Twin Pregnancy Week by Week: 22 (Genetic Counseling)

Cynthia Dermody

mom expecting twins

Photo by wntg1grl

We're joining Kim (aka wntg1grl), a stay-at-home mom of three who's expecting twins, on her exciting journey from bump-to-babies. Check back every week for the latest developments.

Week 22

What's Happening with Mom:

My husband and I met with a genetic counselor. She was a wonderful dose of information. So glad that we went. First she discussed the "positive" result.

This can be misleading. It just means that my risk is higher than the average. This in no way means either of my twins HAS Down syndrome, but that with all of the factors considered (i.e. -- my age, AFP levels, and gestational age) that my risk is one in 91 for Down. If my risk was above 1 in 200, my results would have been considered "negative."

Women have negative results with Down babies, and women have positive results with babies without Down syndrome. They offer an amniocentesis to confirm or deny the presence of that one cell with the two 21st chromosomes instead of one, but the amnio carries its own risks. Risks I am not interested in taking. 

To have an amnio done for the AFP, you must have it done before the 24th week.  They do this so that if one is interested in terminating the pregnancy, it would be within the legal time limits. This in itself was a surprise ... some women do elect to do this. Needless to say my husband and I agree that the amnio isn't for us. There is a high risk of miscarriage, early labor, infection, and the list goes on!

They did do a sonogram to measure and look for a few soft signs of Down. We didn't have any of these signs, which include a calcification spot on the heart, abnormal bone structure (facial), the nuchal space, and abnormal bone length (arm and leg are measured). My little girls measured just right, with none of the soft markers they were looking for.

My husband and I are not worried at this point. Worry won't help anything and it's unhealthy. It was great for my husband to see the ultrasound again. The last time he was there I was only 12 weeks ... what a difference!!!

Now, at each appointment with my OB and the perinatologist, I'll receive a cervical exam. So far so good. My cervix has not shortened at all. This is usually done with a vaginal ultrasound.

Other than that appointment, the week has been pretty uneventful. The whole family has caught the sniffles (a bonus of public school!) but we are all getting over it fine.

What's Happening with Babies:

We're about 11 inches long and weigh about a pound. Our eyebrows and eyelids are fully developed, and fingernails cover our cute little fingertips. We can hear our brothers talking and yelling, too. Boy, they loud sometimes.

Question of the Week from Answers:

A friend of mine had her 20-week ultrasound; there is a spot on the heart and the nose is underdeveloped -- two markers for Down syndrome. Is an ultrasound really a good indicator? -- cristie1276


MunchiesMom324: My middle child had two "soft markers" for DS -- cysts in his brain and an enlarged ureter. Just to calm my fears I opted for the amnio, I'm pro-life, so I wouldn't have terminated anyway, but I wanted to be prepared in case I did have a child with DS. He turned out fine!

Past Weeks:

Week 21

Week 20

Week 19

Week 18

Week 17

Week 16

Week 15

Week 14

Week 13

Week 12

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