February 18th, 2010

Enough of you have asked me the same two questions that I realized it may be good to address them here.

The first ultrasound we got was just a routine mid-pregnancy ultrasound.  Medically speaking, it is often recommended to help detect difficulties that may be present.  The only thought in my mind as I looked forward to it was, “Now we will know whether we can call this baby Benjamin or Verity!”  So no, we were not following up on clues that something was amiss, since as far as we could tell, all was going well.

Amniocentesis is an invasive procedure that the doctor recommended to us on Tuesday.  It is over 99% accurate at detecting chromosomal abnormalities in the baby, but it also carries risks of triggering labor.  We do not have a moral objection to knowing this information before her birth, and at this point we would find out if there was a safe and inexpensive way to do it. We do have a moral objection to the risk to our baby’s life that this procedure would carry at this point in pregnancy.

In plain words, Verity needs to be kept safe more than her parents need to know what her chromosomes look like before she is born.

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10 Responses to “Amniocentesis”

  1. greta says:

    Praise God!

  2. Tami Swaim says:

    I remember when they talked to me about this screening with my last pregnancy with Moriah since I was 35. Mark and I were together. We listened to them explain all the tests. This test seemed so invasive and the risk surely does not match up with any benefit. We simply said that we are happy and fine about the ultrasound and the measurements that they take but didn’t want to do any other the other screens.

  3. Shari~hotfudgecustard says:

    Bless your heart! It grieves me that you’re having to answer this question for people. I agree with you — Keep that little one safe! You’re doing a great job mothering her already.

    Love you!

  4. Me too. I am sorry you are having to answer these questions. :(

    We don’t think the benefits are worth the risks either.

  5. Shannon says:

    ((((Susanna))))) I agree with the others, here. I’m sorry you are having to answer these questions.

    We also do not do this test.

  6. Susanna says:

    Oh ladies, I’m sorry I didn’t get to this sooner. NONE of the questioners were being anything but curious. They were not being critical, they were just wondering. I thought that if they had these questions, perhaps others would, too.

    As I researched this, it was heart-wrenching to realize how the majority of parents are deciding between the risk of losing a wanted perfect child to amnio versus their risk of carrying an unwanted imperfect child to term. I came across very few who were motivated by a desire to protect their baby, regardless of any imperfections. :(

  7. greta says:

    It was the last sentence in your post that made me breathe “Praise God” so if it seemed out of place at the time please forgive me…I do have a friend that lost her baby due to an amnio (she was 42 and worked at a hospital so she took it on a “due to your age, this is our procedure” factor). Well, PTL, she got pregnant again 2x and opted out of the test both times…she has a 5 and 7yr. old now :-)

  8. Barbara Coffman says:

    Hello, Susanna,

    You don’t know me, but I know your brother Jonathan and he sent me the link to your blog. 21 years ago (nearly 22 now) I had a little girl with Down Syndrome, Esther. I was on my soapbox during the entire pregnancy saying it was a bunch of humanistic propaganda that older moms had Downs babies, but God had some lessons to teach me! We had Esther at home and I had no prior knowledge that she would be Down Syndrome so it was a shock. I was nearly 45, so you’d think that I might be a little prepared, but I wasn’t. Esther was the 8th child in our family, so she had a big support group built in. She was healthy (thank the Lord) with no heart defect or anything that required immediate medical intervention. She did begin wearing glasses at 11 months but other than that, she’s been generally healthy.

    A few years ago, I read an article called Welcome to Holland. It likens your journey to a trip that you’ve planned to Italy. You read all the manuals, study the language, make your plans for what you want to see and where you want to go. Then you get on the plane and when you get off, the stewardess says, “Welcome to Holland!” You say, “Holland?? I don’t want to go to Holland! I wanted to go to Italy!” But you’re told, “Holland is beautiful, but different than Italy. You will learn a new language, meet new people, see new places, but you will enjoy it!” So it was a comfort and it is true. Your life is opened up to a whole new support group of mothers and their children who you would never feel a bond with until you are actually one of them. It is not always easy, but these children are sweet and pretty guileless–usually! Esther has a friend who is 3 years younger and who has given Esther a very normal childhood–being silly with her, taking her to Chuck E. Cheeses, etc. She recently wrote an article about Esther and calls her her best friend! I was so blessed by that.

    All for now. Good to be able to share with you.
    Barbara Coffman

  9. Susanna says:

    I remember Jon talking about you and your family, Barbara! Thank you for reaching out to us!

  10. Pam McDonald says:

    HI Susanna,
    I love your blog about sweet Verity. I also love Barbara and Esther! I remember when Esther was born–she was such a sweetie and still is. She helps her mom in many ways and just makes life more nice when she is around.

    lots of love,

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