Wednesday, December 9, 2009

1st trimester screening

In a few days I have an appointment with a perinatologist for first trimester screening. This is something that my new RE suggested that I did not have done in my last pregnancy. He said he recommends that his patients get first trimester screening as a way to obtain more information on the pregnancy.. although I'm not sure if he meant he recommends this to ALL of his patients- or just those who've had previous problems with pregnancy.

The perinatologist that he referred us to is actually the same doctor who performed my 20 week ultrasound last year (standard procedure at my obgyn). Apparently the appointment should last about 2 hours and will include blood tests and genetic counseling. A big part of the appointment will be gathering information to decide if we should do further testing (CVS or amnio). For a couple of reasons I suspect they may suggest doing testing: 1) I am now 35 :( and 2) because of my second trimester loss. As the appointment gets closer I am starting to get nervous. The main things that I am afraid of happening are:

- discovering that I am a carrier of some genetic abnormality that might affect all of my pregnancies
- that there is something wrong with the baby
- having to decide about CVS and amnio (both of which are invasive and in an ideal world I would prefer not to do either)

I am also feeling ambivalent about the appointment in general. On the one hand, I want to have as much information as possible about the pregnancy. On the other hand, any reassurance just feels like false hope. One year ago the same doctor performed a 20 week ultrasound/screening on my son and everything looked perfect. One week later he was dead- for unknown reasons.

I would love to hear from someone who has been through first trimester screening or testing. Has anyone reading this done CVS or amnio?


  1. CeCe, I wish I could offer some insight to comfort you, but I've never had first-trimester screening. Our post-20-week loss was pretty clearly based on me carrying triplets (my cervix opened too early, baby A's water broke, I went into premature labor...) so there wasn't any indication that early testing would be needed with this pregnancy. I'm so sorry that your loss was unexplained--I can imagine that must cause an added layer of anxiety, the not knowing exactly what happened. :( My thoughts are with you, and I hope you get some helpful answers/support here! (You could always share your concern/question with Mel over on Stirrup Queens if you haven't done so already--that might generate some helpful responses.)

  2. I've never had it either. Sorry, I don't have any advice.

    My doctor wants to do all those genetic screenings to check for Downs Syndrome, any of the Trisomys and other birth defects. This testing will be more than the standard tests (which I have opted to never do before). I will get the testing done (just blood tests) to appease my doctors, but I don't want to know the results. There is no way I will terminate this pregnancy, and we will love our baby no matter what. That is how I feel anyway. Good luck with everything. I hope it all goes well. Here's sending you a bunch of happy thoughts!

  3. CeCe -

    Thanks for your comments on my blog.
    I never had the screenings done with any of my pregnancies (since we didn't realize how high-risk they were at the time) but if I had it to do again, I would opt for only the ones that can be done by a simple blood test. No invasive CVS or amnio because there's some chance of the tests themselves causing the loss of a normal pregnancy. And because no matter what the results, there's no way I would terminate a pregnancy.

  4. Thank you for the comments, ladies. I am hoping that the blood tests will go well and I can rule out any further testing.