Dark, Update

November 27, 2007

It was – it is – a positive screen for Down’s Syndrome. It’s a risk-assessment screen, not a diagnostic screen, so it’s not conclusive – and I know that I need to focus on the fact that it’s just about odds, that false positives happen all the time, that further testing isn’t as scary as it seems, that it could all be fine – but still, it’s not a happy thing. Not a happy thing at all. It’s a dark cloud hanging over my head now, and even though I know that dark clouds don’t always end up dumping buckets of rain or hurling thunderbolts upon your head, I still don’t like them. They block the sun. I need the sun. So badly right now, I need the sun.

I need to crawl under the blankets for a while to process this. Thank you all so much – from the bottom of my heart so much – for the endless waves of love and support.

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    Anonymous November 27, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    oh catherine i’m so sorry to hear that there is a problem with sprout….i don’t know if this will give you any comfort but God doesn’t give us more than we can handle…sprout will i am certain bring you great joy and happiness. with my last 2 pregnancies my doc wanted me to go for an amniocentesis and of course i refused. i am so sorry that you have this to worry yourself about.a great big hug and i know the other moms will be able to make you feel better.love to you and yours LAVANDULA

    clueless but hopeful mama November 27, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    I have no wisdom, only support and good thoughts and hoping for the best for all of you.

    Mimi November 27, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    I’m so sorry that you’re going through this darkness and this uncertainty. I hope hope hope there are brighter and happier days ahead for you.

    crazymumma November 27, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    THE EXACT same thing happened with bigirl. Exactly the same thing.

    I know where you are honey. I really really really do. I remeber the fear all too clearly. You have my number and email if you need to know any details about how we muddled though the further testing.

    ALI November 27, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    thinking of you and sending you a hug, it will probably work out fine and end up being nothing. but know we are here for you.

    Suz November 27, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    We had to undergo further testing as a result of a positive on an earlier test. I remember the fear and am so sorry that you are going through it now.

    Anonymous November 27, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    I had the same experience when I was pregnant with my son. Talk about a dark cloud being cast… In the end, we decided not to do the amnio because we didn’t think the results would influence our decisions regarding the baby. We just decided that whatever happened, we would handle it. That’s one of the toughest decisions we ever made.
    Turns out, everything was fine in the end. But by the time we found that out (when he was born), we were already OK with the idea that maybe everything wouldn’t be.
    OMG, it’s so hard…

    fidget November 27, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    I’m sending lots of love and prayers your way. I am a frequent visitor of the high risk ob and every visit there were at LEAST 3 or 4 nervous ladies getting further downs testing. through the two pregnancies Ive been with that particular office i never saw a single one of those ladies again meaning that everything was just fine. I am hoping hard that everything is just fine for you and sprout too.

    amy November 27, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    keeping you in my thoughts, hoping for the best – whatever form it takes.

    Piece of Work November 27, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    I’m sorry, HBM. The same thing happened to me with Isaac–they gave me 1 in 13 odds that he would have Down Syndrome and then at the level 2 ultrasound they found a soft marker. At that point they all basically told me to prepare for the worst. I had an amnio, and 10 days later, all was okay. All that torment for nothing! I will hope and hope and hope the same thing happens to you.
    If you have a CVS, at least you’ll find out sooner, I was almost 20 weeks when I had the amnio and that was a nightmare. (I’ve had a CVS, too, and it’s not that scary, I promise.)

    Heather.PNR November 27, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    What a difficult thing to be facing. I am so sorry.

    T. November 27, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Sending you sunshine.

    PunditMom November 27, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    I’m sorry I missed the earlier post. I can’t even to begin how you are feeling, but my thoughts are with you and your family. Things could turn out to be OK, but I know that doesn’t make you feel any better now. Grab another blankie for a little more comfort.

    Maria November 27, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    I’ve been praying for you–my heart is sad for your heart.

    Mary Joan Koch November 27, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    A big hug. I so hope for the best for all of you.

    b*babbler November 27, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    Oh Catherine, I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with this right now.

    Yes, there are many false positives for this test – I’ve known more than one couple that has gone through the agony of uncertainty. Whatever the result, there will be support.

    Sending you all the good thoughts I can.

    If you need anything, you have my e-mail.

    liv November 27, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    my heart is hugging your heart. sending you and your family lots of love and light. wishing you every goodness in the world.

    slouching mom November 27, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    sending you all kinds of support.

    Angela November 27, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    Just like you said, it’s only a risk assessment NOT a diagnosis.

    We had something similar happen at this time in our pregnancy too. Only ours was a + screen for trisomy 18. Our chances were 1:62 for it.

    We went for the Level 2 ultrasound (and found out it was a boy and got a MOVIE- very nice) and only one marker was seen (choroid plexus cysts). We couldn’t do an amnio because of the placenta placement and so had to come back in a few weeks for ANOTHER Level 2 ultrasound. Again, no markers and the choroid plexus cysts were resolving (oh, and another movie! Score!) so we decided no amnio.

    Our reasoning for skipping the amnio was: everything looked fine on the ultrasound (other than the cysts that had no negative health issues attached). So we (ourselves personally) would not consider terminating the pregnancy, even if the amnio/chromosomes showed a problem.

    It might have been different if he had spina bifida, severe heart and abdomen defects and hydrocephalus, but he didn’t. Choroid plexus cysts show up in 3% of all healthy pregnancies and just aren’t a problem. They resolve naturally by 25 weeks and cause no issues with learning or anything. So there really wasn’t a reason to do the amnio for us.

    I can honestly say WAITING for that first level 2 ultrasound was hard. Luckily they got us in after only a few days. But those 5 days were VERY long.

    So I’ll keep you in my thoughts, and hope that you just get the gift of a nice long (videotaped!) ultrasound with no problems found at all.

    Shana November 27, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    Hi, I pop in from time to time and just lurk. Today, I have to just post a quick comment.

    I have two friends that has positive results and they both have very happy healthy, children (with out Downs). I hope that this helps you just a bit. (((HUGS)))

    B November 27, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    It’s just no fun to be pregnant anymore. The testing, testing, testing, screening and more screening. Usually just to scare the bejesus out of expectant mothers. It has happend to me twice for two different reasons, I’d kick that clouds ass for you if I could.

    Janet November 27, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    I’m so sorry for the uncertainty and darkness, but you’re right: so many experience false positives.

    So rest and I’ll cross my fingers that the answer you’re looking for comes swiftly with brilliant sunshine and clarity.

    Phoenix November 27, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    I’m so sorry you have to go through this. I too, know people who’ve had positive test, only to have the docs tell them later that it was wrong. Also one friend was sure her daughter was going to be born with Downs and she wasn’t.

    I hope you find the sun soon.

    Crystal November 27, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    We too had this experience (after the triple test) with Amelia. We had multiple ultrasounds after this test due to a couple of brain cysts which were additional markers. But the brain cysts shrunk and she was born perfectly healthy.
    I just kept reminding myself that it was going to be ok, no matter the outcome. This way I was able to prepare myself and educated myself in the case that things did not turn out the way I wanted them to. (I did not opt for a Amniocentesis, due to the risk.) Along the way, I read many stories about what blessings children with Down Syndrome are. There are many parents out there that can offer support.
    I am so sorry you have had this news. Try and think positive. You will be ok.

    Avalon November 27, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    HBM~~~ I am so sorry that this time, which should be happy and hopeful has suddenly become dark and frightening. You and your family will be in my thoughts.

    Mrs. Chicky November 27, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    It could be a false positive. It happens. But whatever you decide to do (more testing, amnio, etc) I’m thinking of you guys. I’m kind of lacking the words to accurately say how concerned I am for you right now because I know how I would be feeling.

    More love and thoughts to you.

    mamatulip November 27, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    I’m so sorry.

    I’m thinking of you. Sending you love and strength.

    Lawyer Mama November 27, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Catherin – Hang in there, sweetie. I know it’s scary. Are you going to have an amnio?

    If it helps, with Hollis I had a positive screen for Downs. I came back with a 1 in 31 chance of Down Sydrome. I had the amnio. Everything was normal. False positives happen sooo often.

    I know it’s hard, but try not to think about the scary possibilities until you know more. ((HUGS))

    Badness Jones November 27, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    fingers crossed sweetie – it’s probably a false positive….sometimes I think we’d be better off without all these tests.

    justmylife November 27, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    I am sending good thoughts your way. Maybe it is just a false positive.

    Kyla November 27, 2007 at 2:41 pm


    kittenpie November 27, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    Oh, hon. I’m sorry for the worry that you just don’t need, that no one should have to face. But I am keeping my sunny side up and hoping it’s all good, and they are just being on the safe side.

    daysgoby November 27, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    You will face whatever comes next with quietness and strength. Because that’s what you do and who you are.

    Lots of positive thoughts and best wishes from over here.

    Mommato2 November 27, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    Hi there….the EXACT same thing happened to me with my second pregnancy. Hopefully they have scheduled you for another more detailed ultrasound, and then you can get the answers you so desperately need.

    Everything was fine with us, but I TOTALLY understand how you are feeling right now.

    Stay strong and sending lots of positive vibes your way.

    kgirl November 27, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    those tests fucking suck, and the result is almost always a false positive, but regardless, sending you all my strength and love.

    Mad Hatter November 27, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    Like Crazy said. Exact thing happened with Miss M. Exact thing. And my sister had a Trisomy baby (not Down’s) years before. We had amnio and our fears were laid to rest. You know how the story ended.

    Wishing you calm and clarity, Bad. I know this stretch of time is an emotional hell.

    Anonymous November 27, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    The exact same thing happened to me as well. But I had the amnio done because we already have a child with special needs (autism) and I wasn’t sure I could handle DS on top of it. I couldn’t have even told you at the time if I would have gone through with terminating the pregnancy. I just had to KNOW. The amnio, though, gave us wonderful news and my little sweetie pie is now a sweet (albeit fiesty) two year old. Hang in there.

    Lady M November 27, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    Sending you much love and strength and luck.

    The Hotfessional November 27, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    {{{Hugs}}} There is nothing more to say and do but wait and know that we’re all thinking of you.

    Mouse November 27, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    We’re thinking about you and sending positive thoughts.

    Julie Pippert November 27, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    To your heart and nerves: understandable feelings; it’s okay to be nervous and worried, it’s understandable in this case and a good way to help you manage.

    To your mind: balance the heart and nerves because you are right.

    To you: much, much support and good wishes.

    Using My Words

    Bon November 27, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    wishing you the strength to wait for the tests to bring answers…and then peace as you cope with them, whatever they are.

    the sun? it’s still on you. don’t lose sight of it.

    Don Mills Diva November 27, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    I’m thinking about you and sending support and good wishes.

    Anonymous November 27, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    These tests suck. When we went through this exact same thing, we wondered more than once if it was maybe better not to have the tests… for us everything turned out fine, but getting those test results was hell. Would it have been better to have never known?

    BTW, my OB called me at work and told me over the phone that my husband and I should go for genetic counseling… not the way I’d want anyone to hear such news.

    Jenifer November 27, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    I will pray pray pray that things turn out OK for you….

    I have a cousin with Down’s syndrome and he is the most lovable little boy I have ever met… stay positive and keep counting those blessings…. we are all hoping everything turns out OK.

    The City Gal November 27, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    Catherine, So sorry to hear all this.

    I am a doer and I have no patience. So, my way of dealing with this would be to schedule CVS and Amnio.

    However, deep down, we all know, you and the babay are going to be ok. Actually, not just ok, but great!

    Just read what everyone has gone through. Remember, no need to worry. Sprout will be a smart/happy/healthy baby.

    Doctors have to do their best to keep an eye on things. That’s all.

    LD November 27, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    My heart aches for you and your worries–but the light will come again. You should check out Michael Berube’s book- Life as We Know it. It’s an amazing story.

    Dutch November 27, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    love and thoughts of strength for you and your family from here in detroit.

    Nancy November 27, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

    The sun is there, it’s peeking out a little bit. But I’m hoping it will be shining full force ASAP.

    pkzcass November 27, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    Bloody hell!!!

    I haven’t had this exact same thing happen to me, so I can’t offer any comfort on the turmoil you must be suffering right now. I have, however, had two CVS tests…everything was fine despite the “risks” and I was able to relax for the rest of my pregnancies. If you are early enough, go for that test rather than wait for an amnio. That is, if you decide to pursue further testing. I tend to see things a bit differently than many women and I embrace all of the advances in medicine and prenatal testing that have come along in the last 20 years or so. The chances of miscarriage are very, very slim, so if you really, really need to know, then you should at least consider it.


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