Saturday, January 24, 2009

nt or amnio

My friend Kitty: (sent from her iPhone)
"i got the results back from the nuchal translucency. it was hella good! my chances for having a baby with downs were 1 in 155 before test, 1 in 3001 afterward. yeah!!"


Baby Center "Nuchal translucency screening"
"The NT test uses ultrasound to measure the clear (translucent) space in the tissue at the back of your developing baby's neck. Babies with abnormalities tend to accumulate more fluid at the back of their neck during the first trimester, causing this clear space to be larger than average.

"The NT scan must be done when you're between 11 and 14 weeks pregnant."

And more about screenings

"Screening tests can't tell you if your child actually has Down syndrome. Instead, they provide you with a ratio that expresses your baby's chances of having a problem, based on your test results and how old you are. This information may help you decide whether to undergo diagnostic testing.

"Diagnostic tests such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis can tell you with greater than 99 percent certainty whether your child has a chromosomal abnormality. These tests can identify several hundred genetic disorders by analyzing the genetic makeup of cells from your baby or placenta. However, both procedures carry a small risk of miscarriage."

From everything I've read, the screening tests seem like a way to:
1. ease your mind if the results are good
2. stress you out if they are anything else but very good
3. prove that western med. is fond of expensive, less-than-useful, stressful tests

1. most of the NT "positives" for genetic problems are false positives
2. the delay between the first "your baby is high risk for DS, etc." and the "actually, no, you have a healthy baby, and we were wrong about the due date" can be weeks — terribly stressful weeks.
3. due dates are often off! so test results are off!

I'm thinking I'll just wait until the amnio! I'd rather be sure and avoid unnecessary worry. I know I'll terminate if I have a DS or other big ol' chromosomal problem. So, yes, I should wait and be sure!

The Awakenings midwives pointed out that it can be hard for folks to make the call to terminate a 5 month old fetus... but since I would not likely be sure until the amnio, well, seems like this is the best way to go.

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