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This topic is for sharing experiences of pregnancy choices; to debate the ethics of termination, visit our Politics or Chat forums.

Pregnancy choices

Termination of T21 at 35, first pregnancy - will I have another chance?

20 replies

Aleoli · 27/06/2021 13:09

Hello,
I need a place to wind and relieve some of the grief I am going through right now
I am 35, this is my first pregnancy. I met my loved one just short of 3 years ago so I obviously missed on my most fertile years. This is not my first relationship but first one where I felt secure to start planning a family, I had a lot of anxiety about this matter before. I got pregnant in February this year and so far had a very nic pregnancy, no issues whatsoever. I went through my first screening at 13 weeks and ultrasound looked very good, chances of Down syndrom was 1:1500. I had a slightly elevated level of progesterone hormone so was sent for additional tests at around 17 weeks where they did some blood work which resulted in increased chance of Down (1:640) and had another ultrasound where they found an echogenic intracardiac focus in the heart of the fetus, everything else still looked normal. However, the genetics specialist advised to go for the amniocentesis the same day which was quite unexpected to us. We were supposed to leave for the holiday the next day so we agreed to perform a procedure when we will be back (and both of us had a feeling that nothing is wrong). So I had an amniocentesis last Friday, additionally I opted for a quick version to check for main triosomie (it is called multi amnio PCR). The same evening I got a dreaded call, nurse told me that the quick test confirmed Down syndrome. It is a diagnostic tests as they use calls from amniotic fluid so it is 100%. Of course they will confirm it with karyotype test a bit later but based on what I read so far it will be the same. We have a consultation with genetics tomorrow afternoon but I don't think there will be any good news. I think the discussion will be around whether we want to keep the pregnancy or terminate it (I will probably be around 21 week).

We cried, and cried and I still cry now. We decided that the best case would be to terminate the pregnancy while I still have a legal option to do so. Neither of us want to risk and bring a disabled child into this world, especially if we have no idea how serious the level of disability will be.

I hate the fact that I even have to make this choice, I never thought I would be at this position, yet here I am. I blame myself and my age for causing this, I am thinking how both of our moms would be disappointed (this was supposed to be a first grand child for both of them). I know that the decision we made will be best for us in long term perspective but it doesn't make it any way easier now.

We want to try again and we hope next time around it will be better. However, with termination, healing and recovery it may take us some time till we can try again and I will be closer to 36 already. I started to be afraid that, if I had this issue now, I will have even more problems in 6 month time and it will never work. I hope I am wrong but cannot be sure in anything right now.

Are there any others who had to deal with abortion in the very first pregnancy due to genetic issues while being
"elderly pregnant" and have a success story after that? I would appreciate some success stories right now to give me some hope for future

Thank you

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Lokdok · 27/06/2021 13:21

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YetAnotherSpartacus · 27/06/2021 13:26

I don’t have a success story OP but I just wanted to jump in and say that you should not be guilted into not terminating by posters such as the one directly below your OP.

Your body, your choice.

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Aleoli · 27/06/2021 13:28

Thank you for your response. You are right, this is not what I wanted to hear. We weighed our options and made our decision already, I know that some people with DS can have a good life but as far as I know many end up having serious complications and you can never tell beforehand. Where I live there are not so many people who raise kids with Down syndrome, a lot of people are opting for abortion for the same reason.

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Aleoli · 27/06/2021 13:29

Thank you, I will try not to.

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drpet49 · 27/06/2021 13:30

In answer to your question OP- yes you will have a chance again. You obviously didn’t have trouble conceiving this baby.

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Aleoli · 27/06/2021 13:32

Thank you,
I had some troubles but got pregnant pretty quickly after taknling prenatal vitamins on my gynecologist advise, I hope it will help second time

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InTheNightWeWillWish · 27/06/2021 13:39

I’m sorry for the bad test results. It is your right to terminate your pregnancy if that is the outcome you did not want. You shouldn’t be made to feel bad about the painful decision that you are making. There of course people with DS who live relatively normal lives but there are those that need significant support throughout their life and unfortunately you don’t know which way it will go for you. You shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about this decision, which is already a difficult and heartbreaking decision for you to make.

The genetic counselling should be able to tell you how likely other chromosome issues are with subsequent pregnancies so I would make a list of questions you want to ask them. I would also ask if there’s an email or support service for afterwards and any questions you’ve forgotten to ask.

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bettythebutterfly · 27/06/2021 13:40

My first baby had T13, and I terminated when I was 34. I went on to have two healthy children with no pregnancy complications. Please be kind to yourself, OP, and know we are thinking of you. Those of us who have been there know how you are feeling. Thanks

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ArtfulScreamer · 27/06/2021 13:41

OP please ignore the judgemental post above they are not you, not in your shoes and absolutely not their decision to make. Never judge a man until you've walked a day in his shoes was what I was taught and it's a shame not everyone has had this lesson!
I've no specific experience relevant to your situation however I am 40 and have just given birth to my second child after having my first at 38 both are perfectly healthy and I am in that risk age group. I think you've been unfortunate on this occasion if you do have to TFMR but there's no reason to believe it would happen a second time if you were to try again. Good luck with whatever choices you make Flowers

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boymama82 · 27/06/2021 13:45

So sorry to hear this but please don't worry about your age, I had my first baby at 37 last year and am now 37 weeks with our 2nd, i had 3 miscarriages prior to that

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Biscuitsneeded · 27/06/2021 13:50

@Lokdok I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you mean well, but your post is insensitive and judgemental and I suggest you ask to have it removed. Nobody is saying a child with Down's can't be happy, healthy or useful, but you don't have a crystal ball, you don't know what exact challenges or heartache might lie ahead, and if the OP and her partner do not feel equipped to be parents to a child with possibly serious heart problems then how dare you make them feel guilty?
@Aleoli, 35 is still relatively young. It is most likely you will be able to conceive again without much trouble, although of course nobody can guarantee anything. Only you can make the decision you have made, and no other posters should presume to question it. I send you my sympathy on your predicament and wish you all the best. Be kind to yourself.

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snowqu33n · 27/06/2021 13:55

You must be feeling pretty horrible at the momentFlowers.
You know your own situation best and the decision you make will be right for you.

When you talk to the genetics doctor you should be able to ask questions about your medical situation. If they aren’t able to answer then I would seek out another medical professional who can give you more information. I think you would be best to go on the opinion of your doctors who have seen your data, instead of unqualified posters on the internet.

Having said that, I think lots of people go on to have babies after having first pregnancies that end sadly. I know at least 2 people who experienced that in their 30s.

35 isn’t very old. There are threads on here from people having babies in their 40s.

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Aleoli · 27/06/2021 13:58

Thank you so much for kind words. It is a hard decision but, as you mentioned, it is impossible to know what condition this very child with DS will have, there is a whole spectrum of scenarios
And for your advice, I will make sure we will have some further consultation with genetcs

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LizzieMacQueen · 27/06/2021 14:05

My sister in law was you, maybe fractionally older. Went on to have 2 children post-termination. I don't think they had further screening other than the usual tests. 💐

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Aleoli · 27/06/2021 14:17

@snowqu33n
Thank you for the encouragement, I really hope for better outcome next time around.
The doctors in prenatal centre where I go are well trained and professional, that's why they managed to catch DS despite pretty good ultrasound scans, I am sure they will be able to shed some light on the issue we faced.

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Aleoli · 27/06/2021 14:24

@boymama82 thank you for sharing your story! I hope I will be able to conceive again (at least my body knows the drill already so it might be easier second time) and will have better chance for a healthy child

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TreaslakeandBack · 27/06/2021 14:26

I had a TMFR for t21 at 34. I had fertility problems so that pregnancy was clomid. I had ivf later that year and out of 8 embryos,
4 had normal chromosomes (we had them tested). One is now 9 year old DS.
I’m sorry you’re going through this. We were told 1 in 100 chance of it recurring which I found reassuring.

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BusyLizzie61 · 27/06/2021 14:27

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Aleoli · 27/06/2021 15:48

@TreaslakeandBack
Your story sounds very encouraging as well. We were also discussing the possibility of doing IVF to check the embryo quality to be sure in advance, maybe we will use this way as well

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Zebra13 · 27/06/2021 20:24

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