Is pregnancy different when you are carrying a child with DS?

Rachel - posted on 08/13/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I am currently pregnant with my second child. My blood test showed a 5% risk of DS. I have had one genetic ultrasound, I have another scheduled, and a fetal echo cardiogram at 24 weeks. I refused, and will continue to refuse amnio. The ultrasound showed no markers for DS, I am 24 and my husband and I have no history of any defects in our families, but because the blood test showed such a high risk I want to be prepared as much as possible since I can't know for sure until birth. By prepared I mean that I want to learn as much as I can before baby arrives, so I can be the best mommy possible for her. Nothing will change my mind about keeping her.

I've read a few posts on here and it seems like many DS babies are born early.. but does that have to do with the DS, or is it separate? And are there other pregnancy complications or symptoms that are more likely with DS babies? I have been concerned for the last couple of weeks because I'm not feeling as much movement. I am 19 weeks, I started feeling movement at 16 weeks, she was pretty active for about a week and a half and now it seems like I rarely feel her. I told my doctor, but he said it's too early to be concerned with fetal movement. I am also interested in learning more about DS and what I should prepare for. I've read a lot already, but I'd love to hear from other moms. Any resource recommendations would be appreciated also. Thanks so much!

-Rachel

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Shantay - posted on 01/24/2013

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I am currently pregnant with my first baby. I had a doctors appointment today and they read me my results of the DS test and the doctor said that the first test I told was normal but the second test I took was positive I took a ultrasound I just took last Thursday read everything was normal. Her heart beats are normal head looking perfect.

Kristen - posted on 12/08/2011

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No difference, Rachel! My son is 4 1/2 and my baby girl (DS) is 16 months. We didn't do any testing, but we had 2 ultrasounds that gave no indicators and there is no history of DS on either side. We didn't find out until after she was born. Advice for knowing what to expect? Read "Babies with Down Syndrome: A New Parents' Guide," "The Year My Son and I Were Born" by Kathryn Soper, and "Road Map to Holland" by Jennifer Groneberg (this one has LOTS of resources in the back). Then DON'T WORRY. Be aware of what to look for, the same as any other child, and have a good doctor who knows (or is willing to learn) about DS. Then love them, love them, love them. I felt so devestated at the moment she was diagnosed, but I learned about it and concentrated on being her mom. A few weeks ago, we were at her cardiologist for a follow up, and he mentioned trisomy-21. I swear for a second I didn't know what he was talking about. I was about to stop him and ask what is was when my brain kicked in "that's Down, you goof." She sees a therapist once a week, a cardiologist every 6 months, wears glasses, has no teeth yet, not walking yet, and I forgot the name of her condition. They are your child first, and a child with DS second.

Eiz - posted on 09/27/2011

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hi rachel...i had 2 pregnancies and my second one is a DS...during pregnancy e baby everything was normal...and i just know that Zara is a DS after a few minute of delivery..at feel i felt so sad and dissapointed bcoz my first child is normal...always blame myself for why i cannot detect her earlier..but that was before i see her smiling face now everyday so cherish..lovely..sincerely...my respect for u coz u already accept yr baby eventhough is not confirm yet as DS..good luck and god bless u...

Annette - posted on 09/07/2011

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Hi Rachel
I had 3 pregnancy's, and my middle one one was a Down's Sydrome baby. I did all the testing you could do, except for the amnio, and every thing came back normal. I didn't know he had Down's until he was about 2 weeks old. He was also born with a total of 4 holes in his heart, which did close all on their own, by the age of 2. No surgery required. I did end up having an emergancy c-section with him, because he turned at the last minute. I get to the hospital and he was heads down, then I had a hard contraction and he fliped. He was transverse, meaning his feet wanted to come out first. The pregnancy for him was not any different from the other two. He was born 6lbs. 8ozs. 18 inches long. Which was bigger then my first. As far as what I did to raise him, don't treat them any different. Just go on with your days one at a time and don't do anything different, then you would do if the baby didn't have Down's. My son was just diagnoised this year with having Spinal Bifida and Celiac Diseasae. These are also associated if Down's. I am not telling you this to scare you, just to inform you. I do have a lot more to say, if you want to hear it. If you have any more questions, don't heitate to ask. I will help you if I can. Just remember, if your baby does have Down's, take one day at a time and love them no differently.

Kimberly - posted on 08/18/2011

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I was 36 when I had my third child which was born with DS! My blood test came back normal and didn't show a higher than normal risk of having a baby with DS! They did give me two ultrasounds specifically looking for DS and both showed no signs of DS! I have two older children without DS and can honestly say all three pregnancies felt the same! During all three pregnancies I felt a lot of movement with the babies! My Tyler was born at 36 wks gestation and was born via emergency csection! He went from having a lot of movement to me noticing one night that I hadn't felt him move for a while! The next morning I called my Dr and went down for a stress test which showed the baby was in distress! I am told that babies with DS have a 50% chance of being born with heart problems or various other medical issues! I was fortunate in that, although my Tyler was born very sick, he ended up having no major medical issues! I was told that Dr's like to know when they are delivering a DS baby due to the increased risk of problems! Don't know as I would do an amnio though either ... wouldn't have changed whether I had the baby or not!

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Raina - posted on 04/12/2014

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I would say yes. Pregnancy has been different for me. I am pregnant with my second child and I had an ultrasound at 12 weeks and 3 days that showed an abnormal amount of thickness on the baby's neck. That was an indicator of DS. I then had a MaterniT 21 blood test that came back positive for DS. With my first pregnancy, I was never asked to terminate my pregnancy. I am now 18 weeks pregnant today and have been asked 3 times if I made the choice to terminate or not. It's never even been a choice in my mind as I have a strong belief in the Holy Bible and believe that it is the true Word of God. I know that God has formed and knit this baby together in my womb and that he is fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139). It upsets me that medical professional have given me the option and continue to do so when my baby is a human being! There are now many tests that need to be done. I have an ultrasound coming up next week and I see a Genetic Counselor the following week. I will have a fetal echo cardiogram in about 6 weeks from now and when I hit 30 weeks, my OB wants to do stress tests twice a week because he said that there is a high risk being that my baby has DS for a stillborn birth or miscarriage and he said they are unclear as to why that is. My niece has DS and she is 7 years old and was born with a heart defect and was in the NICU for 8 months and had open heart surgery at 6 months old. I know how hard this is because I have been through it with her. I do not have a lot of joy with this pregnancy and much is uncertain as to the health of my baby at this point. So to answer your question, yes. It is different.

Berlin - posted on 02/23/2014

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Hi
I'm currently pregnant with my third at 14 weeks. Just had the NTD screen screen and came back at high risk for DS. I was advised to have this prenatal test called MaterniT21 Plus which is apparently very sensitive to confirm positive or negative for DS and other chromosomal abnormalities. The blood sample is sent to America and is pricy. I and my husband were very sad with the news initially, I was teary at the doctor's clinic and was crying to my husband "I don't want to make the decision." Good enough, as we digested the news that day, we felt happy and willing to accept this blessing of life. We will keep him and love him even more. The Lord has comforted us and given us peace. There is a reason and purpose for every thing that comes and happens in our life. We have 2 gorgeous girls aged 2 and 4 and they are very excited about the coming of their baby brother (we are just claiming he will be a boy!) This pregnancy though is much different from the first 2. I am more tired and sick for longer, up till now. Everyday is a struggle, weekends are exhausting. .

Debbi - posted on 04/16/2012

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Don't know if You have had your baby yet. My son was born on time. He weighed 8 pounds 1 ounce. My biggest of four children. I was 36 and the blood work was normal. I was sent for more specialized ultrasound and genetic testing due to age. They found two soft markers that could indicate downs but with no certainty. Genetics could point to those markers as well...small ears, and small head size. We refused the amino. I was not risking the life of my son. I did notice less strength in his kicks than with my girls. I guess I was trying to convince myself he was not going to have downs, but I just had a feeling, and the way he kicked I just knew. So I was not surprised when they said he was downs! The doctor actually was depressed for me. My husband and i just said ok, and waited to see what was next. He was healthy. I praise God for that! I just wished I had mention the possibility to my mom before she heard it from the doctor. It took her by surprise and she was not prepared for it. My husband and I only mentioned it to my then 17yr old daughter. We figured we would take what God gave us. I love my little boy with as much love as I do for any of my kids, and will do for him as I would for any of my other kids...meet their individual needs, because they are each unique! good luck to you and God bless. I pray God gives you perfect peace with all He has planned for you!

Kourtney - posted on 08/29/2011

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My first baby was born with DS, and it was a very easy pregnancy and delivery even though Heidi was born with a pretty bad heart defect. We chose not to have amnio, as the doctors told us that whether or not a baby has DS will change nothing about the delivery and that her heart probelm that was found during an ultrasound was the more important factor. Heidi was born full term, 6lb 15oz, 18.5 inches, short and chubby!!

I'm 19 weeks along with my second baby right now and not having the easy time I did last time, lots of morning sickness, exhaustion, aches... You name it!!! I think all pregancies are different, and no more likely to be difficult if baby has DS.

Good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 08/15/2011

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my son is going on 12 yrs old,,i had him at 36 weeks i had him naturally i didnt kno he had ds until the next morning! he has no heart problems he is a perfect lil boy!

Heidi - posted on 08/15/2011

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Hello again Rachel! :) I left you a comment on the comment you left me btw.
I can only speak about us. We were scheduled for induction at 39 weeks, not due to the DS, due to Lydia's heart defect. They really try very hard to let these babies grow as much as possible because they are already typically small babies to begin with. But having said that, Lydia weighed 7 lbs at birth and was 19 and 1/2 inches long, which is a pretty average sized baby.
We had the option of waiting until I went into labor naturally or going ahead with induction. Since I am the only driver in our house and the hospital that was best to take care of Liddy is around an hour and a half away, we chose to go ahead with induction so that we would be where we needed to be, as well as not run into having her be in one city and us be in another.
I felt Liddy move very early as well. But it was sporadic until I reached the 6 month mark. Then she seemed to never stop. lol
Every single baby is different, just as every pregnancy is. Both of my first two were big babies, and both were born exactly 7 days past my due date. Liddy was trying very hard to be born early, but my body didn't cooperate with her plans. Thankfully. It gave her more time to grow! :)
Best of luck to you. You will all be in my prayers. If you need anything at all, give me a shout! If you are on facebook too, feel free to add me!

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