The Numbers Game
The baby is measuring right on schedule, to the day. Even though, according to the doctor, it's usually hard to get good photos of the baby's heart this early, they got great shots. Finn has a good, strong heartbeat at 152 bpm. Everything appears to be measuring normally, and the doctor sees no signs pointing to Down's Syndrome or anything like that from the ultrasound.
This is where we start to play The Numbers Game.
The first blood test and ultrasound I took was called a Nuchal Translucency. If your odds came back less than 1 in 250, then your test is considered "negative" and you go on your merry way.
Mine came back 1 in 175.
This is technically considered a "positive" result, but really if you do the math, it means that my baby has less than one percent chance of being born with a chromosomal defect. As my friend Brian put it, if you were in Vegas, you wouldn't even bat an eyelash betting on those odds. Still, a positive result is a positive result, and therefore requires more testing.
That brings us to the extra long, extra thorough ultrasound that I had today. Based on the photos and measurements they took, the doctor deciding there were no indicators for a CD triples your odds. So, now I'm bumped up to 1 in 400 to have a baby with a CD. That's a quarter of a percent. At this point I had three options.
One - I could take a second blood test. This sequential screening takes the results of the first screening, the results of this ultrasound, and three new indicators into account to give me a new risk factor number. If it's over the magic 250 mark this time, then I'm considered to have a "negative" result. Even then, it's not 100% positive, because even at 1 in 250 odds, one woman who was told that she was negative for this will still have a baby with a CD. Either way, I still get to triple that number due to the good ultrasound to find what they consider to be my true risk.
Two - I could have an amniocentesis. This is the only way to 100% know for sure about those CDs. However, it doesn't rule out any other defects, but really, I'm not worried about those right now. The problem with the amnio is that it carries it's own number game. There is a 1 in 400 chance of miscarriage due to either fluid leaking at the injection site, or bacteria entering the uterus through the injection site and causing an infection. There is no antibiotic that can treat that.
Finally, Three - There is a new blood test that they consider to be 99% accurate in detecting CDs. It's so new in fact, that insurance doesn't cover it and it's $1900. I heard that and sort of stopped listening.
So, after discussing it with the doctor for a bit, I decided to go with the sequential testing. If the risk comes back still elevated, then I'll do the amniocentesis. This crap is kinda scary, y'all. I'm still kind of freaked out even though I know worrying does nothing to help the situation. I'm praying a lot, and so far, things look good.
The silver lining? Well, besides the fact that I only appear to have gained one pound in the past two months (WHY can't my metabolism ALWAYS be this awesome???), the tech was able to finally get that squirrelly baby to give up the goods:
AW YEAH!!! Another win for the Chinese gender calendar! I am so gonna start scouring Goodwill for vintage baby dresses and plenty of yellow seersucker. I think I also have some stuff I need to start embroidering in pink!
She was so funny - she was wiggling all over the place! The tech would hold the wand in one place and you could see her rolling - face up, face down, face up, face down. She also not only had her legs closed through the whole thing, girlfriend had her ankles crossed!!! The tech finally sat there and just wiggled the wand while applying pressure to get her to move enough so she could get a photo.
I know the photo isn't very clear, but if you look just to the right of where it says "GIRL" you will see two little lines that kind of look like an equal sign. They're darker white than the surrounding area. That's her girl parts.
So, as of today, Finn is now going to be known as Kelly Lynn Fehling. You know, unless we come up with something better. Kinda hard to beat that monogram though.
After all, everyone knows KLF is gonna rock you. :)