The one fun story in the story of the amnio was the story of our first outburst of parenting. As the doctor was doing the amnio we were watching on the ultrasound screen. For anyone who doesn't know, the doctor used the ultrasound to guide the needle into an empty spot on in the amniotic sac to draw out fluid. About halfway through the fluid drawing process we suddenly saw on the screen a little hand batting at the needle ("oooh, what's this"). Though neither of us said it out loud we were both screaming inside our head "No, don't touch that, sharp, bad baby!" The doctor saw the hand and (as he said he would) tilted the needle so the hand couldn't get stuck.
I'm sure the baby couldn't see the needle, that it was just pulled there by the fluid being sucked into the syringe, but knowing he's our little monkey it won't be the last time he reaches for something he shouldn't.
Last night was the first night the baby kept my wife from sleeping with his thumping. This morning as I left for work she said "I was trying to sleep last night and I kept feeling 'blup blup blup' and I was thinking 'hey, knock it off in there!'"
So we just got a call from the genetic counselor. After doing the FISH test we have tested negative for Down's Syndrome! Once we hit this part a false negative is very rare. So we are out of the woods now.
Oh and now 100%, beyond any doubt, it is a boy. This baby has XY chromosomes, it is genetically a boy.
All this doom and gloom lately hasn't been fun. So in the interest of samity I thought I'd make a list of good things that have happened that have been overlooked because of the pending birth defects. . .
I have felt my son move on 3 different occasions. Not much, just little thumps, but to feel the baby inside my wife's belly is so amazing. I don't know if it'll get old or not, but for now it's really neat. I keep insisting she stop hogging the baby. I want a turn to play with him.
We took a tour of one of the possible baby factories we can give birth in. We walked in and the tour guide looked at us funny for being there (all the other people were REALLY pregnant, one was due in 2 weeks); what can I say, we plan ahead. She stood up and said "my name's Mary, and I'm a doula." We turned to each other and almost walked out. Sorry if that offends any doula users or doulas out there. We just think it's silly. The tour itself was OK, we made jokes through most of it.
We took our first trip to Babies 'R Us and saw a little cup you can set on a boy while changing him to prevent him peeing on you. It's called the Weeblock.
We discovered that if my wife does lay on her stomach she will get kicked as a polite reminder that she's laying on someone.
The hunt for baby names is on. We hadn't even begun to think of boy names before now. A couple stand out right now, but nothing is a clear winner.
So even though we've had bad news and this dark cloud overhead, we have been in good spirits and we keep laughing and trying to be happy. I know all anyone here has been reading is not fun, but I insist, we are still enjoying being pregnant, and are excited to be parents. It is a time of fun and jokes. I'll try to post more of those. A lot you just have to be there for.
So we had our appointment with the genetic counselor and to have the ultrasound today. The little guy was all fired up again and hiding from the ultrasound. It was nice to see him again. Most the markers looked really good: neck, legs, nose, brain. But a small white spot appeared on the ultrasound. If we had never had the quad screen this spot wouldn't have even been a blip on the radar (8 out of 10 babies have it), but because it is considered a minor marker for Down's Syndrome our risk level doubled putting us at a 1 in 88 chance of the baby having Down's.
Needless to say, this was not good news to us. We expected we'd go in and everything would be clear. So we asked the doctor and ultrasound tech to give us a minute alone. The doctor stalled a second to point out that we were missing the good news of all the major markers being clear and focusing on the bad. So after he left and we talked it over we decided to go ahead and do the amniocentesis. It only took about 5 minutes once it got started. We;ll get preliminary results early next week and conclusive results in a couple weeks.
While there we were also offered a screening test for Cystic Fibrosis. We both looked and each other and I answered "no, we've had enough screening tests." No more thanks.
Oh yeah if you didn't catch it. . . we're definitely having a boy.
My wife has been going to what to expect dot com several times a day to keep up with people on their message boards. Despite me prodding, she's what you'd call a lurker. She reads and never posts. I have encouraged her to post, nothing feels so good as having someone to vent too who may being going through the same thing you are (see this blog).
In the past week more and more people are popping up freaking out because they got this same quad screen test back with a positive result. Several of them have already gone in for a level 2 ultrasound and found nothing wrong.
What a waste of time, money, and emotion. . . it's awful what this test puts people through. I know for some they take it; it's negative; they're done. . . but with so many more it starts a long drawn out process which worries them for nothing.
A psuedo-sigh of relief can be let out. We went in for our first ultrasound yesterday (little guy kept running from us so it was hard to see). It was on a little office ultrasound machine so it couldn't see everything, but two of the 3 larger markers for Down's Syndrome (nuchal fold in the neck and the nose bone) both looked good. Hands, feet. . . all 5's and the right size. Everything growing like it should. We still didn't get a good look at the heart so we're not completely relieved, but this is all good news.
I'll put some pics up this weekend, provided our kitchen remodel doesn't swallow me whole again.
Next Friday we're going for "genetic counseling." From what I understand this will consist of a counselor spending 30 minutes telling us about abortion (which we've already discussed, and we're having this baby either way), afterwards we'll get a more detailed ultrasound, and, if we feel it's needed, an amnio.
Amy1: I had stumbled upon your blog when I was searching for answers for what happens next when we got the quad screen results. Your experience made me feel better.
It's always something. We decided to have the quad screen blood test done. For anyone who doesn't know this tests the fetus for Spina Bifida and Down's Syndrome among other things. With our ages and family history we should not have had anything to worry about. . . well we do now. We took the test for peace of mind, and it came back slightly positive. At this point we've been bumped up to a 1 in 175 chance (.57%) of our baby having Down's Syndrome. There will be more tests and more information coming soon. Tomorrow we have the first full ultrasound which will check the heart and lungs, and tell us the sex of the baby. Then we'll go in for a "stage 2" ultrasound to check for signs of Down's Syndrome.
I wish I had more to say right now, but I don't I'm a little out of sorts right now.
I take back the one-armed mongoloid and pregnant zombie comments I made before.