18 Week Ultrasound Scared Me--20 Week Ultrasound Now Indicates Hydrocephalus

Updated on August 30, 2008
B.V. asks from Sherwood, OR
59 answers

My husband and I came from our 18 week ultrasound yesterday and the baby was curled up pretty tight (though we managed to confirm it is a boy!) and the technician could not get a good read on the head. As a result, they want us to have an additional ultrasound to see if the baby has Down Syndrome. They mentioned needing an amnio to confirm that definitely and that we should wait until we are in week 20 to have the 2nd ultrasound. Our doctor was reassuring and said we are borderline with this for now and that the odds are somewhere between 1-100 and 1-10 and that it may be too soon to tell and they want to make sure. We have no history of this in either of our families and are both 29. We left the office scared, confused and full of worry. We are trying to be positive (worse case it means that we have 90% chance of everything being fine) but it is hard. We will not terminate the pregnancy no matter what, but I am worried about having a needless amnio and putting the baby in danger. Please let me know your experiences on this as it would be able to provide some comfort right now. I think my husband and I may be getting ahead of ourselves with worry when the chances are small and the data inconclusive, but any hope would be greatly appreciated right now.

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So What Happened?

We came from our 20 week ultrasound yesterday and were told that the baby has hydrocephalus (most likely aqueductal stenosis) and we are now considered a high risk pregnancy. The doctors believe it is a random birth defect that caused the blockage and probably not a chromosomal issue. We were encouraged to have the amnio done to rule out other causes so we can work with our prenatal neurosurgeon. The amnio went well and we will findout the results in 10 days. I would really like to hear from anyone who has experience with this since we are scared, but anxious to learn more. We were told that there is great success with shunts put in to alleviate the fluid, but we won't be able to do that until after the birth of our son. We are going to have our son and want to learn all we can before the birth. Thank you so much for your thoughts, prayers and well wishes. We relocated from Chicago and my husband and I appreciate the added support from everyone here.

Featured Answers

E.S.

answers from Richland on

A friend of mine who just had a baby was told she had an 80% chance that her child WOULD have Downs Syndrome, even after the amniocen... thingy. Her son is 100% perfect and normal. I know that doesn't help with the amnio question, but I can't help with that part.

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M.B.

answers from Portland on

you do not have to have an amino if you do not want one just wait for the next ultra sound and look at it as a way to see the baby! Good luck!!!

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T.P.

answers from Portland on

Hello, I was an "older" mom and had ultrasound and Amnio twice. It is terribly scary and there are risks. But worry is not heathly either. I wish you the best of luck.

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K.C.

answers from Portland on

Take a deep breathe. The chances are very slim that there is something wrong. The doctor and tech are just being cautious, which for us moms isn't very comforting. We went through numerous ultrasounds with our second baby, because he was small, didn't move much, I had bleeding, etc. And of course the doctor was more than ready to give me a list of possible issues that might arise when he was born. We had an ultrasound a few weeks before he was born and the tech just stared at our folder. She looked at us and said you know most of this is normal and the baby could just be petite (I am only 5'1), the bleeding is normal as it wasn't heavy, and the not moving just means he is lazy as all the vitals were good. Have faith that whatever happens you are strong enough to make it work. You are a mom and we all have that knack. If you feel that a test is unnecessary then don't do it, follow your gut feeling.

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J.C.

answers from Eugene on

I had a similar situation...Around 18 weeks (I think) my bloodwork came back a little wonky, so my doctor sent me for a 4-D ultrasound and talked about the possibility of an amnio. Fortunately, the ultrasound showed that the chance of DS was super slim. We decided against the ultra amnio because of the risk (although very slight) of miscarriage and because we had already decided that we wouldn't terminate the pregnancy if the baby did have DS. We went back at 30 weeks (maybe 32), where they had a better view. The doctor said that we could still have the amnio at that point, as not only was their little risk to the baby, but if it did induce labor, he would probably be okay. We still decided no. I think this is a very tough choice and my advice would be to "go with your gut" and do what feels right. All turned out well with our little guy...he is happy and healthy. All the best...

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A.S.

answers from Eugene on

Since you will not terminate the pregnancy no matter what, I'd strongly encourage you to consider not going through with these tests. They create much unnecessary worry and are definitely risky for the baby and for you, including the psychological distress. Your baby is probably just fine and needs above all your love and your protection - you are the only one who can protect him from unnecessary dangers. I'd encourage you to trust your protective maternal instincts and devote yourself to filling and surrounding yourself and your baby with feelings of love and peace.

Prenatal ultrasound has never been shown to be safe, and there are serious concerns that there are significant risks involved (such as links with autism, which has risen markedly along with routine prenatal ultrasounds). Amniocentesis, as you probably know, is very risky. Doctors will not necessarily tell you all this - it's up to you to become really informed, as you are the mother. I'd suggest that you do more research about these procedures and their dangers so that you can make a really informed decision, in which you carefully weigh the benefits and risks, especially considering how the test results would affect your actions, and the effect on all of you from the whole process, including the time spent worrying and waiting for the results. Also consider the reality of the possibility of false positives and false negatives, which could mean that the results you get are simply wrong, and that sometimes when tests are considered inconclusive, they will simply order more and more tests, putting you through more worry and risk. Your child's nervous system is forming now, and he is learning whether this world is a safe place or not. What he needs more than anything is a peaceful, loving mother, who believes in and trusts herself and is willing to make the difficult decisions to the best of her ability.

If you do decide to go ahead with one or more of these procedures, you can help the baby through the processes by communicating with him continually, assuring him of your love and your intention to keep him safe, acknowledging your fears when they come up, preparing him in advance for the procedures, and communicating with him during the procedures and afterwards.

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K.S.

answers from Seattle on

B., I have to tell you that at EVERY SINGLE ultrasound I had with my oldest the doggone ultrasound tech found something that "was an indication of Down Syndrome." I'm not exaggerating. The (large) size of my son's head. His large feet.

With us, though, my sister-in-law had had a Down Syndrome baby about four years earlier. (She was 47, so was definitely in the higher risk category for this condition - but every ultrasound SHE had was "fine" and her baby shocked all of them.)

Anyway, I carry a genetic disorder and had done prenatal genetic testing through a CVS procedure when I was eleven weeks pregnant. Since the lab already had the sample, I had authorized the test for Down Syndrome as well. My son came back negative for everything and was just fine. BUT, they would have driven me absolutely bonkers with the "this is a sign of Down Syndrome" and "that is a sign of Down Syndrome."

If I had not already had the CVS, I would have had the amnio to rule out Down Syndrome - even though we were also under 35 (which is when the chance of Down Syndrome begin to increase). An amnio is a much lower risk procedure than a CVS - though it doesn't feel good for mom! I'm the type of person who does not like surprises and who does not like worrying over what ifs. You are extremely low risk for having a Down Syndrome baby, but what would it do for your peace of mind to know one way or the other? With my personality, I needed to know. (I'm a "hope for the best, but plan for the worst" kind of gal.) Some people (like my mother, for example) are eternal optimists and expect the best unless or until something happens to change that. So the decision for you really depends on what type of person you are.

But, I have to say that my DS niece is a happy, healthy, high-functioning little girl. She was a little slower to walk and talk but she's doing very well and her mom has a lot of assistance from state programs. My niece is expected to live a very full life - so, no matter what, I'm sure that everything will work out well for you.

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J.W.

answers from Richland on

With my last pregnancy I had a nuchal translucency test done. I was 39 years old so the risk of Down's was greater for me. The ytest consisted of a blood test done at 11 weeks and an ultrasound to look at the the back of the baby's neck. I don't know if you can have the bloodtest later than 11 weeks and have it be accurate or not. Anyway that test is completely non-invasive and I would recommend it if you're worried. They wanted me to follow up with and amnio too but I refused. I didin't feel it was worth the risk to my baby. She was born healthy by the way. Hope this helps you. It seems you have every reason to expect a healthy baby so try not to stress.

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T.J.

answers from Seattle on

I know it's hard to not worry but don't! They should wait until after the 20 week u/s to do the amnio, they might not need to after the 2nd u/s.

Our technician couldn't see our baby's spine and we had to wait two weeks to come back (there's a reason to wait 2 weeks, can't remember why) and I was worried for nothing, they just needed a better view to see what they needed.

One of my favorite dumb movie quotes is "worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but doesn't get you anywhere". Relax mama!

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P.M.

answers from Portland on

Put the worry aside as much as you can, B.. All the worry in the world won't change the outcome for worse or for better, except that YOU will have a lot tougher time while you're worrying.

In my experience, nothing ever goes as you worry or hope that it will, anyway. It will be harder, easier, harder, funnier, harder, more perplexing, harder, more rewarding, (and did I mention harder?), and, well, it will just be LIFE! It will be what it will be, and somewhere in our hearts we have already agreed to that when we chose to become pregnant. You've decided you'll have this child no matter what, so smile, pray, trust, and move forward.

Friends of ours have a daughter who is a dwarf. There was initial shock and despair (it wasn't apparent until after birth), and the adorable child encountered her own set of medical and physical problems as she grew into toddlerhood. The parents coped with each challenge as it arose, and there were always solutions of one sort or another. I'm happy (and blessed!) to see how equally delighted and loving the parents are with both their daughters, how much they have learned and grown, how they have become enthusiastic participants in a whole new "world" of little people that they didn't know existed.

Blessings! You WILL handle this, even in the unlikely event you have a Down child.

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M.H.

answers from Seattle on

I think that it is really important for people to understand about pregnancy screening tests. Things like the quad screen and ultrasound are used for screening, not diagnosis. Having them notice something on an ultrasound means that they raise the chances that there is something wrong, not that there is something wrong.

I think it is important to get some testing so you can find out about problems and deal with them. But there is a definite draw back in that these tests can cause needless worry, because human beings don't emotionally react to statistical increases with any kind of proportionality.

At any rate, i'm surprised your doctor gave you those numbers. I'd suggest a second ultrasound, but also requesting a consultation with a genetic counselor. You likely have more information about your baby's health (like the quad screen) that needs to be folded into the ultrasound information. A geneticist is going to do all this for you, and the results Can be quite different from those resulting from an ultrasound return alone.

Like other folks, i'd say an amnio is only worth it if a) you are going to respond to the results, which you say you won't, or b) you are really going to feel much better knowing for sure one way or the other. Your emotional state is important, too, and if knowing for sure will allow you to move on with your pregnancy peacefully then it is worth it.

Good luck!

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J.M.

answers from Portland on

Hi Brooke,

I know exactly how you feel. I was 28 when I had my first son. We did the test to see about downs and spina bifida. The tests came back positive for downs. We went to Emanuel Hospital in Portland for 'genetic counseling" and we were scheduled for a more thorough ultra sound and amnio. During the interview process regarding genetics, I was asked about the date of my last period and when she was able to compare those dates to the dates the clinic had (my uterus measured larger than normal for both my pregnancies so the Dr.s thought I was having twins until the ultra sound) our risk factor went down to almost nothing. We had the second ultra sound anyway and did not do the amnio test. Everything looked good on the ultra sound, and we were fine. I did not even think about it until I was in labor. We chose not to have the downs/spina bifida test with our next baby.

I would do the ultra sound and make sure your dates match with what the Dr is using. Hormone levels change throughout your pregnancy and on of the criteria they use to determine those diseases on your hormone levels.

Try not to worry too much and schedule the ultra sound and genetic counseling if thats an option.

Good luck

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M.B.

answers from Seattle on

B.,

I'm with TJ on this one. Neither of my two children have any major medical problems, but I did have a scare with my daughter.

She is 17 months old and had been born with VSD (hole in the lower part of her heart). By around 4 months old the murmur had gone away. We thought we were free and clear. At her 15 month check up there was another heart murmur heard. Terrified me no end, I though the VSD was back. We had to wait 6 or 7 weeks to get into the Cardio at Children's hospital to have an Echo done to see what was going on. Needless to say in that time I fretted myself away only to find out that she does not have VSD, but she does have a totally non-life threatening abnormal connection between two blood vessels leaving her heart called PDA. It's Latin and I'm not getting up to get the little half sheet they gave me. She'll go back next year to see if it's still there or not. If it is there would be a small, minor surgery to fix the abnormality.

Take a deep breath, let it out and relax. Repeat as often as needed until you are relaxed.

Melissa

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K.M.

answers from Seattle on

it is ok to worry. I always do about my pregos and my babies, but as my mother would say "don't borrow trouble". Think positive. at the next ultrasound the should be able to tell you about the downs just by head, neck, and nose measurements. it is really accurate too. wait until after that before thinking of the amnio. **also i have had friends that were told there baby was to be a downs baby and they were completely wrong. -good luck

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J.S.

answers from Seattle on

I feel for you that you left the doctor's office scared and confused. This should be a fun time for you both. My recommendation is to not get the amnio. Seriously, why have an invasive test when the information you receive from it will mean you will continue your pregnancy. I can understand the need for a test if the results change your delivery, for example further testing for a heart defect to see what kind of medical experts need to be present. If the doctor and you are just worried about Down Syndrome the child that you have will just be a baby that requires different support and approaches as it grows up. Big decisions do not happen right away, a few months prior knowledge is not pertinent.

Good luck, and again, I'd stay away from the amnio. My friend had an amnio at 7 months and lost the baby. Even a small percentage means it happens to someone. Weigh the value of the information to you versus the risk.

-J.

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P.K.

answers from Richland on

Hi B......I'm a 41 yr old SAHM with a 3 yr old and a 6 month old. Both of my pregnancies were considered high risk because of my age. We took every test offered, mainly so that we would be prepared if the results were not so good. With the technology today the risks are very slim. I would certainly do whatever you guys think is best and dont be swayed by anyone on the decision you make.

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M.D.

answers from Seattle on

Hi B.,
I just wanted to agree with some of the other ladies and say that it is your right to refuse the tests. If the results of the test are not going to affect your actions during pregnancy or anything during delivery, then why worry yourself til then. All that will do is be harmful to you and the baby. It is scientifically proven that we have different horomones running around in our bodies when feeling different emotions and it can affect our baby - so I know it's only natural to be worried, but try to put that worry out of your head and focus on enjoying your pregnancy and preparing for your beautiful baby to arrive!
When I was pregnant with my son one of my three midwives would measure my belly and decided that I had a big baby, she estimated by her measurements it was 14 lbs +. She brought out all these scary waivers since I wanted a natural delivery, saying that if my baby lost use of his arms because I was demanding a natural birth then they were released of all liability. I had a healthy 7 lb baby naturally with no problems - I wanted to ask her "where's the other half of my baby?"
Doctors have to notify you of any possible things that may be going wrong because if they don't you can sue them. So, sometimes they go overboard (to cover their butts) - and thank goodness most of the time they are wrong! :-)
So, you and your husband have to decide whether or not you want to know now for sure or not. And if you don't follow through with the tests, try to stay as positive as possible!
Good luck!
M.

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A.D.

answers from Portland on

I have had a several friends now who have been in your circumstance and everything has come out completely normal and they felt it was very invasive and scary and say if they had to do it over again they would have opted out of the procedures.
That being said, if by some chance your baby does have Down's, knowing beforehand wouldn't be a bad thing in that you would have extra time to research, gather advice and access services before you little one arrived. So I guess it is up to you whether you need to know or not.
Good luck to you! I am sure that you will do the right thing for you and your family!

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D.M.

answers from Anchorage on

Hi B.!

I'm about to have my first child as well. I'm due at the end of December and i'm also having a boy. I have had to do several ultrasounds because my little guy has been giving me trouble also. Done worry so much. I am having to deal with this advice all too much myself, but if you relax, God has a plan for everything. Listen to your doctor, if he suggests extra tests, TAKE THEM, there is nothing wrong with preparing yourself for the future. Just because someone says there is a possibility of something being wrong doesnt mean there is something wrong. My mother was told my little sister would come out with "lobster hands." When she was born she had all 5 fingers and all 5 toes looking just the way they were supposed to. My mom was told i would be a boy... well, i'm about to have my first baby in december...

Basically what i'm trying to say, Dont worry so much, you dont know exactly what is going to happen until it happens. You're blessed with a wonderful gift of being a mother, as am I. I think we BOTH need to just sit back relax and ENJOY the last few month of our pregnancy...

D. W.
PS>> If you want, you can keep in touch, It's always nice to know someone else that is going through the same thing. [email protected]____.com

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A.M.

answers from Seattle on

I would not worry, I have had 3 babies and 3 amnios, with no real problems. The only problem I had was with my last one, when I had an amnio at 36W 6D, I went into labor. But at basically 37W, there was no danger to the baby. I actually think they miscalculated my due date and I was actually about 39W. The amnio wasn't pleasant for me, but was worth it to find out what we needed to know about the baby. In my case, the lung maturaty since we knew the babies were all going to be delivered via c-cection a little early due to my previos c-sections.

In your case, if you are planning to keep your baby no matter what, (BTW: good job! I respect you a lot for that attitude) I don't know if you even need an amnio unless there is some special preparation you feel you need to do on the off chance your baby does have downsyndrome. Since the results of the amnio won't effect the outcome of your pregnancy, why put yourself through all that. It sounds like no matter what, you will love your baby so maybe the stress can be avoided of an unnecessary procedure.

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A.F.

answers from Spokane on

I had a genetic marker at my 20 week ultra sound. I did not do the amniocentesis as i knew either way I would keep the baby and also didnt want to take the risk or the pain. they gave us another ultrasound and my baby was fine. She has no problems whatsoever and we do have downs in my family. However, my mom was 40 when she had my little brother.

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B.G.

answers from Seattle on

I had two pregnancies (twins the first time and a singleton the next) that resulted in 3 beautiful children. With both pregnancies I had amnios, as I was older than 35. I had a high risk Dr. for the first pregnancy because of twins and my age of 35. Being a high risk OB, he was very skilled at amnios. He delivered all my children, too. I recommend that you find a high risk OB to perform the test, or be sure your OB is skilled and practiced in performing the test. There is also a great book called The Pregnant Woman's Comfort Book that you might benefit from. Also an audio tape by Belle Ruth Naparstek called Healthy Pregnancy and Successful Birth that provides beautiful visualizations and affirmations for the course of your pregnancy and birthing. GOOD LUCK!!

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C.M.

answers from Portland on

B., I am so sorry that you have had this worry put on you. I will tell you I had a very similar experince with my son who is now 3.5 and full of life! My husband and I made the descsion that since there was no way we would terminate we would not go through the amnio, and just trust that we would not be given anything more than we could handle. in the end our son was born healthy and happy, and I could not be happier with the choices we made during the pregnancy.

My thoughts and prayers are with you, and I know that you and your husband will do what is right for you.

Good luck!
C.

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J.S.

answers from Portland on

I had a Amnio when I was pregnant with my first son and I was ONLY 16! They were worried about Down Syndrome too. Everything was FINE!!! If you do have to get one it's really no big deal. There are some risks but all in all actually a pretty safe procedure! I was sooo freaked out. I thought forsure something was wrong but My lil man was GREAT!

Hope this helps!

~Jenn~

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B.W.

answers from Portland on

Oh how I feel for you! My 16 week labs came back with a 1 in 24 chance of my baby having DS (most women my age have a 1 in 1600 chance!) I chose to have the amnio as well, but it was the worst 2 weeks of my life! My baby came back perfectly healthy, and I hope the same for you as well! Stay positive, I know it's hard, but the odds are definitely in your favor.

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V.W.

answers from Eugene on

Im soo sorry that you got scared from the ultrasound!! What a bummer! I was 35 when I was pregnant, so the doc suggested that I get the amnio, but as you have said, we were not going to terminate if there was a problem. So, why put yourself through the worry? especially when the tests are not 100% . If the test wont cause you to do anything different why take it? The second ultrasound would probibly be a good idea, but only if YOU want it. Relax and enjoy being a pregnant woman, its a fun and beautiful time in your life! Dont let the doctors scare you into doing something you dont want to do with statistics that are really a moot point anyway. Its your pregnancy and your life. Enjoy it! Take care!
V.

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S.S.

answers from Seattle on

You don't have to have the amnio at all. I was 37 when I got pregnant with my son and had all the tests, etc., but because we said we wouldn't terminate, no matter what, the doctors agreed there wasn't much point in having the amnio. Fortunately everything turned out well and we have a beautiful healthy, happy baby boy!

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S.Y.

answers from Portland on

B.,
I totally understand your concerns. I have 15mos old twins and am due with a singleton in Feb. I am a 38 and took the preliminary blood test to screen for Downs and trisomy which came back with high numbers so I had to go in for a speciality US in Portland which brought us back to a low risk for both. I am having my next US at 19 wks and I am told that will lessen the chance of Downs by 50%. We have considererd the Amnio to be sure either way. The Amnio (In my opinion has a relatively low risk) and I had one with my twins to check lung maturity(it was not too bad). If you will not terminate either way, then I would not worry about the Amino. I have a few friends that also tested high for Downs and their kids came out just fine. Even my Dr. said these tests can be just an educated guess. I wish you the best.

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T.R.

answers from Eugene on

Hello B. and Congrats-I too am going to be a first time mom in Dec 08. Being a more mature mom at 38 we went through all the statistics as well and what I found out after not being sure about having the amnio is that if your are not planning to terminate the pregnancy no matter what there may not be a need to do an amnio downs syndrome is the only reason for the test. Also, there is a increased risk to miscarry by having the amnio so you should probably ask your docter about that risk as well to help you make your decision. There is also a chance of false positives when it comes to all this testing so try not to worry too much!

T.

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R.M.

answers from Portland on

I am on my second pregnancy. Both of them I have been told that I am at an elevated risk for Down's. This is based on a blood test taken at 16 weeks. My first one does not have down's. We went to the NW Perinatal center both times, and had a counselor explain to us our options. We too were not going to terminate no matter what. So, we decided against an amnio both times. An amnio does carry a risk of terminating the baby. So, even though the risk was small, we could not live with ourselves knowing our need to know something caused a baby to die. Down's is not family related necessarily. It is pretty random. The risk increases with the age of the mother.

We'll see this time. My baby is due in 3 weeks. I still do not know what the outcome will be.

My advice to you, if you will not terminate, is don't bother with the amnio. It does have a risk, though small. But, could you imagine that you accidentally terminate it from the amnio, and find out it did not have down's? Pregnancy is scary, and its about probabilities and crazy tests and numbers. Hang in there. Good Luck. You can ask me more questions if you would like.

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B.L.

answers from Jacksonville on

If the risks outweigh the benefits (for you) of doing an amnio, and the results wouldn't change what you do, then save yourself the worry and don't do it. There's no risk in another ultrasound, so just do that. You'll find out for sure as soon as the baby is born anyway. There have been too many cases of doctors recommending abortion or filling parents with worry, when nothing whatever was wrong. It does happen - we all know someone with a downs child; I know several, but I've never known anyone who didn't love and cherish that child just the same. A lot of times doctors, particularly OBs, are protecting themselves from lawsuits down the road, because there's always a jerk who wants to sue. My first son was premature and has hemophilia. So I was sent in to a high risk clinic for genetic counseling when I was pregnant with my second son. I grew up with hemophilia in the family (my dad has it, which makes me an obligate carrier, so my sons all have a 50/50 chance of having it). So I knew a heck of a lot more about it than the "genetic counselor", and the prematurity of my first son was a fluke (my amniotic fluid was infected, so he wanted out of there), so it was all a waste of time and money. So when my second son was born, they took precautions when I had him, and then tested the cord blood when he was born (just as with my first son). The second one doesn't have it. Anyway, I learned in an infant psychology class in college that worry and stress from the mother sends those worry hormones right on to the baby, which is not so good. So my advice would be to lighten up, and take what life gives you, and don't do anything that makes you uncomfortable that needlessly puts the baby at risk. Also, trust your own instincts! Get their recommendations, and make your own informed decisions from there. You're going to make a fine mother!

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C.K.

answers from Seattle on

I definitely would not get the amnio mainly because of the risks. The chance that you could lose your baby is much scarier than the chance of down syndrome. Ultrasound has a very high rate of false positives for many things including down syndrome. The amnio will cause a weakened bag of waters (which is why there is a risk of miscarriage I believe). So assuming there are no problems before labor you will likely have your water break earlier in the labor process (or before) which is not ideal for labor or birth (though many doctors do break the water anyway to speed labor). I would try to not be scared, you are still young. I've always heard that 35+ is the age when down syndrome rises dramatically. See what the second ultrasound says but even then remember the rate of false-postives. Best wishes!

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E.S.

answers from Anchorage on

Hi B.,

A good friend went through a similar experience--at an ultrasound she was told that they couldn't find something in the brain... don't remember what was wrong exactly, but they told here there was a good chance the baby would have significant mental and physical disabilities. The ultrasounds that followed didn't clear anything up--just added to her worry.

Right before the baby was born they switched pedi (they had an older son) and he told her not to worry at all--it was most likely a glitch with the technology, not the baby. Sure enough, 3 years later and they have a healthy 3 year old boy.

Best wishes and ((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))) to you!

E.

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J.H.

answers from Portland on

Do some research on amnios. They have a high rate of terminating the pregnancy by rupturing the sack. If your baby has Down's, it has Down's whether you have a test or not. I have seen so many women go through hell with tests that give false positive results. GIve it to the Lord and enjoy your pregnancy, your baby and birth and love that little life with all you have.

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D.B.

answers from Eugene on

I had my first pregnancy at 43 (unplanned). I had a different test due to my advanced age. Everything was fine. If you wouldn't terminate the pregnancy no matter what, then it seems that the amnio isn't really necessary. The best thing you can do for your child is keep your stress level low so that you aren't pumping it full of stress hormones. That can also affect the way it develops. (I know, one more thing to stress out about). Just think about how much you love it, love your husband, love your life.
My son is now getting ready to start 2nd grade. He is a great kid. I hope this is helpful.

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M.S.

answers from Seattle on

B. -

Oh, I totally feel for you. At our 20 week ultrasound we were told that our baby (now 7 month old daughter) had 2-vessel umbilical cord, which put us into high-risk monitoring for the remainder of our pregnancy. We hadn't done any of the genetic testing (e.g., quad test) and chose not to do that or have an amnio after the 2-vessel cord diagnosis, although we did have lots of regular ultrasounds and non-stress test monitoring. There were all kinds of risk factors correlated to the cord that scared us both a lot, but we chose to focus on the much greater chance that everything would be FINE than the smaller chance that it wouldn't. We also had no intention of terminating if we found out otherwise. Things turned out great - totally healthy baby. But all of the high-risk stuff, including a few hospital visits and a hospital birth (we'd wanted a birth center), did put a much scarier spin on the whole experience. That said, my husband and I still loved our pregnancy experience.

Now, I realize that Downs is a totally different situation, and the risk factors are different. Above all, if you trust your provider, trust their advice. But I would say take it one step at a time. See what the 20-wk ultrasound can tell you and your provider about your situation, and don't make a decision on an amnio until after you that information. Weigh the risks of the amnio with the potential for definitive information, and also against the majority probability that your baby doesn't have Downs. You want to be able to enjoy your pregnancy - it's an amazing time.

Finally, if knowing for sure is really important to you, get the amnio if it is indicated.

You and your husband should choose whatever path makes you most comfortable and able to embrace this time. Just do it with all of the information and advice of a trusted provider.

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K.L.

answers from Seattle on

Try to maintain a positive attitude.

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M.T.

answers from Seattle on

My friend has had (sneeze/urge) urinary incontinence since she got an amniocentesis. There is also evidence that babies don't like ultrasounds. The rapidly multiplying human cells are disturbed by radiation. Any conscientious doctors with whom I have spoken about this say that they get as few ultrasounds for their babies as possible.

If I were definitely not aborting, this would be a time in my pregnancy to sit and meditate while I watched the sensations accompanying worry change to acceptance. Amnios and ultrasounds won't make anything better. Sending thoughts of peace--

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A.T.

answers from Portland on

Hi- I too was told to get an amnio bc I was 30 and the blood tests I took said I was high risk. It was horrible waiting the 2 weeks to have the amnio, then longer to get the results, which said everything was fine. If I were you, and you would have the baby either way, I wouldnt have it done. My first baby I had with midwives, etc and no prenatals with ultrasounds, etc. I wish I would have gone that route the second time too, but insurance doesnt cover midwives and homebirthing. Good luck, and stay calm. Everything is just fine I bet. :)

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M.R.

answers from Portland on

I too had a scare when pregnant with my first. I took the quad-screen test and it came back with an elevated risk of Downs so it was also recommended that I have an amnio to find out for sure. I was told that the risk of a misscarriage due to an amnio is less than half a percentage. My husband and I decided to have the amnio because it was either that or worry for the next 4 months about it which we felt was also not healthy for the baby either. Fortunately for me it all turned out fine and I hope the happens for you.

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M.H.

answers from Seattle on

Hello B.,

If don't plan on terminating the pregnancy, an amino is NOT necessary and in my opinion an unnecessary risk.

I did not have an amino with my pregnancy - we would not terminate as well. The only reason for us to have an amnio that we could think of(I was told all that you were told too) was to educate myself about raising a Down baby. But I was prepared to educate myself when we crossed that bridge.

We did give birth to a very healthy baby without downs, however she spent 6 weeks in the hospital as a "Feeder and Grower". While in the hospital, we were next to a VERY sick baby who was born 12 weeks early as a direct result of a bad amnio infection. The mom was sick that she went ahead and had an amnio when she had zero plans to terminate even if she had downs.

There are 1000's of amnio done everyday that are successful and give parents a great peace of mind that all is well. But if you don't plan on terminating even with a downs baby, then the amnio is an unneccessary risk that you don't have to take even if your doctor suggest it. Most woman want the amnio, so I think doctors are taken aback when a woman says no to the test, I know mine was and asked me multiple times if we planned on doing an amnio.

There are risks with a lot of things in life....this little "test" is just the beginning of the worrying things that your "little one" will throw at you. Parenting are little hills of challenges to help to make you stronger.

Wishing you lots of peaceful times during your pregnancy.

Positively,
M.

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J.S.

answers from Seattle on

I would take the second ultrasound before the amnio since less risk is involved.
Two weeks can seem like an eternity of waiting, but it is two weeks until the normal time for ultrasound. Then they can have a comparison and hopefully the baby will be more cooperative.
Don't freak yourself out about the possibilities yet. Just read a few basics, if you need to prepare yourself slightly or want to ask good questions at your next appointment.

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J.C.

answers from Seattle on

Of course you are worried--- ( and what expectant Mom/Dad doesn't????) These tests are important- and OFTEN create needless anxiety- exactly as you describe. Here's my hand across the '''printed word''' -- we are with you - and I can't urge you too strongly to be really selfish and take care of all 3 of you the best you can-- I'll be ''listening'' for your reports--

Blessings,
Old Mom
aka- J.

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A.D.

answers from Seattle on

I know so many women who have had false negatives. They wanted to run every test in the book on my daughter and I refused them all. If she was born with a syndrome we would deal with it when the time came. 1 in 200 babies are affected by amnio. and chances are your baby is fine. Talk with your husband what you are willing to do and remember, you can refuse all prenatal screening and find out at birth. You will be prepared since the doctor has planted the seed. What we did do was another ultra sound since it in non-invasive. False negatives happen all the time. Do what feels right and remember you don't have to do anything you are not comfortable with. Side note: Every month I had an ultrasound and the Dr. said every time 'what did the amnio report say' Every time I said the same thing--I didn't have it and I won't. There is a lot of pressure to have them but they are not medically necessary. Go with your intuition!!

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L.A.

answers from Seattle on

It's OK to be worried - I know at least five people that have had the "scare" and all turned out fine. So hope for the best and know regardless you are going to have a very special baby.

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C.R.

answers from Portland on

I had the exact same thing happen to me. At 18 weeks I had an ultrasound with the results of possible downs syndrome. We were also expecting a son. We didn't have amnio, but was determined probably not downs, but I was so scared. They readjusted my due date to be two weeks later stating the measurements were off. I went on with the remainder of my pregnancy. He was born at 39 weeks, 8 lbs 7 oz. No downs syndrome. Thank God, but, he did have something. At two days old under suspesions of sepsis, it was discovered that he had a heart defect. One that was life threatening. Not to scare you more, but I would ask for a cardiac fetal ultrasound. They missed seeing the heart defect looking for downs syndrome. 1 in 100 children are born with a heart defect.
Almost all are boys. My son DJ is 5 years old now and is starting Kindergarten and lives like any other 5 year old, no restrictions, although he takes meds.

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J.J.

answers from Portland on

B.,
I was 28 when I became pregnant with my first child. At the same time my receptionist became pregnant with her first child at 24 yrs. They did the basic tests and said that there was a percentage (sorry, many yrs ago, it was below %50 chance) that her baby may have down syndrome. She became very upset and I reminded her, as I was pregnant and had done all of the reading that these tests, and even the additional tests you pay for if there is a chance that your child has down syndrome have a very low % accuracy rate. 2nd I asked her if she decided to pay for the additional tests would she terminate her pregnancy (I do not judge either way, to each their own) she said no. So I asked knowing that, is it worth paying the extra money and stressing you and your baby out with additional tests where the accuracy rate, % is of such low accuracy. She decided against the further testing and had a beautiful healthy down syndrome free baby girl. Then when I was 30 I became pregnant with my 2nd child and guess what, the general tests that they take said there was a %, low percentage chance that my baby had down syndrome. My husband discussed the further testing (our first baby had no signs on the tests and opted out on the further testing, she was born perfectly healthy and beautiful). Second baby we opted out for the further testing again, I became pregnant easily, but had very rough pregnancies (sick whole pregnancy, a few small strokes and bells palsy) I knew we would not terminate our pregnancy regardless (again, i do not judge, I think this is every persons right and personal choice). (We have no history of down syndrome on either side of our family, hyper activity yes, but not down syndrome). I don't deny it scared me, but I knew down syndrome child or not I wanted our 2nd child. She was born perfectly healthy, no issues. My cousin had the same thing happen a yr later, test rated a % chance of a down syndrome baby...perfectly healthy. But I must tell you, I decided long before this should I have a child that had down syndrome, he/she would be an amazing blessing. A friend of my sisters unexpectedly became pregnant many years ago. I met her beautiful sun with down syndrome when he was I believe 8 months old. He was as beautiful as any other child I had ever seen. I felt absolutely in love with him and he made me, a woman in the corporate world, independent, never wanted to get married, wanted children some day; he pulled my mommy strings and made me want a baby so badly. He was the most beautiful little boy, down syndrome and all. And ultimately I knew no matter what, when I had children, I would take what ever I was given. My sisters friends had another child who was born healthy and without down syndrome 2 yrs ago.

I think a lot of these tests make people worry more than they do good. Your doctor should have a pamphlet with the further testing you can do and the percentage of correctness in readings of each test ( quite disappointing in my opinion, but you can judge for yourself) and you can decide if this would better help you prepare should your child have down syndrome, or make you freak out . I hope this helps a little bit and happy future baby !

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J.B.

answers from Portland on

When I was pregnant with my 4th child, they told me the ultrasound showed Down Syndrome because his long bones were much too short. We were stressed and worried for 3 weeks.
I was sent to the San Francisco Medical Center for the amnio. They first took another ultrasound and then laughed. I was told that he did have short long bones - but only if his parents had been over 6ft. tall. Since we are both shorter people, his bones were fine. The amnio was cancelled and we had a beautiful son with no problems. He is now 18yrs. and still shorter than I am, but a very healthy, active young man.
Your little one will hopefully stretch out enough let them get better pictures next time so they can know he is fine.
I know you can't help but worry, but remember, they were not certain there is a problem. It's just a precautionary test. Hopefully you won't need it.
J.

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D.L.

answers from Portland on

My twins both had indicators of down syndrome - and of course I worried and worried, but they were fine! I never did the amnio. Like you, I would not have terminated so I just resolved in my heart that if they have it then they have it and if not then they don't! It became reasonably clear in later ultrasounds that they did not and I just decided not to worry about it anymore. I hope your baby is just fine, but if not then everything will still be ok. sad at first but ok. I have one child with a disability and I felt sad for a while but it really opened my heart to loving disabled children and I have come to feel honored that I was entrusted with caring for one of these special ones ... D.

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K.B.

answers from Portland on

If you would keep the baby with or with out Downs, do you really need to know in advance. It won't change the rest of the pregnancy. There are risks of losing the baby with doing an amnio. If it is possible to relax and not worry to much about it I would suggest not having the test done and just wait, But if it's too much of a worry and you can handle the risks in testing go for it. I would prefer to wait and find out at birth. it's still your beautiful child either way.

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B.A.

answers from Richland on

If you will not termintate your pregnancy no matter the outcome (I applaud you for this!), is there really a point in having the amnio? As far as I know, there is nothing that can be done to change anything since you're talking about the possibility of Downs and not spina bifida or another condition that can have something done to fix/prevent problems. If it were me, I think I would talk to my Dr. and find out if there is any reason for the test other than just knowing. Also, I may be remembering incorrectly, but I believe Downs is one of those things that has a very high false positive result to the test. If having the test will help relieve your fears, go for it. But otherwise, I would just go about preparing for the baby to come and love him like crazy when he gets here! Congratulations!! - B. =)

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A.G.

answers from Eugene on

I do feel for your worry.

It won't change anything about what you do, so, why go through it?

Good friends in my life went through a scare about their baby. They were told that the baby may have, simply, water on the brain. They went through weeks of worry, then went to a speciaist to be told that everything was normal and fine.

When the baby was born, she was actually born with what they originally suspected, along with other things.

Please realize that this is not meant to scare you futher, just to show, they can be so very wrong. And it can be so very devistating. Unless it is a defining, potentially deadly result, why do you have to go through the tests?

On the other hand, you will now worry no matter what. The test may aleviate that, and...there are some that believe that you take all you can get. The are just challenges, not definitions.

I know so little, but, I really thought there were age and/or history components that must be present to be in danger of this.

Good luck and best wishes to the 3 of you.

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L.B.

answers from Richland on

My advice would be to pray about it and ask God for advice. If you really don't want the amnio then don't do it! It is very risky to you and the baby. You are the parent and you know what is best. Just because the baby is laying in a tight position don't mean the baby has down syndrome. When I was pregnant with both of my pregnancies my husband and I didn't have the test to find out if the baby was at risk for down syndrome. We knew that I would still have the baby either way and it would just cause us unwanted worry and the test is faulty anyway and inconclusive. (the initial blood test not amnio) I would go ahead with the 2nd ultrasound since that isn't invasive and it's fun and forget about the amnio since you will go ahead with the, God given and obviously wanted, pregnancy anyway. Good luck Sister! Remember that God can take away your worry and angst if you just go to Him with your needs and prayers. And He doesn't give you any thing that you cannot handle.

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B.L.

answers from Seattle on

What a difficult time for you. Just by posting this, you have a lot of moms praying for you. Please take this time to strengthen your relationship with your husband. I won't say relax because I know personally how hard it is to have a worry like this and have a complicated pregnancy x2. You will be in my thoughts and prayers as I am sure you are in the hearts and prayers of all of the other mommies too.
Hugs, B.

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M.D.

answers from Seattle on

If you are resigned to NOT terminating no matter what the outcome, then don't have an Amnio. It is not worth the risk and it is your choice, not the doctors. At my 20 week ultrasound with my daughter they told me she had a possible heart problem which may or may not mean other possible birth defects. with our midwife we monitored her heart rate and her growth (both of which were fine) and didn't even do another ultrasound before she arrived healthy (9 pounds) and fine at 38 weeks. I wish you all the luck with your next ultrasound!

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D.T.

answers from Seattle on

I'm sorry your going through this. I would be terrified, but at the thought of something being wrong with the baby, the amnio is no big deal really, they give you an ultrasound at the same time to make sure the needle is going where it should and doesn't disturb the baby in any way. they numb the area. it's really not that bad it was done before i knew it and couldn't even tell where they went in.you'll be fine I promise. I'll pray for a good outcome on the test.. god bless.. D.

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L.R.

answers from Seattle on

Dear B.,
Congratulations on your pregnancy! Please dont worry too much over this. You need to know that it is entirely your choice whether to have an amnio. I was told similar things with my now 14 month old (perfectly fine and beautiful) girl. The docs said that due to my age and pregnancy history (not a good history), my chances of having a child with Downs or other syndromes was high (I dont remember the actual % anymore)and that I could have an amnio to verify. My husband and I discussed and like you, decided that it would not make a difference (no termination) so we decided to let life take the course that was chosen for us. I have had lots of problems with previous pregnancies and was high risk due to those and health complications but getting thru the 4+ months of wondering if we had a child with special needs was scary. I did alot of research and had numbers/e-mails of help groups on the standby all the way up until after I gave birth to her. It was a comfort to know that there were LOTS of help groups out there to help us if we needed it. I had no doubt that our decision to not have an amnio was correct - we would love her no matter what and that is what you have to think of in these months to come. I had alot of ultrasounds throughout and not one of them confirmed anything eihter way. We kept praying and to tell you the truth, when I went into labor, I could have cared less. I forgot about my worries and was didn't even remember what I was concerned about once I saw her for the first time. I know first hand that no amount of wishes and concern I can give you will really help your fears - just keep praying and remember that no matter what, that this is your child and you love it with every fiber of being. The chances of having a baby with Downs or any other syndrome is actually fairly low and yes, the amnio will/should tell you if you have a child with special needs but if it doesn't matter to you either way, I say no...don't take the chance with the needles.

Again, congratulations and just take care of yourself. The fun is yet to begin!

L.

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C.G.

answers from Seattle on

We had the same scare with our 2nd baby. He's fine,totally normal. If you have your ultrasound is a certain span of a week, it can show signs of downs.....it's a common result. We had the high-resolution ultrasound netxt & everything was fine. He's now 6 & totally normal! The amnio may have something to do with your age, they require it after 30, & encourage it when results aren't what they expect. I was positive there was something wrong the way the tech scared me & it turned out fine! Good luck!

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C.S.

answers from Portland on

Hi B.,
I know it's a scary time. My sister-in-law and her friend both took the down syndrome test and both came out positive. The doctors then wanted to do an amino. Because both knew they wanted to keep the baby either way so they both chose to not do the amino. Both babies didn't not have down syndrome. They were healthy as can be. Because of both of their experiences I chose not to have the testing done for see if their is down syndrome. I figure if my husband and I wouldn't terminate the pregnancy then why stress me out. My sister-in-law had high blood pressure because of the worrying that the baby might have down syndrome. Of course, it's up to you. But just remember their are risks to having an amino. Good luck! Try to remember that worrying will stress your baby out and not change anything.

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