Oh my gosh, we're having a GIRL! I was so sure it was a boy! But it's definitely a girl. We had an unexpected ultrasound today and she flipped at one point and was completely and indecently spread-eagle.
Note the caption on the photo - IT'S A GIRL!!!!! ---->
No question about it, that baby in there is of the Princess variety (just like her mama teehee). Poor Adam is already worrying about protecting her from TEH BOYZ. Haha.
Can you blame him?! Look at her wee little elf nose!
So, I debated about blogging this, but... well, the rest of my life is pretty much broadcast to the internet on this blog anyway so what the heck. At my 16 week appointment, I was offered a Quad Test. Basically it's a blood test that measures 4 proteins in mom's blood and indicates possible risk for certain abnormalities like spina bifida, Down's syndrome and Trisomy 18. The midwife explained to me that the test could be skewed just by having the wrong due date. I consented to the test, even though I KNOW they have the wrong due date for me. I did tell her at the time that I was positive they have the wrong due date because I didn't ovulate on day 14 like they use to calculate my due date. She just shrugged like lalalala - like all the other nurses and doctors I have told this to - just a pat on the hand and a knowing smile as if to say, "of course, dear, you think you know, but don't question the system..." And I just shrugged because I guess I assume too much about medical professionals.
I was not all that surprised when I got a phone call yesterday telling me that my results came back showing increased risk (relative to our age group) for Down's syndrome (although negative for the other abnormalities they screen for). The nurse told me that based on the test, the risk was 1/186 that our baby will have Down's. If the test is anything greater than 1/270 you get a positive result. I guess that's because it outweighs the risk of miscarriage from an amnio at that point... it's pretty much arbitrary. Even at 1/186, that's only about a 0.5% chance our baby will have Down's - not very high odds at all, but still higher than women my age in general.
Naturally we were very concerned and we were glad they could get us in the next day (today) for a detailed ultrasound to look at the baby's physical characteristics and get a better idea of the due date. If the baby has the physical characteristics common in Down's syndrome (like missing pinkie and nose bones, short leg bones, heart problems or enlarged kidneys), then we could opt to have an amniocentesis, which is more definitive because it looks at baby's chromosomes. However, the amnio has a risk of miscarriage. We talked about it and pretty much decided before we even went in for the ultrasound that we were not going to do the amnio in any case because we don't want to risk losing the baby either way - we are going to love this baby no matter what.
Of course I spent the afternoon consulting Dr. Google about the quad test and abnormal results and found literally hundreds of message board postings about women who had positive quad test results and healthy babies. That test has a very high false positive rate. In my opinion, any test that can be skewed with a matter of a few days (out of a 9 month pregnancy) is not that reliable. In retrospect, I was kind of wishing I hadn't consented to the test because it seemed most likely that it would cause a lot of unnecessary worry and heartache and everything would be fine with the baby.
So we went in for our ultrasound today. The technician was amazing! She was really interactive and talked the entire time, pointing things out to us and telling us what she was seeing. We got to spend almost an hour staring at our beautiful baby on the monitor! She was so active - kicking and squirming. Adam started calling her the Party Princess. She was practically doing somersaults in there. It was so cute and amazing. We could see her little heart beating and all the bones in her spinal cord and ribcage. We could see 10 tiny toes and 10 tiny fingers.
Basically she looked like the most perfect being ever to be conceived (of course- haha)! Everything looked very normal and nice. She had NONE of the physical characteristics of Down's - all the bones and organs were in place and looked right - the brain, the kidneys, the heart. Everything looked good. We were so relieved.
Yawning. So cute! She is bored of all this talk of Down syndrome.
The baby looked small-ish; she said about a week behind size-wise, but the actual measurements weren't enough to change my due date and therefore the quad results calculation would remain the same. The measurements were still several days off from the due date they originally calculated for me. By my calculation, based on when I ovulated, I am 18 weeks and 1 day. Which she said would be enough to recalculate the quad assessment. But since the computer didn't match that, she couldn't change it. And like I was telling you all before, I could have ovulated a week after that! (My temp shifted again and I thought it was the egg implanting, but it could have been ovulation). In fact, the latter scenario would make sense because the baby seems to be measuring about a week smaller, and when we took the HPT, it was very faint, which would have only been about 9 days after ovulation in that case - really early to detect a pregnancy. I even got a negative pregnancy test when I went in to the clinic! They had to do a blood test to confirm. Either way, THEY HAVE MY DUE DATE WRONG WHY WON'T ANYONE LISTEN TO ME??!!!! Whew.
The doctor spoke to us afterwards and told us that the baby had a small spot of calcification in her heart, which they see in normal babies every day. Alone it means absolutely nothing. However, if you are considered "increased risk" then some people think it might be a "soft indicator" of Down syndrome. If you believe those people, it could raise our risk to 1/93 - still only about a 1% chance, if you believe that calculation. The doctor did say that sometimes babies look normal on the ultrasound and are still born with Down's syndrome (the only way to know for sure before the birth is to do an amnio). Conversely, sometimes people get negative quad results and the baby is born with an abnormality. The thing is, even if your risk is 1/10,000, you could still be that one.
We are still a little concerned, of course, but after seeing how perfect she looked, and considering all the ovulation/due date snafu, we are not worried too much. All things considered, I think she is going to be born healthy and most likely ACTIVE!
Front view of her face.
Pointing. Or #1!