Words by Megan Jane
My entire life I’d always thought I’d want to keep the sex of the baby a surprise. Once I found out that I was pregnant that whole mind set flew straight out the door. After initially toying with idea of should we or shouldn’t we, Adam decided he didn’t really mind if we found out and I really wanted to so we decided we would. Once we knew we were going to find out the sex, then came the waiting game! Oh how I love waiting. So you may be thinking week 14, how the hell did we already find out the sex of the baby?
NIPT test is a relatively new advanced non-invasive genetic test
Well as week 10 of my pregnancy rolled around I did a NIPT test. The NIPT test is a relatively new advanced non-invasive genetic test, that analyses cell free foetal DNA circulating in maternal blood and offers a 99.9% accuracy on the majority of all your common chromosomal abnormalities namely Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), Trisomy 18 (Edward Syndrome) and Trisomy 13 (Patau Syndrome).
The majority of women who yield a high risk result at their nuchal translucency are offered the NIPT test before a couple heads down the route of invasive genetic testing methods such as an amniocentesis or chronic villus sampling, both of which carry a risk of miscarriage. However, I must point out these tests are important to have if:
- There has been a suggested foetal abnormality
- Parents already have a child with a chromosomal problem or inherited genetic disorder
- Maternal age (usually 37 years plus)
Again even with these above points in mind, an amniocentesis or chronic villus sampling should only be performed if completely necessary or upon request of the parents. Our nuchal translucency yielded a low risk of a chromosomal abnormality but for Adam and I the NIPT test was a safe, more accurate and non-invasive way to achieve greater peace of mind.
I should mention this test is expensive around $600-$800 depending on which option you choose. You can opt for a basic profile which tests all your common chromosomal abnormalities (21, 18, 13) or you can choose to have the extended profile option which incorporates a few other ones if you wish. So when deciding on any of these tests, trust that you will make the right decision for you and your baby.
With that said when you get the NIPT test done you can opt to have the sex of the baby revealed at the same time. So of course we decided to opt in for this option. More waiting! Then 4 weeks later the results were in!
Your GP should get the results, so I rang reception, where my GP practices out of which is the same place I worked at as a Medical Receptionist for 7 years. Sandra answered, I’ve worked with Sandra over that 7 years so we know each other quite well. I asked her to write down the sex of the baby on a piece of paper and leave it in an envelope for me to collect. Of course she was more than happy to do so, and for a short while she was the only person who knew the sex!
IT’S A GIRL!
I picked up the envelope the next day. I so desperately wanted to rip it open but Adam and I had agreed to have lunch the next day and open the envelope together. Having the envelope just sitting there staring at me on the kitchen table was torture, but eventually it was D DAY.
We headed out to lunch, envelope in hand and after only 5 minutes at the table, Adam said with childish excitement “Let’s open it” Me also acting with childish excitement, willingly obliged. I passed the envelope to Adam. He carefully opened it up, took one look at the result then passed it over to me. It was shock and excitement all rolled into one. We were having a GIRL! We were shocked because Adam and I were certain it was boy. So to see that it was actually a girl was a shock, but the best kind of shock you can get. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of finding out the sex, I instantly felt more connected to the baby. I even think my heart grew a little bigger with even more love for our little girl.
Whichever decision you decide to make, make sure it’s just you and your partner making the decision and just go with what feels right, there is no right or wrong. There may be a little compromise on either side if your two views aren’t entirely the same.
Compromise is a big part of any relationship and we have to make compromises every day, so if you and your partner have different views on this, then perhaps with the first baby you can find out the sex and keep the next a surprise or vice versa.