Wednesday, 14 November 2007

What the Hell's a Nuchal Fold Anyway?

Finally, I realised why I have gone so quiet. Not just here on my blog, but IRL too ..... it's because, if I'm really, really still, then nothing bad can happen. Maybe I'm doing what I used to do in my early years, hearing my dad beat up my mum ..... make myself small, and quiet, then nobody will notice me and no harm can come.

Well, I have been still and quiet for a while now; however, my high risk nuchal result has succeeded in blowing my theory right out of the water. I feel like I have been found out - busted, just when I was starting to feel safe. I'm pissed off and angry. I have 1 in 163 chance of the baby having Downs, and now have to decide whether to do an amnio. For Chrissake - you know, I really think that all will probably end up fine anyway, hopefully. It's just this freaking worry and fear in the meantime. I'm angry at myself - for almost feeling bloody comfortable that now I really have something real to worry about. Stupid dumb familiar worry.

But - a teensy part of me wonders if all the worry I have had so far is because there actually really IS something wrong with the baby. Back and forth, back and forth. Ahhhh!!

Before the shitty phonecall from the doctor this afternoon, I had a great day. Spent 2 hours at the maternity ward, booking in to the midwife clinic at the local hospital. Got me a showbag of goodies and a heartful of excitement. Then I read the paper in my favourite cafe, ordering a burger at 11am. Walked to the travel agent to pay off some $$ for our big holiday to New Zealand at Christmas. Mr TC has never been overseas before! And, we're taking my 10 and 15 year old stepkids as well as Tiger. I am going to hold the bags and take photos while they're all on the fast jetboats and bungies, etc .... because I will be too pregnant to go on anything. Well, hopefully - that's the plan, anyway.

Mr TC reckons it will all be fine. So do my lovely sisters, who are so wise and hilarious at the same time. Watching Tiger do the air guitar with his penis in the shower tonight certainly made me smile.

Amnio is booked in for next Thursday. I have personally never heard of or met anyone who miscarried after an amnio, but it's still scary. Ugh.

What a self-absorbed post, sorry. I have been reading up on everyone, just not commenting much.



Chas said...

Amnio is scary to me too, so we won't discuss that. I will throw out there that I have friends who were told after their test that the baby did have Downs...there was no "you have a 1 in whatever chance", they were told the baby had it...they opted against the amnio. Baby is fine, totally abnormalities. Those tests are there for a good reason, but they are so inaccurate at times. I remember tossing and turning over whether to have the triple screen (nuchal fold test wasn't in place when I had Lila). Good luck!

Geohde said...

Mz TC.

It probably WILL be okay, but it's scary, yes.

They set the recall threshold for a risk of 1:300. AT this number one in twenty women will get a high risk result and have to come back! 5% of all NT screens will be classed as high risk, to put it another way. This is set at this level to catch as many T21 babies as possible, whilst not having TOO many false pick-ups, but you can see that the vast majority will be false positives. The test is set to be sensitive, not specific (the amnio does that) to be the widest trawling net that is reasonable.

The incidence of downs is such that the vast majority of high risk results have normal babies.

Good luck with your amnio. Email me if you want more waffle.. :)



The Dunn Family said...

Just wanting to send out virtual hugs! I'm sure this is very scary for you. I know a few people who've had amnios, and like you said, I've never known anyone who miscarried from it. I have great faith that all will be fine with your little one! Hugs.

SaraS-P said...

hoping for the best for you

nancy said...


Just as another story to tuck under your belt, I had a nuchal fold "increased" result and my little one did not end up with downs or any other disorder. I know it's scary. Good luck.

Stacie said...

You know that while the number isn't what you want to see because you have been labeled "high risk for down's", it only means that your chance is 0.6% of having a baby with a genetic problem. To put that into perspetive, that means that you have a 99.4% chance that you are okay. I would bet on those odds any day! Plus, it is a doctor's job to give you the worst case scenario--just in case and to save their rear ends. I suppose I see the need to do that, but it causes so much worry and distress for so many people (and I was one of those people, too).

I believe that all is okay with your little one. I hope that putting that scary number this way helps to make it a little less scary.

Sending love and hugs...


Trevor said...


We were also high risk (older parents, multiple babies etc). Plus we had TTS, selective reduction* and any number of other things thrown at us. It's all just The Fear. Ride it out and best of luck.

*Selective reduction - the chemical abortion of one or more fetuses to improve the chances for the remainder, albeit at the risk of losing all. Explained to in caring terms by a doctor who walked in thirty seconds after our first (official) scan and grunted 'Triplets! Well you'll have to get rid of some of them!' and then stomped out again.

anna said...

I echo the reassurance of the previous comments...the nuchal fold thing is a screening test so it catches tons more people who really are having healthy babies just to make sure that the ones who are in danger get spotted early. I'm sending up tons of hopes and prayers that your little munchkin is just fine.

OHN said...

Tests are wonderful till they are incorrect. I wish I had a dollar for everyone I know that had a questionable nuchal whose baby was perfectly normal. Take a deep breath and look forward to your December trip!

Angie said...

I am hoping that everything is okay!