This morning I was flipping through the latest issue of MetDESK News, a newsletter produced by MetLife and designed to deliver information to the special needs community, and I was drawn to an article on the progress in prenatal testing for Downs Syndrome.
When my wife and I were pregnant with our first child the ultrasound revealed enough "markers" for the doctor to inform us that there was a 1 in 3 chance of our son having Downs. We then resorted to an amniocentesis to get a definitive diagnosis. This was done with deep reluctance on our part since there is a small, but not insignificant chance of miscarriage with such an invasive procedure. But if we were about to embark on a challenging life with a special needs child we wanted as much time as possible to engage in some serious planning. When the test came back negative it was impossible to articulate the sense of relief.
I was also relieved to read this morning in MetDESK News about how some laboratories, including labs at Stanford University and Sequenom, Inc., are developing simple blood tests that can be administered in the first trimester of pregnancy and provide a definitive result. No need for invasive diagnostic tests or vague numerical odds that make it impossible to sleep at night. My wife and I would have felt absolutely blessed to have such a testing option nine years ago.
Click this to see the MetDESK News article: Download MetDESK Mar,Apr 2009