Quad Screens and Staying Calm through the Process

On Friday, I went for my second trimester anatomy scan, which was a totally different experience because I only had ultrasounds with my other pregnancies. I got a creepy picture of my baby’s skeleton head and thought all was going well. The doctor couldn’t see the gender of the baby, and there were a few other things he wanted to see up close that he couldn’t see at that time. However, he wasn’t concerned and just said for me to come back in a month. I was just happy that everything seemed to be going well and was starting to breathe a sigh of relief…until I went to checkout.
My doctor started to set everything up for my follow-up visit and then took a look in my chart. Everything suddenly changed. He saw my quad screen results and asked if I had seen them or if my midwife had gone over it with me. I had the blood test done over a week ago, but of course, no one had called me.
He said that the quad screen came back as a 1 in 30 chance that my baby had Down’s Syndrome. My heart sank. I fought hard not to cry in front of him and the nurse behind the counter. The plans went from a follow-up visit to a visit to the genetic counselor and a level 2 ultrasound.  I will say that I appreciate that he didn’t instantly say something was wrong with the baby like the horrible OB I had for my first half of my pregnancy with Sissy Girl. However, after all the struggles my husband and I have been through the past two years trying to conceive, this came as a pretty big blow.
I spent most of the rest of the day with a racing mind and trying not to go into a full-blown panic attack. I cried. I got mad. Gotta love hormones, I tell ya. Then a few of my friends and I talked, and I started looking in some of the baby forums for answers.

Thinking of things that make me happy helps me not to stress
Thinking of things that make me happy helps me not to stress

The message I kept seeing over and over was that this was a common issue with Quad Screens. One of my friends had even mentioned that she wasn’t sure why they bothered to still do them since the occurrence of false positives was relatively high. The baby forums helped ease my fears a bit, and I woke the next morning a bit calmer.
A 1 in 30 chance seems so high, and after everything we have been through, it is a bit hard for me to process right now. No matter what, we will love and adore the baby. That is not an issue. However, it is a lot to take in and with all the hormones a pregnant woman has, it does put one through the wringer. I have little over a week until I get some more answers, so now I am just playing the waiting game.
However, I have been through this before. The difference is that when I got the call when I was pregnant with my daughter, I was told that my daughter had a million things wrong with her and that the level 2 ultrasound needed to be done early. What I wasn’t told was that it was only a chance, not a certainty.
Have any of you mothers gone through this? If so, what are your thoughts? If you are pregnant now and reading this, I want you to know that whatever you are feeling is okay. However, there are reasons to stay calm. As always, please feel free to leave a comment below.



  1. Jennifer M
    March 30, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Hi! Where I am not a mom, my family had an similar situation last summer/fall.
    My sister was pregnant with her 3rd baby and in on if the sonograms they found a tumor on the baby’s brain where the spinal fluid is produced. We were told there was a chance the tumor could desolve before Taylor (my niece) was born. If it didn’t there was a small chance that there would be nothing wrong with her, and then there was this long list of things that could be wrong, Down’s Syndrome was the best of the wrongs.
    This tumor was seen on a sonogram my sister had done in May, but she was not told about it until July because the sonogram techs didn’t send the entire report to my sisters doctor. In fact she found out about it when she when in for her last sonogram and the tech made the comment, “well looking at this sonogram I think the tumor is on the baby’s brain, not the spine.” That was how my sister fount out there was something wrong. When she had Taylor, (3.5 weeks premee – 2 weeks before the date that the dr had set so he could have the team of specialists at the hospital and a room at Children’s in Pittsburgh open in ready.) in fact the dr had told my sister earlier that day that if she was anymore dilated he was putting her in the hospital until she was farther alone so she didn’t go in to labor. My sister had the baby with only a nurse attending her. She was at the hospital getting some test ran, the nurse when to get the discharge papers and my sisters water broke and she had Taylor before the Dr could even get to the hospital. Taylor is fine thank God!
    The thing that helped get me through was having the support of my friends. I really helped to that one of the groups I am part of is Faith And Friends. Faith and Friends is a group that is trying to help raise awareness and support for people with Downs Syndrome and their families. It helps to have people to talk to that have been in the same place you are, dealing with the same issues.

  2. bearhaven
    March 31, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story and good to hear that Taylor is just fine 🙂 Thank you for the information about Faith and Friends. It is definitely something to look into 🙂

    • Jennifer M
      April 1, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      If you want more information about Faith and Friends just let me know. I can get you in touch with the group, (of course since I am part of it you are all ready in touch. Lol) but if you feel like it would help to just be able to talk and hear others exsperances just let me know. They are great people and are more then willing to share thoughts and ideas to help you out. You can call/text/Facebook them or come to a meeting if you just want to get a feel of the group and individuals before you put your feelings out there.

  3. adrianscrazylife
    April 1, 2014 at 2:10 am

    I had a similar experience with the pregnancy of my first son. I was told he might have a neural tube defect (right before a 3 day holiday weekend – thank you!). I am a panic button type and I just about lost my mind during that weekend. And this was in pre-Google days when we didn’t even own a home computer. Terrifying. Fortunately, somewhere along the way, someone happened to mention to me that it could also just be a large baby that was fooling the test, and I hung onto that hope for 5 more months until my ten pound, perfectly healthy son was born. I know the doctors are only trying to help, but half the time, I think they scare the living daylights out of you. I have a little book by Dale Carnegie called How to Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your LIfe. I keep it in my nightstand for those scary nights when I am worried about something. It helps me a lot. I hope you have a good outcome and a healthy baby.

  4. Jodeann Cooley
    December 12, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I feel like this article was written specifically for me. I just found out today that I have a positive test for Down syndrome with my quad screening. Now I’m waiting for my Level II ultrasound Jan 3rd (which seems so far away). Now that I’ve gone Google crazy about this test, I feel reassured that there is such a high false-positive rate. I’m not nearly as panicked and emotional as I was when I first heard the results. Now I’ve just got to wait and pray.

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