12 week Blood Test Drama

After my amazing first scan I ended up being one of those people who get a call to say that something was wrong with their 12 week blood test. Just as I thought I had learnt to harness the power of  positive thinking, it was tested resulting in my old friend Mr  Anxiety showing me that I wasn’t quite the Positivity Guru that I thought I was.

My Papp A levels were low, this shows how well the placenta is functioning. My HCG levels were also high as though I had twins or something. Overall both blood tests indicated that we had a 1 in 65 chance of having a baby with Downs Syndrome.

I know that lots of people cope fine and love life with their child who has this condition but this scared me. I chose to see specialists at Kings to get a CVS test. It was quite overwhelming when I saw how many specialists there were in the room (about 6 I think) but I felt quite relaxed, happy that I would be more informed.

The test involved the doctors putting a long needle in my belly to get some placenta to test the cells to be able to know conclusively if our bubba had downs or another condition like cerebral palsy.

When they injected me with the anaesthetic before collecting samples of placenta that hurt but apart from that I just felt slight internal pulling.

I was impressed with how well I handled the test but waiting for the results was horrible.

I found myself googling and looking into forums about those who had the tests and what they found. I now know that you should never ever google when you are worried about something that you can not control as this just made my anxiety worse. On the day the results were due I was in full panic attack mode but managed to call E to press the hospital for the test results. They called me back immediately and told me all seemed fine. Our baby did not have any of the conditions they tested for. I was relieved but also felt a bit guilty as I realised that whilst I had been waiting for the results I hadn’t been looking after myself very well and thought less about my baby as my child but as a problem. As low Papp A levels can result in growth problems and pre-eclampsia I was immediately put on a daily dose of aspirin.

I think I’ve been avoiding writing about this as it was a scary, overwhelming time for me. However, this experience makes me so so grateful now when I hear good news about the progress of our bubba’s growth.

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My 12 Week Scan: An Acrobatic Baby

I have not posted for ages, so much pregnancy- related shizzle has happened that I’ve just been focusing on trying to keep myself sane. At first everything seemed to be going well.

Before my 12 week scan I didn’t quite believe that I really had an actual baby in my belly. Therefore when the day of the scan arrived I stared spellbound at the screen as the Sonographer confidently pointed out my baby’s legs and heartbeat and head. It was real. The whole pregnancy thing was no longer just an idea in my head but my real, tangible life.

The Sonographer announced that everything ‘appeared normal’ but she couldn’t quite get a Nuchal Translucency measurement, which measures the fluid behind a foetus’ neck which is a marker of downs syndrome.

Our baby was very active during the scan which was a surprise to me as despite my positive pregnancy test ages ago I was just about starting to believe that I was pregnant.

Baby flipped between snuggling deep into my hip bone and doing bum first somersaults so I was sent off on a walk to try to get our bubba to move into a scan friendly position. Our baby was still doing scan defying acrobatics so we were booked for another scan the next day.

After being ordered to run around the hospital after we attempted to scan the next day our bubba finally complied and moved into a good position to get the NT measurements, once again everything ‘appeared normal’.

I was elated. I had a baby. Our baby seemed healthy. Plus all of the acrobatics made me realise that our baby was developing its own mind and preferences already.

A great reminder that our baby is part of me but definitely an individual.

Happy with all of the recent revelations I didn’t pay much attention as I got a blood test done after the scan. As the nurse reeled off what the blood test was for I relished what had just happened;I had seen my baby, it had moved, it seemed fine. I soon discovered that the 12 week blood test was a lot more significant than I thought it’d be.

I’ll give you the 411 in my next post

TOP TIPS FOR YOUR 12 WEEK SCAN

Here are some things I learnt that would’ve made me more prepared for the scan and blood test results

Eat a ‘high calorie’ meal at least one and a half hours before the scan. Apparently this makes sure your baby is active during the scan is so it will be easier to move it into a good position if need be. If you don’t have time to do this try to eat something sugary like a banana or Lucozade half an hour before the scan.

Try not to go for a wee beforehand, I was told an empty bladder makes it more difficult for the scan. Also try not to wet yourself though! It’s a careful balancing act that almost resulted in an adult wee related incident for me recently!

– Sometimes my underwear had to be pulled quite low to get a scan of our bubba. I’m quite a prude so would have been horrified if there were any sly vajay hairs on display.If you’re like me, make sure your vajay is display ready before your scan. If you’re not like me, I admire you and would really like to know your secret.

Be ready to not have great news, I really was not ready for this. My scan was fine but the blood test was not great. I saw the purpose as a scan to see my baby and have a nice, fun time. The Sonographer meanwhile was focusing on checking out that our bubba was healthy, I wish I had remembered this to prepare me mentally for the test.