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Pregnancy after 40: the risk of chromosomal abnormalities of the fetus, pregnancy and childbirth

Since I was carrying my second child when I was 40 years old, I had to face some difficulties. Specifically, my health was all right and I had almost nothing from the list of problems of late pregnancy.

My problem


I did not suffer from high blood pressure, I know about gestosis only by hearsay, there was no protein in the urine, and in general everything was just fine. Only my harassment of genetics darkened my joy (forgive me, people in white coats belonging to this specialization). The age of a pregnant woman over forty is just for genetics, like a red rag for a bull.

If all other doctors have nothing against such late deliveries, there would be a woman’s health, then geneticists would never agree with that. The reason is the risk of having a baby with chromosomal abnormalities. I understand that they have such a job, and the statistics is an inexorable thing, but it is not very pleasant when they look at your stomach with the certainty that there is a down there.

We had normal screenings of the first and second trimesters, but due to age, a visit to genetics was obligatory for me. The geneticist saw a deviation in the results of my analyzes. Not from the norm, no. From the median. That is, the indicators of my tests, though not exceeding the limits of the norm, were far from the most ideal.

Terrible word cordocentesis



All the ordeals in the genetics office lead to cordocentesis. The prospect of this procedure loomed before me in the very first visit to the genetics office. And although I did almost all of the tests that I could, having paid a lot of money for it, the doctors insisted on conducting a blood test on the child.

The most important reason was that with age, the risk of having a child with chromosomal abnormalities increases many times. That is, it turns out that all the biochemical blood tests I was meaningless to carry out, since their information content is small, and for genetics the decisive factor is my age.

Do not describe my doubts, fears and experiences. A few weeks question What to do? did not give me rest. Of course, sat down at the Internet. My goal was to find:

– all about the procedure of cordocentesis
– possible complications after the study
– contraindications to the procedure
– reviews decided to puncture

Has found. All mapped. I consulted with my husband. Most importantly, I had no contraindications. Complications – 3%. The reviews were different, but there were many encouraging. And I decided …

I know that many people easily give up this analysis, believing that they are doing well. In general, I envy such women. The very same too soberly look at life and believe in science, just to brush it off. Although my husband and I also believed. For some reason I was sure that everything would pass without complications, and he was sure that the analysis would be good.

Why did we go for it? Probably the most important motive was, however strange it may seem, responsibility to the eldest daughter. And I did not want to go to the birth in doubt and fear. I wanted to solve all the issues at once and enjoy this long-awaited pregnancy. But so far, the question of what I would do in the case of a bad analysis, I can not answer anything intelligible.

How it was


It is the day of the procedure. I must say that it costs a lot of money, plus the fact that we had to go to the neighboring region for this for 160 kilometers. But I knew that a top-class doctor was working there, and this added to my confidence and hope. In our own research institutes, they did it for free, but a slightly different procedure, more risky and not so informative.

Since I did not have excess weight, which complicates the procedure, everything turned out well and quickly. The doctor punctured my stomach with a long thin needle and, under ultrasound control, took blood from the umbilical cord precisely from the vessel where the fetus’s blood flows. It sounds scary, but not as it really is. I note that the procedure is carried out even without anesthesia (it is not required here). And that’s all. Now just get the result.

Back we went straight to my mom for my birthday. True, I lay there more, because a day or two needed to reduce all sorts of physical exertion, even minimal ones, and my daughter and sister entertained me by talking to the child in my stomach and inventing his name. The name was female. At that time, we still did not know the sex of the child, and for some reason were sure that there was a girl.

Expectation



I didn’t assume that after all we will have another test: a week of waiting for the analysis results. It turned out that this is no easier than to decide on consent to the procedure.

Pity, love, fear, remorse of conscience, addressed to a native creature already stirring in the stomach, filled me all week. The closer was the day when I had to call the doctor and find out the result of the analysis, the stronger these feelings were.

On that day, when we had to find out everything, I could not work and took time off. I called from home, my husband was nearby. If they ask me: when in life I experienced the greatest happiness, I will answer without hesitation. It was two times in my life: the day my daughter was born, and the day when I learned that my son would be born with the correct number of chromosomes. From that moment, we began a happy quiet life.

A day later, another I, already confident and calm, again visited genetics. I don’t know, I guess, it seemed to me … Maybe this is my sick imagination … But, in my opinion, disappointment flashed in the doctor’s eyes. At least, I have not heard congratulations. The doctor immediately began her calculations and analyzes.

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