Published Aug 6, 2005
Hello! So, I posted awhile back about having found some precancerous cells on a pap smear. At the time, my doctor gave me a couple of choices: hysterectomy (due to the type of the cells that were found-adenocarcinoma in situ & carcinoma in situ) vs. trying to get pregnant now (and then most likely a hyster). I am sure that some women on this board can relate- not the news that I wanted to hear at age 26, but it could have been worse. That all started in May.
Well, I took a pregnancy test today and it came back positive. I am haven't had my period yet, so most likely, I am pregnant. Because of everything else going I had a little "time frame" (scheduled to have another cone biopsy in November if I didn't get pregnant)- so I am thankful that we are possibly pregnant the first time we tried (only three months after my first cone biopsy). Everything has come so fast- it has been quite the year of emotions! We went from just my husband and I, no worries, to possibly cancer, to pregnant in only a couple of months. My husband, who stresses more than I, will still be stressed as there is still a chance that if there are precancerous cells that they could turn into cancer while I am pregnant, but we felt (well, I felt, and he saw how much it meant to me) that we had to try for this. I will say that this has brought us closer together. I think that my husband is still in shock- actually I haven't even told him about the positive test yet as he is at work (he knows that I think that I might be pregnant though). Whew, thanks for letting me vent about all that. What a whirlwind. Anyway, thinking ahead:
What are your feelings on all the "testing": AFP/amniocentisis, etc. My first inclination is to skip these (unless something comes up that is necessary). Truthfully, I haven't started researching all this yet, that is next on the list (but I'll probably wait a few weeks). I have no family history of anything important and I am healthy (other than the AIS). Just curious for some feeling about this from those that work in the field or that are mothers themselves.
Also, what about banking cord blood. It seems that any magazine or website that I look at has an add for this. Just wondering what it entails, cost, etc. Again, I haven't researched it yet, just looking to get some opinions.
Thanks in advance!
Congratulations on your pregnancy :). Considering everything, I'm really glad it happened so quickly for you.
I didn't do much testing with my babies; I wouldn't terminate a pregnancy anyway, so I figured things would turn out how they turned out. With my last baby, I did have a quad screen (I was 39 though, not 26), just to be prepared. I tried to get the nuchal cord screening--that's probably not the right name--but for some reason they don't offer that here.
If the test results had come back indicating some problem I don't know whether I would have had an amnio or not. I think I wouldn't have wanted to take even that very small risk. But that's me, you may feel differently :).
We didn't bank cord blood. I think it's a good idea, but way out of what we could afford.
Again, congrats and a happy and healthy nine months.
zambezi, BSN, RN
Congratulations on your pregnancy :). Considering everything, I'm really glad it happened so quickly for you.I didn't do much testing with my babies; I wouldn't terminate a pregnancy anyway, so I figured things would turn out how they turned out. With my last baby, I did have a quad screen (I was 39 though, not 26), just to be prepared. I tried to get the nuchal cord screening--that's probably not the right name--but for some reason they don't offer that here. If the test results had come back indicating some problem I don't know whether I would have had an amnio or not. I think I wouldn't have wanted to take even that very small risk. But that's me, you may feel differently :).We didn't bank cord blood. I think it's a good idea, but way out of what we could afford. Again, congrats and a happy and healthy nine months.
Thanks for the reply. I figured that as for the testing, I would get all kinds of responses becuase it is a personal thing...like you, I don't know that I could terminate a pregnancy based on the testing (especially since I probably won't have alot of chances at this), so part of me is asking what the point would be to go through it (both emotionally and monetary wise).
Thanks for the congratualtions- I am definately excited but hoping that everything will go well and without difficulty. I think that I will have to have a follow-up pap smear or two during this time and hope that it shows nothing for the time being.
When I was pregnant, I wanted to do the cord-blood banking but didn't look into it until during my pregnancy. I don't know why I expected it to be inexpensive, but it was not. It cost around $1200-1500. I was really disappointed because we would not be able to afford it. I am saving though, so we can do it for my next pregnancy. I just hate to imagine what a guilt trip I would put on myself if I didn't do it and 10 or 20 or 30 years down the road could have really used it to save my life or my husband's or my child's or grandchild's life. Considering all the research being done now and the uses they are finding...imagine what will they be able to do with it in 25 years!
Congratulations to you!!
Here is what I can say about testing (It's been said before):
Know very well what you would do with any result you would receive. IF the risks outweight the benefits in your mind, you may want to refuse. You have the right and obligation to ask about these things if any testing is offered, and always, the right to refuse if it's not for you. Discuss all this w/you significant other asap so you can be on the same page when it comes to testing of any sort.
Good luck and again, congratulations to you and your family. I wish you happy and joyous pregnancy.
I am a big proponent of cord blood banking. Wish it were more available when my kids were born.
sjt9721, BSN, RN
I'm 34 and currently 33 weeks pregnant with my first baby. We chose not to do any of the testing. I don't remember the statistics, but my OB discussed the rate of false negatives/positives associated with testing.
We are discussing the issue of banking cord blood. Go ahead and check into the companies that you see advertising. I have looked into the costs and found that many do not require a lump sum up front but will accept payment plans.
Good luck to you and your expanding family!
congrats on your pregnancy!
I don't want to add to your stress, but given the history of cone biopsy I think it would be in order to discuss the possibility of cerclage with your dr. At the very least, you should have a baseline cervical length measurement taken now, and then starting at 18 weeks every week (I say that but I am sure the dr. would say every 2) until beyond 24 weeks. Be very aware of the signs of PTL, especially low back ache...and remember you don't have to feel contractions to dilate. Probably none of this will apply to you, but especially because this pg. is even more precious given your circumstances, I would hate to say something happen that could have been prevented. Never be afraid to call the dr. or go to L&D--it is always better to err on the side of caution.
OK, that said, about the testing...
I refused testing with both pgs. With my second, my OB exerted an enormous amt. of pressure to have the AFP, but I knew that I would not risk an amnio (I know the risk is very small--but I also personally know someone who lost her baby due to CVS--I couldn't live with the guilt). So I saw absolutely no point in doing a screening test that would most likely just cause addtional stress. My son was diagnosed at birth with Down syndrome, which at the time was devastating...but he just turned 2 yesterday, and I thank God for trusting me to be his mother. Babies born with Down syndrome today have such a bright future--I fully expect him to live independently, to work, to have an active social life, and even to marry if he chooses. My husband and I have grown closer and our marriage is stronger as a result of parenting him. We had no idea how much love our hearts could hold. So would I take the risk of losing a baby to find out about DS? Absolutely not. Especially if this might be my only chance at a pregnancy. I personally was glad not to have known during the pg. If there were something more serious, i.e. Trisomy 13 or 18 etc., it would show up on u/s anyway.
Here is a website that shows what it is really like to parent a beautiful child with Down syndrome:
On the flip side, some people with a pre-natal diagnosis of Ds say that they were able to go through a grieving process prior to the birth, so that by the time the baby actually arrived they were able to celebrate.
Good luck with your decision, and congrats again on your pg.
Just had to post a link directly to pictures of lots of adorable children with Down syndrome. People have said that it doesn't seem quite as scary when you see how cute they are!
Down's children are impossible NOT to love. They are amazingly selfless and loving human beings. Good point.
Hi and congratulations on your pregnancy!
When I was about your age, I had something similar happen. I had a pap come back bad and ended up having to have a colposcopy and it came back that I had HPV. This scared the crud out of me. I did the freezing twice and when that didn't work my Dr took me in for a D&C, lazer vaporization of my cervix and he did a laparoscopy to look around. I was devastated because I wanted shildren more than anything. A year later I had something else come up and we had to re-do the D&C and laparoscopy. At that time he told me that he usually doesn't tell people how to start their families but that if I didn't start soon I might not get the child I wanted. I was 28. About 9 months after that we started trying and a year from the date of that last surgery I found out I was pregnant. During my pregnancy we discovered 2 fibroids, one was just under where my bladder was and nearing the birth canal. I ended up having a c-section, but my baby was born totally healthy. I had the fibroid removed when she was 1 and I was pregnant within 17 days after having major uterine surgery. As scared as we were, my second daughter was born in March of 1999. When she was 18 months we went on to try to get pregnant, but over the following 3 1/2 years I lost 6 pregnancies for no reason as far as we could tell. (One of them was Trisomy15) Well when I got to the point of having AFP and Amnio (I was 36 by now) I told my Dr I refused the amnio, but then my AFP came back + for downs. (1 in 44 chance) Even though I knew I wouldn't terminate the pregnancy even if my baby did have downs I still had the amnio, only because if my baby had downs I wanted to be prepared and finding out 22 weeks before his birth was better than stressing and waiting 22 more weeks to know for sure. I had the amnio and my baby was fine. He is 18 months old now.
So I think that the pre-natal testing and all the emotions that can sometimes be involved is a truly personal decision. I had said No Way to an amnio, until I was faced with the possibility of a DS baby. I just wanted to know for sure. I'd have loved him either way.
Good luck to you!
I guess for me personally I just can't stand the AFP. If you are someone who would really want to know ahead of time, then I say just go right for the definitive answer. I know too many people who were caused a lot of unneccessary stress by the AFP, and also at least 10 people off the top of my head who had no increased risk according to the AFP but whose babies had Ds. So I wouldn't be reassured by it. With an experienced specialist the risk from an amnio is less than 1%--but I couldn't live with any risk. I guess my point is that before starting the screening tests you need to know how you feel about having an amnio.
There is also a test called Ultrascreen that is a simple blood test combined with u/s that is done between 11-12 weeks of pg. that is 90% accurate at predicting Ds. So, I *would* find that test reassuring. But again--before you do it you have to know what you would do about an amnio. Oh, and just while I am thinking about it...I know 2 mothers of children with Ds who did not have a prenatal diagnosis, and say they are very thankful that they didn't because they know for sure they would have terminated out of fear. And yes, others were glad to know ahead of time to prepare.
Good luck, this is a very personal decision, obviously--there is a prenatal testing board at babycenter.com that also might have some good info. for you (although the majority of the women who post there are in favor of all testing).
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