Doing the NIPT (Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing)
I think I was a little too late to inquire about the Non-invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) at this time. Before planning to get pregnant, me and my husband already agreed to do it even though we know that the test is not available in the country and it will cost us a lot.
Why I want to do the test?
I’m already 32 and this pregnancy is everything to me.
At week 14, we told the doctor that we wanted to do the NIPT. She told me that I can still do it, but the best time was supposed to be 9 to 10 weeks. She also explained to me that based on my age and genetic/ medical history, I am still below the risk for delivering babies with genetic disorders.
Here are the options we had in order to do the test:
Option 1: We were referred to a gynecologist who does the test, but we were not convinced about the testing setup. They were supposed to draw blood from me, put it in a tube and send it to Belgium for testing. This will cost us 900 EU and I’m not even sure if the blood sample would still be good the moment it arrives in the laboratory. It is expensive and risky at the same time, but this is the most convenient option for us.
Option 2: My husband called some diagnostic centers in Miami to check if we can do it there. They offered us a price of 1000 USD including an ultrasound. It is almost the same price as Option 1, but at least we are sure that there would be no problem (e.g. clotting) with the blood sample. This is going to be our last option knowing we would spend a lot of money for it plus hotel cost and plane tickets.
Option 3: Go to Belgium and do the test there instead. It would cost us 300 EU to do the test and we will get the result in a week. We need to go to the Netherlands first then drive for 3 to 4 hours to Belgium. Tickets are also expensive, but at least we won’t pay for hotel and we will get to visit my husband’s family.
NIPT can already be done at 9 weeks. If the result is positive or maybe a false positive then the gynecologist will do amniocentesis to confirm it.
At Week 18, we went to Belgium and did the test. One of the personnel did some counseling about genetic disorders and explained to us what we needed to know. We were done in less than 30 minutes.
I have to confess that the waiting period was the most distressing part. I know the chances are low for me, but the what ifs are exhausting me. There were nights that I would cry just thinking about the possibilities. I kept on telling myself that everything is going to be alright and to put my trust in my unborn child that he/she will be healthy and normal.
We got the result a day after my birthday and we were overjoyed to know that everything is normal. Plus: They also confirmed the baby’s gender. 😉
I hope this post encourages all moms-to-be who are scared or in doubt to do the NIPT.