Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Numbers Game

So, I had my ultrasound this morning.  They considered it to be my second trimester screening (aka, the BIG ultrasound) even though it was a couple of weeks earlier than usual.  The doctor said they normally aim to do it at about 18 weeks, but if there are any potential problems, they do it at sixteen.  This means, because the baby is still so small, there are things that are harder to see so I'll probably have to have another in a month.

I am okay with that, because really, can you peek at this too often?

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.  :)



Blogger Kat said...

I'm having such a mix of emotions - I mean, if they said that it's now 1/400 do you have to have those other tests too? And if they find out - is there anything they can do? These things confuse/scare the living daylights out of me. I'll be here, crossing my fingers and toes for you!

Now let's move on to some positive stuff, shall we - A GIRL!!!!!!! You've been chit chatting about wanting a little girl to put into cute little dresses! I'm so excited for you!

how does bubba feel?

1:41 PM  
Blogger jasmine said...

Yay for little girls!!!!!! So awesome that you'll have one of each! I hope everything goes very well with the additional testing. I've prayed for you a couple times since I read your post last night, & I'll keep praying. Stay calm. Everything will be just fine. :)

2:03 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Congratulations! :-)

2:05 PM  
Blogger Katy said...

Glad the tests are improving your odds! And yay to tutus, dresses, and hairbows!

2:18 PM  
Blogger Devon said...

congrats on a girl!! You're going to have fun with that!
I'm sure your testing will come back normal!!

2:33 PM  
Blogger Becky (My Fabric Obsession) said...

Aww, a girl!!! Congratulations! Too wonderful.
I'm glad to hear the results are coming back positive. Now that you mention all those odds, I remember my dr encouraging me not to get the nuchal test because there are so many false positives. I hope your tests continue to come back with good news!

2:34 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

congrats on this beautiful miracle <3
My tests came back positive with my first born after the retesting it came back negative these test are not accurate at all , My second we were told that he HAD Spina bifida because again the test came back positive we went for the what the doctor called the "BEST" ultra sound out there this way they could see if he had a hole in his back well again it was a false positive, With my 3rd son I opted out of the testing only because if anything came back it wouldn't change my mind for a second and the stress of the worrying and all the tests was just too much for me emotionally.

Now I'm done rambling .. just stay positive Momma I know! how stressful and scary this is . If you need or want to chat just holler.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Danea Burleson said...

Your last line made me LMAO!

I'm VERY happy to see you are getting good news. Odds are getting lower and that's wonderful! And a GIRL! Congratulations!!! I'm so freakin' excited for you! YAY! ♥♥♥

2:55 PM  
Blogger Shannon Smith said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! And I don't know if this will make you feel better but they gave me that same small window for Boston and then I had a great ultra sound so somehow I managed to do nothing--just in case your contemplating doing nothing I just wanted you to know that's what I did...

3:02 PM  
Blogger Cassie said...

Yay! So glad it's a girl! They are sooooo fun!

3:41 PM  
Blogger Esther said...

Basically, whichever way you turn it, there is a chance for chromosomal defects. And even if all tests come out negative, she could still have a chromosomal defect. Do you think a 1/400 chance at a miscarriage at this stage is worth it? You'll find out either way once the baby is born.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Samara Link said...

It's a girl, a girl, a gir!!!

3:55 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

You lost me on the numbers game ... sending good thoughts your way.

And a GIRL ... bring on the PINK!! Congrats!

4:13 PM  

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