Prenatal Screening, Early Sex Prediction, and My First Sonogram

Originally, I decided to pass on the standard first trimester prenatal screenings because I knew they weren’t diagnostic. The nuchal translucency scan combined with a blood test can estimate your chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome, but if the results come back as higher risk, you have a couple of extremely difficult decisions to make. Do you proceed with a diagnostic chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis, which both carry the risk of miscarriage and may end up ruining a perfectly healthy fetus? If the CVS or amniocentesis comes back positive for Down Syndrome, do you proceed with the pregnancy or terminate? I’m not in the high risk age group for Down Syndrome, so I’d rather not go down that road.

My husband, of course, has a different opinion. He wanted to do the tests to be on the safe side. Better to know what you’re up against than blindly accept what you’re dealt. Since I get to choose the birth place and my health care provider, I deferred to M on this one. Another teensy factor in my decision is that I was dying to see the baby on an ultrasound.

So, yesterday morning, I went in for the screenings.

The nuchal translucency scan was completely normal. I’ll get the results of the blood work in one week, but the physician assured me that, given my age and the results of the nuchal translucency, I am “very low risk” for any problems. Next he turned and asked, “Are you finding out what you’re having?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Well, don’t hold me to it, but it looks like a boy.”

I had no idea they could make an educated guess this early. When I returned home, I did a bit of research, and it looks like yes, an educated guess is possible. At 12 weeks, the female and male “nub” look very similar, but the male nub tends to point up toward the head, and the female nub tends to point flat toward the rear.

I thought for sure it would be a girl. We conceived while traveling, and my husband did nothing to make sure his sperm were healthy—he was sunbathing in 90+ degree weather for god’s sake. How could male sperm possibly survive that? I’ll find out the sex with more certainty in 6 weeks. For now, I’m getting used to the idea of having a boy. If I had it to do over again, I would rather not have heard anything at 12 weeks and waited for a more definitive answer at 18 to 20 weeks.

No matter what the sex ends up being, I’m ridiculously in love with my baby already. Seeing that booger for the first time on ultrasound was miraculous. I highly recommend it.

Did you do any prenatal screenings and would you recommend it? Has anyone received an early sex prediction that turned out to be correct or incorrect?

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About The Preconceptionist

Where personal experience meets clinical and cultural preconceptions about birth and women's health.
This entry was posted in First Trimester, Pregnancy, prenatal screening and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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