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July 19, 2011 / Mettā Reiki Center

The Double Edged Sword of The Double Helix.


As of this week, I have cleared the 12 week mark.  Ken and I were delighted – we went into this miracle pregnancy against the odds, and for the first time we were finally able to relax.  For a few seconds.

 Because of my age (37 and damn proud of it), I was advised to go to a genetics counselor.  We met this nice lady who went through the battery of tests they were about to perform and reassurance that they figured everything would be just fine.  We had the ultrasound done to check the neck measurements of our baby (now nicknamed “Little Spartan”), who was quite mobile and even waved at us a few times – perfect heart beat (170!), perfect measurements, far from any area of concern.  We were elated.

 Yesterday, we went for our follow-up OB-GYN appointment.  No sugar in my urine.  Blood pressure normal (120/82).  A little extra fluid in my hands, but ankles still not “Hillary Clinton-esque”.  The doctor reviewed the ultrasound report from the genetic counselor’s office and was very pleased with how well Little Spartan was doing.  No concerns whatsoever.

When I was in the parking lot at the OB-GYN clinic, the genetic counselor called back with the test results.  Let’s just say that if it was on an A to F scale, I flunked. Miserably. 

 She led with the fact that my risk of having a child with Down Syndrome went from 1 in over 100 to 1 in 5.  I don’t remember much after that other than they wanted to schedule a test called “chorionic villus sampling”.  All I could get out was “OK, OK, fine” and dialed Ken’s number.

 Ken turned around, came back to the clinic, and was able to get back on the phone with the genetic counselor to get more information and numeric values, knowing that later on (after I finished my meltdown), I would be downright pissed and ready for some answers.  Our CVS test appointment, after Ken intervened, was bumped up from Wednesday to that afternoon, and at 1:30 we headed back to the genetic counselor’s office.

 Guys, if you’re reading this and tend to be fainty, skip the rest of this blog entry.  Go look at the Cartoon Network website or something.  The rest of you, read on.

If you are a mom considering going through a CVS test, might I recommend that you think long and hard before doing it.  Little Spartan is fine – Ken watched the ultrasound like a hawk throughout the entire ordeal and not once did they get close to our baby. The bad part is apparently the doctor couldn’t even get into the uterus. Unfortunately, I am anatomically screwed up (duh) and between a weirdly positioned cervix and a “tilted uterus”, after over an hour, they were unable to get a sample.  The doctor had to use an instrument to pinch an area of my cervix and pull it forward to try to get to the placenta.  Let it suffice to say that it was unbelievably painful – and on top of everything, it has to be done with an overly full bladder.  (Again affirming my stance that if this little tyke makes it to the delivery room, Mommy is getting an epidural, and there WILL be cheesecake after the birth…damn it.)

When the doctor came back in and said they couldn’t get a sample, I tried to be nice and thank him for trying but honestly, I was devastated.  The next step was an amniocentesis.  That means a needle going into Little Spartan’s warm cozy womb and possibly harming him.  I know the risk is relatively low after a certain point, but I also know that this little baby defied a lot of odds just to get to where he is.  I wasn’t thrilled about the prospect of giving the baby even tougher odds to battle.

 Then the doctor, in an attempt to be honest, threw me over the edge. “With your blood levels, the baby might not make it to 15 weeks.  If the baby has Down’s, they often don’t make it through the second trimester.”  I asked the doctor if there was anything possible that I could do from my end – I was willing to live in a bubble for the next 6 months if need be – to help this baby make it.  In summary, the answer was an abrupt “no”.

My mind spun.  For a flash of a second, I remembered back to earlier that morning, before this ordeal.  I had told the OB-GYN that my weight gain had been the hardest thing to deal with in my pregnancy. 

 I couldn’t help but wonder if God was punishing me for making that remark.

 The more I think about having an amniocentesis, the more I’m thinking I might give that doctor the same abrupt “no” in my most eloquent “bite me” tone of voice.  The CVS test was just a tad painful and seemed like an awfully long ordeal to expose Little Spartan to a probing ‘whatever it was’ that was trying to get a placenta sample – with nothing to show for it.  If the baby already has a long shot at making it into the world, I find it hard to justify the risk of an amnio.  Add to that the fact that Little Spartan is a very active baby and bounced around like Tigger thorough the entire ordeal yesterday…well, the prospect of putting a needle into the womb scares the hell out of me. 

Right now I am back home, on a bit of a modified bedrest for the next three days going through the “normal” bleeding and cramping that comes after a CVS test.  (I’m sorry, but there isn’t a damn thing “normal” about bleeding and cramping when you’re preggers.) 

 I have a call in to the genetic counselor.  I’m not going to grill her or fuss or be “that” Mom-zilla.  I have one simple question.  Is the amniocentesis going to improve Little Spartan’s chances of making it into the world?  It doesn’t matter if it isn’t a ‘perfect’ baby in her eyes – it will be perfect in our eyes no matter what and we will love it without limits.  I just want to know if having this test will better the chances of our baby making it.  Every statistic I have read and have learned with working in the medical field for the past 15 years gives me a screaming “NO”…but in a way, this is a bit of a test for this genetic counselor.  I want to make sure that their focus is in line with our focus – the well-being of our child.  I’ll let you know what the answer is as soon as I find out.

In the meantime we would appreciate all of the prayers and good energy we can get for our Little Spartan.




Leave a Comment
  1. julie / Jul 22 2011 2:48 am

    I love you, baby spartan!!!!

  2. Scott Taylor / Jul 24 2011 12:45 am

    I have a lot of respect for you two because it’s clear that you’ll fight every battle necessary to get your little Spartan into the world. I hope you’re spared any inordinate pain and the baby has smooth sailing the rest of the way.

  3. Dennis / Mar 8 2013 8:26 am

    What’s up mates, nice post and nice arguments commented at this place, I am in fact enjoying by these.

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