Suddenly Parents

Keeping Our Sanity During Baby's First Year

NT Scan Experience and Results!

As I said my my previous post, we went in for our NT scan yesterday. The NT scan (also called the nuchal fold scan or nuchal translucency screening) is a test that assesses your baby’s risk of having Down syndrome (DS) and some other chromosomal abnormalities as well as major congenital heart problems. The test is usually performed around week 12 and consists of an ultrasound and a blood test.

I was very nervous about this test. Even though my doctor told us we didn’t have to do the test, we chose to go ahead and do it since I am 34 and this is our first baby. My doctor’s office doesn’t do the test so I had to make an appointment at the hospital’s diagnostics center. I read about the test online but I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. Luckily, it turned out to be a great experience!

When my husband and I showed up for our appointment, they sent us back to the ultrasound room after I filled out some paperwork regarding insurance information and family history. The ultrasound tech was very personable and nice. She used an external ultrasound wand over my tummy to find the baby. Once she found the baby, she measured the length of the baby, the blood flow to the liver, the size of the brain and the straightness of the spine. She then checked for the presence of a nasal bone, the absence of which is a major indicator of DS. She also measured the thickness and length of the baby’s neck, which also indicates DS. She walked us through everything she was looking at and told us the whole time that everything looked great.

Next, she asked us if we wanted to know the sex. We said we did so she tried to look between the baby’s legs. She couldn’t see very well so she pushed on my stomach to get the baby to move. The baby started kicking and punching and then flipping around! It was so fascinating to watch. Then the tech said that it looks like we are having a girl! The tech told us that if both she and the doctor agree on the sex, then they are usually about 90% correct.

After the tech was done, the doctor came it and did her own exam. She measured the same things the tech did and verified that her results were the same as the tech’s. Next, she looked for the sex of the baby and said that she thinks our baby is a girl too (though she gave us only a 70% accuracy rate). She then pricked my finger and I put 5 blood drops on a piece of paper to be sent to a lab for screening. The doctor told us that everything looked great and she would be shocked if anything came back abnormal.

On the whole, the experience was amazing. We were able to see our baby again and see that she looks like a real human instead of a sea monkey! We saw her tiny hands and feet and saw her punching and kicking. Simply amazing. And, we got the piece of mind we were looking for with the test. I know things can still go wrong, but this is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I feel much more confident now about the pregnancy. In fact, we went ahead and made an announcement on Facebook and I told my coworkers.

The cat is, officially, out of the bag.

You can see the nugget's little hand!


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