Personal stories of three moms and their journeys
Melissa’s Personal Story
I am the mother of two children, a daughter and a son. At the age of 40, I became pregnant with my second child, a boy. My husband and I knew from the outset I would choose to undergo a non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT). We had experienced a miscarriage with my first pregnancy, so it was important to be armed with as much information as possible about the health of our baby. We wanted to also be prepared if our baby faced any potential chromosomal conditions.
We were proactive about taking a NIPT and I chose to take the Harmony® Prenatal Test, which I learned from my research, through friends and my doctor, can be done as early as 10 weeks of pregnancy. NIPT seemed like such a better option than other screenings that were available to me previously. The test would provide a more accurate result for Down syndrome than the older screening tests.
I’ve supported friends who had false positives with other prenatal screening methods, so accuracy was important. I had a wonderful experience with the Harmony test. It was easily administered, and we received the results, which came back normal, quickly. I believe that gathering information during one’s pregnancy is important. This screening provided the information we sought.
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.
Jean’s Personal Story
I know firsthand how important a noninvasive prenatal test (NIPT) can be in helping parents prepare for their babies. While pregnant with my second son I had standard blood testing with a nuchal translucency ultrasound, and the results showed that my baby had a high chance of being born with Down syndrome. I was very worried, and wanted more information. The follow-up options presented to my husband and me were not satisfying to us.
I found out that the Harmony test has a higher accuracy than the older screening tests, so I asked my doctor for it. I soon received the results, which showed that my baby had a very low chance of having Down syndrome, and other two conditions tested.
I’m happy to report that our little boy is now three-years-old and doing great. I am so glad that I chose to take the Harmony test. Our experience with Harmony NIPT was a positive one. I’m glad I took the initiative to learn more about prenatal screening options and I would encourage other expectant moms to do the same during their first trimester to get early answers.