You’re Pregnant…Now What? – Panorama Prenatal Screening #ad

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own. And, no, I am NOT pregnant!!

Panorama Logo

I remember the day I officially found out I was pregnant. It wasn’t like the stuff you see in movies, or YouTube videos. There was no big reveal, no dancing around the kitchen.  See, I already *knew*  and had just been waiting it out to take the pregnancy test.  The morning after, on my way to work, I suddenly felt really “off” I had to pull my car over, and I got sick. This was TOTALLY unlike me, and I just knew, in that moment, I was pregnant. I know that sounds totally crazy, and I suppose it could have been a complete coincidence (though I highly doubt it)  but I KNEW.  However, I also figured that it would be too early to take a pregnancy test, so I waited. And waited. And waited. Until I couldn’t wait any longer. It was still VERY early, so I wasn’t sure if it would work.  I could see a very very very faint pink line, but thought perhaps it was wishful thinking, and I was seeing things.  I needed a second opinion, so I showed my husband, who said “I don’t see anything, I don’t think it’s positive.” Since I didn’t like his answer, I sent a picture of the test to a friend.  She saw it! And I celebrated. Then came all the worry of “What if?”

10 week ultrasound

I made an appointment with an OB, and my first ultrasound was scheduled.   That first appointment was a disaster.  The Nurse practitioner had the bedside manner of a Moray Eel.  They spelled my name wrong on my chart which caused a whole mess of insurance and billing issues. She asked on more than one occasion if I knew who the baby’s father was,  despite me informing her that it was my HUSBAND and he was right there, and his name is Dave. Even after all that she refused to refer to Dave as my husband, he was always “the baby’s father”  We were both extremely uncomfortable on what should have been one of the happiest days of our lives!  So that was nice.

The ultrasound tech wasn’t much better. After sending me into a panic asking if I was sure I was pregnant, then not saying anything for a very, VERY long time, moving me around the table, letting out loud sighs, and lots of “Hmm…huh….Uhm….” she finally said “Oh there it is!” and my heart started beating again.

Needless to say, I switched offices.

baby on the way check their dna

Like I said, at this time all the worry of what if set in. Because of this, opted for some prenatal screening. Prenatal screening is a personal choice, of course, but for me it was something I absolutely wanted to have done. I had some risk factors, so I had genetic testing done and found that I was a carrier of the Cystic Fibrosis gene. We had Dave tested as well, and fortunately, his results were negative.  I also had some tests done to asses any risk of Chromosomal Abnormalities.  I wanted to make sure that if there were any issues with Avery, that we would be able to prepare, and give her the best possible care. We had a bit of a scare when a large cyst was discovered on Avery’s brain, but that resolved itself, and there were no other risk factors found.

It was important to me to have all the knowledge I could have, but it was also important that the tests to get those answers, were safe.

Natera Panorama

Panorama is a DNA screening test that can tell parents important information about their pregnancy. They can find out if baby is at risk for having Down syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities. Panorama can also tell parents the gender of their baby.

Panorama is highly accurate and has the lowest false positive rate of any prenatal screening test for the commonly screened chromosomal abnormalities, trisomies 21, 18 and 13. The Panorama screening test is a non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT). This means that the Panorama test is safe for you and your baby. To have the test done, your doctor just draws a sample of blood from your arm. Fathers have the option of sending in a cheek swab sample with your blood. Including the father’s sample may improve the chance of obtaining results of the test in certain circumstances, but does not impact accuracy.

It’s very common for women to have concerns about the health of their baby. If you have concerns, you should talk with your healthcare professional. He or she will advise you as to what tests you might want to have to help give you peace of mind.

After I had all those concerns out of the way, I could relax a little, and enjoy my pregnancy! It was also a time when I started to get some great advice from my friends who had “been there, done that.”

I wanted to share some of the advice that my mom friends thought every newly pregnant momma should hear:

-TAKE PHOTOS! Trust me on this, you may feel huge, and not at all your prettiest, but you WILL regret not having those bump photos. I know I do. I only took 5 and I am so sad that I don’t have more. You don’t have to share them with anyone, just take them, so you’ll have them to look back on!

-SLEEP! Seriously. Just sleep. Whenever and wherever you can. Do it.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED! It’s great to have a plan but it’s ok if things don’t go according to that plan.

-GIVE IN TO THE CRAVINGS!  If you want mint chocolate chip ice cream topped with salt and vinegar chips and hot sauce, I am not going to judge!

-ENJOY IT! Take each week as it comes, and try not to worry about what’s coming next

-SLEEP! This advice comes up a lot. Follow it!

-WRITE IT DOWN! Write down the first time you felt a kick, or your baby’s hiccups. Write down your cravings and aversions. Write it all down. Mom Brain is real, and you will forget some of these things. It’s also good to write down any questions you have for your doctor.  I know that once I got in to my appointment, I forgot everything I wanted to ask.  If you write it down in a little notebook, you’ll have it there to refresh your memory and you wont leave the office saying “Oh shoot! I forgot to ask____!”

-EXERCISE (If you enjoy it) Many moms continue their fitness routine through pregnancy!!  If working out is you passion, or your stress reliever, or you just want to keep up with it for the health benefits, DO IT! (Just check with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you and your baby, as each pregnancy is different!)

-TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS! If something doesn’t seem right, let your doctor know. YOU are your baby’s best advocate, and nobody knows your body better than you!

-DON’T GOOGLE! Dr. Google will always tell you the absolute worst case scenario. If you are concerned with a symptom or test result, talk to your actual doctor.

-PAMPER YOURSELF! Go get a massage, go to the movies, enjoy nice dinners out, do whatever it is that makes your feel good!

-ASK FOR HELP! Seriously, just ask! Let people help you. You don’t have to do everything yourself. If you need someone to grocery shop for you because you’re just too tired, or you need someone to prep a few meals, ask!!

-MAKE A POSTPARTUM MENTAL HEALTH PLAN! This one is very important to me as a PPD/PPA survivor. You may not need it, but it’s best  to have a plan in place just in case.

-IGNORE THE HORROR STORIES! Other moms (and dads, and grandmas, and cousins, and hairdressers…) love to share their horror stories. Just ignore it.  Whatever crazy awful thing happened to them is not going to happen to you.

-RELAX! Enjoy this beautiful journey, soak it all in, and just breathe!

-TAKE THE ADVICE WITH A GRAIN OF SALT! All of us veteran moms mean well, but sometimes we dish out far more advice than a newly pregnant momma wants to hear. So, take the advice you want, and ignore the rest. Except the sleep advice.  That one you really, REALLY should take!

What advice would you share with the first timers?  Leave your tips and advice in the comments!!

Check out this fun and informative checklist!

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