11w0d to test or not to test?

Baby’s now the size of a plum!

The end of the first trimester marks an important step for your baby-to-be. All of her major body systems are in place. In her digestive system, her small intestine is no longer entwined with the umbilical cord, but instead is tucked neatly within the abdomen. Her nervous system continues to develop, and her brain’s structure is fully formed. Many of her organs are starting to work on their own, too. For instance, her thyroid begins to secrete hormones. In your 13th week of pregnancy, she’s no longer considered an embryo, but instead graduates into a fetus.  She’s already looking more and more like the baby you’re probably imagining—she even has tiny fingernails.

(Source: The Bump and BabyZone)

I can’t believe that I am almost at the end of my first trimester.  One more week and Baby Z will officially graduate from an embryo to a fetus!  J and I have been waiting for this coveted 12th week mark to start telling people about my pregnancy, since at 12th weeks, the risk for miscarriage drops significantly.  For now though, we’re still holding off until our end of first trimester appointment next Wednesday, when we can see our baby’s heartbeat again.  We can’t wait!

One of the things J and I have been discussing lately is whether we want to do a CVS test at 12 weeks.  CVS, or chorionic villus sampling, is a prenatal test that is used to detect birth defects, genetic diseases, and other problems during pregnancy. During the test, a small sample of cells (called chorionic villi) is taken from the placenta where it attaches to the wall of the uterus.   According to WebMD, CVS can help identify such chromosomal problems as Down syndrome or other genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, and sickle cell anemia.

The benefit of CVS is that it’s considered to be 98% accurate in the diagnosis of chromosomal defects. The procedure also identifies the sex of the baby (we’ll be able to find out already if we’re having a boy or a girl!), so it can identify disorders that are linked to one sex.  The downside to CVS is that it has a higher risk for miscarriage and a rare risk of defects in the baby’s limbs…both of which are very, very scary to us.

We’ve been talking to our friends who have had children recently, and there seems to be a 50/50 among our crew of pals who have had the procedure.   Those who did do a CVS all live in New York City and went to the same OB who specializes in CVS testing and is considered the BEST in the country in safely conducting these tests.  If we were to do a CVS, we would definitely go to her too.

Still, J and I aren’t sure if we want to take this risk with Baby Z, or whether we want to wait until 16 weeks to do an amniocentesis (amnio), which tests for the same things as CVS and has a lower risk for miscarriage.

Definitely lots to consider.  We’re planning to discuss it with our doctor next Wednesday – which can’t come soon enough!