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Old 12-05-2012, 08:47 PM   #21
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I declined all testing and had an out of hospital birth where we discovered baby has a birth defect. We both almost died. My dds disability could not be detected on an us but my whole world came crashing down that night. We were so shocked, it was so hard to come to terms with on top of all the chaos of transferring and emergency care.

My reason for declining testing (only a 13 wk us was offered, no 20 wk was covered!) was that we wouldn't terminate the pregnancy if for example there were downs markers. My experience made me realize that I could have had months to come to terms with a special needs child rather than the cold hard slap in the face that I had after my 27 hour labor. False positives exist but id rather have a happy surprise than the one I had.

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Old 12-05-2012, 08:53 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by newmommy13
I declined all testing and had an out of hospital birth where we discovered baby has a birth defect. We both almost died. My dds disability could not be detected on an us but my whole world came crashing down that night. We were so shocked, it was so hard to come to terms with on top of all the chaos of transferring and emergency care.

My reason for declining testing (only a 13 wk us was offered, no 20 wk was covered!) was that we wouldn't terminate the pregnancy if for example there were downs markers. My experience made me realize that I could have had months to come to terms with a special needs child rather than the cold hard slap in the face that I had after my 27 hour labor. False positives exist but id rather have a happy surprise than the one I had.
This. I had a child born with a heart defect that would have been difficult to see at a 20 week scan. 26 weeks would have been better.. He had heart surgery just shy of 4 months of age. With this baby- he automatically has a 5% of a heart defect (not same one either• it's 5% of anything) and while we would NOT abort/ we wanted to be sure that we knew if something was wrong before it was too late. Luckily my sons was detected, but it took time and we were so damn lucky it was BEFORE he turned blue and crashed. :/ I also will never try for it to be bumped up for the very reason that the bigger the baby, the more developed things are. So as anxious as we are 18-19 weeks- heck I'd go as late as they allowed. Having a child with a congenital defect changes ur feelings on a lot of things..
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:56 PM   #23
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I declined all testing and had an out of hospital birth where we discovered baby has a birth defect. We both almost died. My dds disability could not be detected on an us but my whole world came crashing down that night. We were so shocked, it was so hard to come to terms with on top of all the chaos of transferring and emergency care.

My reason for declining testing (only a 13 wk us was offered, no 20 wk was covered!) was that we wouldn't terminate the pregnancy if for example there were downs markers. My experience made me realize that I could have had months to come to terms with a special needs child rather than the cold hard slap in the face that I had after my 27 hour labor. False positives exist but id rather have a happy surprise than the one I had.
mama!
I have lupus and mamas with lupus have a high rate of babies with congenital heart disease. So we have quite a few u/s during pregnancies (b/c there are things they can do to try and repair the heart before birth). With my first I was so worried about a heart problem I about fell off the table when the told me DS's heart looked great but he had a bowel blockage and his stomach was more then tripled its normal size because the fluids were barely passing thru. But I'm so happy I found out before he was born verse taking him home and having him vomit nonstop b/c nothing could get though and end up taking a very sick baby back to the hospital.

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Old 12-05-2012, 09:04 PM   #24
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Re: Should we do the anatomy scan?

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I will be happy to email what I have to anyone interested if you send me a pm with your address! I am on my phone currently and getting ready to go to bed, so I don't have links/studies handy.
I think if it was such a non-issue as some make it out to be, the FDA wouldn't be worried about it. Even they say to limit U/S exposure, and they are also the ones who recommend injecting your body with mercury and fetal cells. so logically anything they say to be cautious about? Is probably pretty serious.
Well the FDA would recommend to limit U/S exposure because it is unethical to test on pregnant women/unborn children. Therefore they do not do trials using varying amounts of u/s exposure to see if it will cause defects or something. So they say to limit it because they can not say for sure if there would be any effects from more exposure.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:00 PM   #25
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Well the FDA would recommend to limit U/S exposure because it is unethical to test on pregnant women/unborn children. Therefore they do not do trials using varying amounts of u/s exposure to see if it will cause defects or something. So they say to limit it because they can not say for sure if there would be any effects from more exposure.
I am not sure this is entirely true in this situation. There are plenty of clinical studies done where some babies have no u/s and others have 2 or more. I think the FDA recommends limiting u/s to medical use (with certain frequencies and length) is because certain frequencies and lengths of u/s have shown damage in lab animals. They are also against keepsake ultrasounds because the person performing the u/s doesnt have to have any training in proper use (not just that they can give bad advice, but use the u/s for too long or with the wrong frequency). And lastly, none (or very few?) of the clinical studies are recent and use the current frequency used today so that adds a level of unknown risk. The only clinical effect I could find was an increase in male-non-righthandedness which does suggest that its altering the brain in some way. All this was certainly enough to talk me out of the gender scan I wanted done at 17 weeks, but not the anatomy scan. I also wish my RE had not been quite so liberal in the number of u/s she performed in my early weeks. But I will take an unknown risk that is not life threatening if it can mitigate the risk, even a "small" one, for something that is life threatening.

That's all you can do, OP, is decide what risks you are ok taking and which you aren't.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:49 PM   #26
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Re: Should we do the anatomy scan?

I will always get the anatomy scan, its the only u/s I'll get during pregnancy. If their is a birth defect I want to know and prepare for it. It also gave me peace of mind, I was worried about neural tube defects (especially anencephaly) and i would have worried all pregnancy otherwise. I'd want to know before I delivered about something like that.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:51 PM   #27
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Based on the high rate of false diagnoses in addition to the risk of ultrasound itself (especially when you have already had several) I, personally, would decline. If you are planning a home birth, there are very few things that you have to worry about that would need immediate medical attention. If you are birthing in a hospital, then I assume that would bring a measure of security that would cause you to worry even less. I have seen too many friends/family stress and worry about false diagnoses of heart or kidney defects, supposed "complete" placenta previa, etc - only to have a perfectly normal delivery and a totally healthy babe. We are declining any further ultrasounds during this pregnancy and will do so with future children, barring trauma like a car accident or excessive bleeding or something equally terrible.

I have a TON of research compiled on ultrasound, some of which are statistics on false diagnoses. If you'd be interested in seeing it, I'd be happy to email you the word document. Just pm me!

ETA: ultrasound is NOT non-invasive. During an ultrasound, baby is exposed to non-ionized radiation, heat, and excessively loud noise. That is why you hear so often of babies "hiding" from ultrasounds - they are trying to escape the pain! Ultrasound on a baby can cause cavitation, sinistrality, IUGR, and preterm labor, among MANY other things. The same ultrasound used on babies is used to dissolve kidney stones and the same exposure to a man's testicles can sterilize him for six months or more. What is that power doing to your baby? Not worth the risk IMO.
There are virtually NO false diagnoses from a 20-ish week anatomy scan. I think you are thinking of the 12-week one where they are looking for chromosomal abnormalities and there are tons with that one.

OP, I would do it. We chose to skip a lot of the tests, including the u/s measurements at 12-13 weeks. But the 20-week tells so much valuable information for your health and baby's health that I think it's imperative.

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Old 12-06-2012, 12:13 AM   #28
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Re: Should we do the anatomy scan?

Thank you for all the responses, lots of pros and cons to think about!

I just assumed I would have it done, so it threw me off when the doc said it was completely up to me. Last time I had a really unpleasant experience, which makes me hesitate. I'm not a worrier by nature, but the technicians got me really worried. They had 5 or 6 techs coming and going and really making things scary. The problem was cord stump attachment, and they went over all the horrible scenarios I should be expecting.

Finally after 30 minutes I got someone to explain that there wasn't actually any problem visible or anything to indicate there was a problem, just that they weren't getting a clear shot. That really irritated me, I didn't need all that worrying and fretting when they could have explained it accurately instead of defaulting to "something's wrong." I'm just not a worrier, and I finally told them I was ready to call off the U/S (against all their strong warnings). I didn't worry about it the rest of the pregnancy. I avoid tests in general because I don't want false negatives or things to worry about needlessly.

I also wasn't thrilled with the experience after finding out we weren't getting the desired gender and I had nowhere to go and cry and be alone (we would definitely go "envelope" route this time). The main tech was really rude and wouldn't answer my questions, and just physically rough. And I'm a really modest person, being exposed in the middle of the room for so long as so many different techs came and went was incredibly uncomfortable as well. All-in-all it was not a fun experience.

Is there a way they can just check out the most critical or likely problem areas? Seemed like they measured every bone and organ in that tiny body. I would like to make sure there aren't critical defects, but I don't want to know or worry about the small stuff. I am delivering in the hospital with the most advanced neonatal department in the state.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:57 AM   #29
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Re: Should we do the anatomy scan?

I did not have ultrasounds done with my first two kids (except for right at the end with my second when they tried an ECV... just to keep tabs on the baby while trying to turn him). MY OB was okay with not having them done. But the second two I did have 2 u/s each (dating and anatomy). The doctor insisted on the dating ultrasound which was the one I was most against because everything is still developing so rapidly. He made sure it was real quick though.
The anatomy one (which I had them done around 22 weeks with the last two kiddos) was interesting, but took longer (esp. with the 4th because of the "clear shot" thing too as they like to rule out a cleft palate). I think they measure all the bones because there is a link with a shortened limb and a certain special need. Sorry the tech was rough. The tech that did mine was super aloof and not very personable. I know she was concentrating and checking dimensions and whatnot, but crack a smile, lady! I wouldn't call the gender scan fun (I don't get the warm fuzzy feeling during it) and seeing the baby kind of freaks me out, but I felt like it was the right thing to do for me and our situation. With the c-sections, if the baby had cleft palate or spina bifida or something like that, I would want to know ahead of time... being under the knife and being shocked by something like that does not sound like a good combination if it was possible to know ahead of time and prepare for it. Just my two cents.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:37 AM   #30
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Re: Should we do the anatomy scan?

I would go. When is your doctor recommending it? I have my babies at home, so it's important to me to be prepared. At 20 weeks we had an ultrasound and also at 35 weeks. Very thankful we did it too, because it confirmed my breach suspicions. Had to have the doctor turn my baby last friday. Now I'm ready for anything! Hubby is at peace now and me too! Good luck!
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