Monday, April 06, 2009

Genetic screening and a weird evaluation code

At my last doctor's appointment, my doctor took a lot of time explaining a genetic screening blood test they could give me at my next appointment. It would be non-invasive and the blood would only be drawn from me.

This is a new doctor to the practice, and she seems very nice. But she's also kind of worrying me.

She went into great detail about a different genetic test at my previous appointment as well.

Since I'm geared to worry anyway, I was glad Bob was with me for the last appointment. We're not sure if she was just making sure she covered all of the bases that she needed to, or if she was trying to tell us that we needed to have this test done.

I opted not to have any screening done when pregnant with Little Elvis. My age wasn't an issue, and it still isn't. And I just wasn't worried about him.

At the time I worked for a health website, and one of my co-workers who has much more of a medical background made me feel very irresponsible for not having the test. She said that if there was anything wrong with Little Elvis' heart, then we could be doing things in utero to help him. That had never occurred to me.

Now, I'm pregnant again, and just plain confused about getting this screening (or is it testing?) done. I have no idea if it's covered by my insurance (most likely it isn't) but I would pay for it if it was needed.

14 weeks, and already showing!

The new doctor also spent LOTS of time talking about the huge possibility that we would have to have another C-section. We lost Little Elvis' heartbeat during my labor with him and they had to rush me to the operating room to deliver him. We didn't exactly choose to have the C-section, but had told the doctor that if he was in any danger at all, then we would have one.

Even though we were assured at the time that my incision meant we could have a natural birth, that most likely won't happen. Not only could Baby Plum's life be endangered, mine could as well.

After we left this appointment, I looked at my bill and saw that the doctor had circled an evaluation code titled "Preg-High Risk-Young Multi." I have no clue what that means. She never told me that I was high risk, and certainly didn't mention multiple babies in there. I called to ask, but as is usual with my doctor's office, they haven't returned my calls.

If anyone has any thoughts on the genetic screening/testing, please let me know. I also welcome your thoughts on the high risk stuff. Bob thinks it has to do with the C-section scar. Maybe the multi is because this would be our second child?


Blogger Laura said...

First of all - HUGS!

For me, each pregnancy I worried more and more - cause I knew more - or thought I knew more!!!!

From my experience, most VBACs are listed as high risk - but just so that they are ready for a repeat C. With the tag of high risk, she can order additional tests - for example, for me they ordered an ultrasound to examine the scar tisue and placement of my "stuff" after 2 rough c-sections. This helps dr decide if a vbac is safe.

Multi - probably means second child - if not, they would have told you, I doubt you are carring twins or octoplets!!!!!

Personally, we did not have any genetic testing done - we decided that if something was wrong, then we would never "do anything" to end the preganancy and would love the baby no matter what. Now, throw in the issue that our first was born with a rare and often deadly syndrom that went undiagnosed in the womb. For the next 2 pregnancies we went for the level 2 and level 3 ultrasounds - that way if there were heart issues or such, then action could be taken. it worked for us. We did not have any additional tests, we did not have to worry about getting results, we had no false positive testing - but we had the ultrasounds for peace of mind.

Just listen to your own heart! You will know what you need to do to -help you be worry-free. Just follow your heart.

Your little belly is so friggin cute - HUGS!

1:51 PM  
Blogger Jeni said...

Yuck, sounds like your doctor left you with more questions than answers. With both my first and now this second pregnancy I only went with the basic screening tests, and even those I did more out of routine than need to know. I of course would likely feel different had anything ever come back abnormal, but these tests never really seemed that important to me. I completely understand your worries around a second c-section as well, and VBAC. It's a tough and personal decision. Hopefully you can get some more answers soon, and I wouldn't worry too much as I am sure the doctor would have been clearer if there really were any issues.

2:00 AM  
Blogger mpotter said...

i hope you get more comfortable with this doctor.
we began the 1st trimester screen b/c we just didn't want to say "no"... but when we went in for the ultrasound portion of it, that lady was telling us more info about the screen & results (and false reads); so we decided to not get the blood portion of it. (hey- anytime i could say no to a needle, i did!)

later in the pregnancy, we ended up having a full anatomy ultrasound, and they were able to see that her heart was developing normally.
my niece was born with a very rare heart defect & is a heart transplant recipient. so this was a big relief to us.

it was odd, though. b/c we requested this type of info and the specialist said that we had nothing to worry about; and it was too early in the pregnancy to have detected it at the time....
we ended up getting the anatomy scan after my scare w/ the heartbeat that occured likely due to my mt. dew. (oops)

good luck!
and um, if you're having twins---- they BETTER have told you.
i wouldn't worry.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Lainey-Paney said...

I struggled with testing as well.
I felt like I would not love a child any less if the child were ill, retarded, or had any condition incompatable with life.
I just....was thinking that I could not terminate my pregnancy, no matter the news I got based on some test {...that could be wrong...}.

But, Hubby had a different view.
We finally agreed to have the test when Hubby broke it down for me---if the test comes back negative, then your fears are put to rest. If it comes back positive, or we learn that we have a sick or disabled child, then at least we will have time to process the information, and prepare for the arrival of a special needs child.
I dunno....maybe it was the sincerity, thought, or just the phrase "special needs child" coming out of my Hubby's mouth. I just kind of thought that his take on it made sense.

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

man, what a lot of info to digest! I'm not sure what I would do if I were in your shoes. Certainly if you were really looking forward to a VBAC you could get an opinion from another doctor. Some are just really hesitant to do them while others are more willing (as long as it it safe). Best of luck with all of your decisions!

12:09 PM  

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