A Scary Hurdle

7:04 AM

I'm 16 weeks, 3 days today and I thought it was time to show a poor quality belly pic.
Taken as an after-thought this past weekend while taking a break from ancestry.

Starting to truly have a belly.

Dorien doesn't care. To him, I'm still his personal jungle gym and his favorite person in the world.
Such a sweet, sweet honor. How I love him.

But that's not the scary hurdle of which I speak.

There has been a certain event on my calendar for over a month, and it's been something I dreaded terribly.

A high-risk ultrasound.

Since I'm 35, my risk of having a baby with Down's Syndrome or something else is significantly higher than when I was 20. My OB sends all pregnant mommas 35 and older to this one high-risk Dr. for an ultrasound as a matter of course. It's been something I have not wanted to think about, and then suddenly, it was today.

As I understand it, starting out with no prior or family history of birth defects or abnormalities, at age 20, your risk for having a baby with Down's is about 1:1200.  At age 35, with no prior or family history, that risk goes up to 1:225.  Ouch. We should all have babies when we're 20, I guess. Too bad that was the last thing on my mind then!

One of the goals of today's ultrasound was to evaluate this baby for several markers which would indicate a high probability of Downs or another form of chromosomal (or otherwise) abnormality. It should come as no surprise to you that I was nervous. Would any result change the way I feel about this baby? No.
Would any result induce me to abort this baby? Never in a million years.
But I would very much like to be as prepared as possible should that be something I needed to prepare for.

The good news is that this baby appears to be perfectly normal in every way.  No measurements indicated anything other than "within normal levels" and the doctor did not recommend that I pursue any additional courses of action.  He officially removed me from "high risk" and given our measurements, reduced the likelihood of my having a baby with problems to 1:668.  Yay? Kind of confusing.

There's apparently a blood test that you can do that will tell you definitively if your baby does or does not have Downs (unless it comes back Inconclusive...wouldn't that be ironic), and it is a much safer choice than amniocentesis. So that was good to know. 

We didn't find out what we were having, and were just so happy to see functioning kidneys, stomach, throat, brain, bladder, four chambers of a heart pumping away at a rate of 145, the aorta, pulmonary artery, a full tummy indicating that the baby is able to swallow, the right measurements for humerus and femurs, the right head diameter and skin fold thickness at the base of the head....all these things looked lovely and for that, I am so grateful. 

I realize all life and its formation is in God's hands. And I praise Him for the privilege of carrying a child at any age. I praise Him for clearing this hurdle today.

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