15 January 2007

Sprout's First Photo

On 3 January 2007, I go to the Arlington Medical Center for a nuchal translucency (NT) test, a prenatal screen test that uses ultrasound to measure the clear space in the tissue at the back of the developing baby's neck. This measurement helps health care practitioners assess a baby's risk for Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities as well as major congenital heart problems. A blood test done at the same time measures two proteins in your blood -- freeBeta-hCG and PAPP-a. Together, these screening tests are 85%-95% accurate in detecting the risk Down syndrome. It's important to note that NT is NOT a diagnostic test; that is, it can't tell you for sure if the baby's chromosomes are normal. This test, combined with the blood test, can only reveal your statistical chances of having a child with Down syndrome. (BabyCenter.com, Nuchal translucency screening, updated May 2006, accessed January 2007)

Since I'm under 35, I'm not at an increased risk for having a child with Down syndrome; however, R and I decided that we'd like to be aware of any possible risk as soon as possible.

Once I'm in the examination room, the technician slathers my stomach with a warm, clear jelly and begins to move around the paddle. On the screen across from me, the spectral world of my abdomen appears -- gray wispy clouds against a black backdrop.

The technician warns that this may take a few minutes, but it doesn't. Within seconds I see my half human half seahorse child, heart pumping, arms waggling, head bobbing to some unknowable tune. I'm awed by the sight of this little one Rodney and I created...and anxious about the results.

Thankfully, I have nothing to worry about: my results are in the normal range. Relief.

For more information on nuchal translucency screening, please visit the below links.


Blogger BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

Thanks for sharing the info! I had my test in 2004 and there was virtually no information that my OBGYN could provide at that time! Glad everything went well. :)

2:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home