Why I had an Amnio.

Would you have an amnio? Did you have an amnio? Should you have an amnio? Why did she have an amnio? …. Very Personal Questions in the year 2011. Tread softly.

We live in an incredible day and age, with medical advances and technology that can prove to be life saving or life devastating. Meaning it depends on whose hands these advances fall into that can mean the difference between life and death. Glory to God or Tears in Heaven.

I have felt the burn of abortion being thrown into my face like hot wax after we found out at 21 weeks (just a few short weeks prior to termination cut off in NYS). The room would start spinning by the time the third doctor dropped that word (A B O R T I O N)….. “I LOVE THIS BABY…. ” is all I wanted to scream at those doctor’s in those cold exam rooms.

I have drank from the bitter cup of amnio opinions, being left with a sour taste in my mouth that only God could wash away. For example a few months ago this statement crossed my path  … “Well I would never get an amnio because I would never abort my baby”…

……It is a very personal decision, one that you have to feel 100% right about with God, your family and within yourself as a mother. I think it is awesome when you know when it’s not right for you or your family.

I went for no prenatal blood work with Grady before his 18 week anatomy scan. I was a 25 year old baby making machine, who needs testing, nothing will ever happen to my baby.

Then Grady’s 18 week routine ultrasound  lasted a lot longer than it should have, with silence and awkwardness from the tech, leaving the room and returning, a bunch of pictures on the same places, leaving and coming back. A day or so passed and I get a call that we needed to do a level 2 ultrasound to rule out heart abnormalities. (they couldn’t tell what exactly but something was off  with his heart). A week later after I had my Level 2 ultrasound I returned to my doctor’s office the same day. She did say the scan looked good but she then suggested that I get the AFP or Triple Screen test to just to ease my mind. Three days later I got the call,  1 in 10 chance for Down Syndrome the same as a 52 year old woman. (read my first blog post for a more details)

That call came in at 5:30pm and by 7am the next morning I was getting prepped for an amnio.  13.5 hours of decision making between the blood screen results and amnio. We prayed. We cried. We knew.

Personally, what worked for us is KNOWING. I wanted to be prepared for this baby mentally and physically but most importantly, we knew that this very small community hospital wasn’t prepared for a baby with special needs or a possible complex situation. I wanted to be in the right place with the right equipment even if that meant driving over an hour to appointments for the remainder of my pregnancy. It felt right.  13.5 hours later, I did it.

I wouldn’t change the fact that I peaked into God’s creation wrapped around my belly. The backlashes from knowing only have become avenues for growth and perspective. Knowing about Grady’s Secret meant people leaving my life and people coming into my life.  Glory was given to God and the medical advancement that is an Amnio proved to be a tool to help me share Grady Love sooner than his birthdate. Doors opened…and they keep opening.

Fact: Just because a woman gets an amnio doesn’t mean they are going to have an abortion, or that they are even considering abortion.

Each woman’s story and decision is so uniquely different.

Tread softly.

God was glorified through our Amnio.

Will I have another Amnio with our next child someday? Perhaps. Each pregnancy, each child and situation is uniquely different.

Tread Softly. Love Hard.

{Matthew 7:1 : John 13:34}

“Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won’t come in.”
Alan Alda


23 thoughts on “Why I had an Amnio.

  1. Jill says:

    Lovely. You are so right. Each pregnancy, child, woman and situation IS different. For us, we did the AFP testing early, and it came in clutch after we had a bad ultra sound. We had to have a level 2 utlra sound, and just knowing more about the pregnancy I was carrying was such a comfort for us. Plus, it gave us way better photos of the lil’peanut. I really wanted to know the sex of the baby, so my gut tells me, I’d want to know if he had Down Syndrome too. Knowledge is power!

  2. Adrienne says:

    Finally!! Some one who feels the same and has had that comment spinning around in their head as well!! I always feel strange after I read a comment like that because just like you said, just because someone gets an amnio doesn’t mean that they want to abort. And that comment makes it sound like they do! I’ve been wanting to blog about this {just couldn’t find the right words} since my situation was almost exactly like yours- 1 in 10 over here too! And the decision to have the amnio was a quick one but I had one with Ainsley too- totally different story but I was somewhat comfortable with the procedure. But I don’t regret knowing, not one bit. You wrote this perfectly and explained it perfectly, thank you!

    • Erin Ski! says:

      yes that comment did spin hard for months, finally it came out, whew do I feel better now!! I just wish people understood things better before throwing judgement out so quickly… I remember our stories being similiar, one of the reasons why I fell in love with your family, my first bloggy family!! your blog was my peace hours after our amnio was read. your beautiful baby boy!

  3. sheena Greene says:

    What a blessing!! You did what was right for your family. It has shown that it only made your family and Grady shine just a little bit brighter! I was so blessed when I got to meet you when you were still baking Grady and I continue to learn and be blessed by you! PRAISE THE LORD! I love the realness and rawness that you share. Thank you for being bold and sharing your heart and God no matter what!!
    I am so very thankful!!!

    Oh and Mister Grady is getting way to big and gorgeous!!!

    • Erin Ski! says:

      Thanks Sheena!! I am so glad you were (still are) such an awesome support and friend during my journey of pregnancy!! You always knew the right things to say!! So eager to meet miss K! xo

  4. Jaime Harman says:

    Exactly!! We had an Amnio because we HAD to know. Not knowing would have caused a not so fun pregnant experience! I’m glad we knew cause we were well prepared for Jaidin’s arrival. And anyway why do we have to justify our actions to anyone?!

    • Erin Ski! says:

      You are right we don’t need to justify our actions to anyone, but slipping my side of the matter hopefully gives perspective!! and JAIDIN is soooo cute btw! I just stopped by today, I could just eat him up!!

  5. Shauna says:

    I think this needed to be written! I would never have gotten an amnio myself (we had an echogenic focus too), it would not have been right for us, but I also wouldn’t have wanted to know about Reagan’s Ds ahead of time. God just made me that way, I’m wired differently. I do many things differently than some of my dearest friends, but they make the choices they make like you said, knowing that it was right for them and with God. The fact that God was glorified is the best thing that can be said for any choice or procedure! I’m so sorry you had to face having abortion thrown in your face, that is just poison. Honestly, I’m glad that women like you get amnios and show the Face of God to others through that choice because as long as we can test too many people will terminate after the results and the more people there are who choose LIFE before they know the greater impact.

  6. jodi says:

    Erin you look absolutely radiant in the sideways pic of you and Grady. I almost failed to realize my little man was even in the pic. (Oh boy). I will see you Sunday 1030 no matter what… I am texting you about Easter now…

  7. Erin says:

    I’m not sure why people get so upset about testing and screening during pregnancy. With my first two I only had ultrasounds, I had no particular reason for doing this. For this pregnancy I had screenings done and felt my results where better odds then the odds for a miscarry on a CVS or amnio. If my odds had been different I would have had an amnio. I think people will judge no matter what but ultimately it doesn’t matter what other people think, you have to do what is right for you and your baby. You made the right decision and were prepared for delivery and knew exactly what needed to be done after birth. I would say that makes you a pretty amazing mom. And in the end you celebrated the birth of Grady while I sat in fear and the only thing that kept me together was the love I felt for my son.

  8. Jennifer says:

    I LOVE that you wrote about this! I also chose to have an Amnio so that I could be educated one way or the other. It was a very difficult decision to make, but like you, I had 1 in 10 results and I could barely even sleep at night with the uncertainty. I am so glad now that we knew ahead of time- it gave us the time to adjust to the news and to get back to being excited for our baby boy. I know families who feel that they lost out on a lot of the joy of their baby’s first year because they were still dealing with the shock of not knowing. Unfortunately the majority of people who get a prenatal diagnosis DO terminate, but the test isn’t the reason. The FEAR is. My greatest hope is that my beautiful baby boy’s life will be a testament to how WORTHY he is of LIFE!!!
    Elijah is not a choice. He is a blessing.

  9. Melissa says:

    I know I’ve made the comment before that rolled around in your head. And I never realized it stung. It wasn’t meant to be judgmental, but more of a personal statement. Amnios are such a personal choice. And while I’ve never judged people for their decision, hearing people do an amnio after a screening makes me nervous, because I know, as you do, that for a lot of people termination is the answer.

    But I’ve also had friends that have had amnios because they needed to know. That was their decision and I supported them. Both friends don’t like surprises and have dealt with depression and anxiety. For their health they needed to know. These are friends that always know their baby’s sex, friends that unwrap presents ahead of time. One baby is typical, one had Ds, and both friends are happy with their decision to know. It was best for them. My sister also just did her first trimester screening because she is a need to know person. There was no need, but I know she would have had an amnio in a heartbeat too.

    For me, I didn’t need the amnio. I didn’t need to know for sure. We didn’t know Claire’s sex and we debated whether or not we were going to do the AFP. In the long run, I’m glad that we had the AFP, that we had an idea. Like you, our community hospital wouldn’t have been a good place for Claire. Without the AFP and the extra u/s her heart defect would have been missed (I don’t know if our local u/s tech could ever see it…) and she would have been transported to another hospital while I stayed behind and recovered from my c-section. That would not have been good for this mama’s heart.

    Darren and I were recently talking about screenings for the next baby, and at first I said there was no way I would do the AFP again. Yes, it told us what we needed to know, but it also added a whole bunch of stress. It seemed like the doctors were looking for problems. And when you look you will often find them. I guess what it all boils down to is finding what works for you, and knowing that what makes you comfortable won’t be right for everyone…

    And I still don’t know what decision I will make when we get pregnant again, but I do know that it probably won’t include an amnio. It just doesn’t feel like the right choice for me…

  10. Aubrey Schmidt says:

    I remember when i was preggo with my second baby…6 yrs ago. went in for my 20 week u/s…and my world when from joy to fear…the tech and a quick look from my ob determined that the miracle i was carrying had SCG (saccrococcygeal tetraoma–a cancer growing on the back of the baby)…i was told i needed a lvl 2 u/s. we were told it would take about 4 weeks to get an appt. i broke down in tears then i remembered i work for a cancer doc…i called and got a list of all the lvl 2 u/s places in my area…well i got an appt the following day. at that appt we discovered that the baby did not have SCG but something completely different…an abdominal wall defect. (we later discovered that he actaually had CE with OEIS…a very serious syndome of mulitple defects) the first appt with the perinatologist the first words from his mouth was do u want to terminate. my husband and i were beyond upset…we told him if he ever asks us that question again we will go to another doc. well we did u/s or biophysicals every other week from 22 weeks to the day i delievered. we opt’ed for an amnio not to determine if we were going to abort…but to check for genetic issues. to prepare for them if the miracle that was to come had them…1 week of waiting for the results yielded a normal little boy!!! (prior to the amnio we did not know if he was a boy or not lol). the day he was born at 34 weeks weighting in at 6 lbs we discovered the other issues. would we change our decision whether or not to abort? NEVER ….my son is my joy, my sweet gift from God. i thank Him daily for giving me such a wonderful little boy. he has retaught me the meaning of patience. everything in its own time. today i look back and i rememeber all the pain and suffering and fighting for every moment and i see what the wonderful boy he is becoming…and i cry. i cry because there are so many people that opt out…i pray for them…
    thank you for sharing your story and the wonderful pics of your sweet little man…he is so angelic!
    Aubrey Schmidt, momma to a miracle

  11. jane@flightplatformliving says:

    a brave and brilliant post! this has been on my mind as well lately, i didnt have amnios with my first 2 pregnancies and that felt the right thing to do. my first daughter was born with smith magenis syndrome, which wouldnt have been picked up anyway on an amnio as it is a micro deletion. I could never imagaine my life without her, she is my heart! but when i was pregnant the third time, i had had such a hard time getting over the shock of tilly’s diagnosis (out of the blue when she was 2 and half years old!) i just knew at that moment in time i couldnt deal with another shock again! My amnio was because i just needed to know and yes you are so right, it was not because i wanted to abort a baby. would i have another amnio, at the moment i sit and type i feel i probably wouldnt, my mind is calmer, time has passed and i feel that need to know has gone, but hey im not pregnant so who knows! i love your post your boy is utterly adorable, thankyou for writing your blog i love it. much love jane x

  12. Tara says:

    Amen!! I also had an amnio…with NO intention to ever abort (1 in 5 chance of DS after scans and bloodwork). Like you, I just needed to know the facts so we could move forward and prepare for Owen…however many chromosomes! Love reading your blog and looking at the pictures of Grady! Hugs to you and all of your boys!

  13. Jocelyn Cook says:

    Thanks for writing on this topic! It mirrors our experience and feelings so closely. I was just remembering the other night that it’s been almost one year ago that we had decided to have an amnio (it was April 28, 2010). I too needed to know to prepare for our little girl. And we prayed for three weeks about the decision! I also received some judgmental comments from friends saying “Why would you have an amnio? If you’re not going to abort, why put your baby at risk?” I felt like I had to justify my decision, stating research that the miscarriage rate from an amnio is actually MUCH lower than typically reported. And after the results came back, “termination”, “abortion”, “medically interrupted pregnancy” were thrown in our face several times by the medical community. Those were difficult days. Do I regret having the anmio? Absolutely not. It was the right decision for us to prepare for Julia’s arrival. I hope that stories like yours and mine can help encourage women struggling with what to do, facing judgments from others, scared about the procedure, etc. This is such an emotional and personal decision and no one should judge another for their actions. I am amazed at the women who can “wait it out”. I’m not like them, so we did what was right for our family. As always, beautiful pictures! 🙂

  14. Korey Hickling says:

    Beautifully written, and I couldn’t agree more with your words. Jack didn’t want to share his “secret” with us until the day of his birth, but that doesn’t mean it might or might not have been easier knowing earlier. My midwife cried to me upon his diagnosis and it was ME who calmed HER, telling her not worry … that if we had found out at 12 weeks or 18 weeks gestation, we still would have sitting there together on May 28th to celebrate Jack’s beautiful entry to this world. Either way, it just didn’t matter …

  15. Tonya Holt says:

    This was beautiful! I found your blog from A Perfect Lily today so I thought I would stop over and read up a bit. I too decided to have an amino but I had to make a very quick decision. We found out at 16 weeks that our baby girl will have DS. I will be meeting her very soon. My emotions are still raw at times and I seem to be getting more emotional closer to her birth but I am also ready to meet her. Grady is very handsome and looks like a joy to be around. Thanks for sharing! It helps me know that everything will be ok.

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