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Robin's pregnancy journal

Week 16
There Really Is a Baby in There!

There is really a baby in there! I felt the baby move for the first time this week. I was laying on the couch watching a movie, and I could feel the sensation of "fluttering" in my lower abdomen. As long as I concentrated on the movement, I could feel it. On and off all night it was happening. What an active baby! The next evening I was laying on the couch with my 15 month old laying across my belly, and I could feel it even more. I wonder if he could feel it? What a neat feeling it is to KNOW there is really something growing down there.

I saw Dr. Bates this week as well. He said that I am measuring at about 17 weeks now so I am right on target. I have not gained any more weight. I think all in all, I am 3 pounds down from my pre-pregnancy weight. My blood pressure still remains stable for now. All in all, everything is normal.

I had blood drawn for my AFP test today as well. Brad and I decided that we would have this test as we had it with my previous two pregnancies. There is such controversy over this test. For those of you that are reading this and have no idea what an "AFP" test is, I am no expert in this field, but basically it is a blood test. They take blood from your arm and send it away to a lab along with information about your pregnancy. I think that they factor in how pregnant you are by weeks, your weight, and your risk factors. In about a week, you get back your results. They are measuring to find out if your baby is at risk for Down Syndrome or a neural tube defect such as Spina Bifida. This test has to be done within a certain time frame in your pregnancy as well. If your results are lower than the norm, your baby *could* have Down Syndrome. If it is higher than the norm, your baby *could* have a neural tube defect. The controversy comes for several reasons. For one thing, the test tends to have a lot of false results. Since there are so many factors in determining the "normal" amount of AFP in the blood, you could get a positive result and really not even be at risk. For this reason alone, many people do not want the test done. Another big controversy is that many people feel that they do not want to know if something is wrong with the child because they have no intentions of aborting the baby and feel better not knowing. Personally, Brad and I felt that we did want to know if there was a possibility of a problem. We will be able to better deal with the problem as it occurs, rather than we surprised and unprepared at delivery. This way we could prepare ourselves for whatever comes our way. If you do get a positive test, you would have a Level II sonogram which basically checks everything on the baby very carefully. In most cases, they can tell if your baby truly has a defect. The other thing that is generally done is an amniocentesis. They take a sample of fluid by needle from your amniotic sac and test the shed cells from the baby for signs of the defect and is nearly 100% accurate from what I understand; I could be wrong. I did have a false positive test with my first pregnancy and went though the level II as well as the amnio, and my daughter was fine. With Ryan, we had the AFP and it came out normal. We shall see what this one holds for us.

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