Girl! That’s right, another girl. I found out when I was about 14 weeks pregnant. It’s pretty early but when your diagnosis is elderly multigravida, it opens the window for additional screenings to ensure the health of the baby.
I imagine you’re thinking what I was thinking. I’m not in my 60s. AARP hasn’t attempted to recruit me for membership. I’m only a hair north of 34. But being older automatically makes my pregnancy high risk and I was referred to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist.
When I was 13 weeks pregnant, I went in for my sequential screen to determine the risk for Down syndrome, trisomy 18 and trisomy 13. I met with a genetic counselor, perinatologist, had an ultrasound and a blood draw for the cell-free fetal DNA analysis. The ultrasound measured the fluid at the back of the baby’s neck (nuchal translucency). The perinatologist said the initial results indicated the baby was healthy but it would be up to two weeks before the results of the blood work would be back.
One week later, the call came. The genetic counselor was on the other end of the line with the results. She first shared the baby tested negative for Down syndrome, trisomy 18 and trisomy 13, then she asked if I wanted to know the gender and I said yes. She said, “You’re having a girl.”
I had a feeling all along that I was having another girl. Honestly, I would have been OK either way. I just want to have a healthy baby.
Some people have asked why we didn’t wait to find out. I wanted to wait. Most of the things we have on hand from my first pregnancy are gender neutral. All we have to buy is clothes because I gave everything away from zero – 24 months. But my husband wanted to know so we could plan so we know.
My 20-week ultrasound, which actually took place when I was 22 weeks pregnant, confirmed the results of the DNA test. It is indeed a girl. It was also another exam of the baby for the risk of birth defects. Everything is good.
While few tests are 100% accurate, they can provide some peace of mind during this pregnancy journey. They can also cause anxiety when the results are not encouraging. We decided we wanted to know as much as we can but ultimately, it’s a personal decision you have to make for yourself.
Serena Smith is a senior marketing communications specialist at ProMedica. She is responsible for facilitating media coverage of ProMedica and writes health articles for ProMedica HealthConnect. Her passion is health and wellness. She’s an avid runner and enjoys competing in half marathons. She loves to read, watch television and spend time with her husband and daughter.