When the OB explained the Ultrascreen test to me, the prenatal test that measures your odds of having a baby with a chromosomal defect, she went into great detail about what the test measured. She carefully explained what different areas were examined through the ultrasound, what the blood test looked for, what the results meant.
When I asked what happened if something came back 'bad', she responded that it wouldn't. "I know," I said, "but what if it does?" "Well, it won't. Your odds are low, only slightly higher than when you were pregnant with Gabe." I nodded, but pressed ahead, "But what if it does? What happens then?" She seemed slightly bothered by my question, "We might advise an amniocentesis, but you wouldn't have that until 16 weeks." I was surprised by this, imagining what it would be like to live with the possibility of heartbreaking news for a month before I could have any kind of confirmation. We talked about an amnio and it's risks, and then moved on. I didn't realize until later that she hadn't really answered my question. In fact, she'd appeared to be purposefully resisting answering the question, even when I insisted.
This bothers me. It bothers me that she would offer a medical test, but then not have the guts to talk about your options if that test comes back with a devastating result. I can't imagine what I would do if such a thing came to pass, in fact, I pretty much push the possibility out of my mind whenever it arises. But I'd expected her to explain the medical side of everything, to describe the options or lack of options you have when you get the results of tests like these.
I am a "need to know" kind of person. I have loads of friends who have refused such tests, because they know in their hearts that they would keep their baby no matter what happens. I need to know. It doesn't matter what the answer is, I want to know as much as I can (except the sex, of course, which seems a little random, doesn't it?).
We had the test last week, and everything looks great, although we're still waiting for the results of the blood test. I dropped the subject with her at the actual testing appointment of what we would do if something came back with high odds of a chromosomal defect, because she was so positive about the ultrasound and said that the ultrasound made up 3/4 of the actual test. Still, it surprised me, especially at a major teaching hospital in Boston.
Maybe I'm totally mistaken about the way she was acting, but it seemed clear to both Josh and I that she was avoiding answering, and that concerns me. If you're faced with a terrible decision, I would hope that your doctor would be supportive and open about helping you through those decisions. In the meantime, I'll be keeping fingers and toes crossed that all my tests come back normal.