By Ellen Stumbo
The level 2 ultrasound machine looked like all the ultrasound machines I had seen before. White computer thing with a fancy keyboard and wires attached to whatever it is they are attached to.
The technician and specialist welcomed Andy and I into the room. In no time, the doctor was ready to talk business.
“It says in your file that you chose not to have the “triple screen” test.”
I found his tone to be accusing.
“Remind me what that test is for?” I asked
“It looks for birth abnormalities”
“Right” I responded, “It’s the one that is only a screening of blood levels but not an accurate test. The one that has an average rate of 40% inaccuracy.”
He looked up at me and I was not able to read his face. “Is that why you chose not to have the test?”
“You can tell me my baby has no arms or no legs. It makes no difference. This is the baby God is giving us, and we are going to love her no matter what.”
The specialist had nothing more to say, so he proceeded to explain the process. The technician would do a thorough scan. She was a “special” technician because she would be walking us through all her measurements and we could ask her questions. At the end of the scan, she would show the findings and pictures to the doctor who would then interpret those to us.
The ultrasound took some time, as every part of my baby’s body was closely inspected. The fluid around the heart was gone; there were no traces of it ever being there.
The technician asked the doctor to look at certain parts of the body, and they measured those parts again. After some more inspections, the ultrasound was over.
“You have a healthy baby” the specialist announced, “I don’t think an amniocentesis is necessary.”
Andy and I walked out of the examination room and held hands. We had met with a genetic counselor prior to the ultrasound, something that had concerned me at the time. The doctor had mentioned the triple screen test. However, no doctor had told us that our baby had Down syndrome, or that they suspected it. It had been a dream, just a dream.
The fluid around my baby’s heart was gone. There was nothing to worry about anymore. I had a perfectly healthy baby girl growing inside of me.
Next: Your Baby Might Have Down Syndrome
Road Marker 321
My Body Is Cooking a Baby: Part 1
My Body Is Cooking a Baby: Part 2
My Body is Cooking a Baby: Part 3