Friday, June 17, 2011

My Newest Obsession - Chorionic Villus Testing

Today is Friday.  Friday is ultrasound day.  And yet, I have no ultrasound today.  I was discharged from the fertility center last week and so now I have to wait for my first OBGYN appointment, next Monday, to get confirmation that everything is still going well inside my belly.  This was the first thing I thought about when I woke up this morning.  The second thing I thought was “Don’t forget to say happy birthday to your husband.”  But then my brain turned back to the ultrasound issue.  I’m not really freaking out the way I thought I would be, the thought is just there…in my mind…distracting me a little from the things I have to get done today.

Also distracting me is my obsession with whether I should get chorionic villus testing done.  I know it is going to come up at Monday’s appointment, as I will be almost 10 weeks along, and CV testing is performed between week 10 and week 12.  I’ve done my research.  The risk of CV testing causing a miscarriage is, at worst, 1 in 100.  But after what we have gone through to get pregnant, those odds worry me.  If it was Vegas, I would take that action in a heartbeat.  But this isn’t Vegas…this is my baby’s life.  The risk of miscarriage for an amniocentesis is the same, and that is done later in the pregnancy.  So my thought is, as we would definitely have the amnio if we didn’t do the CV test, it would be better to take the risk now…earlier in the pregnancy.  Plus, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t psyched about the possibility of finding out the baby’s gender in a couple of weeks instead of a couple of months.

But I think the real question that people have to ask themselves when considering any of the prenatal tests is…will you do something differently if the test comes back positive?  If not, then why risk having the test done at all…as it will just cause worry and stress.  And here is where things get really scary for me.  The Prince and I talked about this issue before we got pregnant.  He made it very clear to me that he did not feel that he could raise a special needs child and that, if we found out through testing that our child had a severe birth defect or debilitating congenital condition, he would want to terminate the pregnancy.  I told him that I did not feel the same way, but I would respect his decision in that regard, as we have always approached pregnancy as a partnership.  Secretly, I have always hoped that when the time came, and he loved the baby growing in my belly, he wouldn’t be able to decide to terminate the pregnancy.  I don’t know where he stands now.  I know that he loves this baby already.  Some nights I think he talks to the baby more than he talks to me.  But I also know how strongly he felt about this issue before our infertility journey.  I’m afraid to bring the issue up because I think I know what his answer will be, especially because he has already expressed his opinion that we should get the earliest screening test available to us…within reason (he feels that the level of information should outweigh the miscarriage risk).  Would I be able to go through with a termination if the test came back with an unfavorable result?  I doubt it.  But I know this for sure, if I wait until I am half way through the pregnancy to find out with an amniocentesis that there is something wrong, there is no way that I would be able to terminate the pregnancy…even if it meant losing my marriage.

Hopefully, I will never have to make these tough decisions.  I’m only 32.  My husband and the donor are most likely both genetically squeaky clean, so there is no reason to think that something will go wrong.  But I think I would like to know sooner rather than later, so I am guessing that I will request the CV testing.  I still have three days (of obsessing) and a discussion with the OBGYN before I have to choose.  I just hope that, whatever I choose, it is the right choice for me, The Prince, and our baby.


Willow said...

What about starting with first trimester screening? (NT scan plus bloodwork). There's no risk, pretty high accuracy, and if there are concerns based on that you can do CVS or amnio--but assuming all looks good, that's one more thing you don't have to worry about!

R. said...

That is such a hard decision. Before IF my DH felt the exact same way as your husband. No way he would want to raise a SN baby. Not my feeling, but his.

Fast forward to week 20 in pregnancy when we learned the very real risk that our baby could have DS. We analyzed and debated over to do an amnio and ultimately decided against it. We were quoted a 1/900 mc rate, but even with that I couldn't go through with it. As well, we both decided that we wouldn't do anything with the news so we would just stress and worry. This was a huge change for my DH as he was more the one who told me to stay clear of the amnio.

It's been 8 weeks since the decision and it is still on my mind. I don't regret not doing the amnio though.

Good luck with whatever you choose, it's definitely not easy.

Princess Wahna Bea Mama said...

Thanks for the input, ladies. I've decided to have a pre-OBGYN appointment discussion with my husband and hope that I get the response that R. got from her husband. I'll also try to give deference to the doctor's opinion on what testing we need.

China Doll said...

These thoughts and your situation with your husband sound all too familiar.. we had the testing discussion over the weekend and, let's just say, I'm hoping beyond hope that our first trimester screen comes back low risk and we don't even have to consider CVS or amnio because I don't want to think about what we would each want to do if there was a problem.
It's a difficult one but I would definitely go for the no-risk screening first - you might not need CVS at all! xx