Wednesday, February 18, 2009

To Have Amniocentesis Or Not To Have Amniocentesis

That is the question (for today at least).  Tomorrow it will probably be what's for dinner?  What to wear?  Do I look fat?  Why am I tired?  Where did I put my imaginary housekeeper?

Yesterday we got the results back from our pre-screening tests.  These tests took blood work from my arm during the 1st and 2nd trimester.  They looked at certain proteins and hormones in my blood to determine the risk factors for the babies having chromosomal disorders like Downs Syndrome.

Our 1st trimester results showed we had a 1:1900 chance of chromosomal defects.  The 2nd trimester results showed a 1:375 chance, roughly meaning our risk increased.  However, a 1:375 is the standard risk factor for someone my age and the ratio assigned to all pregnant women before pre-screening blood tests were available.

If we wanted to find out for certain whether Wiz or Nug had a defect we'd have to do a procedure called amniocentesis.  This procedure involves inserting a thin needle into my belly and drawing out amniotic fluid from each baby's amniotic sac.  An ultrasound device is used to help guide the needle and make sure the babies are not punctured in the process.  While the amniocentesis procedure is considered relatively safe, it does have risk factors associated with it, the primary risk being miscarriage.  

We've decided not to do an amniocentesis (folks, we didn't spend roughly $15,000 to risk a miscarriage or contemplate an abortion if the results were positive).  A risk ratio of 1:375 roughly translates to a 99.75% chance our babies will be born healthy.  We can sleep soundly with those numbers.  Plus, our doctor did mention that a double amniocentesis (due to carrying twins) is a more difficult procedure with increased risks.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I'm with you on that sista! Babies don't need needles in their SPACE!