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Age 35 fourth pregancy - do I need the special tests?

(29 Posts)
Rachey1969 Thu 05-May-05 16:01:49

Hi, I'm 35 and currently only 5 wks preg. I have 3 kids already, the youngest is 7 and I was only 28 when I had her so tests weren't really an issue. I hate statistical probabilities and I'm really not sure if I want tests anyway. Would I be encouraged to have them - should I? Opinions please!

Twiglett Thu 05-May-05 16:07:20

what tests are you being offered ?

a nuchal scan - then yes I would go for it but as for anything invasive no I wouldn't

wouldn't worry about being 35 though, not old

bundle Thu 05-May-05 16:08:25

i had my first at 35. try to decide what you would do with information from these tests before you have them: if the answer is Nothing then I personally wouldn't bother (have had 2 amnios myself)

Rachey1969 Thu 05-May-05 16:17:08

I'm feeling old... I was 23 when I got pregnant the first time, also 10 stone each time except this one....

I haven't seen a doctor yet, early days but I want to be mentally prepared. I think I might sit tight and hope for the best. So much can happen before and after birth. My sister in law has a daughter with cerebral palsy from a botched labour and a friend's daughter has autism after catching measles at 9 wks old (always vaccinate - the risks of the disease are far worse than those of the vaccine!)

Lonelymum Thu 05-May-05 16:19:57

I had my fourth child when I was 38 and I had the blood test (AFP?) which gives an indication of DS or Spina bifida. Well, I came up as high for DS but refused amnio because I had nearly lost the baby already and didn't want to risk a miscarriage (anyway, I wouldn't have been able to abort the baby if he had had DS). It made me wonder why I had bothered with the AFP test in the first place. And the reason why? Because it was offered as standard and I had it with my other three. What I am trying to say here is, don't have a test if you would not act on the results one way or another. I don't think you will pressurised to have any tests at any age, but especially not 35.

Rachey1969 Thu 05-May-05 16:24:57

I think I agree with you, I don't want to make those sorts of decisions, especially not based on statistics. I saw a programme once where a woman with a 1 in 6 risk of Down's didn't have it, and another with 1 in 250 risk did - it's all meaningless numbers after a while. I have a sister in law with Downs who is over 40 now and still loving life.

bundle Thu 05-May-05 16:28:08

rachey1969, I don't think they're meaningless, but statistics can be misleading (depending on who's interpreting them for you) and cause unnecessary worry if you wouldn't act on the information anyway. i had a risk of 1/30 (much higher than it should have been) of a life-limiting condition during my 2nd pregnancy so not testing wasn't an option for me. it sounds like you have already made up your mind, so enjoy your pregnancy

motherinferior Thu 05-May-05 16:28:51

It's not 'meaningless numbers' IMO - the nuchal fold test checks the likelihood of Down's, but obviously you could be in the five in six as much as the one in 250. If however you wouldn't terminate on the basis of Down's or another condition, and/or you wouldn't want to know in any case, don't have them.

I had my first at 37 and had a nuchal scan and decided to stop there.

Marina Thu 05-May-05 16:29:41

There are lots of us on here who declined invasive screening such as amnio or CVS even at the advanced age of 40 Rachey .
As you and others say, it's what you would do with the results...I had a nuchal scan and was happy with the improved risk factors for DS it gave me. But I always felt the risk of post-test miscarriage was higher than the likelihood of a chromosomal disorder.
Congratulations on your pregnancy

aloha Thu 05-May-05 16:35:14

I had my children at 38 and 41 (how is this possible? I am not a day over 32 ) and had nuchal fold tests with both, but not invasive tests. It has to be up to you and you alone what you do, but if you wouldn't ever terminate, then tests do become pretty irrelevant.

eidsvold Fri 06-May-05 00:41:38

had my two at 34 and 36 - dd1 was born with heart defect and downs syndrome - heart defect detected antenatally and typical of children with down sydnrome. SO it was a given that dd1 would be born with down syndrome. I declined an amnio - despite it being offered by prof. Kypriades... we were having this baby and knew that we were not afraid of down syndrome - personal experience of friends with children with down syndrome. In hindsight - do I regret it - not for a day.

When I was pregnant with dd2 - given my increased risk of down syndrome I was offered everything under the sun - any and every test and I had a dating scan and a 20 week scan and that was it. Again we would not have done anything with the information. They detected a very 'soft' marker for down syndrome in dd2 at 20 weeks - this soft marker is regularly picked up and comes to naught in a lot of pregnancies but can cause worry. We already knew what we were dealing with in terms of a child with down syndrome so it did not bother us if no2 was also born with down syndrome. The possiblity seemed to bother my mother and our friends and the medical profession though - strange.

Having said all that - you can have as much or as little testing as you would like. I did a lot of reading on the tests, their reliability and then talked with dh about what we would do depending on the test. As we had decided that we would not do anything with the information - we declined a lot of tests.

I think you would be encouraged to have them - depending on your GP, midwife, consultant BUT essentially it is YOUR choice. I look at it this way - what would I do with the information, if nothing, then I don't need the test. BUT that was our decision. YOur circumstances/situation may be different.

Rachey1969 Fri 06-May-05 10:32:18

Thanks for all your congratulations (why can't everyone be happy for me? I'm amazed at people's reactions to number 4). I'm glad I have one girl already so I don't have to go through all that gender thing again from people. I think I might not have any other than the scan...

Sid Fri 06-May-05 13:55:38

Rachey, I am nearly 39 and am also expecting my 4th (typing that feels really weird!) - 10 weeks now. I do wonder - I had my first mc ever last year and although I had no tests, only the 20week scan for the first 3, this is the first time I am wondering whether it would help me. The stakes seem so much higher the older you get, so I know where you're coming from. I did see my GP yesterday, who gave me info about BUPA's 'OSCAR' (One Stop Clinic for Assessment of fetal Risk), which is a nuchal fold, blood tests rolled into one at 12/13 weeks - again you would only ever get a risk probability. Anyway, it costs £179, so that probably sorts out that dilemma for me!

QueenEagle Fri 06-May-05 14:10:08

Rachey - don't you believe it about the gender thing! My oldest is a dd and I have ds's x 3. When I was expecting no.5 everyone said, "Oh I expect you would like a girl then, to even things up a bit?" Used to drive me mad. Then when it turned out to be another boy, I got, "Oh, I expect you'll be trying for a girl next time then?" I can't win!

Dingle Fri 06-May-05 14:10:39

I had my 2 at 33 and 35. Had such terrible sickness with both of them, I was so aware of the baby I was carrying, right from the very early stages. I choose not to have any additional testing for either, only the basic routine screening and scans.

I am now the mum of 2 wonderful childrenincluding my dd (3) who has Downs Syndrome. She is happy and healthy and to me, as bright as a button. I wouldn't have her any other way.

I have heard so many stories of babies with being born and only then being diagnosed, a good percentage of them also having heart defects. On the other hand I have also heard so many stories of "high risk" mothers being worried sick and considering a termination, only to find their baby being born NT!

I personally am glad I didn't know, yes, it was a shock when she was born, but mother nature had already kicked in and I still had a beautiful, wonderful, amazing little girl to care for and love to bits!

You need to decide for yourself about what you would do given any "negative" results of these tests. If your answer is nothing, then personally I wouldn't bother.

Congrats, and hugs, love Dingle.

Rachey1969 Fri 06-May-05 20:34:10

Thanks! You sound like a great mum. Life is full of tough decisions...

sansouci Fri 06-May-05 20:37:56

Haven't read the thread but I think it's as of 37 that the risks rise dramatically.

Rachey1969 Fri 06-May-05 20:40:09

I'll be 36 in July, feel about 136 today!

sansouci Fri 06-May-05 20:42:22

Have now read thread & would say don't worry, especially if you wouldn't terminate the pg if you found out your baby had Downs. I had my 1st at 37 & my 2nd at 40 & had amnios for both. No problems with the amnios, BTW. Nothing to it, really.

Rachey1969 Fri 06-May-05 20:47:01

Thanks for the reassurance, I kinda feel bad not testing somehow if you understand? I have 3 kids already to consider and am the breadwinner. I feel so privileged to have 3 healthy children already that I feel I'm tempting fate and I'm over my quota! Sorry if that sounds self-indulgent.

sansouci Fri 06-May-05 20:53:08

Nah! You'll be fine. If I had the strength & courage, I'd keep going, too! I love being a mother & am fascinated to see what our combined genes have formed but with their own adorable personalities. I love my babies so much! I thought I could never love anyone as much as I love dd but ds has proved me wrong. Do not worry about tempting fate. Absolute rubbish!

Rachey1969 Fri 06-May-05 20:56:03

Thanks, I love my tribe, I love the way they interact together, it really tickles me to eavesdrop on them unawares! I hope they like the idea of a baby ( a real one as opposed to baby born - at least you don't have to flush out a real baby when it's pooed!). This is my first with dp (not their dad) and I wonder how they are going to come to terms with it?

sansouci Fri 06-May-05 21:02:44

Oh Rachey! Do you have a Baby Born also? How cute! I'm the grandma to dd's BB, who's called Charlotte. We tried feeding her once but gave up. When she goes in the bathtub or swimming pool, I have a dreadful time getting all the water out of her. I noticed she was smelling musty awhile ago so ran some Dettol solution through her. Did the trick, although she smells a bit like school.

sansouci Fri 06-May-05 21:05:23

Re having a different father, it shouldn't make an ounce of difference, especially if they're being brought up together. I have 2 half-sisters whom I only saw in the summer but I love them to bits & think of them as real sisters.

Rachey1969 Fri 06-May-05 21:06:07

Haha! Ours is called Annabelle (a cunning ploy on my part to explain buying the wrong shoes in the toy shop....) Feeding is not fun. Interestingly the first thing dss and dp did when they saw her was stick her dummy in her bottom... what would social services say?!

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