Prenatal Testing

If you're interested, here is some information on the prenatal testing we're having done at 13 weeks. It tells a little about what they'll do (bloodwork & ultrasound) and what they're checking for. From the March of Dimes:

What is the first-trimester screening test?
Some providers offer a first-trimester screening test for Down syndrome and trisomy 18. This test also may show if a baby is at increased risk for heart defects.

This test is done between 11 and 13 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period. It is called the combined test because the test has two parts: a blood test and an ultrasound examination (a test that uses sound waves to take a picture of the fetus). The provider sends the blood sample to the lab, which measures the levels of two substances in the mother’s blood: free-beta hCG (a specific form of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin) and pregnancy-associated protein A (PAPP-A). Levels of PAPP-A tend to be decreased, and hCG increased, with Down syndrome.

The woman also will have a special ultrasound exam to measure the thickness at the back of the baby’s neck (called nuchal translucency). Increased thickness is associated with Down syndrome, other chromosomal abnormalities and heart defects. The ultrasound exam should be done by a health professional who is specifically certified, for example by the Nuchal Translucency Quality Review Program, because special training is required to do this test accurately (2). A woman’s provider can refer her to an appropriate facility.

The lab will calculate a woman’s risk of chromosomal birth defects, using the combined results of her blood test and ultrasound exam. Studies show that this test can detect about 82 to 87 percent of pregnancies affected by Down syndrome and up to 95 percent of those affected by trisomy 18 (1, 3, 4).


Things are going well here. I've started to feel a little better in general, although I'm still very tired and achy. It's difficult to get comfortable and my back is definitely paying the price.

I saw my cardiologist on Friday to check with him about my heart stuff. I've definitely been having more palpitations & racing heartbeat than normal, which they said is because of the increased blood volume I have due to the pregnancy. They are not concerned - it's not really serious but even so, I'm going back on a medication that I've taken before that will bring my heartbeat into a more normal range. The medicine is very safe for me and the baby, so there are no worries there either. I'll recheck with him in November or before if I have any continuing symptoms while I'm on the meds.

My next appointments are on the same day - August 13. On that day I'll see the perinatologist for some prenatal screening testing (will post more about that seperately) and I'll see my obstetrician that same day for a check-up.

I'm still getting anxious between appointments but try to remain upbeat and hopeful overall. Please keep the prayers coming!


9 weeks - Baby looks great!

Today we met our obstetrician, Dr. M-M, and got to see our baby again. That little baby was wriggling around! We got to hear the heartbeat which measured in at about 175 bpm which is great for right now. The baby is measuring right on schedule. Much less blobby than before.

They are going to keep me on my insulin-resistance medication in hopes of preventing gestational diabetes. I have to make an appointment with my cardiologist since the palpitations & racing heartbeat I'm diagnosed with will probably worsen in pregnancy - but nothing to seriously worry about.

In a few weeks I'll meet with a perinatologist who will do another sonogram and some bloodwork for some basic screen for the more common genetic problems. We don't have to go back to see Dr. M-M for another 4 weeks. They gave of LOTS of material to read through so I'll probably be busy until then anyway!


Sonogram Picture

Here is the blurry little blob at 7w4d!


7w4d - Pefect sonogram

Today's sonogram went great! YAAAYYY! We were able to see a perfect little baby (blob) with a beautiful flickering heartbeat. We are so blessed.

My reproductive endocrinologist said everything looks great and I am now going to be released to my regular obstetrician.

I really wanted to post the sono picture tonight but I don't have the appropriate technology. Hang in there, though, baby's first picture is sure to come soon.