So what is it? In layman's terms, between that age a fetus has a space in their necks called the nuchal space. That measurement combined with blood tests from moms can help determine your risk of having a baby with chromosomal defects such as Downs syndrome. I truly did not care about the results of this test, I just truly wanted to see my baby before my 19 week anatomy scan. But, they did go over my results which look something like this:
- Trisomy 21 - Risk went from 1:726 to 1:4983
- Trisomy 18 - Risk went from 1:1774 to 1:35474
- Trisomy 13 - Risk went from 1:5564 to 1:94108
And that's the thing...it's a test. It's not final, they aren't 100% accurate and I feel they make women worry unnecessarily. I recently got into some hot water over on my due date forum. One of the moms in my due date had her NT scan + blood test and was very upset that her risk of Downs was 1:77 or something to that effect, I cannot remember her exact risk number. I commented that this wasn't a statement towards her, but rather a generalized statement about NT scans and genetic screening:
"Why do women have the tests done if they are scared and going to worry about the results?"I got held under rapid fire. I can see why, I certainly didn't mean to be insensitive to this women in her time of worry and did promptly delete my comment. But it's something I've always wondered. Why do the test if all it's going to make you do is worry & not enjoy your pregnancy? Her response was "I want to be as prepared as I can". Again, especially as a nurse and a mother...how do you prepare for the "what ifs"? There are SO many. Many Downs babies are born with medical issues with their heart and lungs...but how do you possibly wrap your brain around all the possibilities? I'd go absolutely insane.
A dear friend of my mom worried through her whole first pregnancy because she was told she was extremely high risk of having a Downs baby. She had a perfectly healthy baby boy and had another one after that. How do you enjoy your pregnancy at the mere risk of having a baby with a chromosomal defect? I don't know...that's not how my brain or morals operate. I would never abort a pregnancy on the risk of having a baby with a "defect". There's a heck of a lot worse things in this world than Downs syndrome, let me tell you. Unfortunately trisomies 18 & 13 often aren't compatible with life, for example.
I don't know...am I out to lunch? Please comment and tell me your thoughts on this kind of prenatal screening. If you've had it done and have had less-than-favorable results how did you handle it throughout your pregnancy?