Quad Screen Test Results Reliable?

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
My name is Sandi and I am 19 weeks pregnant. I had a quad screen test last week and my doctor informed us today that I have an increased risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome. He went on to say that about 1 in 385 are born with DS. Then he said that my screening was 1 in 15. I am devastated. He might as well have told me that our baby has DS. We scheduled an amniocentesis for this Friday. My husband insists that whatever the outcome, we will continue this pregnancy. I on the other hand, have a very different perspective.

My question is, this is just a screening, but 1 in 15 chance? That to me is significant. What advice and/or resources can assist me at this point? I appreciate any assistance you can provide.

ANSWER

I am so sorry this is happening to you! Of course, you might say that you have a 14 out of 15 chance that your baby is perfectly normal. Hopefully the amniocentesis will confirm that you are one of the lucky ones.

If not, there are a tremendous number of resources available to you if you choose to continue the pregnancy. I have to say that I think the reason there are Down Syndrome people on the planet is because they are truly happier than any of the rest of us, and remind us to appreciate every day we are given. God bless, and I hope all goes well for you.

-- Cynthia, CNM

Comments

life

hi sandi, i am sorry for your worries. i just wanted to pass some info along in regards to your question. i know you must be very nervous dealing with these concerns and from your info i gather that you are unsure of having a baby with ds. my only suggestion is that if your tests come back showing your baby does have ds, before you make a hasty decision on ending the pregnany maybe you could get in contact with some families who are raising babies and children with ds. im sure you will learn that these families couldnt imagine their lives without them. i have a friend who has a child with the condition and after talking to them they say their thoughts were like yours. very unsure of progressing with the pregnancy.after meeting with families they had a change of heart and now 4 years later they say they cannot imagine there lives without their son. he loves his mommy and daddy beyond belief. and they love him beyond belief. they see the happiness in his face, they see the love he has for them, they see his curiosity and playfulness for life. he is a little boy wanting and giving love and they cant believe they almost took that away. i just wanted to pass this info along bc i know when parents get the news the first thing they think is negative but i just want u to realize there is so much positive to come from a child w ds.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.