A couple weeks of somewhat blessed silence were wrapped up with the first screen for Down Syndrome. Our clinic takes a nicely comprehensive approach, performing a combined screen during the 10th and 11th week. Made up of two blood tests and one ultrasound, this screen supposedly detects 80% to 90% of babies with Down Syndrome. In our case, the two blood tests - we're talking about R's blood, by the way - were performed late last week and the results were good. Expressed as ratios, each were "better" than the cutoff ratio which, adjusted for Shannon's age, is 1:250. (As in 1 out of 250 babies with the same blood test results have Down Syndrome.) The ultrasound won't happen until this week to give the baby a little more time to grow. Ultimately, it's the combination of these three results that will determine the likelihood of DS. So far, so good.
We've learned that this combined screen and similar exams to be performed during the second trimester just about eliminate the need for amniocentesis. That's great to hear because amnio increases the risk for miscarriage and we've had enough to worry about already, thank you very much. The only reason we'd request an amnio is if the screens came back with very negative results. So far, Shannon and I have no reason not to feel optimistic. It's a good thing because, quite honestly, we haven't forced ourselves to think through the implications of negative results. What would we do? I honestly don't know. The by-the-book answer is to take it one day at a time with constant reminders that a screen is not a guarantee. The reality is probably messier.
Meanwhile, our pregnancy continues. There'd actually been an ultrasound on the 12th of August that had taken us by surprise - we didn't know it was happening and the results weren't posted 'til days later. (Again, this is the one allowance it seems you have to make with overseas surrogacy. Dates are going to be fluid and expectations won't always be set.) The results were just where you'd like them to be; our little one was 27.4mm from crown to rump (rump!) with healthy cardiac activity at a little over 9 weeks. We'll have to take their word for it all because the images, well, this is the best one and I don't think it's time to play "who does he/she look like" yet:
Finally, this past Sunday we had the great pleasure to meet up with a few couples who had either already, successfully, gone through India surrogacy or were considering it. Our hosts were the venerable Mike and Mike, of Spawn of Mike and Mike, whose coverage of their surrogacy experience (now over a year ago!) was early inspiration for us.
Cripes were those babies adorable! All the little folks we met were the product of Indian egg donors which means, apparently, that some cute button is pressed in utero. The best thing about this gathering though? It was just a bunch of folks acting like parents. The babies certainly had no idea where they were from and the adults were dealing with the exact same issues as any other mother or father. India was the backstory, not the plot. That's the novel we're hoping to write as well.
3 years ago