When we became pregnant, my husband and I wanted to be informed and prepared about different risks to our baby. For us, genetic counseling was more about just sitting down and talking with an expert about screening and testing options available in our pregnancy. I was a little nervous about chromosome problems and cystic fibrosis. I have some distant cousins with CF, and I wasn't sure how likely our baby was to have Cystic Fibrosis based on that.
The genetic counselor took time to draw out a family tree, and we talked about the risks for cancer, cystic fibrosis, and heart problems. She discussed medications I was taking and how I was feeling about the pregnancy.
It was very helpful to hear all the options available for screening and testing for chromosome issues in pregnancy and deciding what test was right for us. We did the non-invasive first trimester screening test, and while we understood that with screening tests there is no guarantee, it helped to know our risk was low. It helped to ease our anxiety. We found out that the risk for cystic fibrosis based on family history was low and decided not to do any further testing in pregnancy and felt at ease about this as well.
Gene Story photos courtesy of Daniel Dunlap Photography