New Worries

Every fetal development test raises our anxiety level.

Two weeks ago we were nervous about cystic fibrosis. The new worry is Down syndrome.

Yesterday morning S had a Nuchal translucency screening. An ultrasound was done to measure the baby’s neck – children with Down syndrome often develop more fluid in their neck during the first trimester, enlarging it. This measurement, along with two blood tests, predicts the likelihood of the fetus having Down syndrome. We won’t know the results for another few weeks, when the second vial is drawn.

As with the CF test, our big, abstract worry – is the fetus developing normally? has been made specific and focused. The tests, designed to make us feel better, actually ends up causing us to feel worse at first. But there’s nothing we can do except care for the baby’s development, assuming – hoping – that everything is developing normally.

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