Initially, I was pretty gung-ho about the screening. Extra monitoring! More information! Another ultrasound! How could I possibly say no?
Except...then I started to think about it. And realized that I want to avoid having an amnio or CVS unless absolutely necessary. (Basically--I don't want to anger the uterus. Not based on anything any doctor has recommended--just my own gut feeling.) And I did a little research, and learned that for the majority of women whose first-trimester screening results indicate that further testing is warranted, subsequent amniocentesis shows a normal pregnancy. And that the false-negative rate is also quite high.
So I realized that, if I refused to have an amnio, a positive screening result would only cause me (probably unnecessary) anxiety...and a negative result would be no guarantee of a "normal" baby. Finally, my risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome based on age (33 when the baby is due) is about 1 in 600, while the risk of miscarriage from amnio is about 1 in 200--and given that my miscarriage risk with UU is higher than average anyway, I just can't take the chance.
My husband didn't want to have the testing done at all. Again, as with the selective reduction discussion, we bump up against his Catholic schoolboy upbringing and his extreme discomfort with any path that could lead to termination. There were some very tense discussions in the electriclady household for a couple of days. Ultimately, my own uncertainty about the screening combined with my husband's adamant opposition combined to make the decision--well, not exactly clear, but less murky in one direction.
Here's where we get into some grey area. I would never be so arrogant as to say, "I would never terminate a pregnancy,"--I would hope that, in the worst case scenario, my husband and I would have the courage to make the right choice for our baby--and as I've said before, I'm pro-choice all the way. Yet I have to admit that I'm uncomfortable with the idea. (Not that anyone else is comfortable with it--you know what I mean.) Perhaps what I'm really afraid of is having to make the choice, and in my own cowardly way, by avoiding testing, I'm trying to avoid being presented with that choice.
If I'm being totally honest, I should also admit that had my husband been very strongly in favor of testing, it's possible I could have been convinced to have it done.
We won't get the triple/quad screen either, but we will have the standard Level II ultrasound at 18-20 weeks. I hope that the ultrasound will catch any major issues that we'd need to deal with prenatally or immediately at birth (heart problems, neural tube issues). Anything else--well, we'll deal with it when it comes.
(This is not meant to imply anything negative about those who choose differently from me--only to explain my own thought processes. No flames, please.)