Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Testing Testing 123

Week 14.

We need to decide whether or not to participate in all the genetic testing shenanigi (that's extra plural for shenanigans).

The Captain and I figured we are going to have the kid regardless of the results and the tests aren't conclusive enough to be comforting or even that informative (I don't consider a 67% average very good. That's a D+.) The tests come with a warning regarding the prevalence of false positives and false negatives. I am a healthy person who is not in any of the risk groups. I'm having this kid regardless, what good will the tests do?

I was going to list and define some of the heartbreaking disorders these tests attempt to detect, but it's energy spent on something scary and sad and really what is the point. Much like the tests. What is the point? We'll meet with the Doctor on Wednesday and discuss it one last time. If anyone has any helpful insight. It would be much appreciated.

Suffice to say that part of being pregnant today is reminding oneself that despite what sometimes feels like all evidence to the contrary, literally hundreds of millions of healthy human beings have been born without incident over hundreds of thousands of years in much more adverse situations and conditions. If, for whatever reason, my baby isn't one of those, I can handle it.

Moving on to something more lighthearted. The second trimester has officially begun. This is exciting for a number of reasons. We've had two very strong heartbeat readings and the last ultrasound showed a great looking baby and some serious limb action. We've got two, count 'em two, long legs, two arms waving about (if the kid isn't a mad gesturer I'll be very surprised, given his/her genes), and a gigantic head. (I say that's The Captain's fault, the technician says it's 'normal fetal development', we'll see who's right in the end.)

Another reason for Happy Joy Dance: once the second trimester begins, the risk of miscarriage drops dramatically. Woo!

I'm beginning to show a little. Actually, technically, my guts are just being smooshed up and out by my growing uterus. So the baby isn't technically what's showing, what are showing are my bulging intestines ('awwww cute, what are you going to name them?')

Speaking of names, it is a lot harder to come up with names than I thought it would be. A LOT.
I had a name I really liked for a boy, then I met a boy with that name. He was annoying and his parents were unbearable. That name's done. We've had an easier time picking a list of girl names we love than boy names. And it is here that I would like to log for future reference that The Captain believes it to be a girl. He wants EVERYONE to know, that he thinks it's a girl. And that's why we're having an easier time with girl's names. I vacillate. Totally thought it was a boy in the beginning, then one day I was SURE it was girl, now I feel like it's a boy again...

We will find out for sure at the end of February.

Pregnancy is bizarre. It seems to work outside of time, to move quickly and slowly. I can't believe I'm already in my second trimester and I can't wait for this next six months to draaaaag by.

Til Next Time, have wonderful days. We'll talk soon.

ps I can't wait to watch Winnie the Pooh with this kid.


  1. We didn't do the testing. I guess if there had been a problem we could have read up and stuff but there is so much other stuff to worry about already. The high rate of false positives isn't a great thing to throw on expecting parents.

  2. We did the genetic testing and probably would do it again. Our doctor recommends it to all her patients over 30 because she thinks the more knowledge the better. It did give us a good 5 weeks of worrying, but now we feel much more confident about our little dude's health.
    It's definitely something to talk over with your doctor. There are some birth defects which can end in stillbirth (or a miscarriage after 20 weeks) that can be tested for and greatly decrease the chance of that happening.

  3. @ Amy. I'm surprised that hasn't come up from Shaun yet.

    @ Lauren. FIVE WEEKS?! Is that how long it takes for results?

  4. Leah, with my first baby, I did everything I was told. If they told me I should have this test, I did it. I was 22 and knew nothing. Back then, they did a triple test instead of the quad test. My numbers came back elevated for spina biffida, which freaked me out because my cousin has it and is paralyzed from the waist down. Then at my 20 week ultrasound, they found choroid plexus cysts on her brain and called me at work to tell me I need to come in and do a more advanced ultrasound. Blah, blah, blah - she's 100% fine. All of that took about 2-3 months of joy out of my pregnancy for nothing.

    When I was pg with #2, I did half of the tests. I don't remember which, but I know there were some I did and others I didn't.
    By the time I got to #3, I didn't do any tests. My attitude was kinda like yours and I figured I already had 2 healthy kids, so the odds were in my favor. They can tell a lot from the ultrasounds, too, so I figured I'd worry if they saw something strange. Sorry for the book, and I'm sure you already made your decison since Wed. is tomorrow. Unless you were talking about last Wed.? Anyway, try not to stress too much!

  5. Leah, it's 5 weeks because they do 2 blood tests and 2 sonnograms and they space it out and then it's not conclusive until all the tests are run. And to tell you the truth I've kinda changed my mind about the whole thing. I will probably do it with kid #2 just because I'll be older, but if I had to do it over again with this one I probably wouldn't. I actually think it's kind of a waste of time. And like Melissa said, I lost 5 weeks of joy.
    Also, with the first blood test they found out I have something called Low PAPP-A. But it ends up it's not even low. It's in the normal range, but on the low end, so it's barely even borderline. But they scared me to death with ideas of early term birth and preeclampsia and all that bs. And now I have to get a sonnogram and non stress test every 6 weeks with a high risk OB that is an anorexic NAZI. And I feel like it just may not be worth it...
    On the other hand, I feel somewhat prepared to better deal with early term birth and preeclampsia if that happens, but heck, I coulda dealt with it anyway.
    If you trust your doctor, talk to them about your concerns and then do what feels right to you.

  6. Thank you so much you guys. Seriously helpful information here.

    I feel like I need to join a support group for expectant mothers. It's so easy to really dwell on all these new fears.

  7. PS Lauren, your comment about your nazi OB cracked me up...

    Thanks again for your input. It seriously helps.

  8. lol and sheesh, by the way, I decided against them.

  9. Something very cool to find a new name or just to see how many people have a particular name over time is called Babynamewizard.