Granted, I said something first. I mentioned that I wanted the first trimester screen for Trisomy disorders (13, 18, Down's Syndrome, etc.) because at 38 (39 by the time this baby is born) my eggs are just a little past their expiration date.
He nodded and said, "I always tell my patients, you've had those eggs since you were born! Would you eat eggs that were 38 years old?"
Okay, first of all... dude, no one gets to make comments about my eggs but me. Got it? That's like a direct reference to a woman's age, which, at mine, just isn't cool. Secondly... who would EAT human eggs!? Like, what, they're some strange sort of caviar!? That brings up some twisted horror cannibalism thing I don't even want to think about... eww!
But I digress. The OB and I had a little discussion about birth, I refused a pelvic or pap (just had a pap back in January, I'm good, thanks!) and although the nurse looked at me like I had three heads and kept trying to get me to strip for her and put on the little paper dress (three times! She came back three times! lol) the doc was okay with my refusal.
The important this is he ordered my test and we went and saw the baby. Again. Looks more like a baby now than a blob, which was nice to see. But again, my knowledge of birth and all that "doctorin' stuff" irked someone.
The u/s results themselves came out fine... from everything I could discern. They didn't check a lot of the soft markers I thought they should have, but the nuchal space wasn't measuring abnormal, so that's good, and we did see a nasal bone.
If you don't know anything about the new first trimester screen for genetic issues, the ultrasound portion is called the "nuchal translucency scan." Basically, they're checking a space behind the baby's neck to see if it's swollen. They've discovered that a majority (1 in 4) babies with a trisomy disorder will have a swollen nuchal space. They also check other things - like the appearance of a nasal bone. Down's Syndrome babies often don't have one that appears between the 11-13th week (when they do this test) but you can normally see the nasal bone in babies without a trisomy disorder. There are other soft markers they look for (echogenic bowel, cysts in the brain, etc.) as well, and they also do a blood test to check both HCG and PAPPA in the mother's blood. They put it all together and give you a risk factor for giving birth to a child with a genetic disorder.
I probably wouldn't have even considered this test, if I didn't know how exponentially the odds go up of having a child with a trisomy disorder after the age of thirty-five. You can see, on this table, how the risks go up.
|Age (years)||Frequency of Fetuses with Down |
Syndrome to Normal Fetuses
at 16 weeks of pregnancy
|Frequency of Live Births of |
Babies with Down Syndrome
to Normal Births
|15 - 19||----||1 / 1250|
|20 - 24||----||1 / 1400|
|25 - 29||----||1 / 1100|
|30 - 31||----||1 / 900|
|32||----||1 / 750|
|33||1 / 420||1 / 625|
|34||1 / 325||1 / 500|
|35||1 / 250||1 / 350|
|36||1 / 200||1 / 275|
|37||1 / 150||1 / 225|
|38||1 / 120||1 / 175|
|39||1 / 100||1 / 140|
|40||1 / 75||1 / 100|
|41||1 / 60||1 / 85|
|42||1 / 45||1 / 65|
|43||1 / 35||1 / 50|
|44||1 / 30||1 / 40|
|45 and older||1 / 20||1 / 25|
So anyway, back to the actual ultrasound. The tech was having a hard time getting baby to move into the position she wanted, so she didn't take hardly any time at the end to take good pics because she was too frustrated.
(And although I wanted a video, and they told me on the phone they could do one, the tech told me, "Oh we will only tape once, so I'll do it now if you want, but this isn't a very long or interesting scan, you should probably wait for the 20 week one. GRRR. Okay, fine, then... figured I'd get pictures, that would suffice. *sigh*)
Anyway, she got so frustrated with baby's uncooperativeness that she even called the doc in to re-check what she'd measured. Then, of course, the doc decides to blame it on my weight... but when I asked if a transvag would be better, she said, "no."
And then the doc says, "You need to have an u/s every 5-6 weeks from now on to measure the baby's size." Huh? WTH? Why?
"It's hard to palpate a baby on someone your size, and we need to know how big baby will be for delivery."
Oh freakin' PLEASE! I've had two home births and two midwives who could palpate my babies JUST fine, thankyouverymuch. (I didn't say that... )
I DID say, "Isn't late u/s notoriously inaccurate for judging a baby's actual size?"
"Well, something is better than nothing."
She was also really, really, really hard to get info out of. She didn't like that I was educated about the scan, that I knew terms like "echogenic bowel" and wanted to know if baby had one. She was very avoidant, and just kept giving me the equivalent of "don't worry your pretty head about it" again and again. GRRRR.
So I'll ask for copies of the test results from the doc in two weeks, when I see him, and I'm calling around to interview home birth midwives this week.
Guess I needed a kick in the butt to motivate me!
But here are two (albiet blurry) pictures of little Luke or Lucy: