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Im 20 wks pregnant and down syndrome is suspected. Should i get amnio?

Im not gonna terminate the pregnancy regardless of the outcome but im so afraid and sad. The Dr said the sample wasn't perfect so trisomy 21 is suspected and an amniocentesis would be more definitive. Amnio increases chance for miscarriage and I dont wanna put an innocent life at risk especially if im not gonna terminate. Any suggestions or words of advice. Ive never cared for a special need child before

7 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    My first child has Down syndrome and we didn't know until after he was born, even though I had the normal tests (triple screen) and ultrasound. Since I was a fairly young mother (26), amnio wasn't even suggested because there were no indicators found.

    It's normal to be afraid and sad. I cried for a long time after finding out. In a way, it's like mourning. It's mourning the loss of what you thought your child would be like, and slowly accepting that there is this other thing that has come into play. I still get sad and angry sometimes, but a lot less than I used to.

    When I was pregnant with my second child, the doctors pushed for me to have an amnio, and I refused. I knew I wouldn't terminate, and I chose not to take any chances, no matter how low the risk of miscarraige.

    Prior to having my son, if you had asked me whether I could parent a child with special needs, I would have thought no. Now I see that I just underestimated myself. Yes, there are extra things to do, like speech therapy and physical therapy, but for the most part it's just like providing for another child. He's a good kid, he has friends, he's learning to read (he's in first grade), and he does Taekwondo. Down syndrome is just one part of the overall picture of who he is. We are a happy family. :-)

    It sounds like you'll be a great parent to this baby no matter what the outcome!

  • 9 years ago

    I don't know what amnio is but I wouldn't do it if it could cause any problems.. You may already know this, that test is not vert accurate at all. I had to go see a genetic counselor yesterday for a different reason, but she asked if I was going to do that test I said no because I had heard it wasn't accurate and she said I was exactly right that out of about 20 women who have the test done half will have a "positive" and about 1. Or 2 will be the only ones who actually had a positive would have been right. So just because you got a positive doesn't mean for sure anything will be wrong. there's really nothing you can do about it so I'd just enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and pray you got a false positive.

  • 9 years ago

    I would request a repeat scan with a perinatologist as a second opinion first. If they too suspect downs based on the scan, personally, if it were me, I would have the amnio. The risks are really not all that substantial or they wouldn't do it. The reason I personally would do it is because I would want to know with certainty. Either it would put my mind at ease that baby was fine, or, I would know the diagnosis and begin to prepare myself - to educate myself about Downs, determine if any specialty doctors are necessary (if there are any obvious cardiac issues, for example, like many Downs babies have), to hook up with support groups of other moms with Downs babies, etc. Getting the diagnosis doesn't always have to be about choosing whether or not to abort. It's about having answers sooner and being more prepared. Not all people think the same way I do, and would rather enjoy their pregnancy and worry about it later if it's necessary. I'm just not that type of personality.

    Good luck whatever you decide.

    Source(s): RN, OB, L&D
  • D
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    You can have a level two ultrasound if you haven't yet, and they will take a lot of measurements and so forth and will be able to see if there are things going on consistent with Downs. Ultrasound is less invasive and carries no clearly understood risks. If the results of the amnio would not change the outcome for you, then there is no real reason to get it done except to tell you more certainly. It depends on how much you feel like you need to know right now.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    You should first ask what the percentage risk is... I got the call saying my son was at risk for downs amd I was so scared and upset... Then the nurse told me it was only a 1% chance!!! I couldn't believe they scared me like that for 1% chance... And then they told me that if the due date was estimated wrong 2 days either way, that the test was 100% perfect:.. I decided that it was not worth any further testing for such a low risk:.. They still kept asking if I wanted an amnio amd I declined multiple times (I think it's extra money for them!!) this same situation has also happened to two of my friends and all of our children, now almost 3, almost 1 and 6 months are perfectly healthy!!!

    If your risk is higher or you really would like to know for more certainty, a second detailed ultrasound could also accurately detect the neck, arm and face abnormalities associated with downs without the risk of miscarriage at all!!!

    I think your doctors, like mine are causing you unnecessary worry!!! I changed doctors after this!!!

  • Kathy
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    If you know you plan to keep your child regardless, why take the extra risk? Downs babies aren't that different from babies that don't have it...except that they are usually extra sweet and extra loving! People that I know with Downs are some of the nicest people I have ever been around. Do some reading about downs babies and you will be reassured.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    If you are going to keep the baby regardless, then there is no need for the extra risk.

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