Low-Five For The Negative

At my last prenatal appointment, I was told I needed to undergo yet another round of blood tests. But since I was a mere 14.5-ish weeks along, I had to hold off until weeks 16-18 to actually get the blood drawn.

Let me tell you a little about how blood draws go for me…usually: The phlebotomist  begins to tourniquet my right arm, pokes around with his/her finger to seek out a vein. No deal. I say: I have deep veins. He/She says: Let’s try the other arm. The phlebotomist tourniquets my left arm. Same story. Hands it is. My last two blood draws have seen me get poked three times, twice in the right and once in the left just between my third and forth knuckle.

With a week until my next prenatal appointment, I braved the wait at the Women’s Hospital and took care of business. After two misses (two pokes and you’re out is a fairly standard practice for phlebotomists) I had a new lab tech (what they’re called at my hospital) come out and right away hit a vein in my arm, easy peasy.

This test was no ordinary test. It wasn’t checking my BP (blood pressure) or whether or not I have diabetes. It wasn’t double checking my HIV status or if I’d been exposed to Hepatitis. No, this test was a screening. Something called a Quad Screen. Essentially it helps doctors determine the probability of the baby having some sort of chromosomal or neural tube disorder. According to my OB, there is a 20% chance of having an abnormal or positive test. Of that 20%, only 1% or so will actually have a baby that is born with one of the defects. This includes Trisomy-21 (Down’s Syndrome) as well as Spina Bifida.

Of course we were a little worried about the results. We were weighing our options if we did in fact have a positive result and what that would mean for us. Questions like: Are we prepared (mentally, emotionally) to raise a special needs child? ricocheted between us constantly. It’s hard to imagine, and we stand in awe of those families out there who are raising their beautiful children, who love them unconditionally, and thrive in the face of trials.

Nervously, we went to our appointment this morning. Crossing our fingers for good news. And, after a 30-minute wait in the doctor’s office, hearing that my uterus is currently about a half-inch or so beneath my belly button, and hearing a nice strong heart beat, we had our answer. Negative. Low-Five Tamara and Jason.

What a relief.

Granted, at just under half-way through pregnancy, there are sure to be other things to arise that will cause us to worry. We know and understand this. I think for us, this was a biggie. We’re grateful that our baby is growing normally and is healthy.

Up next: Second Trimester sonogram next week…gender may be revealed. Stay posted.

**Question: What is/was a big worry for you during pregnancy?**

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