The husband and I opted out of the Early Pre-natal testing without doing much research before making the decision. At our 10 week appointment, our OB asked if we wanted to do the Nuchal Translucency Test at 12 weeks.
According to BabyCenter, "The NT test uses ultrasound to measure the clear (translucent) space in the tissue at the back of your developing baby's neck. Babies with abnormalities tend to accumulate more fluid at the back of their neck during the first trimester, causing this clear space to be larger than average.
The NT scan must be done when you're between 11 and 14 weeks pregnant. (The last day you can have it done is the day you turn 13 weeks and 6 days pregnant.) It's usually offered along with a blood test in what's known as first-trimester combined screening.
Like other screening tests, an NT scan won't give you a diagnosis. But it can assess your baby's risk for certain problems and help you decide whether you want to have chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis to find out whether your baby is actually affected."
Basically, what our OB said was that currently due to my age, I'm at a 1 out of 200 chance of having a child with Down Syndrome. This NT test will either say my chances increase or decrease, however the test won't always catch Down's and even if it increases your risk, that doesn't necessarily mean you will have a child with Down's either.
If we detected that my chances rose and the NT test said I was now, let's say 1 out of 60 - we could opt to do an amniocentesis which our OB said had a 1 out of 150 chance of causing miscarriage.
At the time, we opted out of this testing b/c it was so not certain and we decided it may just cause undue stress.
At our last appointment, which was 14 weeks, the OB offered another test which we could do at 16 weeks which would be the Multiple Marker Screening. This tests for chromosomal abnormalities. But again, it only assesses the risks and only an amnio could give you a sure answer.
Since our OB assured us that at our 20 week appointment, we'd have a thorough ultrasound to detect for any abnormalities and at that time, we'd have a more confident assessment and could still do an amnio later in the game - we decided to wait.
This has been good and bad. While we don't have the undue stress of false results - I worry. But then again, I'd worry regardless since these tests also can miss things. So alas, our 20 week appointment with the ultrasound tech is getting closer and I'm doing my best to keep my stress at bay.
Regardless of how you go about it, to do the early testing or not, i think some degree of worry is involved. I've heard of amnios going right and amnios going wrong. I know that hindsight is 20/20 and the stress of wondering if you are making the right decision also comes into play.
But we did what we thought was best for our stress levels and our baby at the present time. We can only hope that our baby comes out perfectly healthy, but regardless ... however s/he comes into the world - s/he will be our "perfect" baby; imperfections included!!
Did you opt in or out for Early Pre-Natal Testing? If you aren't there yet, what do you think you'd do? While its such a personal decision, hearing other's experiences always gives me more insight into the situation, so i'd love to read about yours :)