So I've been trying not to think/worry/fixate on the soft markers that were found on the ultrasound 2 weeks ago. Later on that week, I had blood drawn for a second trimester quad screen, which screens for spina bifida, Down's, and Trisomy 18. I guess my 'don't worry' approach really worked, because I completely forgot to call for the results of the quad screen last week.
Thankfully, everything came out great. My risk for open spina bifida is 1 in 1500; the lab report states that the serum AFP value is considered NEGATIVE for a pregnancy at this gestational age. My risk for Down's Syndrome was lowered from 1 in 157 (based on my age only) to 1 in 3300, based on my age and biochemical markers; the lab report states that this screening profile does NOT indicate that the patient is at increased risk for a Down's Syndrome pregnancy. My calculated risk for Trisomy 18 was lowered to less than 1 in 10,000; the lab report states that this screening profile indicates that the patient is NOT at increased risk for a Trisomy 18 pregnancy.
So the question remains, should we even allow those 'very soft markers' found on my 16 week scan to affect our decision about amnio. I'd say that the blood tests would be more accurate than a subjective identification and measurement of a couple of structures on an ultrasound. Our level 2 ultrasound will be the true test. The kidneys should be more easily identified by then, and we should have a better picture of the Choroid Plexus cyst.
It should go without saying that I really am praying (to the extent that I pray) for a completely healthy baby. The most common question that I have been asked is if we're going to find out if our baby is a boy or girl (the answer is no, by the way). The gender of our baby has been the last thing on my mind; my concern first and foremost has been the health of my child, and honestly, while admittedly I am leaning more towards one gender than another, I couldn't care less if it's a boy or a girl. I want to give this child the best possible odds of a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
I have to admit, however, that I have another reason for hoping that this child is chromosomally and genetically normal. You see, there have been many online conversations on the subject of ARTs and their ethics. My viewpoint is that infertile couples have as much right to a biological child of their own and should be able to achieve one by whatever means are necessary. However, there are some who do not share this opinion. These people are typically of the 'holier than thou' mindset, and believe that they speak the word of God. They lecture and preach that if God had wanted us to have biological children, we wouldn't have been made infertile. Of course, these are people who can have as many children as they want quite naturally, and usually do. They think that people like me are going against God's wishes and deserve whatever punishment we get. We are going to go to hell because we are not leading the righteous path that God has paved for us. And we deserve to never have children because that's 'God's will' and we should never go against God's will. And if God forbid my child was born with something medically wrong, that would be more ammunition for these crazies to preach and lecture that we shouldn't have deviated from the path of righteousness.
So you see why I need to tell all of these 'more righteous than thou' assholes to stay out of my body, mind their own business, and SUCK IT. Beautiful children, conceived via ARTs, are born every day, and their parents love them and care for them as much as God would expect them to.