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The big drawback of IPS.

2007-12-10 - 10:14 a.m.

Were starting to tell people about the pregnancy. This is mostly because its getting difficult to hide - the time Im wearing maternity clothes, the time I can still fit into some of my larger or more fortuitously-fitting non-maternity clothes but also partly because were seeing people for the holidays that we havent seen for a long time and probably wont again for at least a couple of months. So, if we want to tell people in person rather than, say updating my Facebook status to Shawna is knocked up, well, weve got to carpe us some diem.

In an ideal world, we wouldnt tell anyone until after the results of the IPS came back, but since I wont even go in for the second blood draw until Christmas Eve, I dont think well be getting results until mid-January, which, by-the-way, is almost halfway through the pregnancy.

Am I the only one to think that thats way too late to really have any choice about what to do if the results are bad? Think about it: this test is supposed to give you some idea about your risk of some serious problems with the fetus. Theoretically, you then can use the results to decide on whether to have an amnio or not, and then use those results to figure out whether to continue with the pregnancy or not. Ive gotta tell you, while I have enormous respect for people that truly dont care, I would not, in theory, choose to continue a pregnancy with a severely-handicapped fetus. I am just not that good a person, I guess.

In practice, however, it was one thing to think about terminating an embryo early on, but at this point the wee beggar is the size of a medium shrimp, and by the time I even get the results of the IPS, forget the potential amnio which would be after that, Id be carrying a turnip, or possibly even a bell pepper. Ive seen the Biscuit flipping and turning in my belly. Ive seen the little hands waving and the glowing necklace dots of vertebrae flexing around. Its very hard to imagine snuffing what I think of as my little baby at this point. And maybe this shouldnt be a big factor, but its hard to imagine telling everyone who would be able to tell at a glance that Im pregnant by that point that wed decided to terminate a pregnancy that many know we tried so hard to achieve in the first place. I know we could lie and just say we lost the baby, but Im not a fan of lying and Id rather not have been put in that position in the first place.

CVS or amniocentesis, on the other hand, pose their own risks, including an increased risk of miscarriage which I clearly wasnt willing to take right off the bat and skip the IPS, given how hard it was to become pregnant in the first place. Plus the increased risk of me getting a terminal case of the heebie-jeebies was pretty hard to face too. (A giant needle inserted through my stomach and puncturing my uterus to get a sample? Shudder.)

So, Im crossing my fingers and praying (or at least my version of praying, since I dont go to church or even consider myself a Christian) that the results are good enough that I dont have to make any further decisions. Obviously wed go for the amnio before just deciding to terminate based on IPS results, but I really, REALLY dont want to have to give this whole topic any further thought, much less decide whether to do an amnio or not.

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