Barbara’s Personal Story
I am a mother to three beautiful children – two on Earth and one angel who watches over us.
I became pregnant with my first child in 2011 and, at the time, non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) wasn’t available. I remember this clearly as I learned of a possible chromosomal condition in my baby from a routine ultrasound and blood test in my second trimester. My husband and I confirmed through amniocentesis that our unborn daughter, Joan, had trisomy 18.
We learned that trisomy 18 is a rare condition that causes serious differences in development – so serious that most babies with trisomy 18 pass away during birth or shortly afterwards. Our doctor discussed our options with us, and we chose to continue our pregnancy with Joan, knowing the difficult challenges we faced.
My husband and I have had two more children since Joan’s birth and death. During those pregnancies, we used the Harmony® prenatal test. Given our experience losing our daughter to trisomy 18, we were interested in NIPT for a variety of reasons.
The NIPT was appealing as it’s a simple blood draw – quick, relatively painless, with no risk to the pregnancy- and it can be done in the first trimester. We knew that if the NIPT result had shown a high likelihood for a chromosomal condition, it would have allowed us more time to prepare for our child's unique needs and the road ahead.
We also knew that we didn’t want to have invasive testing unless an issue was suspected. In both cases, our Harmony test result showed that our children were unlikely to have three of the most common chromosome conditions: trisomy 21, trisomy 18 and trisomy 13. Having NIPT in the first trimester helped ease our anxiety throughout the last two pregnancies. It helped give us some peace of mind.