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Should I Have an Amniocentesis??

I am 37 years old and just went through my 2nd trimester screening. Although my numbers came back "negative" and I tested out 1 in 400 for my chance of Down Syndrome, my doctor is saying it might still be a good idea to get it done this week (I am now 19 weeks pregnant). I am completely freaking out at the thought of this test, as I've had 3 D&C's within the past 4 years due to pregnancy complications. I am fearful of risking anything as a result of the amnio, but at the same time, I am over 35 and not really sure what I would do if the baby was born with a chromosome problem. HELP! I KNOW this is ultimately my decision, but the emotional stress of doing the test is killing me. I think I have post-traumatic stress from the past D&C's. Any advice you can offer would be terrific :)

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I am OVERWHELMED by the number of responses and by all of your compassion. My big appointment was today, and after the extensive 3-d ultrasound, which showed no abnormalities, I didn't go through with the amnio. I am soooo incredibly relieved, and KNOW I made the right decision.

Thanks so much for your feedback.

Happy Holidays :)
I.

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The question, really, is what would you do with the results?

You've only got 2 options:

- abort (too late for that in this country)
- have the baby

After the baby is born if they do have downs, you can always put them up for adoption, if you didn't want to keep them. There is actually a waiting list for parents who want to adopt a Downs child, and it's rather long.

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I think the more information you have at this "earlier" gestation, the better. A person can't say what she would or wouldn't do in a particular situation, until she is actually faced with it. I wish you the best!!!

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Note: am not a doctor, I am married to one but I did not consult him in any way to get this answer and as such this is MY OPTION, not anyone elses... (sorry but I have to cover that being married to one)

It matters... what would you do if it came back with something wrong? Abort or nothing and have the kid anyway? If you would have the kid anyway don't get it. It does come with risks of losing the baby (not high, but still there...) and after losing so many I would not risk it myself...

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The question, really, is what would you do with the results?

You've only got 2 options:

- abort (too late for that in this country)
- have the baby

After the baby is born if they do have downs, you can always put them up for adoption, if you didn't want to keep them. There is actually a waiting list for parents who want to adopt a Downs child, and it's rather long.

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Ultimately this is your decision, but let me tell you my experience. I was 39 years old when I delivered and just assumed that I would need an amniocentesis. I was just like you. All my numbers came back great with no significant risk. This is what my doctor asked me "Would the outcome of the test change your mind about this pregnancy in any way?" My husband and I said absolutely not. So there was our answer. My doctor felt that the risk of miscarriage due to the amminocentesis was greater than the benefit of the test. Two years ago we had a very healthy and beautiful baby boy. I would not change a thing! Go with your gut. Trust yourself and love your baby.

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As you mentioned, only you can make this choice! But, ask yourself if the result of an amnio would change anything? If you would not consider terminating the pregnancy, then there is no point in taking the risk. I tested for a 1 in 100 chance for Downs and my son was born totally healthy...I did not have the amnio because it wouldn't have changed anything for us....we would have had the baby either way. My doctor also mentioned that most babies with Downs have other significant markers in the womb that would have showed in an ultrasound.

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I delivered 3 weeks shy of turning 40 and the doctors made me feel like it was a freaking miracle that I was able to have a baby and keep it without it being deformed or something. I think they have to do that for lawsuits. I decided not to test b/c I was too worried about losing the baby. My son is fine by the way. But I knew that even if he wasn't I wasn't going to do a D&C or anything, so I just hoped for the best and enjoyed my pregnacy. If you don't feel comfortable with something, DO NOT DO IT! Good luck b/c I know it is so stressful. Did they do the neckfold count by ultrasound? That did nothing to the baby and made me feel better.Hang in there..1 out of 400, not that big!

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I just have to say you have been waiting along time and have gone through several lost babies correct?
Why would you do anything to possibly interfere with this baby's development? Would you abort this baby if it had complications? A baby is a baby and no matter how they come and they are a gift.
I don't mean to sound harsh, just relax and enjoy the pregnancy. All doctors will of course recommend testing to cover thier butts but you do not have to do it.
It is invasive in my opinion.
I had my last baby at 41 and my first had special needs and we never did any testing with any of my kids. Yes, there could have been other issues but i think you need to be assured that if this baby is meant to be you will be able to handle anything that comes along. We never know what we can handle until it is upon us.
Relax, enjoy this baby and embrace it and let him/her know you love it know matter what.
Please know i hear the fear and see the stress the last few years have put on you. It sounds traumatic and scary and i am so sorry that you have had to go through that.
I will be praying for you.

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Your decision really should have everything to do with what you would do if the test results were positive. If you decide you would keep this baby no matter what, then why do the test?
I had the same thing happen with my second pregnancy at 41. My husband and I chose to have the amnio because if it were positive, we would not keep the pregnancy. The test was very easy, slight pressure but it was over quickly. The waiting for the results was the hardest part. Test came back negative and we also found out we were having another boy.
But really, if we had made the decision that we would keep the pregnancy no matter what, then we wouldn't have bothered with the test.
Good luck with your pregnancy..good luck no matter what your choice is. Sending you blessings!

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No one can make this decision but you. However, I can share my experiences: I had an amnio with both of my pregnancies and had absolutely no problems at all. Not surprising, the first one was the worst...I was scared out of my mind! In fact, I was so scared that I barely felt it, believe it or not. The second one was just fine. I knew what to expect, it was just uncomfortable, and it wasn't as big a deal as the first.

I had some cramping afterward. The same amount I have with my period. Plus, since it is a somewhat traumatic event, you will want to rest for a day after. If for nothing else, just for a mental break!

One thing to remember about the statistics they give you (I think it was 1:5 result in miscarriage, or something like that): this is a National statistic based upon every anmio performed in the U.S. This includes amnios performed by under-trained OBs that don't have much experience. I went to the Maternal-Fetal specialists at my hospital to help ensure I had a Doctor who specializes in these types of procedures.

Very best of luck with your decision.

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My friend is 40, had the test done, everything checked out fine. The baby was born at 30 weeks with Charge Syndrome (a rare form of Downs). She began her first two months of life in the hospital. So I have seen how difficult it can be to have a baby with special needs.

Her baby is now seven months old and has inspired us all. She has been through so much and takes delight in small things...just like any other baby. It's obvious that she actually can see and hear (Some people with Charge can actually be deaf and blind...) and her illnesses are getting less frequent and she is eating better and getting stronger. I think what is liberating about this child is that she is not compared to the "average" baby ever...each day has been taken minute by minute...isn't this a lesson we can all learn from? Who are we to even say what is "normal" and what is not? Just because we think we are "normal."

To me an amnio is there to create anxiety and fear. And they are not even 100% accurate.

Congratulations on your pregnancy and good luck!

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you have received a ton of great advice .. wish i knew of this source when i was pregnant - but anyways, i was 39 when i delivered and i opted out of the amnio. was too afraid i'd miscarry with the test and that i personally could not deal with. but, i researched and had every non-invasive procedure there was to know as much as i could about my bebe's health. so good luck to you in whatever you decide ... i know how hard i struggled with this myself and i feel your pain .. there are so many decisions one has to make while pregnant but please know this and all else will be behind you in just a matter of months :)

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I would only do it if the results would change your future. If you are planning to love the baby regardless of whether or not it has Downs then it really doesn't matter. If you will prepare a nursery and plan to welcome your bundle then just go ahead and do that. But if you need time to get your head together or prepare for a baby with challenges then you may want to consider it. Good luck. Only you know the answer.

www.thosecrazybeans.blogspot.com

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Hey I.,
I can completely understand your anxiety over the test. I think, when in doubt, get a second opinion as to whether or not you really need to take the test. I am much older than you and have grown children. They rarely did amnios back then and we just had to trust. It's really such a personal decision and I wish you all the best!!

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HI I.,

I, too think you should consider what you'll do with the information. How would more info change your course of action? What does your Dr. think will happen with more info at this point? Why is he/she recommending the procedure?

An amnio is pretty safe (though be sure to ask for the stats for the Dr. who would perform it)

Your chances of having a child NOT affected by Down's (according to the numbers you just gave) are 99.75% Sounds like pretty good odds to me! :-)

I had my child at 41, and he's perfectly healthy. I opted not to do any testing, as for me, it wouldn't have made a difference in what I chose to do. Plus, all the non-invasive screenings came back looking pretty good. I will say that I did get VERY anxious at the end of my pregnancy, just to meet my kid, and know for "sure" that he was healthy.

Think about what you'll do with the results of any testing, and you'll know what the right choice is for your family. And really, that's the only thing that matters, yes?

Best of luck,
C.

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Just keep in mind the docs make money on these tests! I did not have one at 36 and all was fine. I think the docs push this way to much. If your chances of miscarriage are higher than the risk, which I believe they are, I would pass. Sorry wanted to edit and say, you may also consider what you would do if the test said the baby "possibly" had a problem, would you abort?? I would not have so I passed, it would not have affected my decision. Good luck to you, I know they say we are high risk, but 40 is quickly becoming the new 30 in my opinion.

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With my first child, my AFP test came back high, which indicated the possibility of neural tube defects. This freaked me out and we went through multiple ultrasounds with normal results. Then the doctor wanted us to do an amnio and since my husband was in the medical field, we talked to a doctor that he worked with. Her advice was that if the results weren't going to change the outcome, i.e. terminating the pregnancy, not to proceed. I would say the same to you, the other tests appear to have given you information. It seems that the risks outweigh the value of the info to be gained. Good luck!

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Hi there,
I think that if you would have this child no matter what disabilities it had, then I wouldn't bother having it done. I had my first child at 35 and refused one. I intend to have another baby by the time I am 39/40. As long as my number are good, there no way I am getting an amnio.
Good luck to you and your new baby.

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It is routine for the doctor to sugguest an amnio if you are older than 35. I was pregnant with my second daughter at age 37 and was freaked out about having the amnio. My test were all normal too. My doctor sent me to a high risk doctor to do the amnio. Before they do the amnio they do the really intensive 3D ultrasound. I told the doctor that I really did not want to have the amnio unless they thought it was necessary. They are so good with the ultrasound and have ways to check if there are any signs of downs that they told me if they saw any signs of downs then we would go forward with the amnio. They did not see any signs of downs so I never had the amnio and everything was fine. My point is - is that they can tell a lot from the ultrasound if there are any signs of downs so I wouldn't worry about having the amnio. Only do the amnio if they think they see something wrong. Good luck.

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I had 2 amnios. My second child came back 1 in 200, went to UCSD med school, they were awesome, did an indepth ultrasound, measured bones in arms and legs and head. Said everything was fine, but to get ABSOLUTE confirmation an amnio would be needed.I was 34. I did and it was pretty painless. My third child I was 40 came back 1 in 25. PRetty scary. Saw a Dr. in Murrieta, not a pleasent experience. He rushed in, did the ultrasound real fast, told me everything looked good, did the amnio. He was not very gentle. I wish I could remember his name, so I could tell you not to go to him. It's all up to you. I did it, because no matter what, I wanted to be prepared. It was the hardest thing during my pregnancy. Your mind goes off wondering what if... I now have a great appreciation for those who do have handicapped children, and those kids brighten my day. I don't know if your "religious" or not, but my philosophy on this is that God only gives hadicapped children to very special parents who can handle it. I was not one of those parents, but I am truely blessed with my 3 "normal" girls who drive me crazy. Good luck in your decision. Also, bring someone along with you that you really trust. Your husband, friend, mom or whoever. It helps to have someone to hold your hand.
K.

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Hi I.,
I can see why you would be struggling with this decision. When a doctor tells us that we should do something, we would tend to trust that recommendation! However, given your medical history, your age, and the extremely low odds that have been presented to you, AND the fact that you will probably have difficulty conceiving again given your age and history (in which case, your general risk for genetic errors increases dramitically with each passing year...) I would not do anything. You are NOT at significant risk; the numbers she has given you are the same for ANYONE in your age range. Therefore, it stands to reason that if you were to actually end this pregnancy and try again (assuming that you have the good fortune to a) conceive, and b) get to 19 weeks again), your risk will be even higher next time. So, this is your best shot! The doctor is recommending it most likely because it's routine to do so, and from a legal standpoint, it's in her best interest to have you do as many tests as possible. As you know, however, having an amnio IS an invasive procedure that is slightly risky (still less than 1% of miscarriage but that depends on where it's done. I know a woman who lost her HEALTHY son after having an amnio and it was such a tragedy). I have a similar background to you and I would DEFINITELY NOT do it, just my opinion (I would just go with the nuchal translucency). And, I am 40! But of course, you will have to do what feels right to you. I hope this helps. Good luck with your decision, no matter what you decide, it'll all work out in the end ;-)

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I too am an older mom. Making the decision on whether or not to have the amnio depends on what you will do with the information you get. If you plan to do nothing, then dont have it. But if you plan on terminating the pregnancy, then have it. I know things are not always that cut and dry, and you may be struggling with what you will do (terminate vs. continue with the pregnancy). I think a 1 in 400 chance is fairly high--high probability. My dr. said his rate of miscarriage from amnios is 1 in 400. So with that information your chance of finding something abnormal and losing the pregnancy are the same. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably do it. With that said your level 2 ultrasound should have given some indication if the baby has "markers". My son had a marker for a chromosomal abnormality. Some markers are more exclusive to downs and obviously the more the baby has the more likely there is a problem, my sons was not a marker exclusively seen in downs and thankfully he is fine. There are also some comments on here stating that an amnio is not 100% accurate. I dont agree--ultrasound and markers yes, but when it comes to chromosomal abnormalities, I am pretty positive a sample of the amniotic fluid gives accurate results. Check with your doctor on that tho. I wish you peace with this decision.

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noooooooooooooooooo, noooooooooooooooooooooo.,........... way too much risk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Find another MD!! Good luck with this pregnancy:)

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I went thru the same thing when I was pregnant at 35. I would see if you can do a high-density ultrasound first. They say there are physical atributes they can look for. We did that first and decided not to do the amnio. We felt with no neg results with the ultrsound and no family history on either side that as long as our child had a full brain and and full heart, we could deal with whatever she was born with. Now she will be 4 in January and is a beautiful, smart, and perfectly healthy little girl. I wish you peace in your heart with your situation.

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Hi, Ilse--

I had the same decision to make with my two daughters, born when I was 35 and 38. As others have said, the answer is what you'd do with the information if you had it. In my case, I did the test for spinal byfida, since that is a condition that can be treated in utero. However, I knew that regardless of the results of an amnio in terms of chromosomal problems, I would keep and love the baby, so chose to pass on that test.

Results? My older daughter (born when I was 35) is on the autistic spectrum, which wouldn't have shown up on any testing anyway, and my younger daughter (born when I was 38) is 20 years old and on her way to a degree in chemical engineering. Ultimately, while we would like to be in control of all of these things, we don't have any guarantees. And from my own experience, we don't know how we will deal with things until they actually happen.

Given the D&C situations you've experienced, and your emotional response to them, I'd be inclined to advise against the amnio. As a sensitive person, if you had the amnio, and ultimately experienced complications with your pregnancy (even if the test had nothing to do with those complications), it could result in a heavy emotional hit for you.

Regardless of your decision, I hope all goes well for you, and you have a peaceful four months ahead.

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I don't know what a D&C is. But I had an amino. It didn't hurt me at all. I was actually reassured seeing the ultrasound and knowing that everything was good.

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I think you should do it because of your age, but should be very very clear on everything involved from your doctor. There are risks, but people do them all the time and are fine. I think the decision should also involve whether or not you'd "act" on whatever info you go. If you got a diagnosis of downs, would you do anything? If not, don't do it. food for thought

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Note: am not a doctor, I am married to one but I did not consult him in any way to get this answer and as such this is MY OPTION, not anyone elses... (sorry but I have to cover that being married to one)

It matters... what would you do if it came back with something wrong? Abort or nothing and have the kid anyway? If you would have the kid anyway don't get it. It does come with risks of losing the baby (not high, but still there...) and after losing so many I would not risk it myself...

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Yes - I would have it done. I had one (was 37 too) and I think I freaked myself out about the procedure but when I was there having it - it was truly no big deal. I went to a perinatalogist which you should be seeing too. They are experts at performing the test and I didn't even feel it when they stuck the needle in. If you want peace of mind that all is okay with the baby, then this is the best test. Good luck!

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Do it. If the doctor said to, then do it. My doctor gave me the choice even though I'm 26 and this will be my second child. There are risks, but so is being pregnant, and giving birth, and driving.

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HI I.,
I was 40 and 42 when I had both children. I opted not to have amnio and I am so happy with sticking to my guns about that. I finally asked my doctor what if the result of the amnio was positive for down's- how would he treat my pregnancy any differently. He said if I was not planning to abort anyway, no real reason other than to be prepared. That just didn't seem worth the risk and trauma. I have also heard that the screenings are starting to replace amnio entirely, so the screenings are almost as accurate as the amnio anyway. I hope this helps.
Much luck,
S.

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For me the thought comes, "will knowing if my baby is down syndrome or not going to change things" I'm still gonna love them the same no matter what, is it worth the risk? I pray for you, this must be very nerve racking and heart breaking to think about. I personally wouldn't do the amnio, anything that could be "wrong" with the baby can be picked up by sonogram also, w/out the dangerous procedure, after an detailed sonogram then see if the doctor recommends further tests. Best of luck to you!

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Hi I., I was in the same situation. I was 35 when I got pregnant the second time after losing the first one in the 2nd month of pregnacy at 34. I was even over weight, worked alot but I did not want to take the chance and have it done and take that chance of losing the baby. My other tests came out fine and so I had wanted a baby so bad. So I didn't have it done and I was blessed with a healthy baby girl and at 37 with no test done a healthy baby boy. I also was blessed with having two very easy deliverys, both natural and only a couple hours of labor. I wish you all the best and hope all goes well. I think with everything else turning out okay with you, that it will all go well. Hope you have a Merry Christmas.

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I agree with what Bonnie wrote. I had it done by a specialist and had no problem with it afterwards, I have friends who had it done also without problems.

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My best friend did the amnio and said it was no big deal. I did one and thought it was pretty painful and scary and the cramping that followed was really scary, since I felt like I might be losing the baby. I was 37 at the time. I definitely didn't want to have a child with Downs, but the test was no picnic. Since you are already afraid and have had 3 D&Cs, I don't think I would do it. But you know your body and your situation better than I do. So of course, go with your gut. Good luck!

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I had amnio with my first child (now 14 y.o.). It was not painful. Other than having to rest for the evening afterward, I had no side effects. I know that there is a chance of having a miscarriage following the amnio, but don't know anyone to whom that happened. I found the relief of receiving the amnio results (that my son looked fine chromosomally) was fabulous and really relieved my anxiety about the pregnancy. I hadn't had your experience, or anything like that (other than taking a year to get pregnant!), but it did relieve my anxiety. Good luck on your decision! E.

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I did not read other responses so bear with me if I repeat anything anyone has said:

You should think about the pros and cons of NOT having an amnio. What would you do if this or if that. . . . .Each person/family/couple needs to be comfortable with the decision, and what may or may not follow.

I was a 43 year old first time pregnancy.. . . and I felt that I should have an amnio. I needed to know what I was dealing with in order to make a considered and informed decision about the next steps. I actually miscarried (and was never able to get pregnant again - we're an adoptive family). So I didn't get to the point of making the second set of decisions.

a dear friend (39 then) most emphatically did NOT want an amnio. She was confident that the soul about to enter the world was meant to be a part of their family. Her second daughter was born with down's syndrome and health challenges but my friend was right. Their family is a strong, loving one and their little girl could not be more loved, or more loving. Little L. has brought a wisdom and grace and acceptance of 'other' to their entire extended family that is amazing.

I wish you much grace and calm as you consider the options, and advise you to trust that you will be able to make the right decisions for you, and your family situation.

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Hi I.. I am 39 years old and have 2 baby girls, ages 4 and 2. I was 36 when I had my 2nd baby. I went through midwives both times because I found that there are so many unnecessary medical "tests" that they scare you into doing. This stress transfers onto the baby. I wanted to have a peaceful, joyful pregnancy. Long story short, you have to ask yourself a few questions: What would you do if the amnio test resulted in a high percent chance of having a baby with down syndrome? Would you terminate the pregnancy? Or would you not no matter what anyway? That's up to you. Amnio is very risky, both to you and the baby. Would you want to risk that for a test that isn't 100% positive? I wouldn't do it. Most likely, your baby is just perfect.

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Absolutely not. It doesn't change anything unless you are willing to abort. You will be fine and so will the baby no matter what. Pray!

God Bless!
J.

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HI I.,
It took my husband and I three years to get pregnant with our little guy and we had to use IVF to get to this point. My IVF doctor discouraged getting any form of invasive tests done because there is a chance that it could cause a miscarriage (amnio and CVS).
He recommended we get the nuchal thickness screening (fetal anatomy scan) which is done entirely with an ultrasound. It basically measures the baby's neck to see if there is down's and it's quite accurate. This test is usually done around 18-20 weeks.

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It's SUCH a personal decision...I was in a similar situation with my first son when we got back screening tests that said he was 1 in 198 for downs. We went and did the genetic counseling appt and did a level II ultrasound. He had no markers for downs so we opted not to do the amnio. I'm so happy I didn't put myself through that...he was perfectly fine and downs free. BUT...I have another friend who knew she just wouldn't enjoy her pregnancy if she didn't do it and find out. Her daughter was just fine as well. Good luck...it's a tough choice.

-M

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Hi I.
I had my first child at 39 and had the amnio. I had no problems and it all went well. My girlfriend opted to do the earlier test and everything was fine. If you do have the amnio, just make sure you get a really good doctor.
I used Dr. Khalil Tabsh. He is amazing.

Good luck and congratulations!

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I was 39 when I had my 2nd and I never even considered it an option. Whatever choice you make you need to be able to say to your self that it was worth it. For example, if you got the swine flu vaccine and ended up miscarrying would you be ok with it? If you have the amniocentesis and you miscarry will it be worth it? On the other hand, if you had a baby with a chromosome problem could you handle it? One thing I do know is the stress you are creating from this decision is unhealthy for both you and your baby. If all else is pointing to a healthy baby it would make sense to me that you have a healthy baby.

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I would not do it. YOu would not be able to live with yourself if you had a miscarriage as a result. I had "screen positive" results with 2 of my pregnancies and did the amnio with the first one. It was a horrible experience. I started contracting as soon as they inserted the needle. Then I "code blued" afterwards and spent the rest of the day in the ER. And to top it off, I started leaking fluid later that night. I also tested positive on my 3rd pregnancy but did not do the amnio. My babies were born perfectly normal. 1 in 400 is a very low percentage. Just enjoy your pregnancy and move forward. Drs push so many of these tests now and it can get overwhelming. I wouldn't take the risk.

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I can totally relate to your situation I.! I'm 37 and just had my first baby 4 months ago. I too was offered an amnio but my husband and I decided to pass. Like many moms have suggested we ultimately decided that we wouldn't abort that late in pregnancy and the chances of anything being wrong were incredibly low. Someone else mentioned that the amnio is not a perfect indicator of a problem, that's true too. We thought that after having the test there would still be doubt about a problem with the baby. Not getting the test was the best solution. Relaxing and focusing on a healthy pregnancy was the best idea. Good luck!!!!

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What are the reasons for the doctor wanting to do it? If it's just an age thing...my first I was 30, my second I was 33 and my third I was 38, nearly 39. Age alone is not a reason. All 3 of my children are completely healthy, full term babies. I had an amnio with my second because he had some abnormalities show on the ultrasound and then I came up with a higher risk for downs. It started contractions after the amnio and I was on bed rest the entire weekend (it was done on a Friday). I was afraid I was going to loose him. The amnio came back all normal and he was born fine, the fluid was an immature circulatory system that worked itself out a month later from the initial ultrasound. My third I tested with a higher chance of Downs again. This time the ultrasound came back completely normal so we skipped the amnio, she is fine too. I would ask what your doctors reasons are and take those into consideration before making a decision. That could help put your mind at ease when you choose.

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I think the more information you have at this "earlier" gestation, the better. A person can't say what she would or wouldn't do in a particular situation, until she is actually faced with it. I wish you the best!!!

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I had my children at 35, 37, 39 and almost 43. I didn't do amnio with the first two, but did with the last two. At that age I felt a need to know ahead of time. I would not have aborted, just wanted time to educate myself if anything was amiss. All of my children were born healthy, thankfully.

Personally, if I'd just had recent D&C's, I wouldn't chance it. But that would be my decision. I wish you the best in your decision.

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A good friend gave me a piece of settling advice when I was trying to decide about having the test and the risk. He asked, "Would you do anything different if you knew the answer to the amnio?" I thought for a moment and said, "No. I have always wanted a child, and this is my time." So the answer to whether or not she had Downs wouldn't have caused me to terminate the pregnancy. Once you decide that answer for yourself, I believe you will have some peace.

I had my daughter at 37. She is very healthy, bright, brilliant, and the joy of my life. Best to you!

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Hi there
I know you've received so many responses already but I wanted to respond anyway. I'm with those who said If the result of the test wouldn't cause you to abort then why risk it? I've heard (not speaking from personal exerience) that taking care of a newborn downs baby is nothing different than taking care of a newborn without downs, my point being you'll have plenty of time to adjust and learn to care for your child should they be born with downs. There are tons of support groups and tons of info available if the need should arise. If you're thinking of doing it just for peace of mind I think if it were me I'd find the peace in the fact that I have a growing, healthy baby who is and will be loved unconditionally no matter what challenges arrive.

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Hi I.,

I was 36 when our daughter was born, and my doctor was quite old school. He could not believe that I declined the amnio, but that was the decision I made based on the fact that I wouldn't be ending the baby's life regardless of any diagnoses. Anecdotally, the instances of successful amnios among women I know are significantly lower than the ones where something went wrong. I *know* this is not how it goes statistically. But for me, the risk of damage or worse to the baby was not worth the trade off of learning that I was having a perfectly healthy daughter.

As you've said, the choice... and all of the subsequent choices you'll face down the road... are yours. I'm not telling you which way to go, only telling you how I made my decision. I wish you the best.

1 mom found this helpful

It's totally up to you. I had every non-invasive test done. I did not have the amnio. I didn't really see the point. If it found something, I wouldn't terminate the pregnancy. So, what was the point when there are risks involved with have it? Good luck and God bless.!

1 mom found this helpful

I gave birth when I was on my 42 and everything went perfectly well with my child. My doctor also suggested us to take that test but we have decided not to. Every child is a blessing from God, just trust in HIm coz He will give you the desires of your heart.

Blessings!

1 mom found this helpful

I had an amnio when I was pregnant at 38. It is a little uncomfortable but not really a big deal. That being said, if I had to do it again, I would have stuck with doing a nuchal thickness screening only. It is non-avasive (as far as having things put in your body) and you yourself can see the results. Keep in mind that though I think Dr.'s are generally well intentioned, their job is to look for problems and potential problems. Not looking for what is right and fine. Try and quiet your mind, I know, really tough to do when your worried, but try...and ask yourself if it feels like the right thing for you and then do the same and ask the baby. Trust your gut! I know how scarry it can be being an older mom and having all the Dr.'s treat you like you are high risk because of your age. Keep that in mind. Over 35 we are instantly concidered high risks so generally more tests will be recomended than if we were younger. Trust yourself! YOu know what is right for you and your baby! Good luck with your pregnancy and enjoy that baby! BTW, I was at 1 in 100 chance of having a DS and almost didnt do the test...but I have a cousin with DS and I did it so if he was I could be "prepared." Don't forget, trust your gut! YOu really do know what is best!

1 mom found this helpful

Hello, Congratulations on your pregnancy. Our daughter was 40 when she had our grandaughter. She was initially told that there was a chance that the baby would have Down Syndrome. She opted to not have the amnio done. There are things they can check invitro which are indicators of Down Syndrom. It was pretty positive that the baby would have it by the time she was born. The thing is, she and the rest of us were not as concerned about this as we were about the fact that she (the baby) was showing signs of other health problems. We all felt that Down Syndrome was more the cross for the baby to bear than just her's (our daughter's). As it turned out, our little precious grandaughter does have Down Syndrom. She is as much a blessing as our other grandchildren. She is bright and now healthy (had heart surgery and aorta surgery) and is just as adorable as she can be. Our daughter and her baby moved in with my husband and I since the "father" is not very supportive to the emotional needs of anyone but himself (even before the diagnoses even though he "wanted" a baby). We are all our little grandaughter's puppets. She has all of us (including her big cousins) wrapped around her little finger.
Some people have had the amnio done and have had false positives, so there is no guarantee that you will get the right results either way. I am sure it will all work out. Remember that God never gives us more than we can handle.
Good luck with your precious little baby.
K. K.

1 mom found this helpful

I was 38 when I was pregnant and opted not to do the amnio. This was my first pregnancy so I wasn't concerned with past problems, however, I did not want to risk anything with the amnio. I did go to a perinatologist and had frequent ultrasounds which showed no problems, and my two screening tests came back negative. When we were making a decision on the amnio, my husband and I thought about what would happen if it was done and came back showing some problem. We decided that it wouldn't change how we felt about having the baby. If there were chromosomal problems we would deal with it after she was born. I think that you need to decide on what is best for you. If not having the test is going to be more stressful than taking it, then you should probably go for it.

1 mom found this helpful

I take it the past pregnancy complications were something other than from an amnio. I had one and they are completely safe. I would do it, especially since I'm sure the doctor recommends it.

1 mom found this helpful

I think the most important thing to consider is if the results would change any decisions you would make? If not, then don't bother, although a lot can be said for peace of mind. I was 39 with my first and 41 with my second, had two amnios and have two very healthy kids. I was very anxious with the first - until my friend had it done a week before me and called and said it was nooooo big deal. Minimal pain, didn't feel anything during and cramp like after. But my regular menstrual cramps were worse than the amnio cramps. I was very glad my friend called to say it wasn't painful etc., and it did ease my anxiety to know my baby was healthy. I had a miscarriage 3 years prior and D&C so I felt it necessary to have the amnio. The Dr. who performed mine had done hundreds, so he knew what he was doing and it is very quick! Good luck, whatever you decide!

1 mom found this helpful

Here's my unexperienced advice. I've never had an amnio, BUUUUT, here's my thought. They are obviously going to be checking all the routine things, right? Is there anything they might find that will change the way they treat you or your pregnancy? Are there vitamins, pills, or therapies that might be altered or added in the event of any positive results? If nothing or very little would change, then I say don't do it. You're already at risk and anxious. If it won't change anything, then why do it? On the other hand they ARE doctors who perform these tests everday, and it IS a very common procedure, but it really is up to you. EVERYTHING that happens during your pregnancy, labor, and delivery is UP TO YOU, including vaccines, vitamin K, and silver nitrite (all given routinely as soon as baby is born, unless otherwise previously delcined). Just because an amnio is PROTOCOL, doesn't mean it's NECESSARY. There IS a HUGE difference. Sure listen to what the doctors have to say, ask questions like "why" and "what if...", but also always educate yourself. In order to make the best decision, you need to be well informed. You are in COMPLETE control over your own educational processes.

1 mom found this helpful

I would recommend having the test. If you do, your stress level will decrease dramatically. I had the test done during my second pregnancy and it really was no big deal. I was very concerned also, but the doctor that performed the test had me do the following: Take a small straw/coffee stirer and measure two inches below your belly button. Press the straw into your abdoman and hold it for a count of five. This is what the test feels like. Doesn't hurt and you get a day of bedrest.

1 mom found this helpful

I say don't do it. I was 38 years old when I had my first child and had similar numbers as you and from all the research I did, I decided it was less of a risk to not do the amnio.

I know you said you don't know what you would do or how you would feel if you had a baby with Down Syndrome, but I looked at it like this (and, I'm not super religious, just spiritual), if we had a baby with Down syndrome, then God felt we were not only capable, but the best match for this child. I have been through a lot as a child, and knew that whatever we were given, it would be a blessing that we could handle.

Needless to say, I wouldn't risk it with the amnio.

Just food for thought. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I.,
You should ask yourself what you will do with the information. Will you have an abortion? If so, then do the test. If not, then why do the test? Also keep in mind, those tests are not 100% accurate. It is a screening, so initial findings don't mean anything is wrong for sure. If you had 3 D&C's already, I don't think you will want to abort. Personally, I wouldn't do the test based on the doctor's opinion, there would have to be some evidence. Don't do it.

1 mom found this helpful

I was 37 and 38 when I got pregnant with my 2. I did not do it. I asked myself (and my husband, "If they do find Downs, would we terminate?" Our answer was no. It wasn't worth the risk for us because we would have this baby no matter what.

Ask yourself that question.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm 38 (was 37 at 19 weeks), and opted out of the amnio, but my scores on the screening were much lower. If you opt for it, I'd ask your doctor for technicians with a good record. According to my friend (a doctor who had one), she researched who at UCLA (where she gave birth) had a record of performing the test with no problems. This is not the time to have the new guy do a procedure. You'll have to be pushy about this, mind you. Hope that helps. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I am 39 and just had my beautiful baby girl almost 4 months ago. My test markers for Down Syndrome came back relatively high as well. Because of my age, I had several more ultrasounds during this pregnancy than I did with my first child. As my pregnancy progressed they continued to check for traits related to DS. Each time the news I received seemed more positive (meaning less likely to be DS). My doctor asked if I wanted the amnio but it was just not an option for me. I was not willing to take the risk. Many people suggested that the risk is very small, but none-the-less there is risk. It wasn't going to change anything for me either other than offer more accurate results. My daughter was born just fine.

Like you I was naturally very concerned, but the more I talked to people I discovered that a lot of women seemed to have high markers and in the end their babies were born just fine.

Remember, stress is not good either. Best of luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful

It is a very personal decision but I decided not to have the test when I was 38 and pregnant with twins. My husband and I would have the babies even if they had Down Syndrome so we thought against putting the pregnancy at risk. I hope that helps a bit. I am sure you will have a healthy, happy baby.

1 mom found this helpful

I think the answer is easy when you know if abortion is or is not an option for you in that circumstance. Talk to your husband, figure that part out and you'll have your decision on amnio.

1 mom found this helpful

I.,
I was 38 when I had my first child. My doc wanted me to have an amnio and I too freaked about it. I had heard really bad things about it but I then researched it and I was a teacher at the time and talked with some of the "older" moms and found out it was not what it use to be. My doc used an ultra sound to find the baby and stayed away from the baby. Yes it was scary but I didn't feel anything and the rest of the day I stayed off my feet. My MIL came and waited on me hand and foot. In the end it was the best thing for me and my baby. When I was 41 and had my second child I did the amnio without a problem. Good luck to you.

Hi!I've had an amnio before. I'm diabetic so i had to have one done. They're not that bad a little painful but not harmful to the baby. I've had 4 D&C and 3 births. Yes, 7 pregnancies. It's better to know what you're against this way you can prepare yourself. Hope this helps!
~M.

Hi I.,

I know you've recieved a ton of advice already, but if I may, my 2 cents: When I was stressing over the same question a couple of years ago, I realized that for me it was a question of: Would I want to terminate this pregnancy in the chance of chromosonal defects? I decided no. If my child was to be born w/ these defects, this was where my path lead me. For whatever reason, if any at all, I was destined to care for a child with this. I would try to embrace the richness that this path could bring. Another reason was this: I met a couple who were told their baby would definately have problems, and did not after all. I decided the most important thing was for me to be happy or comfortable so my fetus' life in my womb would be as pleasant as possible. Besides, the practice of Medicine is more an art than a science. So if you don't want the test, don't get it. period. your numbers came back good. even if they didn't, trust your own instinct that you are making the right choice.

Best to you...

I got pregnant at 38; my blood work came back positive and I had the amnio done. It was a very stressful proceedure. Not painful, but emotionally trying. My advice would be: if your result was positive for Downs, would you terminate the pregnancy? If your answer is no, then ask yourself why you would want the test done. My OB told me if I would continue the pregnancy regardless of the result, then there's no point in having the test. There is a risk of miscarriage; if you've had problems in the past there might (might) be a higher risk - ask your OB about that. If you will continue the pregnancy regardless of the test's outcome, then given your history, you might want to skip it.

Good luck, and let us know how things turn out.

Hi I. - sorry, I haven't had time to read all responses, so if this is duplicated, forgive me. First and foremost, CONGRATULATIONS on your baby blessing! Here is my advice, for what it is worth....I was 37 when I conceived, and would be turning 38 3 1/2 weeks prior to my due date. So, due to my "AMA" (advanced maternal age - HA!), my dr recommended we do "something" as far as testing goes, but gave me options. His first question to me was "if you have a baby with downs, will you choose to continue the pregnance?"..ABSOLUTELY, was my answer. So, his thinking was that amnio wasn't nececesarrily the best test for me. So he sent me for a diaognostic (sp?) ultrasound. that is a much better u/s than he does, and that u/s dr measures all the baby's bones, radius, etc.....heck, I just looked at it as getting a better picture of my precious angel! Anyway, he suggested we do that first and IF, something popped up that showed an issue with the brain, spine or stomach (intestional stuff), then we go forward with an amnio. That sounded pretty logical to me and I'm so glad I did it that way. I couldn't see the risk, regardles of how minimial, of the amnio after I had gone through so much to get pregnant. You are correct, it is your ultimate decision but I hope you find some peace in whatever you decide and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. It will go way too fast! feel free to email me direct if you have any other questions.

Don't do it especially if it's stressing you out. Many of the tests for Down Syndrome are not conclusive anyway. They just give you an idea of how likely it would be for your baby to have DS. I was 38 when I had my first and went through some mental agony about the tests as well. There are risks to the baby with the more intrusive tests. To me, they weren't worth it especially if the tests are inconclusive. I stopped at the ultrasound measurements. They were good enough for me and my baby is quite healthy. A girlfriend of mine had tests done as well and they came back positive but her baby wasn't born with DS. My advice is let it be and pray for the best. I hope this helps. Aloha.

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