Monday, May 17, 2010

Geneticist Appointment

Today we had our appointment with the geneticist - and it went much as expected really.

The geneticist agreed with my "guess" that it looked most like Diastrophic Dysplasia - and that would be his first suspicion. However we won't be able to know for sure until after the baby is born.

When the baby is born, the first thing that they will do in order to get a diagnosis is to fully examine the baby. Then they will take x-rays of her entire body. This should be able to get us a fairly good idea of whether or not it is DD or if it is something else. They will also collect some of the cord blood (so they don't need to take the blood from the newborn) to do the genetic tests which will say whether or not she has the gene mutations that are indicative of DD. These tests will take up to 6 months to give us a definite answer. 

Diastrophic Dysplasia is usually inherited - which means that both the mother and father are usually carriers. So if we do get a positive diagnosis for this condition, Bernard and I will also need to have genetic testing done to see whether we are carriers (if the baby has it though, it's generally pretty probable that both parents are carriers - although there are exceptions to that rule). If we both are carriers, the chances of a future child also having the same genetic disease are 1 in 4. This may affect our future plans to have more children (we'd like more), but we haven't really talked about that yet. We'll cross that bridge if/when we get to it. 

The good thing is that there are no obvious fractures on any of the bones (we went over all the limbs and all the ribs), and they appear to be well ossified (hard rather than soft/brittle). This suggests that it may not be Osteogenesis Imperfecta (where the bones are brittle and break easily) and I think I should be able to have a natural birth and shouldn't need a caesarean. Particularly now that the little one is head down!

The other good thing is that the geneticist agrees that it appears to be non-lethal - although we're not completely in the clear yet, but I'm happy with the news regardless. This news means that we aren't going to be planning a funeral just now :)

The visit with the doctor today gave me a bit more confidence in the medical system here in Hong Kong. The doctor who we saw (and will see again after the bub is born) was very knowledgeable about these issues - he's really the first doctor who could answer all of my questions satisfactorily.

So we're still really in the "wait and see" mode - but I do feel quite confident that probably we are looking at DD. It was the first thing that "fit" when I was trying to diagnose it myself  way back here in February - and to have a doctor's opinion confirming that's probably the most reasonable option (although not the only option) makes me think most probably, that will be the diagnosis. I've already done quite a bit of research and I'm planning on doing more. I know that there's still a chance that it's not DD but a bit of research never hurt anyone - and I want to be as prepared as possible to be the best mother I can be for our little girl :)


  1. Glad to hear things are moving right along! I have a few blogger friends whose little ones have DD. Maybe you would like to connect with them for some more info to prepare. You can find Kai, Grant and Mileena under "Sonya's LP Friends". Hope this helps! Hugs!

  2. The "wait and see" period is so difficult! And I know what it's like to find out you have 1 in 4 odds of something happening in every pregnancy. I'm hoping you find that isn't the case, because then you do have to make that very difficult decision about how to have additional children. Of course, we chose the embryo adoption route, but it was a long thought process that got us to that point. As always, you're in my prayers!