Post # 1
My OB office scheduled me for my First trimester screening (NT/bloodwork/ultrasound etc) in a different city without me ever confirming I wanted to go ahead with it. The other office called to confirm my appointment etc. but I really don’t know if its something I’m interested in doing.
Darling Husband and I are both 25, have squeaky clean medical histories (families included) and both would never terminate a pregnancy even with negative results. Because of this, we’re wondering whether or not this testing would be worth our time. I understand that its not invasive or anything, but if issues did arise, I don’t think I would be comfortable with further, more invasive testing anyway.
Did many of you opt against the optional first trimester screening? If so, what were your reasons. Or if you did choose to go ahead with it, why? I’d be happy to just cancel the appointment based on what I know, but I’m a first time mom to be and want to make the best decision and am scared to overlook important points.
Post # 3
From what little I know, it seems normal and not unheard of. Just to ensure things are on track–hormones (make sure you have enough progesterone and you’re also not miscarrying), size of fetus (some stop growing during the 1st trimester and need to be D/Ced or will miscarry), etc. I would go but if you’re really freaked out by it, cancel and maybe have a new appointment made for the beginning of the 2nd trimester.
Post # 4
We opted out of it. Our CNM told us it was a really important step to take but we still chose to opt out. It wasn’t something we viewed as necessary.
Post # 5
@firsttimemom: That’s kind of how I see it too, unecessary for us. If it were at my regular OB office I’d probably just go ahead with it for the heck of an extra ultrasound, but its out of town, Darling Husband would have to arrange to get back home and then travel to it ontop of everything…. so ugh…
Plus the way things are working out I have a regular appointment the week before with my OB, so I’ll have just had that reassurance that everything is still a-okay in there.
Post # 6
@forforever: Will you be having a 20 week scan? It’s basically the same thing. If you’re getting a 20 week scan, there really isn’t any need for a 10-14 week scan.
EDIT: I failed to mention this in my last comment but we had a scare on Monday where I started cramping really bad and had to have an urgent sonogram because I was measuring at 22 weeks instead of 14. They did the sonogram part of the test (checking for fluid at the neck, development of head, etc) but didn’t draw any blood or anything. So I guess I kind of had the first-tri “test” but not fully… or consentually lol.
Post # 7
My OB doesn’t do an ultrasound until 20 weeks unless you request certain tests or there is something wrong.
Are you at least going to hear the baby’s heart beat? For my first pregnancy, I went in for my 12 wks to hear the heart beat and there was none, and then they did the ultrasound to see what was going on. The baby had stopped growing at 6 wks. I had no signs or symptoms of a miscarriage (no bleeding, cramping, etc) so I wouldn’t have known if it wasn’t for the ultrasound. I understand that you don’t want to terminate the pregnancy, but it might be good just to know in case the worst has already happened, then you could be reasured the baby is doing fine.
Post # 8
It’s important to remember that the screening does not give you a definite answer on abnormalities. The screening gives you a risk assessment, so if you have an elevated risk of having an abnormality, you can decide on further testing for a definite answer. But just participating in the screening itself will not tell you for sure if your baby is affected.
We opted out; I didn’t really care either way, but my husband was really against it. His feelings were similar to yours; if the screening showed we had a higher risk for some abnormality, we wouldn’t go through with additional testing anyway because he really didn’t want to know if something was wrong.
Post # 9
I’ll have an ultrasound scheduled for somewhere between 7-10 weeks. I just want to make sure everything is ok (i.e. seeing a heartbeat and confirming the baby is in there and growing). I’m not going to opt for any genetic testing, and I haven’t heard of that being normal for someone in their 20s. Are you sure genetic or other screening is included in the appointment you have scheduled? I think the tests they do are just to confirm you and the baby are developing on schedule.
I don’t really think you’ll be putting yourself in any danger by opting out of the first trimester ultrasound. I’m just going to do it for peace of mind.
I’m going to go to my first appointments without hubby. He’ll join me for the 20 wk to learn the sex, but mostly I’ll be going alone so he doesn’t have to take off work.
Post # 10
We had the ultrasound when she was a tiny sprout (~9 weeks) and again at 20 weeks. We opted out of the quad screen though. It’s a risk ratio and I really wasn’t sure what I’d do with a ratio except worry and neither of us have a family history of anything so we didn’t do that test.
Post # 11
We did the 2 part screening. I feel that it is important to know anything and everything that is going on with the baby as long as it is noninvasive. I’m not one to feel comfortable with the unknow. My whole thing was I’d rather know if something was abnormal and be prepared for it than to be shocked at the birth.
Post # 12
I had the first trimester tests and found out that I had miscarried. I think the only reason why I elected to, was to be prepared in case something was wrong. I wouldn’t have opted for an abortion or anything, but I think if there was something wrong I would want to be able to do research and find support if I needed too. A very good friend has a daughter with downs and she says that she now wishes she had done the tests, because the shock of it in the hospital took away from the joy in that moment of having just had a baby. She said she had to “mourn” the life she had imagined and dream up the one that her daughter will have, and that it might have been easier to do all that while she was pregnant. It was a rough couple of weeks for them when their daughter was born.
Post # 13
Thanks for everyone’s feedback. Its reassuring to hear that others have opted out of the optional screening as well. With my OB going ahead and scheduling it without my saying to do so, I was worried that it was uncommon to skip it. I thought I understood the testing as a risk assessment, not a definite determinant and am glad to hear that confirmed. Because we plan to carry to term no matter what, and the fact that we wouldn’t be interested in further testing, I think my decision is made.
We had an ultrasound at 5 weeks and again at 6w because of possible complications. At the second u/s we were able to see a heartbeat and everything was looking great. I go in Tuesday for another appointment where I’ll be 11 weeks. If I remember correctly they said we’d be listening for a heart beat this appointment (yay!). And yes, we will have the ultrasound at 20 weeks as well.
Post # 14
We went ahead with all of the first trimester blood screenings. I am only 26 years old so I am also low-risk, however there is a history of Cystic Fibrosis in my family.
Knowing ahead of time our risk for having a child with Down’s Syndrome, Cystic Fibrosis or Spina Bifida would not change our decision to have the baby. However, I work with children who have life-threatening medical conditions for my job and can tell you from experience that you need the time of the pregnancy to prepare for their special needs. Any advanced notice I can get will make me the best parent possible for the child and gives me the chance to educate myself in advance to care for them.
All of my screens came back as low risk, so no further testing was needed. All the tests involved were 2 samples of blood and an ultrasound to measure the back of the baby’s neck. The ultrasound was also the best one of the pregnancy- the most clear and high-tech equiptment used so it was fun to see the baby that early on.
Post # 15
We didn’t have them with Moose, but did with Wombat. Although it’s not something anyone wants to think about, had we had screenings with Moose, it may have picked up something which would give us answers as to why we lost at wekk 34 when everything was perfect according to the doctor.
Post # 16
Even if you wouldn’t terminate, there are some defects that would need immediate attention upon birth, or would even be able to be treated in utero. If you tested, you’d know ahead of time and could prepare emotionally and practically. I would call your OB and discuss what could be detected with the specific tests, and how knowing ahead of time could help you and the baby. I think people tend to view these tests as “bad” because they assume people would terminate, when actually they can be very good ways of preparing you for unexpected complications.