We travelled up to Harley Street to the Fetal Medicine Centre to have this Harmony Test.
We were both pretty anxious but planned to go for a nice dinner afterwards or even some shopping to make ourselves feel better about why we was there. We go in to have our analomy scan - which you have done by the NHS at 18-22 weeks - but paying for this private Harmony Test you get a scan with it also. So the baby is still only 14 weeks which I suppose you can only tell so much from, but the only thing I was looking forward to that day was seeing our little babe on the screen again :)
There the baby was upside down being stubborn - definitely take after their Dad with that one - so I had to do a little jump up and down to get them round the right way. So we got to see our baby again and my heart melted, “look at it” I said to Dominic and we was both transfixed on the screen. Scared to breath and nervous as hell, I just wanted this new doctor to say to us “they must have got it wrong in your first scan the babies neck measurements are absolutely fine!”. But he didn’t. He said the fluid on the baby’s neck had decreased to around 4.2mm, so Dom piped up “then it’s gone down by 10%'“ to which I looked at him and felt so proud our baby didn’t have to rely on me for my mathematical skills which I lack in. Okay so that is promising, at this moment we would hold onto anything and that was something at least.
The doctor continued to check the little limbs, kidneys, stomach, brain etc and said “looks good” as he got to each one. He got to the heart and we listened to our baby’s heartbeat for the first time, we both melted with happiness at that sound - they are really there, they do exist! The doctor didn’t say a word as he checked over the heart, and again my nerves increased.
When he was done checking, Dom asked the doctor what he thought in his professional opinion just by looking at the little scan as to whether there seemed like anything was wrong with the baby. To which the Doctor replied, “the baby is showing a heart defect, which is really common in babies with Downs”. Woah. Another blow. I could feel my own heart crack and wanted to just cry so bad but I held it together, we both did. Dom and I didn’t even look at each other, I felt like I would just break down if I did. So in my mind it was looking very likely that our little baby’s chances of having Downs Syndrome was very high and I cannot say how I felt in that moment but surreal. The Doctor left the room and came back to see us in each others arm and maybe he thought we needed hope I don’t know, but he said “The fluid could be there because of the heart defect. So it could just be a very minor heart defect and thats it”. If I’m honest that made me feel better and gave me some hope if any, even though you don’t want your baby to have a heart defect either.
I really did hold onto that it could just be a heart defect, which sounds so awful ‘just’ a heart defect but people live with these all the time. I had high hopes and felt really quite positive about our situation after leaving the Center, I would describe myself as a pretty open minded person. My Dad would say I always see the negatives in everything and sometimes can be a little overdramatic with a scenario, but I look at all outcomes. I like to be prepared for the worse in life but also I can see so much positivity even when others can’t. This is still our baby and conception in itself for anyone is a miracle, I have dreamed and imagined this for so long my time was finally here and with the right person by my side.
I had my bloods done after the analomy test which to be honest is what took my mind off what we had been told about the baby’s possible heart defect. An atrioventricular septal defect to be exact - again they were only over 14 weeks so still early stages to find out anything certain. Who enjoys having their blood taken, not many people I am sure and I am one of those that thinks too much about it and I get light headed, woozy and feel like I am going to throw up. So I had the joy of that next - yay! Well it was all a bit dramatic as my veins collapsed three times whilst she was trying to take my bloods so I had to have a lay down in her office with some water. All the while Dom had popped to the shop as I told him ‘just go I’ll be absolutely fine on my own’ - famous last words. So yes that took our minds off the second blow we had received as we just laughed at how scared I was over the bloods being done.
Again my family & friends were calling and texting me all day to see how we had got on, I found it so difficult to tell them that they had in fact picked up a heart defect. I eventually spoke to my Mum who I had been avoiding to tell, just because I didn’t want to relive the pain I felt when I said it out loud. But as always she is my strongest supporter and knows exactly what to say - I am so very grateful to have her in my life, in both our lives. I replied to my friends texts to tell them the news so far and every time I was sat with my phone in my hand with my eyes filled with tears. It really started to sink in then, and it hurt, it hurt a lot.
We was to wait up to 7 days to receive a call on my results, the results would be 99% accurate and could tell me my odds by checking my DNA and seeing whether I was carrying Trisomy 21 which is also known as Down’s Syndrome. Trisomy 21 is the extra chromosome which is genetically formed during conception, I suppose it is just something that could happen to anyone at any age. Being 28 I would say I am still young, most people associate an older woman maybe 40+ having a child with Trisomy 21. But nope, it can happen and it does happen and we was to find out if we had been chosen to carry a baby with Downs Syndrome.