chloe, where my risk was 1 in 12,000).
Of course, even though I knew it was too early, I couldn’t help but ask if the sonographer could see any gender evidence. She replied no, that it was way too early to tell. But then a few moments later, she asked if we were wanting to know and I said yes, definitely. Apparently she could see something, especially because the baby was in “perfect presentation,” and so we found out… we are having a boy!